Not too long ago, George shared some words of wisdom on our blog about how PR & SEO jive so well, mentioning Help A Reporter Out (HARO) as a valuable tool for finding opportunities to contribute to reports and articles for brand exposure and website traffic-driving links. This week, HARO led us to an article-in-the-works about how to stay current in digital marketing and one of our ideas was featured alongside innovative businesses and marketers! This is a question with a growing number of answers as new tools, tips, and tactics pop up every day. In addition to the ideas we shared in the article, here are some ways we learn the digital marketing ropes and stay in-the-know:
- Plug In – Create profiles or accounts for services you want to learn to use – Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Bit.ly, TweetDeck. Then, get to know the tool, notice what people are saying, sharing, how, and what is working. Learn by immersing yourself in areas you want to learn about.
- Practice – The first time I Tweeted, I messed up and Tweeted the same person like 4 times. Her response was: “That’s okay, you had to start somewhere and that’s how you learn!” Try the tools you want to get to know. The more you use it, the more you’ll learn about new features, ways others are using it, and what you can do differently/better next time.
- Take Offline Online – If you’re trying to build an online community, start with who you know. Who are you meeting with for business this week? Which businesses are near your office and in your neighborhood? If you interact with them in person, suggest connecting with them on social channels. If you mutually connected with every client, partner, or employee you knew on social channels, you would have a great place to start.
- Join Groups of the Trade – Like any business, trade organizations are a way to get to know other professionals in digital marketing to learn from and share with them. Research professional marketing, social media, and media groups in your city or area. Visit a few meetings, get to know local industry leaders, hear speakers on the latest in marketing, and connect face-to-face, get and share contact information and connect on social media. Then continue to stay in touch after the initial exchange by sharing relevant news they may be interested in, re-post their news, or plan to meet at the next gathering. Struggle with attending events after work due to family or time constraints? Join Linkedin groups for digital marketing or social media professionals to see what topics are being discussed, ask questions, and pick up on the newest trends.
- Ask for Resources – Ask those you respect in your industry which websites, publications, and thought leaders they follow and learn from to get ideas for resources to further your knowledge of the space. These resources can also give you content ideas for your own blog, newsletter, or social media engagement.
- Write, Photograph, Film, Create – When you publish a blog post and share it on social channels, you’ll get a feel for your audience’s interest. Do they leave comments? What questions do they have? Who’s re-sharing it? What did you learn from writing the post? Pay attention to what kinds of content your audience is responding to – it may vary by channel. For example, our audience tends to interact more with our Facebook posts with news about our office or employees. However, our Twitter followers tend to interact with us when it comes to digital marketing news and SEO tips we share. Try, observe, refine.