Online marketing moves at full speed. Sometimes it feels like it doesn’t matter what you do – you can never get ahead of it, as the whole genre appears to be ahead of even itself. New ideas come thick and fast, and are used up thicker and faster. In the instant world we live in, everything has a short life and there is no other choice than to keep up if you want to be in the game. Burning out or becoming stale is a real problem with digital marketing, so how do you keep ahead of the crowd on a daily basis?
There are thousands of websites and blogs on the net that offer hints and tips on every aspect of online marketing, but don’t be distracted by them. What you need are websites that teach and inspire you so you can think your way back into the fray and create the kind of campaigns that engage, excite and attract the kind of customer you want to deal with. It’s really important that you have some kind of inspiration or muse, otherwise you can get so wrapped up in creating something ‘new’ by yourself that you miss out on greater ideas inspired by others.
Here are 15 of the best websites that will help you make the most of what you got for your next online marketing campaign:
Direct Marketing News is a great website for learning what is going on in the online marketing world and for seeing what is popular. It’s a mixed bag of reporting, but they pretty much have their finger on the pulse of everything that’s going on. You won’t find many ‘do this and it’ll blow your socks off’, kind of articles, but you will get ideas of what is working, what is not working and a great idea of where digital marketing is going.
We LOVE Event Marketer! This website always has well informed, well written, engaging articles that are bang up to date. They seemed to focus on the marketing strategies of BIG brand names that are known in just about every household across the world. This website saves you boat loads of time as you can flick through page after page of big box marketing strategies and a conclusion of how successful they were. They also cover other topics of interest to someone who wants to create successful marketing that has power.
OK, so www.sethgodin.com is not technically a website, but a blog, well it is a website, but all the gold worth prospecting is in his blog. Godin has been the guru and bestselling author of all things marketing for decades and has ridden the online marketing wave like a pro. It really does show in the things he thinks and writes – what he doesn’t know about marketing isn’t worth knowing, so this is one blog to watch like a hawk.
These pages are part of the Advertising Age website and specifically targeted to B2B (business to business) marketing. They are great pages to pick up tips on what works in the B2B arena and how you may need to adjust your thinking to allow for that. It covers all aspects or marketing, but often looks at things you hadn’t considered, or looked at in that light before. Well worth keeping up on this site to keep at the front line of new developments.
Although this is an Australian blog, it covers some great marketing points in a straight forward, no nonsense way. Often, if you want to do something different you can achieve it by looking at the same industry but from an alternate perspective. Looking at the way another country tackles the same problems can be great inspiration, and this blog gives you that view with no rose tinted glasses. Sometimes it’s great fun to read, other times, so poignant it’s uncomfortable.
This website is worthy of being included as it’s always right up to date with the developments going on marketing, especially in social media, but that’s where it’s all at. One thing that this website is good at is making you think. It poses lots of questions and gets you to consider the issues behind your marketing, not just what you are creating. If you need to take a new look at an old problem – this the website you need.
Don’t diss the graphics! Every time we go to this site we have to cringe at the presentation as it is old… old as in Noah designed it … when he was a child, but the content in the blog is worth putting up with it. The one reason we go to the Diva Marketing blog again and again (with closed eyes!) is that it does a lot of interviews. Some are professionals, some are customers, but when you hear what the people behind the campaigns have to say about how and why they created what they created, you understand more about what you are doing and gain a much deeper insight into what can be achieved. Theres a lot of ‘Ah-Ha!’ moments reading these blogs.
This website is a bit of a ‘feast or famine’ with information – it’s really great, or really … not great – but we keep with it because the good bits a really good! It gives mostly solid advice on marketing and is another one that reacts quickly to what is going on in the industry so the insights are always very timely. You may have to sift through a few articles to find what you want, but in general, it’s worth it.
One of only two non North American websites we look at, this is a great site if you’re looking for a hack. It seems to have a way round just about everything. We’re not talking about technical hacks, but hacks to find your way round content marketing or data capture, the kind of things that can be the tedious part of the analysis phase. The subjects can be more general and less up to the moment, but there are still some good tips on the marketing cycle that are worth implementing.
This is a great blog for knowing what is going on in the marketing industry. It tackles all the things that maybe have passed you by and poses questions that make you think. This is the best blog for marketing technology and where it is taking us, as well as ideas and uses for company branding, this blog is the one to follow.
www.inc.com (Marketing section)
Inc is an amazing website for anything business related, but absolutely excellent for marketing inspiration. Entrepreneurs tend to be consummate marketers as it is in their blood to run business and they grab every opportunity to sell it, so every website directed at entrepreneurs will be full of advice on selling and marketing. The best thing is, is that entrepreneurs get successful by being Avant Guarde in business, and they are the same with marketing – so their advice can be really left of centre, right of center or right off the map! They look at the world differently, and that shows in the way they market – and how they look at the industry.
Socialnomics is a great site for offering advice about maxing out the leverage of your marketing and keeping up on the changes that matter. It concentrates on social media which is not a bad thing when you see where the industry is going. The one strong point of this website is that it somehow seems to pick a different angle from all the other sites and make it interesting – at times, even imperative. It’s not usually our first choice, but it deserves its place in the top 15.
One of the strengths of this website is that is written by many different authors so you get very differing perspectives from each article. You have to search through the articles to find the ones you want to read about marketing, but like www.inc.com, it is aimed at entrepreneurs so it contains a lot of advice on markets, selling and personas – literally everything that pertains to marketing. There are some great ideas and views on this website – when you can find the time to search for them.
This is one of the harder blogs to navigate because it covers so much information. It has so much content that it breaks it down into media. This is a great help on two fronts; on one, it makes it easy to navigate to the things you are looking for and two, it gives you more ideas of available media you may have overlooked. It’s has enough readable and informative content to make it worth persevering with the navigation.
www.nytimes.com (media section)
The NY Times is another great resource that you have to dig a little to find the things that apply to you, but it is worth it. The quality of the content is what makes it worth working through. As you’d expect, this site has well researched and thought out information from some very prominent contributors and the way they think and market is something to learn from. The best thing about this site (apart from its very reliable) is that it’s also very varied. They tackle things from places you’ve never heard of and apply concepts that you never studied at university. Definitely not a read for a day you have a head ache, but there’s lots of great info in there none the less.
This is not an all-inclusive list of places to go to learn what’s going on in the marketing world, but it’s a great start. Everyone needs to be inspired, so bookmark the sites that ‘speak’ to you and return to them when you need a creative boost – or you’re just sitting down for a coffee. Your creative juices will thank you for it.