All industries are in a constant flux but never is this so true as when you’re involved in online marketing. Keeping up with changing technologies and trends could quickly become a full-time job in itself if you let it, yet if you ignore the evolution of the web completely, your current knowledge can quickly become obsolete.
Here are some quick tips for keeping your ear to the ground so you can keep up with changes without dedicating your life to online marketing research.
Marketing Trend Research
Source: flickr.com/photos/yourdon

1. Fill Your Inbox

Instead of constantly scanning online blogs, why not let them come to you? I prefer setting up a separate Gmail account just for this purpose, so I don’t spam myself to death, but the idea is to set up notifications by subscribing to your favorites or using RSS forwarding tools so when articles appear on your favorite blogs, they will be sent directly to your inbox.
You don’t want to be checking these all the time, but when you are ready to get caught up on what’s new, all you do is open that Gmail account or social media account and you’ll have a list of recent articles. Browse through the titles to seek out anything important or particularly relevant to your business, click, and read. All your research done for you.
Copyblogger Updates Maybe set aside one day a week for doing this – no need to consume all your time on the latest news.

2. Study 1 Hour a Day

Any serious professional should always be improving their skills and knowledge to stagnation-proof their business and hopefully keep it growing towards a better future. The same is true when your business is marketing online.
Consider dedicating one hour a day on improving your skills or knowledge in some area relevant to your business.

3. Buy Top Products

Serious marketers are willing to invest in their learning and professional growth. Free resources abound online, but you know the score – like any smart marketer, those who provide free info are only giving you a little bit in hopes that you end up buying from them.
If your business is already making money, there’s no reason for you to spend all your research time drifting alone the diluted fringes of marketing funnels. Instead, identify two to four experts you trust to deliver high value and keep an eye out for their product releases.
Go ahead and pay for the occasional webinar, report, or book (don’t forget best-sellers on Amazon).
Don’t be afraid to pay the high price tags if that’s what the true experts charge either – if a three-day webinar saves you six months to a year of horsing around on free blog articles, updates your knowledge and skills, and directly affects the bottom-line for the long run, how much is it worth to you?

4. Outsource to Pros

Sometimes you’re better off handing the work to someone else who makes it their business to immerse themselves in online marketing trends. Then you can just focus on the parts of your business you enjoy.
You might even pay such a professional just to meet with you once a month and update you on changes (I recommend these meetings even if you outsource the work to them). Ask them how much they’d charge just to advise you for a couple hours every month.

5. Join a Mastermind Group

Mastermind groups are great for a lot of reasons but one that we miss a lot is they keep us well-informed. You don’t have to discuss changing trends constantly, but you can bet that if your group consists of online marketers and Google radically changes their algorithms, someone’s going to bring it up at the mastermind meetings.
Mastermind

Source: flickr.com/photos/jurvetson

As you can see, staying updated on online marketing doesn’t have to be a full-time job, even with the rapid pace of the web. In fact, you can get away with just one or two of the above if you really want to simplify. What’s your process for keeping current? Share below.