12 websites digital marketers should be reading

Photo by Ewan Robertson on UnsplashThe Internet is awash with blogs, news sites, and social media outlets but which websites can give you new insights and help to steal a lead over your competitors? We have compiled a list of 12 sites which we think will give you the competitive advantage. Bookmark them, follow them, Flip them or just visit them!


Wired has been around since the early 1990's and continues to offer cutting-edge articles on a range of subjects from business to culture. It is well-known for articles on the latest developments in technology. Gotta be one of my favourites!

Sample article: The Blockchain Explained

Harvard Business Review

An excellent read especially if you're looking for articles on strategy, working effectively and HR, to name but a few. Many of the articles are free though sometimes, for more in-depth articles, you will need to subscribe.

Sample article: Why a Gen-X CEO Hired a Millennial to Help Him Keep a Learning Mindset


There was a time when Fortune had a pure focus on "C-suite" business news. Like many other publications/websites it now seems to offering wider reading options, though many of its articles are aimed at chief executives, chief financial officers, etc.

Sample article: Here's Why Twitter Won't Suspend or Delete Donald Trump's Account

MIT Sloan Review

Fascinating articles on a range of subjects aimed at "academic researchers, business executives and other influential thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate." A very good read for those doing level 4 and level 6 CIM qualifications, along with marketing and business under/post graduates.

Sample article: Are You Taking the Wrong Approach to Digital Transformation?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Bloomberg produces titles on subject like markets, tech and business. Though quite a lot of the articles are US focused, often on US politics/business, there are still interesting reads to be found here.

Sample article: Facebook Is Still In Denial About Fake News


This magazine seems to have a focus on start-ups, franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs. You will find the usual "get rich" and investment articles but you'll also find interesting articles on digital marketing and interview tips, networking and tips on growing your business.

Sample article:  The Face of Intelligent Marketing? Your Customer


A quick look at the sections of this American website/magazine will give you an idea of the primary focus of its articles: Startup, Lead, Grow, Innovate and Technology. Articles are often varied, relatively easy and short to read.

Sample Article5 Productivity Tips to Get Your Work Done (Now That It's Dark at 4 P.M.)


Guess what? It's about advertising! Anything and everything to do with advertising. It also has a healthy mix of articles relating to digital marketing which is always of interest to our clients. Stats and case studies make it of interest to students.

Sample articleThese Digital Billboards From McDonald’s Change Depending on How Bad the Traffic Is

Fast Company

This is one of my favourite magazines (alongside Wired) and, as their site says, "Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, and design". So, there you have it!

Sample article: For Amazon, The Future Of Alexa Is About The End Of The Smartphone Era

Entrepreneurship - NY Times

Entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovation, funding and small business - these are the topics you will find on this website. Like its parent site, the Entrepreneur section offers meaty and interesting articles which are also well-written. Not as frequent as others but worth a read.

Sample articleA Paintbrush in One Hand, and a Drink in the Other


If Big data, Cloud, Deals, Dev, Enterprise, Entrepreneur, Gaming, Mobile, Security, Small Biz, and Social float your boat then Venture Beat may be the place for you to check out. Definitely worth a read.

Sample article: AI Weekly: Digital assistants are changing business, but they still need human help


TechCrunch covers the business side of technology. When news breaks about the latest digital innovations/disruptions TechCrunch is often the first to break it. Its Crunchbase offers great insights into people, investments and companies in the tech industry. Another "must-read" publication.

Sample articleTwitter fixes another important problem with support for 50-character usernames

Tweet length goes from 140 to 280 characters

Yesterday Twitter increased its character count from the famous 140 characters to 280 characters. It would appear they carried out a trial among a small group of users in September but have now rolled it out to the majority of users. According to Twitter:

Historically, 9% of Tweets in English hit the character limit. This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a Tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning Tweets before sending.

Twitter also found through this experiment that:

more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before.

You might think that doubling the character limit to 280 may result in people using up this limit but what was interesting was that Twitter found that only 5% went over the 140 character limit and 2% went over 190 characters. In terms of engagement the folks at Twitter also found that:

In addition to more Tweeting, people who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter. People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall.


Is the CIM Foundation Certificate for you?

Marketing Tom will soon be delivering to its 3rd cohort of Foundation Certificate in Marketing students. We are pleased to say that so far, students who have sat the course, have all passed - most with A's and B's.

So, is the course for you? The aim of the CIM Level 3 Foundation Certifcate in Marketing is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to perform professionally when you are new to marketing. The great thing about this, and many other CIM qualifications, is that they bring learning to life through meaningful assessments which refect the demands of the modern industry. As a result, you will develop a good understanding of the wider role of marketing and learn practical skills which can be applied to future career progression.

