The COVID-19 pandemic compressed years of digital change into just a few short months, and it's not over yet. Where can you go to stay on top of the latest marketing trends? Going straight to the source of these changes can help your business implement them before anyone else - and prevent yours from getting left behind.
Want to stay ahead of the competition?
How to Keep Up With Industry Trends
It's surprisingly easy to keep up with cutting-edge marketing trends if you know where to look.
1. Sign up For Emails
Marketing companies are giving out a treasure trove of information through their emails, and in the vast majority of cases, it's free to sign up for their lists. There's an e-mail list for just about any marketing niche you can imagine - all it takes is for you to find it.
Want to know if you should build, buy, or partner for MarTech? Want some inspiration for brand building strategies or where to take your long-term marketing strategy? A simple Google search can help you find e-mail lists that cover the topics you want to learn more about - you could even join ours!
2. Take Advantage of Training Opportunities
Similarly, sign up for training courses on the subject if you’re unsure how to implement the trend in your industry. You can be sure that others in your area will be there, too. You won’t appear clueless if your competitor is asking the same questions and learning the same skills.
3. Get Hints from Analytical Tools
Sometimes, you can discover trends before they actually spike in popularity. Use all tools at your disposal, like Google Trends, to catch on to changes early. That way, you might get a leg up on your competitor, and be in the game before they realize the board has been set out.
4. Stay Alert with Google Alerts
Similar to Google Trends, Google Alerts will keep you in the know, but on your own schedule. Just as you have your competitors, several trends sprout up all at once, thanks to people hoping their idea will be the “next big thing.” By setting your alerts to once a day, once a week, or even once a month, you can check in on what’s been happening and figure out which new trend you prefer most, rather than latching on to the first one you read about.
5. Go Inbound!
Customers value experience more than ever when making a purchase decision and don't want to be bombarded by ads. With an inbound marketing plan, you can position your business precisely where you want your customers to find it without disrupting them. An inbound approach can transform your entire organization to be more receptive, responsive, and better able to fulfill the needs of your customers.
HubSpot is an inbound marketing pioneer with a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) system and content management system (CMS. They can allow you to track contacts and leads throughout every stage of their life cycle so you can create to attract, convert, and delight them.
6. Keep Tabs on Your Competitors
Sometimes the best way to keep up with your competition is to do exactly what they're doing. Whatever online marketing trends you're seeing, you can be sure other businesses in your space are seeing them too.
Check up on your competitors once a quarter (or even better, once a month) to see what they’ve adopted. Based on their success—or failure—you can decide which methods work best for you and your company. Sometimes, being the first one to try out a new trend isn’t as useful as you’d hope.
7. Speak to Your Customers
While certain changes might benefit your company from a business perspective, how do your customers respond to these shifts? By gathering feedback from your clientele, you can determine whether or not the trend works in your case. If your customers aren’t fans of the change, consider finding a different craze. If your customers love what you’ve done, great!
Trends come and go, but it looks like many of those we've seen rise to prominence in the first half of 2020 are here to stay and will only intensify. Crafting an online strategy based on the needs of your business will be critical to its success going forward. Scoping out your competition and remaining connected to the news, be it on a blog or business app, will help you gauge whether or not your business is on the right track. And don’t worry: even if one of those trends ends up falling through, sometimes showing the public and your customers that you’re willing to take risks brings you a greater reward.