When I teach a 4-Day Boot Camp, one of the jokes I make at the beginning of class is that by the end of the week, Google (or at least one of the social networks or tools that I demo) will make a liar out of me. Things change so often, and when we’re live demo-ing Google tools and social media platforms, we often open a site to discover that something has changed.
Here’s the thing. I’m not really a liar. And I actually do know my stuff when it comes to digital marketing. But even after 20 years of experience, and using these platforms and tools daily, I have to be active in order to stay current with all of the changes. I can’t sleep on this. Ever.
It’s frustrating. And I do this every day. So I know that it must frustrate you too. You get comfortable using a tool and you get really good at it, and then you login one day to find that things have changed and you feel like you have to learn it all over again, and you’re left screaming at the screen: “Staaaahp! I just want things to go back to the way they were!”
I just wrapped up our Chicago Boot Camp digital and social media marketing training, and this time it seemed like more things changed than ever during the course of the week. As I would pull up a site to demo, I would see one version while others in the class saw something completely different. Oh the joy of rolling out changes. They don’t just flip a switch and everyone gets to see the same thing. And for me, well, it’s just challenging. I start with “I’m going to show you X…” and then I open a site to discover that X has changed. Ugh. Thanks for making me look like a liar. But our Boot Camp attendees are smart. They get it. They see that we all are getting different results and different versions.
So what changed in the world of digital marketing and social media this week?
It was Google’s 20th birthday, so they rolled out some new features and changes. I demo’d Google Image Search, and later that day received a notification that Google Image Search was getting an update. I was excited to demo the new features, but they weren’t accessible through my login. “Ok class, we’re going to check out the new Google Image Search today… wait for it… oh never mind, they haven’t rolled that out to all users yet.”
YouTube Creator Studio got a huge overhaul. As I was showing how to optimize a YouTube video, we discovered the new Beta version was available and with it, features were rearranged and new features popped up. This was exciting because there is an editing feature now that looks very robust and allows you to upload raw video and edit it right there in YouTube… for free.
Google AdWords is now Google Ads. This change happened before the training, but many students in the class discovered as they logged in, that things looked a little different to them. I was prepared for this change, so this demo went well. But I’ll be honest, I was nervous every time someone asked me where something was and I just cringed and hoped that everything was still where I expected it to be.
There were a lot of little changes too. Nothing major but buttons and features were in different places. Can we just stop touching things people? I’m all for improving user experience but sheesh. Give a trainer a break.
The point here is that things change, and it’s important to keep up with those changes. But as so many things change, there are some constants that we can always rely on. Here are 3 tips for how to stay current with this fast-changing digital world.
- Read industry news and stay current with important changes. There are a few great resources out there, and many sites have a news blog, like Facebook. It takes some time to read through these news sites, but don’t panic, we’re here to help! As a Digital Marketing Insiders subscriber, you have access to our monthly Live Cast where one of our digital marketing experts will update you on what you need to know about the latest and greatest in digital and social media, and how it affects your business.
- Know the constants. People will always prefer quality content. There are really just a few main social networks that matter. Using efficiency tools improves ROI. These things will never change. Our online and live digital and social media trainings help you learn what you need to know.
- Know what to look for. Often times, the nature of the changes on a site, platform or tool is to improve user experience. The features are still there, they just moved the button. If you know what to look for (i.e. analytics, admin settings, etc.), don’t be afraid to click around until you find it. Too often I’ve seen a client panic when a site changes – and we humans fear change – so they give up and refuse to learn the new dashboard or interface. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be afraid to click around. You won’t break the internet. I promise. Just think logically about where that feature might be, or what alternative names it might have been given, and then just start clicking until you find it.
Keeping up with all the changes can be a challenge, and knowing best practices and what not to worry about can be hard work. But that’s what Boot Camp Digital is here for. We’re here to make your life easier. We do the work so you don’t have to. And we have created hours and hours of online trainings to help you be the best digital marketing and social media expert you can be.
If you’re frustrated with trying to keep up with changes, or knowing what to focus on, give us a call or check out our digital marketing and social media training courses. We have a solution to fit your needs, whether you are an online learner, you prefer to learn in a live classroom setting, or you need customized training.