Not too long ago, content and copywriting were seen as more of a task than an art. Content was dry, impersonal, and even a bit boring—and that was just fine with most readers. In fact, that kind of content was preferred by many and was seen as “professional” and “credible”.
That’s why there’s no shame here if you’re still writing content like that. After all, it did work in the past. But today, the times have changed and your content needs to change with it.
Today, readers are craving something more humanized and personal. They want copy and content that speak to them directly and in a language they can relate to. They want to engage with your content, be entertained by it, and even relate to it. They want something that resonates with them and makes them feel like they’re part of the conversation.
Naturally, your thought is now probably: “how can I make my content and copy more humanized?”. It’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, after reading your guide, you’ll probably find it easier than the process of writing the dry content you may have been used to.
Now, let’s talk humanization!
1. Speak to Your Readers Directly, by Using the Pronoun “You”
Simple one, yet effective. When you’re speaking to your readers, make sure you’re addressing them directly. Instead of saying, “This product will help people”, try something like “This product will help *you*.” This lets the reader know that they’re being spoken to and it establishes a more direct connection with them.
Here’s another example: “If you’re struggling with XYZ, our product can help.” See how that works? Now imagine if it were written as “People who are struggling with XYZ can use our product to help.” Much less effective, right?
2. Be Conversational
I can bet that you’ve heard this one before. And for good reason: it’s true. Your content should feel like you’re talking to the reader, not lecturing them. Keep your copy simple and make sure that you don’t overcomplicate things with jargon or long sentences.
If you’re ever lost about what being conversational really means, remember this: “write your copy and content like you’d speak to someone in a conversation”. Would you tell someone that “our product is optimal” in a conversation? Probably not. Make sure you keep it natural and conversational.
Here are some tips to put you on track:
- Use contractions (you’re, we’ll, it’s).
- Write simple sentences instead of long-winded ones.
- Use short sentences.
- Avoid overly technical words (and if you absolutely need to use them, explain them)
- Use more active than passive language (e.g., “We’ll help you” versus “You will be helped by us”)
- Ask rhetorical questions to keep the reader engaged.
- Throw in some humor to keep things light.
3. Write For Your Audience
As a business owner, it can be easy to forget who you’re writing for. After all, your knowledge of the product or industry can make it seem like everyone else knows what you know – but that’s not always the case.
Your readers come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, so you need to ensure that your content is accessible to all of them. Make sure that you use language that’s easy to understand and that you explain any industry-specific terminology.
Any content should also focus on the needs of your readers. Rather than talking about your products or services, talk about what they can do for your audience. Explain how your product will help solve their problems or make their life easier – not just what features it has or why it’s great.
The key to getting this one right is to really know your audience – refer back to any research you’ve done to understand their needs, wants, and language. Then, answer the following:
- What are they looking for?
- How can your product/service help them with that?
- What do they need to know?
- What kind of language do they respond to?
- What will make them take action?
Then, follow the benefits, not features approach. For instance, instead of saying “Our product is lightweight,” say “Our product weighs less than a pound and can easily fit into any bag – perfect for on-the-go use!” See the difference? Instead of listing features, you’re highlighting the benefits to your readers.
4. Tell Stories
People are much more likely to remember stories than facts and figures. I didn’t come up with that – it’s a fact. Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone, so use them to your advantage. When you write content for your business, try to bring it alive by telling stories that illustrate the key points or concepts you want to get across.
For example, if you’re writing about your new software product and its features, tell the story of how it was created – what inspired it? What problems were you trying to solve? How did it help customers or make their lives easier?
When there’s a story around your product or service, it helps to draw interest and attention. It adds a human element that can make your content more compelling – and more likely to be remembered.
Here’s an example of a story you could tell about your business:
You were looking for a solution to your never-ending problem of customer service requests piling up. You knew you needed something that could quickly and efficiently process the requests, but nothing on the market seemed to fit the bill. That’s when you decided to take matters into your own hands and design a software solution that did exactly what you wanted it to do.
Your new product not only saved you time and money, but also improved customer satisfaction – because the requests were handled more quickly and efficiently.
From this story, readers can understand the importance of your product or service and how it could help them solve their own problems. Better yet, your target audience will probably relate to and remember the story – furthering your message and connection with them.
5. Show Emotion in Your Content
Lastly, and quite related to storytelling, is the idea of eliciting emotion in your content. People are more likely to remember or respond to something that resonates with them emotionally – so make sure you’re tapping into your audience’s feelings and connecting with them on an emotional level.
This doesn’t have to happen through a story – it can simply happen by knowing your target audience’s pain points and struggles, and then speaking to them through your content.
For example, if you know that most of your target audience is dealing with high levels of stress on the job, then creating content about stress relief strategies or tips for managing it better can help establish an emotional connection with the reader.
Similarly, if your product or service helps with stress in some way (say, a meditation app or a mindfulness class), then hitting on those emotions can be an effective way to show how your product or service could make their lives better.
For instance, here are a few phrases that could be used to evoke emotion:
- “Forget about tossing and turning all night – get the restful sleep you need to recharge and take on the day.”
- “Take control of your life and start feeling better today.”
- “Unlock your inner peace today.”
- “Ditch the overwhelm for good.”
So don’t forget to add an extra layer of emotion to your content – it could just be the thing that takes it from good to great!
It’s Time to Infuse Humanity Into Your Content!
I hope that like I said in the beginning, you now feel that humanizing your content is actually easier than formalizing it.
If you haven’t been seeing results from your content and copy, this just may be the missing link. And remember: it isn’t about saying too much or being overly dramatic, it’s about tapping into the shared humanity that goes beyond data points and facts.
Once that connection is established, watch your insights change – for the better, of course!
P.S.: If you have too much on your plate to develop compelling content and copy on your own, get in touch with me. It’s what I do best! Let me help you tap into the emotions of your target audience and leave you to focus on what you do best.