Are you concerned about your marketing messages sounding too stuffy, or worse yet, cringe-worthy?
In an effort to speak as our brand across digital channels, it’s all too easy to lack personality and miss the opportunity to engage with your audience and persuade them to take action.
Think about all the times you’ve been marketed to and simply moved on because you didn’t feel engaged. We all crave that human touch, that conversational tone in messages or any kind.
Being more conversational in your marketing makes your brand more human. However, keep in mind that “conversational” doesn’t mean exactly how we talk if you record it in a transcript, for example, which would be a bit rambling.
The way we talk is a bit more disjointed, with grammar mistakes and unfinished sentences.
Successful conversational writing is much tighter and more purposeful.
The following are seven tips to be more conversational and relatable in your marketing messages.
Don’t write to everyone
When you know you’re writing an email to 20,000 people, it’s tempting to whitewash your language so that what you’re saying applies to everyone reading.
This leads to phrases like “those of you,” where you’re talking to everyone and no one at the same time. It’s impersonal. By trying to accommodate everyone, you engage few if any.
Think of your ideal customer. How would you speak to him or her? You likely would use the pronoun “you” directly.
Avoid jargon, complex words
When having a conversation with your friends, you’re likely not using super complicated words and other jargon.
Keep your wording simple and direct.
Others in your industry might always use certain technical terms (or even abbreviations), but remember who you’re talking to.
The simpler, the better.
Less about you, more about your audience
Conversational writing is more of a two-way street than you might imagine. This content is about them, so even though you aren’t seeing them as you’re writing, keep them in mind.
Use less “we” and “our” and more “you” and “your.” (We recommend less, but not eliminating entirely.)
We have to avoid writing ourselves into self-importance.
You’re trying to reach your audience and engage them about their own problems and how you can solve them, so when in doubt, always make your writing about them and the benefits they can get from taking a particular action.
Add a flare of personality
This can feel a bit intimidating to most writers. But all personality refers to is how you’re more than just your field of expertise, not one-dimensional. Of course, what’s a good amount of personality, and how do you best show it?
- Share your own mistakes so that others can relate and/or learn from them.
- Explain your “why” (your mission) with your audience.
- Consider using metaphors.
- Share personal anecdotes that can help make a point.
Doing so helps your audience get to know you better.
Questions might appear to be overused in many social media posts, but they work. Questions in tweets can generate more than double the average amount of clicks.
Questions are simply a natural part of a conversation and an engaging way to address your audience.
The shorter the better
To the best of your ability, keep your sentences as short as possible.
As you’re writing, keep an eye out for longer sentences that you can break up. Ideally, aim for less than 10 words per sentence if you can.
This will help your writing be more skimmable and engaging. The longer the sentence, the more likely you’ll lose your readers.
Be empowered to break some grammar rules
While good grammar can make your writing easier to read, adhering to all grammar rules can also hinder you’re ability to be conversational. Some rules work against readability.
Don’t get stilted.
Feel empowered to:
- Use broken sentences to add clarity or emphasis.
- Start a sentence with “and,” “but” or “or” because it can make your content more dynamic and enthusiastic.
- Use one-sentence paragraphs.
- Insert occasional interjections, such as “ouch,” “phew” and “duh,” to add emotion.
Writing marketing messages is about communicating your ideas with clarity and personality.
Don’t be afraid to have colleagues read something before you send or publish it. Get feedback. Check out what others are saying and how they’re saying it, especially your competitors. And keep an eye on what content performs well (and what doesn’t).
But more than anything, have fun with it. Don’t overthink it. You might be speaking for your brand, but ultimately, you’re looking to connect with others to help solve a problem or need that they have. The more you write, the easier it will get.
As you get more comfortable with conversational writing, consider how you’re delivering it to your target audience. DailyStory can help with your digital marketing process. Schedule a free demo with us today.
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