How this tone in marketing disarms the most sceptical customers and wins them over

Customers these days are a prettttty savvy bunch.

With people being able to write whatever whenever, often with no consequences, consumers are a tad cautious and can sniff out a dishonest marketing message from kilometres away.

You see.

A recent edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer in 2022 found almost 6 out of 10 people doubt the truthfulness of content without proof – eek.

And marketing to millennials?

A study by the McCarthy Group in 2014 showed 98% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. I’d say that distrust has increased in the past 10 years. Prob why there’s so much user-generated content by influencers on social media, more authentic–much?

Of course, a dose of scepticism is healthy, but when consumers doubt everything marketing says?

Not so fab for small businesses.

Its a bummer that the more you “persuade” back, overcome objections, and provide evidence, the more consumers’ brows furrow.

What’s a business to do?

How do we break down these barriers?

Enter the conversational tone of voice–an approach that infuses warmth into words, making interactions feel more like a dialogue between mates, rather than a transaction with a dude in a trenchcoat in an alleyway.

How a Conversational Tone Engages Sceptical Minds

When customers come across messages that don’t align with their beliefs or previous experiences, cognitive dissonance seeps in.

Instead of messages that aim to show how smartie pants a company is, to try and make it “trustworthy,” a conversational tone can ease the tension, making the brand’s message not just heard but also felt.

When we read something that’s written like we speak, it taps into our mirror neurons, and we’re more likely to feel a sense of connection. This isn’t just fluff – humans are wired for empathy.

A conversational tone feels natural to us because it mirrors the kind of interaction our brains expect in a social setting. So, a conversational style connects the writer to the reader on a neurological level, making messages stickier and more impactful, lighting up parts of the brain that say, “Hey, I know you.”

Don’t believe me, let’s have a look at a few examples.

Case Study: Duolingo’s Approach to Conversational Engagement
Take Duolingo, their notifications might nudge you with a “Time for Spanish. 5 minutes? Vamos!”

The informal, buddy-like approach gets users hooked.

They’ve really mastered the art of reducing learning anxiety, making the task of language acquisition feel more like a game among friends.

User testimonials often cite the brand’s tone as a key factor in keeping them committed.

Practical Example: Innocent Drinks’ Mastery of Casual Banter
Innocent Drinks chat with customers rather than at them. Their tweets (Xes?) are like the witty back-and-forth you’d have at a (juice) bar with mates.

Listen up here, their conversational tone is consistent across their brand, from the quips on their packaging to their adverts. Their conversational brand voice is mixed perfectly to resonate with their audience.

Overcoming Scepticism: Brands That Have Shifted Public Opinion
Wendy’s and Old Spice revitalised their image by adopting a chatty, sometimes cheeky tone. These brands traded in their classic tweed jackets for bright, patterned bomber jackets—styles that echo their origins but with a modern twist.

The results?

Proof is in the Frosty– or rather, the sales and engagement stats that saw a significant upturn post-transformation.

Strategies for Crafting a Conversational Tone in Your Messaging
Creating a conversational tone isn’t just about slapping some slang into your copy. It requires an understanding of your audience and a careful dance around professionalism.

A few tweaks you can make to your copy
-Writing in the active voice
-Using contractions
-Injecting personal anecdotes

Conversational writing for marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all. The language you use needs to resonate with your target audience. If you use terms and phrases that YOU THINK are what your audience uses, you’ll end up being a character and this approach will have the opposite effect.


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Wrapping up
A conversational writing style has clear benefits for consumer engagement, magically melting away consumer scepticism. But, if it’s done in the wrong way? You’ll end up alienating your audience. And maybe being the topic of a meme yourself.

Over to you
Take a peek at your brand’s current messaging – could it be more welcoming?

Consider how shifting to a conversational tone could not only disarm consumer scepticism but also forge stronger bonds with your audience.

Ask yourself, what would a conversation with your brand sound like, and could it be the missing piece to win over your sceptical customers?

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