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Digital Marketing 101: an Introduction

The digital market is in a constant state of flux. To keep up, you need to constantly keep an eye on emerging trends and the latest tech and commit to getting educated every day on what lies ahead. After all, you can’t afford to get left behind in a race that’s only getting faster. As a digital strategist, it’s my job to stay on top of the ever-evolving world of digital marketing for our clients. How do I do that? Read on!

How do you keep up?

Learn it, love it, live it. Immerse yourself in as many aspects of digital marketing as possible. There is an abundance of different resources, publications, blogs, and tools one can use to stay on top of digital marketing strategies. Perhaps the most important way to keep up with constant change is to network and communicate with other marketers – be relatable and relevant. Join professional groups on social platforms like LinkedIn or simply chat with colleagues in the industry. Troll LinkedIn. Chances are your old neighbor now works at Google or your ex’s sister is now a VP of digital somewhere in the industry. Reach out, get connected, and stay connected. As companies change agencies or marketers job hop, they bring that past knowledge and experience with them. People are always the best untapped resources to tap for new information. While you might think that top marketers don’t want to share their “secret sauce,” you’d be surprised at how many are eager to share their insights.

What if you don’t know any digital strategists?

If you’re short on colleagues, publications like MarTech (formerly Marketing Land), Hubspot, Social Media Examiner, and Search Engine Land are great places to start. Both Google and Facebook have regular announcements and resources available, like Think with Google and Meta (Facebook) Blueprint, to stay current with platform updates and best practice guides.

How do you know what’s credible and what’s bunk?

Lean on reputation and network referrals. Need a new programmatic platform? Ask a former coworker who works at a programmatic agency. Unsure of which tool to use for social content management? Research what the most widely used tools are among large agencies and corporations. There will always be new tools available that are worth trying or can offer something different, but nothing will ever beat a trusted recommendation from someone who’s used it before.

How do you keep on keeping up?

Don’t get comfortable. If the last 20 years have taught us anything it’s that staying up to date on new developments and how ad platforms are evolving is crucial to ensuring you don’t get left behind. For instance, concerns over privacy have led to a whole host of changes, such as the iOS 14 update and cookie deprecation, which have fundamentally changed the way ad campaign success is tracked and managed. Much like how industry publications and learning from colleagues can help you stay up to date on new tactics, making sure you possess the latest technical “hard skills” is going to be the best way to stay relevant. Fortunately, education and training are more accessible than ever with free online certifications, like Google Academy and Meta (Facebook) Blueprint, and affordable online learning platforms, like Coursera and Udacity.

Although massive in size and scope, digital is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to providing clients with comprehensive healthcare marketing strategies. Ensure your digital marketing maven – or team of mavens – is dedicated to staying ahead of the curve. If they’re not, well…maybe it’s time for a change.

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