11 Ways Business Owners Can Set the Marketing Curve

11 Ways Business Owners Can Set the Marketing Curve
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Digital trends seem to come and go before you can incorporate them into your marketing strategy. To stay up to date, follow these rules of thumb to help you pivot your marketing strategy in a timely manner.

A. Ask Your Niece or Nephew

The younger generation knows what is trending and cool. If asking your son or daughter gets too awkward, then ask other younger family members about their digital usage. Ask what sites they're visiting, how they communicate, and where they are spending their time. Even better, have them show you how it works and sign up to test yourself! - Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS

A. Study Industry Publications Weekly

2017-01-12-1484235386-1619377-JustinLefkovitch.pngIn our current digital world, it doesn't take long for a marketing strategy to become outdated. Try to set a dedicated weekly time to catch up on publications that specialize in digital marketing such as EConsutancy, Marketing Week, Brand Republic and TubeFilter. - Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media

A. Translate Trends Across Industries

2017-01-12-1484235427-2488611-RogerLee.pngJust because you run a technology business doesn't mean you can't take cues from the food industry (or other similar industries). Creative industries are often the first to experiment new digital trends and mediums, so be well-rounded in the media you consume and think about how that trend could be adjusted to work for your industry and audience. - Roger Lee, Captain401

A. Be One With Your Audience

As a media/marketing company for college women, it's important for us to stay tuned-in and nimble so we can interact with our users wherever they are. We look to our team of 9,000+ college contributors around the country who inform our content and programming on a regular basis. Whatever your demo is, assemble a team of loyal enthusiasts in that demo whom you can rely on for similar insights. - Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, Her Campus Media

A. Attend Internet Marketing Trade Shows

The single best way to stay on top of trends in Internet marketing is to attend industry trade shows such as SMX and PubCon. Both include hundreds of top thought leaders across all the most important areas of digital marketing. At these conferences, speakers present the latest trends and also answer questions. - Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

A. Follow a Select Few Influencers

The best way to keep on top of ever-changing digital trends is to identify six to eight knowledgeable, well-connected and "in-the-know" leaders in the space and follow the information they're sharing and researching. The firehose of information is continually flowing. Therefore, it's critical to narrow your information intake by staying on top of what these influencers are publishing. - Jeff Slobotski, Router Ventures

A. Get Insights From Everyone on Your Team

2017-01-12-1484235913-3697539-ElleKaplan.pngMarketing expertise can be found with the younger generation that seamlessly stays connected to the newest trends. That's why I constantly encourage ideas from my younger employees on how to market better, even if they aren't working in a marketing capacity. Of course, another thing to keep in mind is that you should target your customer demographic, so not every trend needs to be followed. - Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital

A. Think About Your Ideal Client

2017-01-12-1484235694-6597644-ZacharyBurkes.pngAs a marketer, everything you do is a "test" to gather data and feedback. New trends should be approached the same way. Gather data and see if it makes sense for you to pivot. Then, look to build systems to ensure what works happens every time so you can move on to the next strategy without pulling momentum from existing efforts. - Zachary Burkes, Predictable Profits

A. Set up Google Alerts

2017-01-12-1484235728-6504042-CynthiaJohnson.pngI like Google Alerts because I get regular daily updates about various digital trends, and it brings together news from all over the world to keep me informed. Together, seeing all this information can help identify patterns that provide a way to redirect strategy at will. - Cynthia Johnson, Ipseity Media

A. Be Updated on all Social Media Platforms

2017-01-12-1484235789-7310458-DaisyJing.pngI always want to be on top of things. When I wake up in the morning, I check what's new whether through IG, FB, YouTube, Twitter or Snapchat. Know what's trending and what's marketable, and read your customers' comments as soon as possible. Personally, these things affect my schedule and marketing plan for the whole quarter. - Daisy Jing, Banish

A. Hire a Digital Marketing Team

2017-01-12-1484235833-5792883-DaveNevogt.pngOne person cannot stay on top of all upcoming trends. By creating a digital marketing team you are bringing together people with different interests and skills. This diversity will ensure you have all your bases covered when it comes to new digital trends. - Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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