Krista Neher is the CEO of Boot Camp Digital, a 6X best-selling author, international speaker & recognized digital marketing thought-leader.
Whether you are new to digital or an experienced professional, digital marketing is always evolving. Digital marketing now accounts for 56% of marketing budgets, and this number will likely continue to grow. Data from LinkedIn shows that digital marketing skills are among the most in-demand. However, digital marketing roles also have the largest skill gaps.
Here are 17 ways to grow your digital marketing skills to maintain relevance in 2023 and beyond:
1. Curate your social media feeds.
I have many social media and digital marketing thought leaders in my social networks. This ensures that my news feeds on these channels are full of news, insights and tips on digital marketing. I often learn about breaking news from a friend who heard it first. Curate the accounts you follow on social media to get digital marketing insights right in your newsfeed. LinkedIn is especially good for this if you want to keep Instagram and Facebook more personal.
2. Attend conferences.
Conferences are a great way to get inspired and learn from industry leaders. There are so many great digital marketing conferences. Consider adding one or two digital marketing conferences to your agenda for this year. If budget is an issue, there are often many great events in your local area where you can save on travel costs.
3. Subscribe to industry podcasts.
There are tons of great marketing podcasts out there. Choose one or two to subscribe to that are relevant to your needs. Podcasts are great to listen to in the car, when working out or while cleaning. Make better use of your downtime while learning a thing or two.
4. Keep tabs on digital marketing news sites.
There are lots of great news sites for digital marketing to keep you on top of the biggest trends. Choose a news site that is relevant to you and subscribe to their emails. This allows you to get the latest news in your inbox so you never miss a thing.
5. Read news roundups.
Many sites and agencies put out “digital news roundups” every week or month. If you don’t have the time to read the news regularly, let someone else do the hard work and get the highlights all in one place.
6. Attend a training.
Training is a great way to level-set and get comprehensive knowledge. There are training courses to match any topic, knowledge and interest level. Even if you are experienced in the area, a training session should get your creative energy flowing. I’ve taught over 5,000 classes on digital marketing, and I always leave with a huge to-do list.
7. Build a reading list (with actual books).
Some people think digital changes too quickly for books to be relevant. This isn’t true. Sure, some of the details change quickly, but most books are based on strategic topics that have long-lasting relevance. Create a reading list based on the topics you want to learn about. There are so many great options from copywriting to influencer marketing to social media to digital ads.
8. Attend local meetups.
Almost every city of every size has a variety of digital marketing meetups. This is a great place to meet like-minded individuals and have actual conversations about digital marketing. Most also include speakers, which is another powerful way to learn more.
9. Watch YouTube video tutorials.
YouTube is a great resource to learn new things. There are digital marketing videos anywhere from one minute long to over five hours! In my experience, you can learn almost anything tactical or strategic for free just by searching for the topics you are interested in.
10. Add webinars into your routine.
With the pandemic so much content went online, creating new opportunities to get educated without leaving your home. Make a point to find a few webinars a month to accelerate your knowledge. Look for webinars with great speakers and relevant topics.
11. Bring training to your company.
If you work in marketing, chances are that you aren’t alone in wanting to keep your skills and knowledge relevant and fresh. If your coworkers are on board, approach your employer to offer digital marketing training as a part of their annual training plan.
12. Scope out free training from digital platforms.
Big tech companies like Facebook and Google offer free training and low-cost certifications. These are great resources to stay up-to-date and learn directly from the businesses creating the tools. Facebook Blueprint is a free program with tons of content. Google also offers free certifications in analytics and ads.
13. Get a certification.
Certifications show that you’ve taken the time to master a specific topic. Accredited industry certification should include a test and work submission to validate your knowledge. Look for a good certification to level-set your skills and showcase your knowledge.
14. Be curious and try things.
The best way to learn about something is to get your hands dirty. If you want to understand the trends on TikTok, join and take a look around. Get hands-on experience in new areas by being curious and trying things out.
15. Find local industry events.
Almost every Chamber of Commerce and local industry association brings in guest speakers. These are usually low-cost and often only a few hours long. They are easy and convenient to fit into your schedule in the lunch-and-learn format.
16. Join a Facebook group.
There are Facebook groups for almost everything. Some of the best insights and ideas I have come from other members of Facebook groups I’m in. Look for social media and digital marketing Facebook groups to join. They are free and you can participate and learn from others.
17. Subscribe to blogs.
Learning from industry thought-leaders and influencers is a powerful way to stay relevant and level up your knowledge. Most industry leaders have a blog or website where they share thoughts and ideas. Subscribe to a few blogs to get updates in your inbox and continuously learn.
If you want to stay relevant you must upskill and continue to learn. The good news is that there are many easy ways to do this.
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