Now, don’t get turned off or worried by the word “conversational.” Conversational doesn’t mean casual, salesy or unprofessional. In the case of business writing, conversational means provoking thoughts and action with your readers. It means using a welcoming, familiar tone that resonates with people in the related field. Here are some tips:
1. Make the reader feel like they’re the only person you care about. Focus on your one dream reader. Just as you wouldn’t go to an event and hand out your business card to every person there, you don’t want to try to write for everyone. You want your reader to trust you because you understand their interests, challenges and fears.
If you don’t talk in third person with your friends and co-workers, why use it with your readers?
An easy way to make writing conversational is taking a personal tone with pronouns such as “we” and “you.” This immediately engages your audience and shows that you want to talk with them and not at them. Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with your reader. Write down everything you’d say to them. Is it clear? Does it make sense? If it does, you’ve just drafted a piece of content!
2. Never make the assumption that your readers have the same knowledge of your product as you do. If you’re trying to convince readers that they need a product or service, they need to understand it. While your client may know their product inside and out, most readers don’t. Lose the technical jargon and explain the product or industry in a conversational way.
Using simple turns won’t turn away those who do have an advanced technical understanding. Simple doesn’t mean the content can’t be engaging, so make sure you are making content pieces interesting for everyone in your target demographic.
3. Mention features early-on. As attention spans are becoming increasingly shorter, you must get to the point quickly to keep readers on your content. If the reader finishes an article about your product but they aren’t sure what values are provided, they’ll turn to a competitor.
When writing content, write down all of the values you want to offer in the content. Leave nothing off the list. Organize the list so you have the most important values to your ideal customer at the top. Write your content in this order, so that even if the reader doesn’t finish the piece, they still get the most important values.
4. Include a call to action. Creating highly engaging content is only a part of the process. If you want to convert readers into customers, you must include a call to action. A call to action can be anything from asking readers to visit your website for more content, to having them call your sales team.
Whatever the call to action may be, make it clear and easy for your readers to have all the information they need to become a loving, loyal customer.
5. Get on the perfectionist train. Never underestimate the power of a spelling error or grammar mistake. Your content is a reflection of your company, so if you have a single error, it can be enough to make clients think twice about doing business with you. Here’s five things that really help when proofreading:
- Read everything you write aloud.
- Use a ruler (or your finger) to underline every word you read.
- When you finish writing, let it sit for an hour or two before you proofread.
- Ask a coworker to take a glance at your piece.
- Use an online editing tool.
Using these tips will make your client’s happy, and in turn make your client love you. Successful content will have your client singing your praises, and begging for more.
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