Perhaps you’re doing well now, but will you still be competitive in six months, a year, or five years? If you continue using the same techniques and processes, then chances are, you’ll eventually fade into obscurity. That’s why we recommend developing a method of staying up to date with new trends and industry developments.
5 Ways to Stay Current
While the growth of the internet means the average persons has access to more information than ever before, the ironic thing is that – much of the time – it’s actually harder to consume that information.
If we used to drink from a garden hose, we’re now trying to drink from a fire hydrant. Sure, more is coming out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting more. In order to tame the deluge of information and stay current on content marketing, you need a plan.
1. Personal Networking
The very first thing you should do is build up a core network with other content marketers and those familiar with your industry. You don’t need a group that meets once a month – or even someone who you have a regular lunch meeting with. You just need some contacts that you frequently brush shoulders with and are able to contact when you have questions or issues. The more exposure you have to other people in the industry, the less likely it is that you’ll fall behind.
2. Industry Blogs
There are thousands of blogs and websites dedicated to content marketing. How can you possibly sort through the worthless to find the valuable tidbits of information that you need to thrive? The solution is to find the right blogs and curate information from them.
According to Consultants 500, there are 19 content marketing blogs worth following. This includes well-known blogs like Content Marketing Institute, The Marketing Profs, and Convince and Convert, as well as lesser known ones like Digiday and Spark Sheet.
3. Competitor Analysis
Believe it or not, you can learn a lot by studying your competitors. Create a list of three of your closest competitors and make it a point to spend 30 minutes on each of their websites and social media profiles per month.
When conducting competitive analyses on these three competitors, you aren’t trying to mimic or copy what they’re doing. The goal is to get a pulse on their activities and see what they’re writing about, offering, saying etc.
4. Continuing Education
When most people think about continuing education, industries like medicine, law, and real estate come to mind. However, continuing education – in a less formal sense – is very much important in content marketing. It may come in the form of online courses, webinars, and tutorials.
5. Google Alerts
“Use Google Alerts to set up email updates regarding the trends that are the most pertinent to you. They will show up in Google results if you just state your topic of interest, which could be social media, content writing or anything related to digital marketing,” content marketer Jaykishan Panchal suggests. “You can filter these results further by region, occurrence and relevance.”
If you aren’t familiar with Google Alerts, then you need to read up on them. They allow you to track specific topics without having to manually input searches. This is a wonderful way to track the evolution of subjects in a very hands-off fashion.
Stay Up to Date
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to stay current without overwhelming yourself. Try to focus on these five methods and you’ll find that you’re up to date on just about everything you need to know to be a better content marketer.