Information flows freely and quickly in our modern world. With so much news that we receive every day it is important to keep things simple. Plain language plays the key role in that regard. It uses clear sentences and basic phrases, helping people to understand the message instantly.
Recent studies revealed that 20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage. With plain language, all it takes is to read the content one time to understand the point. This is even more important in the online world, where messages have to be readable, otherwise you’ll quickly lose your audience.
Plain language improves digital content
Marketers know that online users don’t exactly enjoy reading. As the matter of fact, the average user reads only 20% of any digital content. And the more complicated the language, the less traffic you receive. In such circumstances, it is essential to keep your text smooth and simple. Take a look at some examples of complicated sentences turned into plain language:
- Earnings coming from the VR industry should reach $40 billion by 2020.
- Virtual reality industry will earn $40 billion by 2020.
- Make sure to read as much as possible, especially in the early stages of life and career.
- Read a lot while you are young.
- Politeness is the conversational construct which tones down inappropriate linguistic solutions.
- Politeness is the way to avoid awkward situations.
You can see here that plain language is shorter and simpler than some other forms of communication. It leaves no room for doubt or misinterpretation, making the content more readable.
How to use plain language in content creation
There are many suggestions on how to use plain language in content creation. We will describe the 7 most practical tips here.
- Target audience
You need to target and analyze your audience to make the content more attractive. If you understand the average users, it will be easier to adapt the writing style to their needs. But regardless of the user profile, always keep it clear and simple.
- Active voice
Active voice is a basic rule of plain language because it makes the content more dynamic. It also keeps the consumers interested and engaged. Avoid passive forms whenever possible as they slow down the tempo and chase away users. You write the article – the article is not being written.
- Short sentences
Use short sentences and don’t burden your readers with complex structures. Sentences should be up to 20 words long, with common phrases and everyday expressions. When your content is longer than this, you’ll probably end up losing most of the readers.
The purpose of content marketing is to invite people to engage and take some action. That’s why you need to add a call-to-action in each content sample. Allow people to get involved through your content – offer free downloads, social sharing buttons or sign up for free invitations.
Digital content needs to be readable. Use simple text structure with an obvious introduction, the body part, and conclusions. Lists and bullets are more than welcome because they improve readability and allow users to scan articles more easily.
- Don’t use acronyms
Acronyms are abbreviations that come from the initial letters of other words. For instance, people say NASA instead of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Although very useful on many occasions, you should avoid acronyms. The reason is simple – most of your followers don’t know the meaning of an acronym and don’t want to ask Google for help.
- Be direct
You should address the audience directly using pronouns such as YOU. It adds a personal touch to the content and gives the feeling of real conversation.
Content creation is the cornerstone of modern marketing. It has to be simple and readable to catch more users, which is why you should avoid complex sentences. If you follow the rules of plain language, you can upgrade content creation and earn more followers. Don’t hesitate to use the tips we suggested in this article, and let us know in comments how it improved your business.
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