As marketing managers, it’s sometimes easy to get into a routine of “doing what you know.” But that “set it and forget it” mentality can turn loyal clients into questioning why their marketing metrics aren’t improving. As we continue into a spiral of constant changes in digital marketing, it is crucial for marketers to be informed – not just by learning about the latest trends, but about finding new ways to better our efforts.
Curiosity for new knowledge, and a drive to analyze research that can inform decisions, are must have characteristics for today’s marketing professional. One of the best things to do is to keep an eye on what’s happening, assess if it’s working and stay on top of trends. That’s why having go-to digital marketing gurus is essential for gaining leading insights to optimize performance.
As a researcher, my job is to find good information. Whether I go digging for it or have it come to me in my email inbox, I have a few favorite resources that keep me informed. In no particular order, here is a list of my top 10 resources. Some provide learning, others give stats on users and platforms, and there are a few that provide highlights of industry news.
If things were easy to find, they wouldn’t be worth finding ~ Tom Hanks
1. LinkedIn Learning
Yup, LinkedIn (owned my Microsoft) has its own learning platform. This subsidiary platform offers courses by industry experts on a series of topics related to business and digital tools. In case you’re wondering how to use LinkedIn learning, these free, on-demand videos are easy to access. If you’re looking for quick shots of info about ways to set up your digital marketing, this would be good place to start.
2. Search Engine Journal
This site is one of the best for information about search engine optimization (SEO). It offers the latest news, newsworthy updates on SEO trends, and how-to information. Whether you’re a beginner or needing to up your skills, Search Engine Journal has downloadable guides on PPC, Content Marketing, Social Media, and of course, SEO.
3. Social Media Examiner
Social Media Examiner is an online magazine published by Michael Stelzner. He also creates blogs and podcasts that discuss how to use social networks. Every year he publishes a Free Social Media Marketing Industry Report and hosts the annual Social Media Marketing World conference. This is a stable source for social media insights.
Moz primarily offers SEO software for business. It includes a keyword search function, an SEO audit, backlink research and a domain analysis tools. As a trusted SEO industry resource, Moz produces content related to a range SEO topics. For the novice types, they also have information about how to get started in SEO.
Hubspot is a customer relationship management (CRM) software that has lead generation capabilities, marketing automation and analytics. It helps growing companies efficiently manage sales and marketing activities. They also have several blogs about digital marketing strategies, ebooks, guides, free courses and certification for their software product.
Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things ~ Peter Drucker
Brian Dean launched his blog “Backlinko” in 2010. Since then he’s been dishing out SEO and backlinking strategies through his blog and on his YouTube channel. His content focuses on actionable steps aimed at optimizing a website. Content is often geared towards the latest trends in SEO including content and backlink developments. He also offers a course on how to do SEO right.
7. Content Marketing Institute
This organization hosts a range of events and has a depth of marketing information all related to – you guessed it – content. In addition to topics such as blogging guidelines, they offer a Master Class for those looking to get better results from content marketing. Their research portal is chock full of the latest and greatest content strategies. Worth a look!
This social media management platform’s popularity is evident from the 25K+ global brands that use it. It has great analytics, engagement, publishing, monitoring and listening tools for a range of social channels. Their website provides blogs on a range of social media topics. They also offer some of the best free templates and learning resources.
9. Neil Patel
If you don’t know him already, Neil Patel is a digital marketing guru with an extensive list of blogs, vlogs, podcasts and learning tools to assist budding (and seasoned) marketers with ideas and inspirations for their digital initiatives. It’s no doubt he’s an influencer in the digital marketing space as his blog alone generates over 4 million visitors per month. He is also a New York Times bestseller.
This source offers the best industry benchmark information. It is commonly used by ad agencies as a source for setting KPIs as a starting point to achieve results via digital campaigns. As a credible digital advertising resource, Wordstream is a great website for information related to search, display, retargeting and social advertising.
In summary, the world of marketing is changing at a rapid pace. What is relevant today could shift and change in an instant. If you are a marketing expert or enthusiast, be sure to stay on top of trends to keep yourself relevant in the industry.
Check out this new online course about Digital Marketing Strategies. It provides an overview of how to strategize your marketing. Comes with handouts and many useful #marketingtips.
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