In this video interview SEO copywriting expert Heather Lloyd-Martin discusses what a persona is and how it can help copywriters develop targeted sales content that produces much more sales than untargeted copy.
Heather explains that a persona is a detailed description of your sales target -- who they are, what they're like, and how they buy. A persona helps you target your benefit statements with precision so that they hit the hot buttons of your actual customers.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to assume a general audience: "Everyone is our target audience." The truth is that certain types of people purchase your products or services. They differ by gender, luxury or discount preference, average lifetime of the customer, and what is important to your customer.
Heather suggests going to your customers to find out who is buying from you now. You can listen to your customers using social media, as well as through your sales and customer service personnel. From them you can learn the questions your customers are asking so you can write sales copy that deals with their objections. Consider also how your persona prefers to look for and retrieve information.
You need one persona for every target audience you have. Constant Contact has many personas, one for each industry they serve -- real estate, spas, independent businesses, etc.
Each persona will have benefit statements important to the customer group it represents. In some companies a written persona given to copywriters is a one-page document, even complete with a picture of the persona.
When your copywriting is based on personas, it greatly improves your chances of selling to site visitors.
Heather Lloyd-Martin is the CEO of Success Works, the first SEO Copywriting, agency. Her agency trains copywriters -- both freelancers and certification programs. This interview was recorded at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Francisco, California, in August 2010.