At this day and age, it would be difficult to find a business that doesn’t have a blog. Blogs and written content contribute to generating a broader audience, creating brand awareness, and informing people about your products and services. It’s estimated that 85% of B2C and 91% of B2B companies use blogs or other content marketing efforts to reach and engage with consumers. But only because a business has a blog doesn’t make it useful. The common mistake a lot of companies make is that their content is too formal and “dry.”
It might work in some sectors, but often formal content is challenging to read, understand, and relate. Not to mention, it’s boring and sounds unnatural. Conversational writing, on the other hand, helps readers engage with your brand and connect to the ideas you intend to express. If you have been focusing on crafting formal posts, it might be complicated to switch, because it seems that the more laid back your tone is, the less professional you sound. But it’s not the case, if you’re able to digest even the most complicated terminology and turn it into user-friendly language, it shows that you fully understand the topic and can explain it to your readers.
Why Is It Important to Keep Your Blog Conversational?
Ask yourself, would you rather read an article that sounds like a terms and conditions page or the one that is personal and tells a story? No matter how professional you are, you would probably choose the latter option. And that’s okay because we’re humans and we like stories. Stories don’t only create a narrative and spark intrigue, but they also make a post more personal.
Personalization is a crucial point in a company’s marketing efforts. A new generation of consumers prefers personalized products and services. In fact, as much as 80% of today’s buyers would choose a brand that offers customized experience and services. Of course, this is mainly linked to the user experience, but a compelling buyer’s journey starts from learning about a product or service.
Other than personalization, conversational tone helps you:
Reach a broader audience
Whether you offer SaaS solutions for corporates or cooking classes – your target audience isn’t always people who are educated about the field. Comprehensible information reaches more people and can attract those who, in a different case, wouldn’t fully comprehend given content.
Educate your audience
If potential buyers don’t understand what you offer and why they should buy it, then it comes as no surprise that they don’t purchase the product. The primary purpose of content is to describe and explain why your product is worth buying and how it would benefit the buyer. Yet if it’s written in a way that even you struggle to understand, then don’t expect someone who’s never heard of your service before to be excited about it.
At the same time, an educated and informed buyer is what drives a business forward. They make better purchase decisions, they have fewer complaints and chances of returning the product.
But these benefits don’t make much sense if you don’t apply conversational writing practically. And although the casual tone is simpler, and we use it in our verbal communication, it’s not that easy to use it in writing.
How to Make Your Business Writing More Conversational?
It’s complicated to switch from formal to a more conversational writing tone. Back in school, we were taught about the differences between formal and informal writing and encouraged to used the first one as often as possible. Then when we need to rewire our brain, we don’t know where to start. So, here are a few ways to make your content more conversational.
Use simpler words
And no, simple and easy-to-understand words don’t make you sound stupid – the opposite, it makes writing more natural. Take this sentence for example:
“He demonstrated satisfaction as he utilized his new mobile device.”
Then take all the vague and unnecessary words and replace them with the language actual people use:
“He was happy as he was using his new mobile phone.”
Sounds way better than stuffing your content with sophisticated yet complicated words, only to impress the reader.
It’s easier to read a text when you use contractions. It sounds conversational and more natural to a human’s eye, especially when we are used to texting and using contractions in most of our daily communication. Take, for instance, this sentence:
“He did not know that they have been traveling for two months now. They should have told about their plans to spend more time abroad.“
Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it?
What if you write it this way:
“He didn’t know that they’ve been traveling for two months now. They should’ve told about their plans to spend more time abroad.”
Contractions help you direct attention to the meaning of a sentence instead of trying to catch all the separate words.
Active voice makes your sentences more elevating and engaging. Although it’s impossible to avoid passive voice sometimes, you should always aim to activate your sentences. Compare these two examples:
“The bike was ridden by Maria.”
“Maria was riding a bike.”
No one talks like the first sentence, which means it’s not the best choice if you want to sound conversational. However, there are less noticeable cases, such as:
“The new chemical formation was discovered by Australian scientists.” – You can find plenty of similar examples, even in a spoken language. But when you write, you can always look back and activate your sentences. In this case, saying: “Australian scientists discovered a new chemical formation” sounds much more conversational.
Write as you were addressing a friend
And I don’t mean to write every other word in abbreviation or use slang. Instead, use first and second person, as in “I, you, we, us.” This way, a reader feels like you’re talking to him or her directly than to someone else. Again, take an example:
“When a writer starts feeling confident in her skills, she can develop an authentic and unique voice. Her origins give her the advantage of bringing another culture and different vocabulary on the table. The writer doesn’t have to ditch sayings or special phrases used in a native tongue, instead, she should adapt them to English and find ways to make it sound natural.
“When you start feeling confident in your skills, you can develop an authentic and unique voice as a writer. And remember that your origins give you the advantage of bringing another culture and different vocabulary on the table. You don’t have to ditch sayings or special phrases used in your native tongue, instead, adapt them to English and find ways to make it sound natural.”
Even though you can relate to the idea behind the first paragraph, you don’t seem to feel that it’s dedicated to you. But when a writer uses “you” as a receiver, you read it as it was written personally to you.
Written and other types of content are becoming more and more critical in today’s business landscape. It informs your audience, helps them to engage with your brand, and thereby use your services. But with millions of companies using blogging and content writing, you need to find your voice and stand out from the crowd. Building genuine and close relationships with your audience is one of the surefire ways to do so. And a conversational writing tone is what accelerates the process.
If you want help switching to a more conversational writing tone, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my Medium page.