5 Ways to Stay on Top of Marketing Trends

Knowledge is power, and staying abreast of marketing trends can mean the difference between success and failure for a business.

But we get it. You’re busy, and there’s a lot of information to sift through and consider when it comes to any given topic. Especially in today’s constantly evolving digital landscape, it can be increasingly difficult to keep up with the competition and ahead of an emerging trend.

No excuses though, right? In order to stay on your marketing A game, you know you need to stay up-to-date.

So how can you stay in the know and stay sane? We’ve rounded up five places, along with some helpful tips to monitor key marketing trends.

1. Social media

What better place to stay on top of emerging marketing trends than a diverse online community full of movers and shakers spanning the globe?

We’re talking about social media, of course.

Here are some quick and easy ideas for using social media to stay informed:

  • Connect with colleagues, former classmates and professionals in your industry on various social media channels.
  • Follow the pages of top executives from brands you admire on LinkedIn.
  • Create a Twitter list full of influencers to stay up to date on new trends and best practices. (Related: Check out our list of 10 Twitter accounts #winning at marketing.)
  • Monitor trending topics and hashtags on Twitter.
  • Follow influencers and movers and shakers in your field on Instagram. Lots of professionals are using Instagram stories to share information in a new way.
  • Join Facebook groups relevant to your industry or field.

See your newsfeed fill up with up-to-the-moment marketing content and never miss out on the action.

TIP: Need a place to get started? Check out this list of 18 digital marketing influencers to follow on Twitter.

2. Trade associations and industry conferences

Joining a trade organization or attending an industry conference can be a great way to network with other professionals, both within your industry and outside of it.

Gain valuable insight into what others in your field are doing to innovate for their company or brand or learn from the best practices of other industries.

In addition to connecting one-on-one with other industry pros during networking events, most associations will also bring in speakers for seminars and lunch ‘n learns that can help you to stay ahead of the curve.

Looking to take things one step further? If you have the time and budget, attend a conference this year. Attending conferences is a great way to step outside your comfort zone, learn from experts and meet new people who work in your industry or field.

TIP: If you’re looking for a marketing conference to attend in 2018, consider this list of 21 can’t-miss marketing conferences.

3. Google Alerts

Please tell us you already have Google Alerts set up for your business! If not, it’s easy and free.

If you have a Google email address, you can set up a Google Alert for a specific keyword or phrase so that you automatically receive email notifications whenever Google finds a news search engine result on that topic. (Quick, go do that now…we’ll wait!)

Whether you want to track a specific product or service area, watch what the competition is doing or stay up-to-date on content published about your business, Google Alerts are a great way to keep up with marketing trends on your own terms.

TIP: Set up a Google Alert for a trending topic you hope to learn more about this year. For example, blockchain is a super hot topic in the marketing world right now. Create an alert for the phrase “blockchain” and “blockchain and marketing” to have the latest news articles and blog posts on the topic sent directly to your inbox.

4. Industry blogs and newsletters

Marketing blogs (like this one, of course!) contain a wealth of knowledge on emerging trends, new data, best practices and other relevant industry news that can help you keep current with minimal effort.

Do you frequently visit certain blogs or websites to check out what they’re saying about the next big thing in your field? Take the next step and subscribe to their e-newsletter if they offer one. Get all the information your heart desires delivered right to your inbox with just the click of a button!

If you’re not interested in joining their email list, consider using a free RSS tool like Feedly to be notified when your favorite blogs publish new content.

TIP: Looking for fresh content? The Blog Tyrant pulled together this list of 100+ marketing blogs to follow.

5. Your team

Did you know you already have direct access to some of the brightest stars in the field?

We’re talking about your employees!

If your team is as hungry for information as you are — and we’re willing to bet they are — they they likely have an eye out for emerging marketing trends as well.

Create a forum where your team can share recent articles or industry findings, whether its an internal blog or a weekly newsletter. The office messenger Slack can also be a great way to open up the lines of communication about marketing trends.

TIP: Let your team members showcase their expertise! Schedule a monthly lunch ‘n learn and allow one team member to take the reigns each time to lead a session on a marketing topic they’re passionate about.

How do you stay on top of emerging marketing trends? Let us know on Twitter.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Jessica Lawlor
About Jessica Lawlor
Jessica Lawlor is the president and CEO of Jessica Lawlor & Company (JL&Co), a specialty communications agency focused on content management and creation, public relations and digital marketing. She blogs at JessicaLawlor.com about getting gutsy: Stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy.