Reading, listening, and learning. As a professional in any business, keeping yourself sharp and informed is at the top of the game. Marketing is no exception and with the ever-increasing importance of digital marketing and adverting, things are growing and changing at lightning speed.
The internet and the culture surrounding it has become our culture, one where trends and opinions shift in an instant. Celebrities go from the top of the charts to old news after a single tweet. Brands can skyrocket to stardom after a few well-performing Instagram ads. You have to stay in-the-know or your brand, your advertising, and your marketing will be in the past in the blink of an eye.
How do you stay up to date? One way is to completely immerse yourself in the culture. Follow social media, consume news, and notice trends. However, we don’t all have time for that while also running a business and managing the rest of our lives. You can be as immersed as possible, and you’re still going to miss something.
That’s why I like to read, listen, and learn from people within my own industry who are deeper in that immersion and sorting the information out for me. Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and learn from industry professionals. Here’s a list of some places to look for a steady stream of information to keep you on top.
Nielsen is constantly producing data, reports, blogs, and insights. You can find new ways to target your market, see what is performing well with different demographics, and apply it to your strategies and consultations. Just like their website promotes, you have to know what’s next.
If you’re looking for a deep-dive into social media, HubSpot has expertise ready for you. They have a subscription service if you’re looking for something hearty, but their own social platforms are also bursting with information and tips. Following their example on Instagram, watching their stories, or scrolling their Facebook page might spark your interest and set you in a good direction.
We were talking about letting other people stay immersed for you and this is a huge example of that. As media professionals, we need to know what’s happening in sports, news, entertainment, and everything in between. Didn’t catch the Oscars? Mention has blogs ready to give you the information you might need, including analytics surrounding the conversations happing online, search results, and how the Oscars influenced web traffic and advertising. It’s a great blend of staying in-the-know socially and analytically.
More in the listening mood? As Forbes recently put it, “Call To Action covers the fundamentals of digital marketing on a weekly basis. Hear from experts on tips and tricks about conversion rate optimization, pay-per-click marketing, A/B testing, social media marketing, content marketing and more.”
SEO and the ever-changing language and expectations for internet searches can be daunting. Moz has a consistently fresh perspective on SEO for a range of skill and knowledge levels. Their range of authors allows them to have a steady flow of content as well as unique opinions depending on who is writing each post.
Insights Marketing Solutions is a local partner and they take a different approach to blogging than I do. Their “DIY Support” page on their website holds a ton of blogs written for business owners. They break down the basics and create opportunities for their clients to learn and grow their own skillset. Everything from Social Media Engagement, to SEO, to Marketing & Sales is on their blog, ready for you.
The takeaway is this; as professionals, we need to be aware of what is happening in the world and how it relates to our industry. Marketing is a whirlwind of creativity, change, and classic approaches. Tuning in to a few thoughts from our peers only makes us stronger and challenges us to think and process the way we do things.