It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who said, “The only thing that is constant is change”, and that is no more true than in the world of marketing.
The speed at which technology is developing seems to grow exponentially each year, and that applies to marketing technology too. A startling reflection of the rapid rate at which marketing is evolving is the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic. Every year, chiefmartec.com put together a graphic with the logos of every marketing technology company in the US. The first time the graphic was made in 2011, only 150 logos were included. In 2016, it was 3874 logos. This has jumped to 5381 in 2017 – a 39% increase in just a single year. If that doesn’t make the mind boggle, we don’t know what will.
When looking at numbers like this, it can be easy to become despondent. Keeping up with marketing trends seems like a Herculean task.
But while it may seem at times impossible, it is important to keep trying, as staying on top of trends – and being able to jump on trends early – can give you huge advantages over your competitors and set you apart as an industry leader. It also helps to build a strong foundation of knowledge, so that you can tell which trends are here to stay, and which are just passing fads.
OK, so we’ve established it’s important. But how do we actually do it? Luckily, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves to help make the job a little easier. Here are 5 simple ways to keep on top of the latest marketing trends.
1. Subscribe to blog posts
Marketing blogs are written by experts who have their finger on the pulse, so you can be sure the information is reliable and reputable. Subscribe to a few blogs, and you’ll start to get a really good sense of what is happening out there and what trends may be starting to gain traction.
Subscribing to RSS feeds will also help you to aggregate all the content and make sure you don’t miss anything vital.
Here are some blogs we think should be on your feed:
- The Moz Blog: If you care at all about your SEO (and you should), Moz has some great tips.
- Mumbrella: Billed as “Everything under the media & marketing umbrella”, Mumbrella provides awesome insight into the Australian marketing landscape
- Seth Godin: Godin is a marketing guru and TED Talk regular, so it’s worth reading what he has to say. Bonus: He also has some amazing courses to help you boost your skills.
- Gary Vaynerchuck: If there’s anyone out there who can legitimately call themselves a “marketing rockstar”, it’s Vaynerchuck.
- The Alchemist Blog: An engaging take on all things B2B digital marketing by an Australian agency.
- Ann Handley: These days, it’s all about content, and Ann Handley is the content queen.
- Neil Patel: The pop-up ads on his website can be a little annoying, but he makes up for it with highly informative blog posts that go deep into a subject matter to provide real value to readers.
2. Subscribe to email newsletters
If the thought of sifting through all this content is giving you a headache, why not let someone else to do the hard work? Sign up for email newsletters that deliver curated content straight to your inbox, so you can spend your time on other things.
- Medium: Get insights on topics like technology, creativity, entrepreneurship, and, of course, marketing, all in one convenient email.
- The Hustle: All the important stories in business, tech, culture, delivered straight to your inbox.
- The Daily Egg: An email newsletter by heat mapping software Crazy Egg, they don’t just include their own content, but also links to the latest industry news. Pretty nice of them, huh?
3. Set Google alerts
Want to keep a close eye on a particular trend? Google Alerts is a great way to keep up to date on the very latest news regarding a specific topic or keyword.
Google News works in a similar way – any search term you enter will have its own ‘Section’, with up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all around the world.
4. Mine social media
Social media is a proverbial goldmine when it comes to staying on top of marketing trends. Here are a few ways to use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to stay au courant.
Follow industry leaders
Keep abreast of what those at the forefront of their industries are up to by following them on social media. Twitter is particularly suited to this, as you can create curated lists of your favourite Twitter users, helping to organise your interests and separate the wheat from the chaff.
To find influencers, an excellent starting place is LinkedIn’s and Twitter’s Who to Follow sections, where you can see who your connections are following.
Join groups and forums
Connecting with other professionals in your field through LinkedIn and Facebook groups is another great way to find on what is top of mind for other marketers out there and where the industry might be going. One Facebook group we think is worth joining is Australian Community Managers.
Once you find an active community, get involved! Introduce yourself, ask questions and share your ideas and insights. This facilitates networking, helping you to build relationships with your peers that may prove more valuable over time – after all, sometimes the best insider information is dispensed over a casual lunch or drink.
5. Attend conferences and trade shows
Carefully curated industry conferences (like CeBIT) are unique opportunities where world-class thought leaders and up-and-coming start-ups are all concentrated in one place. See what the big players are doing, and get a sneak peek into what might be making waves in the upcoming months, in the space of just a few days. These types of events also offer excellent networking opportunities, so you can trade notes and see what your peers are getting excited about.
If you can’t attend the event, don’t worry – the event’s Twitter feed and live blog posts will still offer valuable insight into the hot topics being discussed.
Ensure your marketing trends are ahead of the curve with these vital tips for staying on top of marketing trends.
Is your content marketing on point? If your answer is not a resounding “Yes”, then check out The Technology Marketer’s Guide to Stellar Content Marketing, to learn how to get maximum results from your content marketing strategy. Download it now.