The world around us is constantly changing. New developments in technology, changes in consumer expectations, and fluctuations in the economic landscape are just a few of the treds we have seen in recent times. While it seems to be difficult to keep up with diverse trends emerging from across the world, it is still critical for communications professionals to be aware of the key trends that impact on their work and their stakeholders too.
Staying up to date with industry trends will have a significant impact on the communications activities you implement for your organization. It will also help you to make better informed decisions that will lead to results that have an impact on business outcomes. Not only do you need to know the trends and changes within the industry you operate in, you also need to be aware of trends outside your industry and business environment.
Since we’re currently faced with an oversaturation of information, here are some ways you can keep up with industry trends as a communications professional:
- Industry newsletters and publications
One key way of making sure you are up to date with what is happening in your industry is to subscribe to newsletters and journals of the big players in your industry. Some of these platforms are free to access while some are paid. Nonetheless, a lot of valuable information is shared via these newsletters and can help you make predictions, and prepare for changes that might come up.
- Newspapers and Magazines
Reading newspapers and magazines is also a necessary step in keeping up with industry trends as a communications professional. You get to find out if there are new government or economic policies that would impact your industry directly or indirectly. With this information, you can plan ahead, avoid or manage possibly looming crises, and devise how you would carry out productive marketing activities.
There are about 600 million blogs hosted on the internet today. And they all talk about a variety of topics spanning different sectors. Depending on which industry you are in, reading the blog articles of other similar organizations like yours might let you in on current market trends and shifts, ensuring that you focus your efforts on areas that really matter. There are also sites that give you insights into what is happening with other industries such as Think With Google and Social Media Today.
- Social Media
Social media platforms have become an indispensable channel for gathering information and keeping up with trends. With activities such as social listening and monitoring, you can stay informed with what is being discussed about your organisation, competitors and your industry in general. You can read more on social listening here.
- Google platforms
Google has some platforms through which industry data and insights are shared. Platforms such as Google Trends, Google Alerts, and Think with Google will help you to stay updated as they provide you with information on trends within the industry of your choice. You can use the information obtained from these platforms to channel your communication efforts in the right direction.
Keeping up with trends can be more effective when everyone else on the team has their ear to the ground with regards to the latest news within the industry. With everyone alert, you should be able to access valuable information to help you stay ahead of your competitors.
- Networking Events
Business events and conferences are good places to get informed on industry trends. During these programs, valuable information is usually shared which you can use for the benefit of your organisation.
- Consumer Insights
Seeing your organisation or industry through the lens of your customers and target audience can open you up to a whole new perspective. By gathering information via customer feedback at regular intervals, you are able to monitor changes in consumer buying behaviour which could also affect industry trends. With the help of surveys, social media comments and reactions, as well as keyword searches, you could detect upcoming trends and be better positioned to maximize them when it comes.
Keeping up with industry trends gives your organisation a competitive advantage over other industry players. It will helps you to build credibility and it will also position your brand as a leader within the industry. By analyzing the trends, you will be able to stay one step ahead of your competitors, devise effective communication strategies and add value to your organisation.