Content Marketing

Pre-Pandemic Insights from Ann Handley: Keep on Writing

It’s hard to believe that the first episode of Marketing Unplugged aired in August of 2019, just under 2 years ago. Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to chat with over 30 marketing leaders who have generously shared their story, and offered incredibly valuable insights on everything from B2B to robots to being a good person.   

It would be an understatement to say that one or two things may have changed since Season 1 first aired (cough global pandemic cough). We decided to reflect back on the episodes of Marketing Unplugged pre-pandemic to see what advice, best practices, and tips were still relevant in this virtual, work-from-home world.

A digital marketing leader, best-selling author, and the mastermind behind a newsletter that reaches over 45,000 people was the podcast’s first guest. Yes, it was none other than Ann Handley! So what did Ann have to say about marketing that still rings true today? Well, actually quite a lot, particularly the importance of good writing.

In this episode, Ann brought up that images, videos, and graphics were becoming more and more prominent in marketing and in the overall way we communicate. However, she strongly believed that solid writing will never go away. Writing allows us to communicate clearly in a way that our audience will care about, and according to Ann, this will remain relevant on any platform.

Fast forward to 2021 and  4.2 billion individuals around the world use social media, predominantly interacting through images. This doesn’t mean, however, that writing is dead, it simply means that it’s transforming and becoming more human.

Take Instagram for example, a platform with the goal of sharing images and videos. What’s interesting is that it is rare when a user will just post an image. Instead, folks often spend time trying to come up with the perfect caption. In a blog post from this past February, Ann shared that well-written captions can enhance any photo because it tells your followers/audience why they should care. It’s storytelling, just in a different method than it was 15 years ago.

The more we practice our writing, the better we become at speaking, storytelling, and communicating with our audience. So even if it seems like graphics are taking over the world, don’t be fooled; continue to pick up that pen and hit that keyboard to let your words out.

It might just take a pandemic for us to realize that trends come and go and new technologies keep popping up, but good marketing (including writing) will always be timeless.

Thank you to Ann for encouraging us to keep experimenting with our love-hate relationship with writing! Feel free to revisit this episode to see what pre-pandemic marketing insights still carry weight today.

Alison Pratt

Alison is a full time paralegal student, a part time revenue marketer, and a recently certified Hatha Yoga teacher. She is passionate about making positive change in both her local and global community.

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