Like many industries today, shifts in digital marketing are accelerating. Best practice, trends, capabilities, tools, consumer expectations, technologies, and more are all changing at unprecedented paces. Without continually honing your skills and building your repertoire as a marketer, you’re in danger of falling behind.

Here are a few of the best strategies you can employ to be proactive, keep on top of your marketing game, and stay in step with the dynamic world of digital marketing.

Learn from What Other Marketers are Doing

Though it seems almost too easy, watching and learning from peers in your field is one of the best ways to gain inspiration and stay on top of trends. This is true of virtually any industry or profession, and digital marketing is no exception. To do this, take time on a regular or semi-regular basis to learn from marketing professionals in your market or industry. This might look like simply pulling up competitors’ homepages to get a feel for the quality and style of their designs, calls to action, and more. Finding their social media pages, signing up for their newsletters or mailings, or looking at product pages on Amazon can all provide helpful insights that can help inform your own marketing efforts.

Whether you pick up ideas to try or develop a feel for the things you wouldn’t do, these exploratory missions can keep you apprised of what marketing efforts look like in your industry or space.

Stay on Top of Wider Industry Trends

Because of how fast things are moving, trends change quickly. For instance, a number of cutting-edge technological advances are being utilized within marketing efforts in increasing amounts. It’s imperative to know what’s available to you. Incorporating new technologies into your marketing not only takes advantage of capabilities that may not have been available to you five years ago or even a year ago, but it communicates that your brand is relevant and aware.

Utilizing Influencer Marketing

A new concept for many industries, influencer marketing refers to the timeless principle of personal endorsement playing out through today’s social media platforms and influencer-driven content economy. If you haven’t already utilized an influencer marketing campaign for your brand, it is well worth considering. Just about every industry (even those that still market to demographics that don’t demonstrate strong social media usage) can benefit from an influencer marketing strategy. There are many ways of going about instituting influencer marketing, from influencer white labeling to joint content creation campaigns. They boast a low cost of entry and a wide diversity of implementation possibilities.

Non-Fungible Token (NFT) and Blockchain Technology

NFT’s essentially refer to a digital equivalent of selling valuable artwork or auctioning items used by a celebrity – NFT’s are one-of-a-kind digital objects that can be bought and sold using technology that regulates their transfer and prevents them from being shared without authorization or copied. They have appeared in a variety of high-publicity marketing campaigns over the past year, used by corporations such as McDonald’s and Gucci. Though still very much a novelty, NFT’s have received huge amounts of interest and could provide a cutting-edge tool for new types of marketing strategies than have ever been seen or used before.

Augmented Reality Technologies

Augmented reality has been around for quite some time and has established itself as a technological tool that can differentiate your brand tremendously when used well. Many D2C brands are experimenting with ways to incorporate augmented reality into the sales funnel, from allowing potential buyers to try out a product in a simulated demo to “trying on” virtual items of clothing or new hairstyles in a dedicated app.

Augmented reality is still a developing technology but both the software and hardware necessary to make it possible are increasingly available. Implementing augmented reality into your marketing campaigns could provide a huge ROI especially while it’s still novel to the average company and consumer.

Corporate Responsibility

More than ever before, consumers care about sustainability, eco-friendliness, ethicality, equity, and diversity. They want to know that the products they buy and the companies they buy from care about those things too and are actively utilizing their resources to make a difference in those areas. There are countless strategies available to corporations today to enact better corporate responsibility practices. In the process of making a corporation more sustainable or equitable, you’ll also gain a strategic marketing advantage as well.

Get a Master’s Degree

Obtaining a master’s degree in marketing can prove another effective strategy for staying current and well-skilled in today’s marketing landscape. A master’s degree provides in-depth study and exploration of the latest tools and trends in marketing. It also provides auxiliary opportunities like mentorship and networking that can prove hugely valuable both to advancing your marketing skills and your career down the line. Better yet, earning a master’s in digital marketing online can allow you to access a high-quality degree program without compromising your current job, location, or lifestyle.

Get Involved

There are professional spaces designed and geared specifically for marketers that can often provide huge benefits. Finding them just takes a little bit of digging. Attending conferences is one way of surrounding yourself with marketing peers and gaining access to helpful content to develop you as a marketer. Webinars can be an even easier outlet to pick up extra skills or knowledge about the space.

Joining a marketing association provides long-term access to trainings, events, directories, and more – the American Marketing Association is one premier association that provides ample amenities and opportunities, but others exist that can sometimes prove more specialized, local, or helpful for your current career stage.

Finally, taking part in networking groups or events can provide opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals and build relationships with others in marketing. Whether you are interested in learning, socializing, or connecting with different career openings and possibilities, networking events can provide potential for all three and more.

Whether as a full-time marketer or professional in another role that has taken on marketing responsibilities, being proactive in learning everything you can about the digital marketing landscape will help you tremendously in your career. From inspiring new ideas for campaigns to helping you avoid common pitfalls, the more you can invest time in the activities above, the more you will see success and positive ROI in your marketing efforts.