7 TIPS FOR GREAT CONVERSATIONAL CONTENT
How often do you get really bored and press delete after reading an article?
marketing contents make us cringe. They sound like a machine wrote them. They aren’t
interactive. They lack a soul and feel cold.
school, we were taught how to use grammar, how to write and spell, but we were
never taught how to use language to engage our readers. We didn’t learn how to interact,
persuade, and inspire.
audience want feel your heart.
conversational content, you instantly connect with the author. You feel like you
have known him for years. You start to
like him. Actually you love him already.
As content marketers, our aim is for readers to get to know, love, and trust us. We create opportunities to market our services and sell our services to them. Our writings should be conversational.
style does not require recording yourself talking and then typing out what you
full of wishy-washy words, grammar mistakes, and unfinished sentences. People
rarely speak proper English when they talk. That’s normal.
text is a lot tighter than spoken language. So, writing conversationally
doesn’t mean you write as you talk. Instead, edit your text so it doesn’t sound
sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” – Elmore Leonard
techniques help make your content sound more conversational.
are the tips. All for you.
- Address one person
an email to a list of 10,000 people.
you think about those 10,000 faceless subscribers, you probably sound like
you to those of you who have donated to our charity appeal. You can still
sounds like you’re addressing a crowd, right? The phrase “those of you” feels
let’s choose your favorite subscriber. Imagine
your biggest fan — she often replies to your emails with praise, and
sometimes with questions. Even though you’ve never met, she’s a friend:
you already donated to our charity appeal? Thank you so much. If you haven’t
donated yet, you can still donate here.
conversational tone makes readers feel like you’re addressing them personally.
As if you two are having a drink at your local Starbucks.
“I’m going to have a green tea. What would you like to drink?”
2. Write to inform and educate
you talk with your best friend, what kind of words do you use?
try to impress with MBA jargon? Do you use complicated words?
write conversationally, skip the gobbledygook and make your content more
specific. For instance, look at this copy:
software from the market leader. Schedule your social media updates with our
award-winning all-in-one app.
here’s the conversational version:
time with our new app. Schedule all your social media updates in one go.
the foundation of a good conversation. Understand the problems your readers are
struggling with, and address those problems using their words.
to engage and help.
“Would you like a ginger cookie with your coffee? Or a blueberry
3. Make it a two-way
writing, we can’t see the person on the other end of the conversation. So, we
forget to engage our readers and merely write from our own perspective.
an example of how self-importance sneaks into our content:
to get on our list, and we’ll send you our weekly email with marketing tips.
how “we” and “our” are both self-referring pronouns. Here’s how to focus on
your reader instead:
your business with smarter marketing. Sign up now to get weekly emails with
your self-important sentences, look for the sentences with “I” and “we.” Edit
them to highlight benefits for your reader.
don’t feel you need to replace all instances of “I” and “we.” You don’t need to
you’re a one-person business, use “I,” “me,” and “my.” And if you write on
behalf of a team, feel free to use “we,” “us,” and “our,” when appropriate.
conversation goes two ways: A little bit about “me” or “us.” A little more
“How was your weekend?”
4. Make it personal
about your friends or favorite colleagues. Why do you enjoy chatting with them?
the small stories you share. You might discuss a bad referee decision in
Sunday’s match, the movie you went to yesterday, or where you can get the best
friends talk about more than their specialty subject.
the same with your content. If you only discuss your topic of expertise, you
show yourself as a one-dimensional expert. It’s kind of boring.
about how you can inject
your personality into your blog posts, emails, or sales copy:
- Share the mistakes you’ve made so your readers can learn from
- Use a personal anecdote to illustrate a point.
- Create your own style of metaphors.
- Tell readers why you’re on your mission to change the world.
- Add a personal P.S. to your emails — even if it’s an unrelated
comment about the weather or your latest cycling trip.
you sprinkle a little bit of yourself over your content, readers get to know
when content marketing becomes magic.
“Yeah, my weekend was good. My sister came over from the
Netherlands. Luckily the weather was good.”
5. Engage with questions
pose questions in your writing?
Research has shown that questions in
tweets can get more than double the amount of clicks. And what’s more, they can
even boost your persuasiveness.
book To Sell Is Human, Daniel
Pink explains that a question makes readers think — they process your message
more intensely. And when readers agree with you, your question is more
persuasive than a statement.
the difference between:
ought to include questions marks, so your writing becomes more conversational.
make your writing more engaging? Add a few questions.
are a powerful technique for engaging and persuading your readers. They keep
readers invested in your content.
“The weather is nice today, too. Shall we sit outside?”
6. Make your sente
standard tone of voice in marketing often sounds boring and robotic, and an
academic tone creates a certain distance, too, as if you look down on your
styles tend to use unwieldy sentences — and those long sentences are tiring to
read. To make your content more readable, chop up long sentences.
a long academic sentence:
yourself only as an expert makes you one-dimensional, but when you tell short
stories about yourself in addition to sharing your knowledge, you become a
multi-dimensional human being, and you become a more fascinating person in your
Did you run out of breath? That’s forty words in one sentence.
the conversational version with only nine words per sentence on average:
yourself only as an expert makes you one-dimensional. Perhaps even a bit
boring. But when you tell itty-bitty stories about yourself, your hobbies, and
your life, you become a real human being. You become more fascinating.
grade school, we received praise for using difficult words to write complicated
sentences. In college, we read verbose sentences stuffed with words derived
from Latin and Greek.
how we learned to write to impress.
didn’t learn how to communicate our message, write with clarity, and be
persuasive. To engage our readers, we must unlearn what we
learned in school.
your readers first. Make your message simple. Chop your sentences down.
“Nice shirt you’re wearing. I like the color. Suits you well.”
7. Break the rules
thinking about my high school teachers puts me on edge. I get nervous about
making mistakes. I worry about sounding crazy. I fear not living up to their
that’s how writing becomes stilted.
rules usually makes content easier to read. However, certain
rules may actually hamper readability. So, give yourself permission to break
- Use broken sentences. Broken sentences don’t necessarily
befuddle readers; they often add clarity. By stressing words. (Like that.)
- Start a sentence with “and,” “but,” or “or.” Because it makes
your content easier to read and less monotonous. More dynamic. Enthusiastic.
- Create one-sentence paragraphs to stress specific statements and
give readers room to breathe. A short silence in a conversation is okay, right?
- Feel free to occasionally use … uhm … interjections like “Ouch,”
“Phew,” and “Duh.” They add emotion and a touch of casualness to your writing
is not about sticking to grammar rules. It’s about communicating ideas with
clarity and personality.
please come along for a cup of tea and a chat, but don’t bring your grammar
teacher with you. She’ll strangle our conversation with her pedantic remarks.
“Your hair is getting long. You should get a haircut.”
Embrace your unique style
ever think back to a conversation you had with a friend? Do you hear her voice
in your head?
how readers should experience your content. Let your words linger in their
minds. Inspire them long after they’ve read your words.
world of endless pixels and meaningless likes, we crave human
connections and voices that resonate with us.
yourself. Brew a cup of green tea. Offer your readers a slice of homemade cake.