Is your content inclusive?

The language you use to communicate with your audience says a lot about your business. If you’re using language your audience is unfamiliar with then you are less likely to have your message heard, or if it is heard it may be misunderstood. Your online content is sometimes your audience’s first impression of who you are as a business and the last thing you want to do is leave them feeling excluded or confused.

So, how do you make sure that you are creating inclusive content?

Use plain language

When you use plain language more people understand what you’re saying. This means your message will not only be heard more often, but that it is more easily sharable between your current and potential audience.  Think about some of the greatest brand slogans, such as Nike’s “Just Do It” – it’s easy to remember, easy to type and easily associated with the brand. 

Use conversational language

Whether you’re creating content for your website, blog or social networks, keep the language conversational. This means avoiding convoluted terminology and using words that you would hear in every day conversation. If it isn’t a word you would feel comfortable using all the time, don’t use it, and the same goes for a word that you don’t know the definition of – if you have to look up the definition, don’t use it in your content.

The best thing about conversational language is that it is more likely to generate a conversation between you and your audience, which could result in great things for you and your business!

Write more like you would speak than in what would be considered a “professional” way. A great way to practice doing this is to draft your post orally and record it and then listen to it and transcribe it. This will give you a great starting point for conversational sounding content.

Don’t think of it as “dumbing down”

The following video from the Government of Digital Service in the UK explains it best:

The term “dumbing down” is offensive and just because your audience doesn’t necessarily want to read complex content doesn’t make them dumb (as the term implies). It simply means that your wording is confusing or it takes more effort to read when people want to be able to skim.

Using complicated language excludes people from learning about what it is you have to offer, which could result in loss of sales or revenue.

Think of your content as an extension of yourself.  If you were in a room surrounded by your ideal audience would you want them to feel welcome or excluded? Use language everyone can understand and relate to and you will better the chances of one-time visitors becoming a part of your loyal audience.

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.  Do you prefer content written simply and in a conversational tone or does it feel too simplified for you?