Whether most of your business comes from your website, your Instagram page, or word-of-mouth recommendations, communication is the common thread that binds businesses to their buyers.

Great communication isn’t easy. It takes more than the odd viral social media post or innovative email campaign to be consistently successful at engaging your prospects and turning them into brand-loyal customers.

Creating a content marketing strategy is the best place to start. This helps you understand the questions your customers are asking, so you can provide helpful, relevant content to give them the information they need.

But for business owners who don’t have time to create a brand new marketing strategy from scratch right now, here are 5 ways you can transform the language your business uses to better connect with your buyers.

What do your buyers want?

If you’re overhauling the tone of your business, the first step is to understand who your buyers are. Most businesses can be split into 2 categories:

  • B2B (business-to-business). B2B companies sell their products to other businesses. As a result, they often adopt a more serious, corporate tone in their communications.
  • B2C (business-to-consumer). B2C companies sell their products directly to individuals. B2C companies often have a more playful, emotive tone of voice.

While this split is nothing new, it’s important to remember that B2B businesses are run by people, too. Don’t assume that B2B content should be humourless or dour. Even the most corporate content needs to be engaging.

5 language changes you can make to communicate better with your buyers

Want to build better rapport with your potential buyers? Here are 5 changes you can implement in your business messaging right now.

1. Tone Of Voice

Your business’s tone of voice should reflect your brand, and the type of product you sell. Tone of voice is tricky to measure, but it’s designed to make you feel something. Take a look at these tweets from two fashion brands, Missguided and Christian Louboutin, and spot the difference in tone:

Missguided is a fast fashion brand aimed at younger buyers with less disposable cash than esteemed designer Christian Louboutin. The latter can get away with words like indulge and sartorial – the brand is built around extravagant elegance. Missguided, meanwhile, uses emojis and short, sharp phrases to connect with their buyers.

Look at the messaging of other brands in your sector, and decide where you fit. If you need help designing or adjusting your tone of voice to fit your company, consult with a freelance copywriter to find the perfect voice for your brand.

2. Punctuation

In long form content — such as blog posts, LinkedIn articles, and emails — your punctuation should be accurate. But in short form content — such as tweets and Instagram posts and stories — you can let things get a little looser.

On social media, gifs, memes and emojis do a lot of the talking for people, so it’s no wonder punctuation is hardly seen as a necessity online. A lot of young people scrap punctuation in their tweets and Instagram stories — and brands can reflect this to connect with them.

B2B brands, meanwhile, tend to use full sentences and punctuation to enhance that professionalism that helps them connect with other corporations. Take a look at the difference between these tweets from Netflix and Salesforce:

Notice that Salesforce’s tweet isn’t overly formal or dry — their approach is professional but easygoing.

3. Sentence Length

Short sentences are easy to read. They give you the information you need in concise, digestible chunks. But too many short sentences in a row are boring. Long, flowing sentences are more difficult to read, but can add variety to your content.

Lululemon, a B2C athleisure clothing brand, relies on short sentences almost exclusively. In the context of their website, these sentences are powerful and punchy — which is the way they want their buyers to feel.

Hubspot, meanwhile, is a multi-platform B2B software company with a much more complex product offering. As a result, their sentences tend to be longer and more explanatory. However, they don’t say more than they need to — which is a hallmark of all good copy.

Depending on the complexity of your product and the needs of your customers, it’s important for you to decide whether your sentences should be elaborate or to-the-point.

4. Word choice

Used sparingly, thesauruses are really useful tools for finding the best word for your needs. That said, it’s easy to over-rely on them (Friends fans will remember Joey’s experience with the thesaurus). Soon your writing can become overly complex and difficult to read — a surefire way to make your buyer leave the page.

No matter what kind of product you sell, you should aim to keep your vocabulary as simple as possible. That doesn’t mean you need to dumb down your text for your readers. It means you should find the best, most appropriate word for your requirements.

Jaguar’s company page uses language that’s both evocative and understandable to paint a picture of their company values.

5. Call your buyer to action

You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. However, that’s not to say you can’t try. Don’t put in the graft writing a page of great copy, then leave your buyer in the lurch at the end.

No matter which format you’re writing in, it’s important to include a call-to-action at the end so your buyer knows what to do next. This can be the suggestion to buy a product, visit a related page, or sign up to your newsletter. Just make sure you include a relevant, useful call-to-action.

The Hubspot homepage is a great place to see this in action. Every segment of text tells the reader what to do next – making their sales process a total breeze.

Your call to action: work with a freelance copywriter to establish a distinctive tone for your brand

See what I mean? Now you know how to tweak your text to better engage your buyers, it’s time to take action. Find your brand’s voice and improve communication with your customers by working with a freelance copywriter to establish and implement your distinctive tone.