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What does “write like you’re having a conversation mean?”

You've probably heard it hundreds of times – copywriters (and yes, I'm guilty) telling you that the best way to write engaging content is to "write as though you're having a conversation with your audience."


But what exactly does that mean?


two young girls sitting on a path having a conversation. Both are holding bunches of daisies

Image by Pezibear from Pixaby


Writing in a conversational tone is about creating a connection with the reader. You want them to feel like you're having a friendly chat, not being lectured at or sold to.


When your copy has a conversational style, it's more likely to hold the reader's attention and get your message across in a way that resonates. This writing style is excellent for website content, landing pages, blogs, emails and other marketing copy where you want to engage the audience. However, a more formal tone is more appropriate for technical whitepapers, reports, and other official documentation.


Injecting some conversational language can make your copy far more engaging for most B2B marketing materials.


So how do you 'converse' through writing?


Use abbreviations

In everyday conversations, we use contractions like "don't", "can't", and "it's". Using abbreviations like these in our writing makes it sound less formal and more natural. Of course, don't overdo it, but a sprinkling of abbreviations every so often can instantly make your tone more conversational.


Write in simple language

Have you ever noticed how people speak much more simply than they write? We tend to use clear, easy words when we talk out loud. Fancy corporate jargon and unnecessarily long words can make your copy sound stiff and overly formal.


So, if you want your audience to read and remember your content, simplify your language to sound like you're having a face-to-face conversation.

 

Use second and first person POV

Using second person point of view (POV) words like "you," "your," etc., makes the reader feel as though you're speaking to them directly. This is far more conversational and engaging than writing about "the customer" in the third person.


At the same time, using "we" and "our" in the first person POV can also sound conversational when referring to your company. This helps to reinforce the one-on-one connection, as though you're having a chat with the reader about your business.

 

“You can download our handy guide here” is far more engaging than “Customers may download the guide from Acme Tool Hire Ltd here”


Ask rhetorical questions

What's one technique for instantly making your writing more conversations? Asking questions!


Rhetorical questions engage the reader and get them thinking about what you're saying. It's like stopping so they can comment during your written conversation.

 

Keep sentences and paragraphs short

Long, rambling paragraphs and sentences can be challenging to follow. Keep things short and punchy, just like you'd speak in real life. Short paragraphs also create breaks, similar to pauses in a conversation. 


Use examples and storytelling

Have you noticed how people love to tell stories and give personal examples when they're talking? Anecdotes and real-life examples help to illustrate your points and add personality to your copy. They help the reader visualise what you're saying and make it feel like a live conversation.

 

Read it out loud

One of the best ways to tell if your writing is conversational is to read it out loud. Does it sound natural? Does it roll off the tongue easily? Are there clunky sections?


When you read it out loud, does it sound like something you'd actually say to someone? If it doesn't flow smoothly when you speak it, revise it to make it more conversational.



Young girl whispering to a young boy who is smiling

Photo by saeed karimi on Unsplash

Speak directly to your audience


Good writing is about effectively communicating your message in a way that resonates with your target audience. Writing in a conversational tone helps you to speak directly to your readers as individuals in an engaging, casual way.


Writing in a conversational style does take some practice. But making the effort to "speak" through your copy is well worth it.


So, next time you write a blog or landing page, why not have a friendly chat with your readers? You'll be surprised by how they respond to your content.



B2B content doesn't have to be stuffy and full of corporate jargon. If you need help writing in a conversational tone that speaks directly to your audience and builds rapport, get in touch. I'm here to help.



 

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