It’s an age old debate.
When it comes to changes in language, everyone has an opinion. Some claim that we’re reverting to a neanderthal level of communication, dragging our verbal knuckles as we go. Some say that the language is merely evolving with culture, and that it’s okay to go with the times and put YOLO in the dictionary.
While you may want to bury your head in the linguistic sand and wait for the storm to pass, there’s still one dilemma you must face: When language is so varied, what should your content look like?
The shortest answer I can give? Just a little more relaxed than you initially thought.
There’s good reason for this. It’s pretty obvious that humans as a group are perpetually distracted. A lot begs for our attention throughout the course of the day, which can make it a struggle to focus. Because of this, consumers are likely to be either intimidated or frustrated by dense, difficult-to-read text. Most will shrug and exit, thinking, “I don’t have time to look at this right now.”
Now, I’m not advocating for throwing professional standards out the window. It’s important to prove your credibility through your content. But there’s a way to do it that will keep your customers engaged.
First, always choose the shorter word. The best way to keep your content readable is to use clear, concise language. Sticking to short phrases and explanations may sound easy enough, but it’s a challenge, even for seasoned writers. It’s worth the practice, though. Not only will your customers be more inclined to read your content, but you’ll also come out of it a better writer! Win-win.
Second, don’t be afraid to sound conversational. People parse through automated information all the time; it’s nice to be reminded that what you’re reading was released by a real human being who has a sense of humour and occasional bad hair days. Conversational content is highly relatable. And consumers love relatable.
Third, hold on to that one crucial habit. Editing is our last defense from releasing an ugly typo into the world at large. It helps maintain the professional tone in your writing, all while maintaining the pace of your content. It’s okay to be a stickler about some things. Editing will always be fundamental to great content.
Finding the right tone for your content is a process that takes careful attention and adjustment. But once you find the right balance of professional confidence and relatable communication, generating content gets easier. Better yet, your customers will get to know your specific voice, and recognize it whenever you release fresh content. Soon enough, your style of communication becomes a part of your brand.