Online marketing isn’t a passive game; it demands active participation. New trends emerge quickly, and new information spreads like wildfire. You know your competition is going to be quick on the uptake, so if you want to stay ahead of them, you need an effective roster of news sources and blogs to consult.
Ideally, you’ll have a handful of “general” news providers, covering the most important developments in a number of different niches. But be sure to add in some niche providers that are more detailed about specific types of strategies.
If you’re looking for a good list to get started, here’s a lineup of 10 sources every CMO should regularly read:
1. 'Marketing Land' and 'Search Engine Land.'
Marketing Land is a dependable source of the latest news in online marketing. Covering a range of topics, from SEO and content marketing to the latest advertising platforms, Marketing Land works with a number of different guest contributors and subject matter experts to provide concise articles on the latest in the marketing world. Search Engine Land, a publication from the same company, takes a specific look at SEO issues, content marketing and paid search.
2. Google's 'Inside AdWords' blog.
If your strategy involves any association with Google, it’s worth subscribing to the Inside AdWords blog. For starters, this is where most new updates and developments related to Google PPC advertising are released. But even if you don’t use paid advertising, this is a valuable source of information. For example, many AdWords tools can be used for organic SEO campaigns as well, and Google frequently publishes major news and data points here, which you can use in almost any kind of marketing campaign.
3. 'Moz Blog.'
If you’re interested in SEO, the Moz Blog is probably the best go-to source on the internet. Moz has a handful of regular contributors, including CEO Rand Fishkin, who does a regular “whiteboard Friday” to explain a complex SEO topic in simple terms. Moz also covers news, as well as strategies and case studies, but its real value is in the depth of the articles offered. You’ll find original research, visual materials, and discussions commonplace here.
4. 'Social Media Today.'
Social Media Today is probably the best online source of information related to social media news. Updating constantly, this website offers the best and latest updates about the social media world, from new reports about social users’ behaviors, to new newsfeed algorithms on your favorite platforms. If you’re looking for new strategic opportunities for your social campaign, this is a good place to start brainstorming.
5. 'Social Media Examiner.'
Where Social Media Today is about the latest news and information regarding social media, Social Media Examiner is more about social media's practical marketing side. It, too, covers news, but not as rapidly, because its writers prefer to dig deeper into how these new items and updates can be used in favor of a marketing strategy. It’s a must-read if you want to keep your social strategy up to date.
eMarketer is a general marketing news source in the vein of Marketing Land, but it leans more toward data-driven content, like case studies or market research. If you’re looking for more demographic information, such as mobile usage within your target market, this is a good place to consult.
As its name suggests, Copyblogger is a niche news source that focuses on strategic planning and blogging strategy execution. Running the full gamut of content marketing, Copyblogger occasionally delves into topics like content distribution and peripheral strategies like SEO, but the majority of its articles focus on building blogs and promoting them. It’s a good place to read up on the latest trends in blogging, and there are many voices to choose from.
8. Content Marketing Institute.
Though there’s definitely overlap between content marketing and SEO (I’d even argue that they’re two sides of the same coin), I consider the Content Marketing Institute to be the ultimate authority on content marketing the way that Moz is the ultimate authority on SEO. Here, you’ll find helpful strategies, information on trends, news updates from major brands and even wide-scale case studies on how content marketing is developing. Not surprisingly, the Content Marketing Institute takes content seriously, and it’s hard to browse the site without gaining at least one key takeaway.
9. 'Quick Sprout' blog.
Quick Sprout doesn’t churn out fast, bite-sized news updates the way some of these sources do, so it’s not a source to consult if you’re just looking for a rundown of the latest information. Instead, its blog is ridiculously detailed, offering ebook-sized posts that take you step by step through some pretty complicated marketing tactics and strategies. It’s an excellent learning source, for new and old marketers alike, on any topic relating to online marketing.
The Hubspot blog is another fantastic resource that covers a variety of topics related to online marketing. You’ll find a nice blend of different topics here, from in-depth research reports to recaps of the latest news in various online marketing niches.
The point is to stay plugged into the areas most important for your brand’s online development, and read them regularly. What blogs would you add to this list?