September 21, 2018 What is conversational copy and why should I use it?

By Rhys Martin

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We all know lifeless, jargon-filled technobabble when we see it. As author and former political speechwriter Don Watson wrote, “Today’s corporations, government departments, news media, and, perhaps most dangerously, politicians – speak to us in clichéd, impenetrable, lifeless sludge.”

There’s nothing that engages less than robotic, salesy copy. So, why is conversational copy so important? The way we engage with the written word in a digital world is drastically different to how we read in more traditional mediums. Digital users skim read, and with mobile devices now being the preferred method for about 70% of all internet users, having copy that engages its intended audience and communicates its message quickly and clearly is vital. Enter conversational copy…

What is conversational copy?

Conversational copy is what it sounds like – it’s writing that has the same feel as a conversation. Though it may not be structured exactly the same way as a conversation you might have with someone, which can be much more staccato and filled with pauses and interruptions, it draws on a lot of the same methods, such as:

  • using contractions e.g. you’re, they’re and we’re – as opposed to you are, they are etc.
  • avoiding third person, instead using words such as I, me, we and you
  • including literary devices such as similes, metaphors and personification. These can help your audience to visualise, compare and contrast the idea or information you’re communicating
  • using shorter sentences – though a variety of short, medium and longer sentences is recommended too
  • writing with personality and humour – where appropriate.

Obviously with all of these things, the brand you’re writing for will dictate the tone you take with your copy, but the key focus of writing conversationally is the same. That is, write with your reader in mind. Picture your audience as a real person (or people), not some inanimate void. Better still, write with a specific target audience in mind.

Why should I use it?

Conversational copy is far more authentic, engaging and as a result, effective, than over-used verbose and jargon-filled communications. And don’t be mistaken for thinking that conversational language can’t have a professional tone, because it can. As mentioned above, the brand’s tone you’re writing for matters, but quality conversational language is interchangeable.

Conversational copy is like a family station wagon: it’s practical, useful and familiar. It doesn’t try and be too flashy for its own good; it seeks to serve a purpose. It’s the vehicle to most efficiently deliver your message.

At Avion Communications, we write for a whole range of brands, across a wide variety of industries. Our experienced team of copywriters is adept at nailing conversational copy for any brand, engaging with audiences of all shapes and sizes. So, if you want to better engage your audience, get in touch with the Avion team today to see how we can help you.