What would you do if you came across a blog or marketing email that is very formal and full of jargon? You might just stop reading it half-way through or instantly delete it from your mail box. The writer must have spent hours writing that piece of content and expected a lot of readership and engagement, but what happened was just the opposite. The writer couldn’t engage with you or you couldn’t feel a connection with the writer.
Mostly, marketing messages or emails are written very formally. They don’t engage. They lack personality.
Do you think that writing for a B2B audience cannot be conversational? Although writing traditions vary from industry to industry and the target audience, a writer can manage to sound professional, and yet make the article, email or even website content conversational. We will espouse on how to write conversationally and professionally later down in the blog.
Writing conversationally, while informal, doesn’t mean that grammatical errors and incomprehensible language with broken sentences, or wishy washy words are okay. It means talking to your target audience in a conversational, yet professional manner.
So, what is the conversational style of writing? Let’s take a deep dive into what conversational writing style is, why we should write in conversational tone and how we can do it?
What is Conversational Writing?
Writing in conversational style involves writing in a way that will instantly unlock the hearts of your readers. When you write conversationally, your readers will be able to relate and engage with you more. It will sound like a conversation between two people.
It just means that you are writing as if you are talking to the reader one-on-one, instead of talking to a large group, using more formal or academic language.
Why should we write in conversational tone?
Here are some benefits of writing in a conversational tone:
More connection = more engagement
Readers should feel that they know you in person and have all your attention. If you can establish a personal connection with your readers, they are more likely to get involved and start a discussion with you. A good conversation goes two ways.
Easy to understand
Using very difficult words and very long sentences, may be daunting to your readers. Using simpler, shorter sentences would help to connect better.
Would you enjoy reading a legal document or a tax return very often, unless you are compelled to do so? The answer is, perhaps never. We read those documents because we have to, not because we enjoy it. Most people will strike a conversation with you only if there are fun elements in your content and they enjoy reading it.
Relax a few writing rules
You can ‘unfollow’ a few rigid rules while writing conversationally like ‘never start a sentence with the word and’. Relaxing some rules removes the excessive formality and makes your article friendly. (A word of caution – don’t break too many rules that would make your article confusing to the reader)
Fewer writers block
When you write conversationally, your ideas and words come out easier and the flow is seamless. You can avoid actually writers block and craft your content faster.
How do we write in a conversational tone?
Most often we know that we should be writing in conversational style but don’t know how to do it. This may be because we are so used to writing formal content that we don’t know how to use content to connect with our readers. We don’t know to write content that can engage, persuade and increase readership.
Here are a few techniques to help you write content in a conversational tone:
Write to your target audience, not to everyone
Think of a particular target audience every time you write. If you write for everyone, no one will truly connect with you.
Example: Imagine you have to churn out an email to a list of 1000 companies who took interest in your software. You may draft an email like this:
“Thank you to those who took interest in our software. A demo of our software will be planned soon”.
Does it sound personal? Nope, it sounds more like you are addressing a crowd.
Now, let’s rephrase the above sentence. Write as if you know the person, although you haven’t met. Just strike a friendly conversation.
Hi Mr X,
“Thank you for your interest in our software. We invite you and your colleagues to a webinar on the software followed by a discussion. We will call you soon”!
Writing conversationally makes readers feel like you are talking to them personally, just like they are talking to a friend.
Use “You” and “I”
Addressing your reader directly supports the conversational effect. By using words like “You” and “I”, you are forming a personal connection with the readers, so the chances of readership and engagement are higher. Also, do you know that ‘’you’’ is the most powerful word in English language.
If you are required to create a social media post, asking your audiences to start using storytelling in content marketing, how would you write?
Storytelling is one of the key components of content marketing. Start using storytelling in content marketing to engage with audiences better.
Here’s a more conversational way of writing:
Do you know why storytelling is so important in content marketing? Don’t you wish to engage with your audiences better? Then, you should definitely include storytelling in your content marketing strategy.
Storytelling has become a common practice since the beginning of time. Stories trigger human emotions. While writing in a conversational tone, try to incorporate the technique of storytelling in your content and notice the significant improvement. Your readers will engage, like, share and react more than they ever did. Change your facts and figures into stories; let your readers feel compelled to listen to you.
Example: Our company’s mission is to enhance the travel experiences of our clients by helping them plan their best vacation ever.
Now, read the storytelling version:
If you are thinking to give your wanderlust a chance and are head over heels in love with beaches, mountains and everything about them, then we curate all things to help you plan your best vacation.
Write short and simple sentences
Long sentences are tiring to read. Academic style of writing affects the readability of your audience. To make your content more readable:
- Keep your sentences short, break long sentences into several short ones.
- Use words with fewer syllables
Example: Here’s how an academic sentence reads:
As specialists in B2B marketing, we design custom content marketing plans for our clients that nurture leads through the different stages of the B2B buying cycle
Did you read it a few times to be fully understood?
Here’s the conversational version:
We specialize in B2B marketing and design custom content marketing plans for our clients. These marketing plans help them to nurture leads through the different stages of the B2B buying cycle.
Use Active Voice instead of Passive Voice
Avoid using passive verbs while writing in conversational tone. Passive verbs lack action. They sound impersonal and cold, use active verbs instead.
Example: Instagram stories are used by social media marketers to connect with their audience.
Social media marketers use Instagram stories to connect with their audience.
Asking questions is a powerful method. Inviting your reader to think, guess, agree or disagree with you is what engages your reader, and makes your writing sound like a conversation. Using question marks will make your readers think about their own experiences.
Example: Include question marks in your content to make it more conversational.
Now, read this:
Want to make your content more conversational? Add a few questions.
Use simple, easy to understand words
You must have learnt a new word recently that you are tempted to use it in your content. But, it’s not always good to flaunt your wide vocabulary because it might disappoint your readers. So, as a general rule, try to use simpler words as the basis of your writing and use complex or difficult words when it is absolutely necessary.
Example: He commenced learning digital marketing to enhance his chances of acquiring a job.
Here’s a better version:
He started learning digital marketing to increase his chances of getting a job.
Conversational writing is one of the most important tools in any writer’s toolbox. Weave words in your content in such a way that it engages and lingers in your readers minds. Just keep your writing simple, short and allow your thoughts to flow smoothly. Be yourself and have a friendly chat.
Have you enjoyed reading this blog? If yes, the reason is mostly because it is written in conversational style rather than a formal style. Now, would you mind sharing this blog on your favourite social media channels? Thank you!