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Should you write the way you talk? Many copywriters I follow (Dean Rieck for example) and learn from certainly think so. But persuading the B2B marketing crowd of conversational copywriting’s merits is another matter.
Conversational copywriting is an informal style that mimics they way you’d talk to a friend, but with all the ‘ums’ and ‘you knows’ taken out. Readers find it easy to read because it’s a friendly and fun way of writing. It offers benefits for copywriters too.
People don’t like to be sold to. But they will listen to friendly advice.
Conversational copywriting can swoop under the reader’s radar, scanning for sales spiel, and project your pitch in a way they find comfortable to read and can connect with. It talks through your product in a positive light that doesn’t force the message, whilst projecting empathy for the reader’s problem at the same time.
Conversational copywriting is, however, not to everybody’s tastes. In the B2B world (where I’m spending a lot of my time, these days) it can be seen as unprofessional and not the way a brand should project itself.
Instead, many prefer to adopt a tone they think sounds impressive or important. But when you’re writing copy for your own benefit, rather than the reader, you can be left with a convoluted soup of jargon and corporate speak (‘best of breed’ is a particular pet hate of mine) with all the personality of a fax machine.
Personally, I think whether you’re writing B2C or B2B, you’re still writing for people. When you remove the business suit and tie, you’re still left with people with everyday problems and challenges they need solved.
So shouldn’t you write in a way that’s easy to understand, easy to relate to and doesn’t cause the reader’s eyes to glaze over? Or adopt a serious tone to try and sound impressive? I know which side of the fence I stand on.