Back in the days before the web, media channels worked just one way.
You couldn’t talk back at your TV screen.
You couldn’t talk back at a billboard.
As a result, as copywriters, we had a style and approach that worked for one-way media.
That’s certainly the training I received, back in the early 1980s.
We were in control of the message and the medium… and our style evolved from that place of control.
Our copywriting style certainly wasn’t conversational, because with one-way media there is no conversation.
And then along came the web.
The web is the world’s first mass-medium that is truly two-way.
For everything a company publishes, billions of individuals can respond… within the same medium, on the same platforms.
That’s a heck of a change and transformation.
The arrival and explosion of social media and smartphones simply amplified the two-way, conversational nature of communications online.
Now… companies that still communicate in that old-school, in-your-face style stand out as oddities… like a guy turning up to a weekend backyard BBQ wearing a business suit.
In a world of two-way media, conversation is the norm.
When a company responds to comments on its Facebook page it’s forced into conversation. That space is conversational by definition.
And every company would do well to take the lessons learned from those social media conversations and apply them across all its online platforms… its website included.
Traditional, broadcast, in-your-face sales and communication copy worked in the old, one-way world.
It doesn’t work in a two-way world.
Today’s online copywriters need to understand what’s different about writing online and develop their conversational copywriting skills.
Everything you write… whether it’s a sales page a homepage or an email… write it is a tone and style as if it were just one part of an ongoing conversation.
NOTE: I have an entire course devoted to the craft of Conversational Copywriting. (This link takes you to my Nick Usborne Training website.)
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