by MaryKate Callahan
In order to keep up with the ever-evolving industry of digital marketing, it’s essential to be in the know. For me, that comes from talking with peers, following top marketing influencers on social media, and, perhaps most importantly, keeping up with what marketing blogs and websites are writing about.
Marketing companies and publishers that are taking the time to write about certain topics obviously feel that they are worthy of coverage and attention. So why wouldn’t we feel the same?
Reading about the latest news, products, and industry developments only serves to enhance our knowledge and impact as marketers. The following are a few of my go-to resources—I check each of these websites at least once a week, if not multiple times a week, to make sure that I’m always aware of what is making marketing waves.
If you need to know something—anything—about SEO, consider this website the Bible. While Moz itself is a company that offers online products to help with SEO, they put a great deal of thought and effort into maintaining one of the best blogs in the industry. Known for recurring columns like “Whiteboard Friday”, which features videos that unpack current trends in SEO with detailed pictures (on a whiteboard), the content they produce is thoughtful, well-researched and presented in a way that makes an otherwise complicated subject simpler to understand.
I highly recommend subscribing to The Moz Top 10 newsletter.
I should start this by saying I am a huge Sprout Social fangirl—I’ve been a fan of their social media management platform, as well as their overall company brand/culture/identity, for quite some time now. Similar to Moz, Sprout Social is ultimately an online products company that also has a fantastic industry blog called “Insights”, which discusses the latest trends in social media. It’s clear that they put a lot of thought into what they post.
Unlike some other blogs that talk about social media from a zoomed-out perspective so that what they’re saying comes off as vague, Sprout Social’s blogs are always substantive—they provide concrete statistics, outside research and include direct examples of the trends or topics they’re referring to. I think they have a great balance when it comes to addressing “this is exactly what we’re talking about” and “this is why it matters.”
Don’t be fooled by their website, which looks like it could be from 2004—the content is about as fresh and cutting edge as it comes. In my experience, Social Media Examiner has proved the best resource to consult with when you want to learn how to do something on a social platform; they always seem to be the first ones with easy to follow step-by-step instructions.
Whether it’s learning How to Use the Pinterest Bulk Editor to Create Promoted Pins or reading about Facebook’s latest feature update, they don’t waste time on fluff and instead get right to the things you need to know. They are also a great resource for social media news and have a recurring segment called ‘This Week is Social Media”, which highlights the largest and most noteworthy updates. I recommend subscribing to their daily newsletter.
If you want to learn more about content marketing, Contently should be your first stop. Their online magazine, “The Content Strategist”, features think pieces about a variety of topics that all, in one way or another, speak to the power of quality content. I am always quite impressed by their case studies, which evaluate how different brands are and are not succeeding with their content marketing efforts. Everything I’ve ever read on their site feels fresh, not repurposed. If you prefer longer narrative type articles, I recommend adding this as a bookmarked site.
I love Digiday because they cover a lot, and they cover a lot well. As a more traditional online publisher, they touch on all different kinds of stories that fall under the large umbrella of “digital media.” While some of the other websites have a specialty, such as SEO, Digiday has a more holistic look at the marketing and media industries, covering everything from what brands are doing (such as IKEA’s VR meatball launcher) to what we can glean about the future based on Facebook’s quarterly earnings.
HubSpot actually has three blogs—Marketing, Sales, and Agency—and that should immediately speak to how important they consider the content they produce. Master of inbound marketing and on the eternal quest to “delight” you, their blogs are widely held as some of the best across several industries. That’s because they have never treated their blog as an after thought. From the beginning, they used their helpful information to bring people to their website and in turn learn more about what they do and the services they offer. With inbound on the steady rise, and HubSpot as the industry leader, the content they’ve been steadily producing for years is as credible as ever and can help people in a variety of sectors.
What are your go-to resources? Mention them in the comments!