We as consumers have been given the luxury of two things: choice and availability. We are constantly besieged with new resources, ideas, platforms and the freedom to access them. While this is all well and good on this side of the spectrum, for those of us in the digital marketing sphere, this means that we are constantly dealing with ever evolving trends and brand new ways of reaching an audience. It is therefore important that we keep up with these changes. Here are five ways of doing exactly that.
An easy pitfall that ensnares most marketers is settling into a false sense of security – thinking we are familiar with everything in the current environment and that it would be fine to maintain existing strategies and practices. However, it’s important we remember that nothing is permanent. For example, Facebook recently made changes that have an impact on the reach of a post. Posts that were more organic would be given priority over those that functioned as ads or overtly promoted their services. If we didn’t keep tabs on these changes, our content on social media would remain the same and as a result, our reach would suffer. In short, keep yourself in the know. Attend seminars and webinars whenever possible, go to workshops, and consistently read and research. The phrase ‘knowledge is power’ exists for a reason.
Success isn’t borne on the back of one person, it relies on the work of many. With that in mind, it is imperative that we are able to create a network of people within the industry with whom we can exchange ideas, experiences and share opinions. Outside of having a physical assembly of people to go to, the best way to do this would be to join online groups and forums. These can easily be found on platforms such as Facebook and Linkedin. Here, a group of fellow marketers can provide support and advice to each other, creating a comfortable and productive space to test out new concepts and receive constructive criticism. However, it is important to note that we should choose groups who are able to provide this support as there are those who exist purely as a medium of self-promotion.
Compare, compare, compare.
It is never enough to examine results only within the scope of our own organisation as it provides little information on avenues of improvement for us. It would be beneficial to analyse and compare the actions of organisations similar to us who cater to the same target audience. This way, we are able to determine what a rival organisation is doing, if their actions and strategies are similar to us, what is different to us, and if there are elements of their work we should be doing as well. With this necessary information, we are able to decide if there are changes that need to be made to our own operations. At the same time, remember that we don’t need to follow everything that the competition does, only if it is necessary, do we enact change.
Follow prominent people on social media.
There are so many people who have been in the business for many years and know the inner workings of the industry. They will have their ear to the ground and be the first to know of new changes, predict the next big trend or the aspects of the industry that we should be focused on. It is our good fortune that we are able to connect with such individuals and interact with them online. We should constantly be vigilant of what they have to say. Individuals like Gary Vee are a constant presence on social media and it would be remiss if we didn’t follow them or squandered the opportunity to learn from them.
Know your audience.
There will always be a multitude of different strategies that marketers are supposed to follow or trends that we have to keep up with. There will always be a million different reports and articles saying we should focus on different elements. But none of these things will mean anything if we aren’t aware of our audience and know what they like and respond to. Interact with your audience and listen to what they’re saying. Social media is the best place to gauge this reaction. Sites like Facebook allow you to interact with them, create conversations and analyse how well the content we share performs with them.
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