“The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” – Arie de Geus
I can’t remember when exactly I came up with the idea that I should learn something new every day. Maybe I subconsciously picked it up somewhere along the way, but nonetheless I have been trying to stay loyal to my continuous learning routine (which I will outline below).
On a typical day, I get into the office early so that I can go through my emails, but not work emails.
Let me explain.
I signed up for a number of newsletters from digital marketing industry-related websites that I believe would add value to my work and on a daily basis, I receive emails with the latest trends, studies, tips, hacks, etc in digital marketing.
At first, I ignored these emails and labeled them as spam, but somewhere along the way, I came across an article that answered some questions that I had.
That’s when I started developing interest.
The email that changed it all
Earlier in my career, I realized that there was more to social media and digital marketing.
I mean, it’s one thing to sign up to google analytics or look at social media insights and it’s another to actually understand these reports and develop actionable plans based on the data.
But back to the email…
The email came through when I was asking myself, the previous day, how to track which links brought the most traffic to my website.
I hadn’t done much research into it, but its a question that popped up in my head when I was thinking of ways to effectively run and measure campaign success.
Then lo and behold, the first link in the email the next day was explaining how to use UTM parameters.
UTM parameters are tags that you add to a URL. When someone clicks on a URL with UTM parameters, those tags are sent back to your Google Analytics for tracking.
This is now a simple concept to me but back then I didn’t even know it could be done.
Since that email, I have implemented UTM parameters on campaigns and since got a better understanding of campaign performance.
The above scenario is just a small glimpse of a bigger picture. Depending on which content you subscribe to, you can learn anything from simple to very complex stuff. And what easier way to get new information every day than to have it delivered to your inbox!
Why you should keep learning
First, you need to understand the difference between training and education.
Most professionals are educated in their fields. They have a degree and this forms the theoretical aspect, covering the essential frameworks and strategic awareness of a business.
Training, however, is about learning skills and tactics. It is specific. Good training provides the capability to do something rather than know something.
Modern marketers are faced with a dynamic landscape, in which the fight for attention is growing while customers are getting more options.
Imagine, investing in an Instagram strategy and then Tik Tok comes out of nowhere. By the time your brand discovers it, many early adopters would have taken big pieces of the pie.
Furthermore, almost every platform occasionally updates its platforms. These updates can affect elements like SEO, which could, in turn, affect your content strategy.
In an era where content is king, you wouldn’t want to be caught flat-footed.
How to start learning something new every day
I invest time in continuous learning because I want to be an expert in my field and be able to put in place and teach effective digital marketing strategies.
In short, I want to be able to add value to my work and to the people around me.
Here’s how you can learn something new every day;
Subscribe to a newsletter
Depending on what you want to learn, you can subscribe to one or two of the many newsletters online and receive updates in your inbox.
Recommendation for digital marketers: Search Engine Journal
Download an app called Google Primer
Primer is a free, fast and easy way to learn new business and digital marketing concepts. The lessons can be completed in 3 to 5 minutes and you can do them on the go.
Primer is available on Playstore and App Store.
Create Twitter lists
A Twitter list is simply a curated group of Twitter users that allows you to efficiently organize your users in various groups and to better manage your tweets. You can create a twitter list of industry influencers and players that can help you keep up to date with trends.
Join LinkedIn Groups
According to SmartBug Media, there are currently over 2 million active LinkedIn groups and more than 8,000 others are entering the playing field each week.
You can join industry-related groups and learn from the discussion in the group. You can join a maximum of 100 groups.
Recommendation: Digital Marketing Professionals Zimbabwe
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to learn on the go. You can listen to podcasts while you drive to and from work.
One simple way you can get access to a number of different podcasts is by downloading the Google Podcasts app.
Recommendation: Marketing School – Digital Marketing and Online Marketing Tips
Youtube is a great source of information. Again, depending on what you subscribe to, you can learn a lot on virtually any topic.
You can watch and learn about anything from SEO, video editing, content marketing or PPC.
There are a lot of ways you can learn new concepts, improve your digital marketing skills or anything that you choose to.
It’s up to you to decide what you want to learn and take action.
Digital marketing is dynamic, new platforms, updates, and changes are occurring as we speak and your role is to be able to leverage those changes and get the best return on investment.