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5 Digital Marketing Brain Training Exercises to Keep You Sharp

Over the years, we’ve all developed some bad habits as marketers. Some may be a result of our environment, while others have been self inflicted. As more and more bad habits enter our digital marketing routine, there is less room for healthy exercises to keep us strong.

The most recent CMO Survey uncovered that CMOs consistently rate the level of their staff’s marketing knowledge as average. So while marketing spend and production are increasing, the level of marketing knowledge isn’t following suit.

Avoid a marketing rut by beginning a digital marketing training routine to build strength and endurance over time. To give you a kickstart, we’ve provided the 5 brain training exercises below that will help you down the path to building your marketing muscles.

#1 – Make the Time to Learn

To start, it’s important to get into a routine that allows you to absorb new information each day. You can look both within and outside your organization for helpful resources to further your marketing knowledge.

Set aside some time on your calendar and make it a point to consume content from other marketers on a daily basis. Blog content can be easy to consume (and share) so set a goal of reading at least 2-3 blog posts from other smart marketers each day. If you’re short on time, tools like Spreed can make content consumption a breeze

In addition to reading the content published by our team on TopRankBlog.com below are some additional resources that I visit often:

#2 – Push Yourself to Try New Things

Venturing outside of your normal routine can be scary but the benefits can be great. As consumer needs evolve, the way that marketers deliver information needs to change as well.

Start by making a list of digital marketing tactics that you want to begin incorporating into your marketing strategy and then do your due diligence to research examples and best practices for your top three.

While the concept of video, interactive or live content might seem overwhelming at first, you’ll quickly find that there are some simple steps you can take to begin testing these tactics and adding those that work into your routine.

#3 – Get Certified

It’s important to level up your training routine on a consistent basis. One way to do that is by becoming certified. You’d be surprised at how impactful it can be to take the time to get marketing certified in a variety of areas. If you want to continue your education but aren’t interested in going back for an MBA, you may want to consider some of the certification programs (free and paid) below:

#4 – Set Your Goals Up Front

Large or small, it’s important to set goals for your digital marketing training. What do you want to learn, execute and measure by a specific date? Determining what your goals are early on can be incredibly helpful in sticking to your routine.

For example, if you want to add influencer driven content to your marketing strategy, create a plan to find out what steps need to be taken, and how you’ll “train” to get there.

#5 – Be Patient & Stick with the Program

If you don’t feel like you’re getting the results you want right away, don’t get discouraged.

Learning how to add new marketing skills to your arsenal takes time and dedication. Some weeks you’ll see a lot of progress in your increased knowledge and application, while other weeks will be a bit slower.

Keep following your learning routine and you’ll begin to see the impact that it has on the progress of your digital marketing development.

Put Your Brain Training Into Action

Just like with anything,  you will get out of this training what you put in. You may find that some training exercises aren’t quite right for you, but you can quickly replace them with something that does keep you on track.

The hardest part is to take the first step and make a commitment to yourself to train on a daily basis. What digital marketing exercises have you added to help keep you sharp?


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
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The post 5 Digital Marketing Brain Training Exercises to Keep You Sharp appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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