Digital marketing is helping even the smallest companies bring in new business, and its future looks bright. Still, digital marketing is part of an overarching technology landscape that’s growing and changing rapidly. Marketers may find it challenging to keep up with evolving trends.
To avoid choosing a digital marketing strategy that’s outdated, you need to stay abreast of the arena’s growth and understand how shifting practices will affect your business.
We’ll explore strategies for staying up to date on the latest digital marketing trends so you can gain a competitive edge, attract higher website traffic, generate more sales leads, and successfully convert leads to customers.
How to keep up with digital marketing trends
We’ve identified 10 ways to stay on top of shifting digital marketing trends, including changes related to social media marketing, the metaverse, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).
1. Consult online publications dedicated to digital marketing.
Web-based publications dedicated to digital marketing, including Search Engine Journal, Marketing Week, eMarketer and Social Media Today, are reliable information resources that will share the latest developments in the digital marketing arena.
For example, learn how big data and the IoT can help your marketers gather consumer information and insights so you can change your products, services, and content to improve the customer experience. You could also learn how the metaverse – a virtual world powered by augmented reality and virtual reality – can power a new world of digital marketing possibilities that appeal to the youngest consumers, Generation Alpha.
While guiding you on cutting-edge digital marketing trends, these online publications can also provide tips and advice on improving and strengthening your existing digital marketing strategies.
Did you know? Big data can improve your social media marketing by allowing you to predict consumer behavior and use those analytics to improve ad targeting.
2. Participate in certified marketing courses and training programs.
Certified marketing courses and training programs provide a wealth of information about the latest digital marketing trends. You’ll be able to add to your general and niche marketing knowledge, expand your skill set, stay on top of new digital marketing developments, and forecast what’s ahead.
As a bonus, when you add one of the best marketing certifications to your resume, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of digital marketing tools, including social media platforms, Google Ads, Hootsuite, HubSpot and other customer analytics channels.
Three popular online training resources to consider include the Digital Marketing Institute, the American Marketing Association and Udemy.
3. Subscribe to marketing print magazines.
Looking to increase your knowledge while on the move without internet or Wi-Fi? Check out your local newsstand or bookstore for print magazines like Adweek, Direct Marketing News, or Ad Age.
While print content isn’t as ubiquitous or updated like web content, these magazines provide highly researched content that can inform and inspire.
4. Read blogs dedicated to digital marketing.
Meaningful blog content is an excellent way to stay abreast of the latest digital marketing trends. Popular digital marketing blogs can help you learn cutting-edge techniques, offer industry advice, and learn from the experiences of industry experts.
Some of the most well-respected industry blogs include ProBlogger, SEMrush and MarketingProfs. You never know – following these blogs may turn you into a digital marketing expert in your own right.
5. Connect with digital marketing experts on LinkedIn.
Online professional networking platform LinkedIn is an excellent way to connect with digital marketing experts and interest groups. When you create a business profile on LinkedIn, you can follow marketing influencers and professionals, consult in-depth articles, and visit resources like the Marketing Success Hub.
6. Use social media platforms to follow digital marketing trends.
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok can be user-friendly channels for staying updated about digital marketing trends.
Use Facebook and Instagram to follow digital marketing industry leaders and receive daily updates with their thoughts and opinions on digital marketing trends and best practices. Browse Twitter’s trending topics to search for specific hashtags or phrases and set alerts to ensure you receive news in real time.
FYI: Video marketing is an increasingly important element of web content strategy. It could become an essential part of your digital marketing efforts on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
7. Set up Google Alerts to stay ahead of digital marketing trends.
Use Google Alerts to set up email updates regarding the trends most pertinent to you and your industry. These alerts will show up in your email inbox if you specify broad or narrow interest topics. For example, you can set up alerts for social media marketing, content writing or anything related to digital marketing.
Filter these results further by region, occurrence and relevance. Similarly, you can also use the Google News feature to stay on top of digital media trends as they emerge.
8. Participate in trade shows and exhibitions to network with marketers.
Trade shows and event exhibitions provide excellent opportunities to hobnob with other digital marketers, influencers and industry experts. These platforms often introduce the latest products and industry trends, so you’ll be one of the first to know and experience new marketing methods and products.
9. Listen to industry podcasts.
There is a wealth of information on digital marketing in podcasts, and the nice thing is that you can listen to them while in the car or taking a walk. For information on optimizing your paid advertising, listen to PPC Rockstars Podcast (on Apple, Spotify and Podchaser), or check out Local SEO Tactics (on Apple and Podtail), Neil Patel’s Marketing School (on Apple), or Entrepreneur on Fire (on iTunes) for varied digital marketing topics.
10. Follow Influencer Marketing Hub.
The Influencer Marketing Hub website focuses on social media and influencer marketing, as the name implies. However, it also has plenty of information on other digital marketing topics, including affiliate marketing, e-commerce and video editing. It also offers deep dives into niche marketing areas.
Additional quick tips
In addition to bolstering your digital marketing knowledge, try these tips to stay ahead of the curve.
- Do a marketing review at least every six months. Assess what’s working and what isn’t in your marketing plan. Allocate a percentage of your marketing budget for the next six months to try something new.
- Monitor your social media mentions. Social media monitoring tools will tell you what your customers are saying about your business or brand. If you see that you’re a hot topic on a particular platform, try building your presence and possibly advertising there.
- Monitor your competitors’ social mentions. If a competitor is heavily mentioned on a platform, consider whether you want to shift there to counter them and grab the customers for yourself.
- Survey new customers. When you get a new customer, ask them how they found you. Keep and track this business survey data to spot trends.
- Hire young people. Millennials and Gen Z employees are digital generations and may be aware of digital trends before you are.
- Engage an outside marketing agency. Hiring a digital marketing expert or agency is an excellent way to stay on top of trends. Let your rep know you’re flexible and want to be updated on new trends, strategies and platforms.
Remaining flexible amid digital marketing trend fluctuations
Digital marketing success often involves trying new tools, techniques and strategies. Don’t hesitate to experiment. However, if you’re borrowing another company’s strategy, bear in mind that what worked for them may not work for you. If something doesn’t work, find out where you went wrong and improvise accordingly.
As technology changes, it’s essential to update your knowledge to improve digital marketing strategies. One of the easiest ways to do this is to continue your education and training. Through continuous learning, you’ll uncover the latest digital marketing possibilities and employ those strategies to stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Jaykishan Panchal contributed to the writing and research in this article.