No matter whether you’re trying to get your customers’ attention through social media, email campaigns, adverts or blog posts, there is one key element that you should focus on: words! Or, in professional marketing terms, the copy. Whether online or on paper, the copy that represents your business is often the first way a potential customer engages with you. Regardless of your target market, your copy needs to engage the reader and make your company approachable – it should grab the audience’s attention and make a link between your company and their situation. But how do you do this? Well, through conversational copy, of course!
The internet is full of advice urging businesses to use conversational copy in their marketing. But what exactly does that mean? And how and why should you be using it? I’m going to break it all down for you by answering these questions and will explain why, ultimately, it’s a great tool for building customer relationships. So, let’s start with the basics…
What Is Conversational Copy?
According to copywritematters, conversational copy is defined as:
Do you see what they did with that definition? They made it conversational. As if a friend just asked them the question and they had answered it simply. That is what true conversational copy is like; no major difference between how your business is explained in writing and how you describe your business to your friend.
Why You Need to Start Using Conversational Copy
Now, you might think that there should be a difference between how you speak about your company and how you write about it. But if you’re interested in building a strong brand that is recognizable and credible, then consistency with your brand tone (how your business sounds) is essential. And that’s where conversational copy comes in handy.
1. Establish a Strong Brand
A strong brand is one that is recognizable and credible – and it’s about more than just your logo. If someone sees your advert on the back of a bus, your social media page, or talks with a staff member over email, all of the interactions should ‘sound’ like your business.
Conversational copy can establish a consistent brand tone, but it also helps your audience build a relationship with you – it’s easy for potential customers to feel that your business is familiar when it sounds like an actual human is talking to them.
Hiut Denim Co. use conversational copy to successfully establish their brand. Their copy creates a sense of credibility, leaving the customer with the impression that they are experts at making great denim jeans. Their communication is simple and the customer immediately knows what they stand for.
2. Build Better Relationships with Customers
No one likes being talked at. We all want to have conversations, not one-sided discussions where we feel talked down to or not listened to. And the same is true when customers interact with businesses.
By adopting a conversational tone, your business can establish stronger relationships with your customers. This is because they feel listened to and valued. And happy customers often become loyal customers.
3. Increase Your Conversion Rate
Whatever you’re writing, you want it to elicit a response from your customers. Whether it’s a magazine advert, a social media post or a private email exchange, you want customers to see your brand and respond to it.
Conversational copy humanizes your brand; it makes it seem like there is a person behind the words. And people are much more likely to respond to copy that sounds like it was written by a human rather than a flat and formal lump of text.
Where Can You Use Conversational Copy?
This is a bit of a trick question. The truth is, if you are going to implement conversational copy as part of your brand voice, you should use it across all aspects of your business. Consistently is crucial; if you use conversational copy in one area of your business but not in others, it counteracts the key benefits of using it in the first place.
If a customer sees your chatty and approachable posts on social media but then finds your website full of formal, hard-to-read paragraphs, they’ll be confused and will lose interest. Similarly, if your marketing material is conversational and engaging but then a customer receives jargon-filled, convoluted emails from your team, you’ll lose them.
For conversational copy to work, you need to use it across your whole business. That means in your marketing materials, your customer service communication, your advertising campaigns — anything that has your logo on it and has text — should be consistently conversational.
Think Innocent Smoothie, or Trello, or Cards Against Humanity…
Three very different businesses with very different tones of writing. But what do they all have in common? You guessed it. They are all consistently conversational, from their homepages to their marketing materials and even down to their FAQ sections.
How to Create Conversational Copy
Are you ready to create conversational copy for your brand? Here is how to get started.
1. Figure Out Who Your Customer Is and How to Talk to Them
Like I said at the beginning, conversational copy is just writing about your business the way you talk about it. For your copy to create customers, you need to know who your target customer is and how to talk to them.
Consider the examples mentioned above: Trello can’t talk to their customers the way Cards Against Humanity do, but they are both examples of conversational copy that suit their audience. You just need to figure out who your audience is and how to talk to them before you start writing.
2. Know What You Want to Say, and Say It Simply
Whether you’re a bank trying to sell a new savings account or a water sports company selling kayak tours, your writing should answer these main questions in an easy-to-read and accessible format. Who are you? What you are offering and how does it help them? Why should they become a customer? How can they access your service?
If you’re writing answers to these questions in a short and simple format, then you’re well on your way to creating engaging, conversational copy for your customers.
3. Hire a writer or Get Better at It Yourself
If you don’t have an in-house marketing team or an agency that handles your brand, then hiring a freelance writer is a great way to introduce conversational copy into your business.
Or, if you like writing and have the time, the internet is full of resources to help you learn more about conversational copy and how to write it. I recommend The Practical Guide to Writing Conversational Copy from ProBlogger, and the HotCopy podcast featuring Vikki Ross that discusses all things conversational copywriting.