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Staying relevant: 5 educational resources every marketing team should access

The marketing and PR industry evolves pretty much daily. We all know this, and it’s one of the main traits we love about working in the field. But it also poses the legitimate concern of becoming obsolete. With limited time and resources – not to mention our endless to-do lists – effort devoted to professional development and staying on the cutting edge frequently falls to the back burner.

You can’t let this happen to your team.

So, how can you make professional development less daunting? The answer is simple: on-demand resources that fit into tight schedules and budgets.

Where to start? We’ve vetted five high-value resources you should invest in for your team.

1) Lynda.com is an online learning platform developed by LinkedIn where you can learn anything about anything. It features a library of video courses taught by industry experts on topics like content strategy, public relations, digital marketing, lead generation and more that could help your team to achieve personal and professional goals. Consider recommending the course on email drip campaigns to the new-to-marketing team member or for the person with a big upcoming presentation, the one on creating and giving business presentations.

If you aren’t sure you want to totally invest in a subscription, the platform offers a free trial month. If you’re all in, memberships start at $24.99 a month.

2) MarketingProfs is an online resource featuring training tools and programs in a variety of different formats that educate users on all things marketing. Whether you’ve got five minutes to read an article on SEO or several hours for an entire program on ABM, this resource has a little something for everyone (and the content is fun too).

Whereas Lynda.com offers courses on topics and skills beyond marketing, MarketingProfs is totally dedicated to today’s marketer – wherever they’re at in their career. Our team loves how it provides quality information in accessible ways, in terms of time requirement, content format and level of expertise. There are a variety of subscription options available, starting at a few hundred dollars yearly.

3) The book, Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach is “the go-to handbook for creating an effective content strategy.” Readers learn to make smart decisions about what content to create and how. It is highly recommended for those wanting to build a strong content strategy foundation or are looking for a refresher. Everyone at Inprela has a well-worn copy.

One point that really resonates with us: Content, regardless of what type or where it lives, doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are forces inside and outside of your organization influencing every decision that goes into content creation, deployment and overall success.

For team members who really love the book and want to learn more, consider sending them to Confab, an annual content strategy conference held in Minneapolis by Kristina Halvorson’s company Brain Traffic.

4) Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is a content marketing education and training organization, focusing on teaching brands how to attract and retain their customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. The site is full of practical, how-to guidance, and it also serves as an active community for discussing the latest news, information and advances moving our industry forward. Bonus: it’s free!

What sets this one apart from the others? It’s even more narrowed-in on one specific area of expertise. For all needs content marketing, keep CMI bookmarked in your web browser.

5) The book, The Ideal Team Player is a great read that inspires and reminds professionals how to embody an invaluable team member. The book focuses on three virtues – humility, hunger and people smarts (emotional intelligence). Together, these qualities set the foundation for a high-performing team. Fun fact: If you have any conflict or clashes in working styles on your team, there may be a lack of one of these three virtues. And the book gives tips for how to manage those dynamics.

Making these resources available to your team is a win-win. It helps you ensure your team is staying on top of the latest trends and best practices in the evolving marketing landscape. And it will be well-received, as the investment in their future success breeds loyalty and affinity between you and your team.

What is missing from our list? What resources are your favorite? Share your comments on LinkedIn, tagging @Inprela.

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