In the ever-changing world of marketing, it can feel like an impossible task to keep up with digital marketing trends, tools, and best practices. Here are some practical and time-saving tips and tricks that will ensure you’re not caught off guard by the next social media feature or viral video. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned digital marketer, it’s essential to build an engaging community to ask questions and encourage life-long learning.

Find Networking and Industry Events

Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing techniques and also one of the best ways to stay abreast with the latest news, events, and trends in the digital marketing scene. In top digital hubs such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, finding a way to connect with your fellow digital marketers and chat in real life is just a few clicks away.

Locally, Digital Megaphone, CIMA, The ANA Business Marketing Association, and the Chicago Ad Federation all host fantastic educational and networking events.  Sign-up for these groups’ email lists and join their Facebook pages to keep on top of future events. In fact, create a dedicated bookmark folder and make a habit of checking back on a monthly or semi-monthly basis. It’s worth making this initial investment to research and discover these organizations in your area.

Also, set up a way to stay organized by inputting them into a calendar, spreadsheet, or word doc. This will become a valuable, time-saving resource as you sit down to plan the week ahead and already have an outlook of events. At the very least, it’ll take just 15 minutes to check your bookmarks to update your list.

Bonus Points if you share this with friends either via email or social, making you look like the most in-the-know digital marketer in your office. Suggesting events to colleagues even if you can’t make it will increase your social clout in no time.

Invest in Workshops, Conferences & Webinars

Although time and money are always a consideration, dig deeper into a hot topic by attending webinars, workshops, and even conferences. The cost and time commitment varies greatly from free one-hour webinars to multi-day conferences that run several thousand dollars. Like the old adage goes, you get what you put out, and this is true of such learning opportunities.

Looking for digital marketing inspiration?  Register for our Digital Innovator Summit on Thursday, May 17th at Morningstar featuring top marketers from Google, Rust-Oleum, YouTube, Kellogg’s and more…

Be smart and selective when making these decisions to spend your time and hard-earned money. It doesn’t hurt to find out if your company has budget for professional development events as many see this as beneficial to growing better employees and more productive teams.

If you’re in or around the Chicago area, Digital Megaphone hosts a variety of in-person events from evening workshops to day-long summits with topics ranging from social media to healthcare. We’d love for you to join our community of top digital marketers!

Curate Your Social Media Networks

This is likely one of the most overlooked ways to follow and discover trends. Just like you keep up with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, embrace these social channels to let the digital marketing news come to your doorstep. No subscription fees required. With a little bit of time and effort, social media can be an excellent place to discover news, follow thought leaders, and engage in the digital discussion.

Make and Subscribe to Twitter Lists

Even if Twitter isn’t your thing, it can be an incredible resource for news on just about any topic. Most importantly, the list feature allows you to curate lists of thought leaders, publications, and products/brands that share the latest and greatest in digital marketing.

Part of the beauty of the Twitter List is the ability to add an account to the list without having to follow. So even if your social media accounts are dedicated to chatting with friends and family, setting up a private list of digital marketing news will neither impact who appears in your feed, nor increase your follower count with industry pros and news.

Join the Conversation on LinkedIn

The whole point of social media is to be social after all! This is a great way to engage your LinkedIn network and look like a social media all-star, considering many people don’t even log in unless they are job searching or recruiting. To get more people in on the action and to boost your post, tag a few people who you think would be interested in the piece by tagging them in the initial post or in the comments below. 

No matter where you find it, share the events you’re attending with your social media networks. This is a great way to add value to your personal brand and show others that you have a growth mindset, seeking opportunities to develop professionally, meet new people, and build your network.

In addition to having some posts to publish on LinkedIn, use this as a way to ask those currently in your network to join you! It’s always more fun to go with a friend. Just be sure to meet other professionals. Make a pact to part ways and meet new people. This way, you appear more approachable and reach your networking goals.

Subscribe to Email Lists with Intention

We all know the infamous pop up windows begging for our email address so that we can later be spammed with daily updates and reminders. However, think twice before clicking on the x to get to the information you’re actually searching for. As mentioned before, we want the news to come to us.

Be selective and strategic, but most definitely subscribe to a few high-quality email lists. At the very worst, find the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email in tiny, size-five font, and either update your settings to receive emails less frequently or unsubscribe altogether. Sometimes it’s better to add the site to your Digital Marketing Resources bookmark and visit on your own terms.

How do you keep up with digital marketing trends? Let us know what you’d add to our list.