How to write for a target audience of one. Personalizing your web content.

There’s a rule when writing marketing copy. First and foremost, know your audience. Intimately. Their desires, needs, likes and dislikes. Age, gender, location. “Demographic” and “target market” are words we toss around a lot in marketing.writing for target audience of one_woman with target

It’s also suggested, particularly in writing for the web, that a copywriter write as if speaking to an individual — that one, unique visitor. As though having a conversation that personally invites the reader in, entices and entertains.

It’s a tall order and one that’s easy to lose sight of as a writer: to keep clear and steady aim on your target audience as creative juices get to flowing, a client’s point of view is adhered to, project objectives are met and checked off — often with the added thrill of the inevitable deadline. There are times as a copywriter when, no matter how serviceable the content I’ve produced for a client, I’ll send myself back to the drawing board to better capture that “one-on-one” connection I know will more effectively serve the end goal.

I once made a discovery. I was asked by my sister to assist her and her business partner in a website redesign project. We agreed I would approach the project with her as I would with any other client. There came a point at which I wanted to provide a few “how to” tips on writing website copy. Sitting down to write out the notes, I found, with my sister firmly in mind, the words fairly poured onto the page. Easy, conversational, yet on point. Somehow by having a very specific person with very real needs that I had a desire to address as my goal, the copy virtually wrote itself. Those few notes evolved into a nifty little document I would be happy to present to any client.

Actors are told, when being photographed or playing directly to camera, to envision a “real person” inside the lens. In order to personalize the experience. To bring the moment alive. The experience writing for my sister was similar. It’s an experiment worth trying. The next time you write, do so to someone you know, someone very specific. When freshening your website content or composing a blog post tell that living and breathing, flesh and blood person your story. Answer his or her questions. Assure, prove, convince them that you understand and can meet their needs and desires. See if it makes a difference in the way the words come to life.

And maybe, just maybe, that target audience of one will be a little easier to connect with in the future.

I’m talking to you. Yes, you.