How to write conversational content
Conversational content makes your reader feel you’re talking WITH them — NOT talking AT them. You’re engaging them in your conversation. They’re hearing your voice through the way that you write.
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” ~ Elmore Leonard
Creating conversational text means writing and then editing that draft to make it more conversational. Critiquing yourself and asking the question; Does this sound like someone talking or someone writing?
Let’s have a look at some tips that can help you to bring out your personality in writing in a conversational way:
Understand your audience
Now I’m not saying that you need to change your tone of voice based on who you’re talking to. In fact, that’s the completely wrong approach as inconsistency in the brand, including the tone, can have a negative impact leaving your audience feeling confused as to what the brand’s personality truly is.
You need to visualise your ideal customer. Are they young? Are they active? Are they adventurous? Are they formal? Whoever your ideal target audience is, you need to write your content in a tone that will entertain and be relatable to the type of person you want to attract. But understanding takes research, the more you understand the traits and lifestyle of your target audience, the easier it will be.
You probably tell many stories throughout the day, without even noticing you’re doing so. Your commute to work, your lunch, what you did last night, these are all stories that you may have told today.
When you tell stories, you build trust with your audience. They have the power to engage your audience in a way that no other written content can. They’re also far more interesting to read, follow and comment on then boring generic sales copy.
Think about how you can incorporate stories into your online personality. Your online community will always want to hear your stories and get to know you better. The better you know someone, the more you’re likely to trust them.
Avoid inflated words
Focus on using common words and expressions you use in everyday conversation. Would you say to someone ‘You must be cognizant of the step’, or ‘your house looks resplendent?’ (yeah, me either). Instead, write ‘Watch out for the step’ or ‘Your house looks amazing.’ If you wouldn’t use the word in a verbal conversation, it’s probably best to leave it out.
Don’t be afraid to be expressive with vocabulary, but know your limit.
Break some rules
Formal writing follows conventions such as never start a sentence with a conjunction (a joining word like And or But). But its totally acceptable to break some rules to be more conversational. Start a sentence with Because, But, or And to make your sentences short, easy to read and flow in a way similar to an actual conversation.
But don’t go over the top when breaking conventional writing rules. The goal is to lighten up your writing and make it feel more ‘real’, not to ignore the principles of good grammar and writing.
End with a preposition
It’s okay to end a sentence with a preposition (such as ‘on’, ‘in’, or ‘of’). Notice the placement of the preposition in these two sentences:
- Which website did you publish your article on?
- On which website did you publish your article?
Which sentence sounds more conversational? (Clue: it’s the one ending with the word ‘on’.)
Ask a question
A question changes the flow of your writing because it forces the reader to stop and think about the answer. Allowing you to follow your own question with an answer. You can do this at any point in your writing, where you feel it fits.
You can also try a series of questions to emphasise a point, they keep your reader involved in the conversation and it also makes it easier to get your point across when the reader is sharing your perspective, like a verbal conversation.
Hopefully the above can help you to connect with your audience and produce some truly engaging conversational content. If you’re still unsure, need some help or would prefer someone else to write for you all together, get in touch with one of our marketing specialists to discuss conversational marketing in detail and how we can help.