Compared with many other industries, digital marketing is constantly changing as new algorithm and platform updates occur, strategies develop, and tools are created. All these changes can be overwhelming, but the best digital marketers are those that stay on top of the trends.
To be successful in an ever-changing industry, you must be incredibly dynamic and ready to quickly adapt to updates and changes. Clearly, this is easier said than done. Throughout your day, you may be brainstorming a new campaign, stuck in meetings, and deep within optimizing your paid search and social accounts. And then you head home after a long work day and have to attend to your personal life… so this presents a new challenge. How do you create time to stay up-to-date with all the changes in digital marketing?
We understand that this is a real and pressing issue for nearly all marketers so we have created a list of 7tips that outline how to maintain a balance between work and learning in a continuously changing industry!
Using these 7 tips, you’ll be able to create a system that enables you to constantly learn despite a busy schedule at work and at home.
Tip #1: Listen to Podcasts on Your Commute
If you drive to work and your commute is more than 5 minutes, then you should be listening to podcasts. Podcasts are extremely active and therefore, have the most up-to-date information. This is a great way to learn new information as driving is wasted time! There are podcasts that range from short 6 minute snippets to an hour or longer. So, depending on what you like, there is a digital marketing podcast for your preference.
There are two podcasts we personally recommend. The first is Neil Patel and Eric Sio’s Marketing School. Their podcasts are a short 5-8 minute duration and perfect for any type of commute. Have a short drive? Listen to one podcast. Have a long drive? Well, listen to 10 of the podcasts!
Secondly, we recommend The Digital Marketing Podcast. These podcasts are a little longer and are usually 20 minutes+, but its hosts go a little deeper into the subject material. Even if you can’t squeeze an entire podcast into your first commute, you still have lunch and the drive back home!
Tip #2: Sneak in the Right Social Media Time
Let’s face it, we all sneak in a little social media time. These platforms are addicting, and nearly everyone gets lost in their phone for a few minutes once or twice a day. In typical marketer fashion, let’s optimize what we follow so we not only get updates on family and friends, but digital marketing tips and news as well.
A good strategy is to follow as many influential digital marketers as possible. Even when you’re trying to waste some time, you may scroll past a quick snippet on Google Ads’ new beta feature or something of the sort. This at least puts a new update or feature on your radar and you can research it later on or talk with a coworker. Of course, digital marketing influencers differ upon which platform you prefer, but we discovered it always helps to follow the big marketing tools for the newest trends. Examples would be any Google property (Ads, Analytics, Search Console, etc.) or Search Engine Journal, SEMrush, or Ahrefs!
Tip #3: Subscribe to a Youtube Channel
This third tip requires a little more time, but we do believe that it can save you a ton of time in the long run! Subscribe to an active Youtube channel that produces how-to and strategy videos. Even if you don’t sit down and watch these videos, it’s always good to subscribe to a few Youtube channels so you can get important content on your feed instead of the newest pop song!
We’ve also found that this is a sound strategy when we’ve had difficulty finding a web analytics or set up issue. By following a few Youtube accounts, we know who’s reputable and will provide valuable content when we need it instantly to solve a problem.
Tip #4: Sign Up for Email Automations
Every morning, you make your coffee (or tea) and check your emails. Most likely, you sift through important, actionable emails and a bunch of junk mail. Emails don’t have to solely be a work-task, but can provide valuable content and insights. We advise to sign up for email automations for the big digital marketing publishers such as Noah Kagan, Search Engine Journal, or Segment.
When you sign up for marketing newsletters, every morning you’ll find 3-4 educational emails in your inbox. If any of their subject lines strike you, click and learn! If none of them seem relevant or important to you, delete! It’s that simple.
Tip #5: Put a Webinar in your Calendar
We’ve found that scheduling a time in our calendar is what keeps us accountable. Therefore, schedule a time in your calendar for learning! The best way to do this while getting a ton of valuable content is to reserve your spot for a webinar. This gives you notice weeks or months in advance so you can schedule that day around the webinar. Most large digital marketing publishers host webinars with top influencers, so visit any of the previously mentioned publishers’ websites and we’re sure a few will have webinars coming up!
Tip #6: Produce Your Own Content
The sixth tip is something that we love to do here at OM. Although this isn’t necessarily learning new content, it’s reiterating on what you already know which is extremely important. Any time you perform a task that you feel is advanced or important, record a screencast with Screencastify. Taking a video of yourself helps strengthen your knowledge and execution on the topic and is an additional resource that you can provide to teammates if they are having the same difficulties.
Another idea would be to keep a notebook near you at all times. If you are uncomfortable taking a video, then jot down organized notes. It takes minimal time, but can have a lasting impact! If you have time, consider compiling your notes into an easy-to-read content piece, like a blog post, for internal or external users.
Tip #7: Give a Presentation to Your Team
Our final tip is the most fun and is something we deem very important here at OM. We believe that learning doesn’t have to solely be an individual initiative, but can be accomplished at a team level. Set up a meeting with your team and schedule an individual to present on a new topic or a topic your team has specifically been struggling with. At OM, we call these Lunch & Learns, where we eat together and listen to one of our team members present.
Again, these are just some tips that we have found useful for our own learning – even if they feel overwhelming, try to implement one or two at a time. Any learning (instead of wasted time) is a big win and that free time spent learning something that you enjoy will compound over time.