And, who is it aimed at? The CIM Level 3 Foundation Certifcate in Marketing is aimed at those either in a job that already involves marketing or those who wish to fnd out about marketing with the intention of starting out on a marketing career. It is ideal for people at all stages of their career, especially managers in a non-marketing function, entrepreneurs, apprentices and those starting out in their marketing careers.

What should you do next? Head over to our CIM Foundation Certificate in Marketing page where you can book on to the course, download a brochure or just enquire for more information.

Have you discovered Facebook Video Covers yet?

For a number of years organisations and companies have been using Facebook Cover photos to get their brand message across or to flag up new products, events or values but over the last few months Facebook has introduced Video Covers and since August most accounts can now access them. Consider these stats on video:

  • Video can increase landing page conversion by 80%
  • Videos on Facebook page increase end user engagement by 33%
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text

Source:  Impact

One of the great things about video is that it immediately grabs a visitor's attention - as your eyes are drawn to it. Now, consider if that video appears at the top of a Facebook page that you have shown an interest in and, hopefully, will decide to 'Like'?

Here are some examples of Facebook Video Covers to whet your appetite:

The British Museum

Harvard University


Center Parcs

Leo Burnett

Now get your creative thinking caps on and start thinking about how you could be using them to grab the attention of prospective customers.

Top tips

  • Try and capture people's attention without sound
  • Recommended size of a video is 820 x 462 pixels, however it is required that videos be at least 820 x 312 pixels (Socialfiremedia).
  • Videos should be between 20-90 seconds

Related Courses

Social Media Marketing

CIM Letter of Commendation

We were really pleased with the last set of results that we received from the Chartered Insitute of Marketing. And this week we were excited to reaceive our Letter of Commendation from them for all 3 CIM Diploma in Digital Marketing Modules. Here are the contents of the letter:

Dear Terrie

Letter of commendation


The Awarding Body at The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has commended Marketing Tom Media for the excellent performance of its students during the July 2017 assessment session.

The following statement(s) of commendation have been issued by the Awarding Body:

120 Marketing and Consumer Behaviour

The Awarding Body at The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has commended Marketing Tom Media for the excellent standard of results achieved for assessments submitted in the July 2017 assessments sessi on for the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour unit of the CAM Diplomas.

125 Digital Marketing Essentials

The Awarding Body at The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has commended Marketing Tom Media for the excellent standard of results achieved for as sessments submitted in the July 2017 assessments session for the Digital Marketing Essentials unit of the CAM Digital Diplomas.

126 Digital Marketing Planning

The Awarding Body at The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has commended Marketing Tom Media f or the excellent standard of results achieved for assessments submitted in the July 2017 assessments session for the Digital Marketing Planning unit of the CAM Digital Diplomas.

Thank you for your hard work and commitment. Please pass our congratulations to all your tutors, staff and students.

We look forward to working with you in the coming years and celebrating more success in the future.

And don't forget - the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing runs until next July, so you need to get a move on if you want to complete. But we will be launching the VERY exciting CIM New Level 6 - Digital Diploma in Professional Marketing towards the start of next year. We will be accepting applications on interest from next month.

Autumn Book Draw – 2 Free Books To Give Away

Coinciding with the launch of our Digital Marketing Mentoring service - aimed at supporting and guiding clients with all aspects of digital marketing -  we thought that for our Autumn book competition we would offer a book which was somehow connected with this. And the one that immediately came to mind was Bob Berg's the Go Giver - an awesome book and international bestseller.

The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman.

This book has been around for almost 10 years but is still hugely relevant,from both a business and personal standpoint.

Nearly a decade since its original publication, the term “go-giver” has become shorthand for a defining set of values embraced by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Today this timeless story continues to help its readers find fulfillment and greater success in business, in their personal lives and in their communities.

I'm sure you will love it!

Enter the Competition

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The draw takes place on the 13th October, 2017. Winners will be notified by email.

Congratulations to our CIM and CAM Students

Marketing Tom is pleased to announce that ALL our students on the CAM Diploma and CIM Foundation Certificate have passed their modules for the July exam board. 86% of our students got A and B results for the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing and we are pleased to say that for our CIM Foundation Certificate our first set of students on the course have also picked up their certificates - again with great grades! Well done to all of you, we know how much time and effort you have put into your work. This means that we have maintained our 100% pass rate for over 2 years - with most students getting 'A's' and 'B's'.

If you'd like to discover more about our CIM courses, please visit the CIM course page.

Multiple Images Make LinkedIn Posts Much More Interesting

LinkedIn has recently refreshed its update facility to allow users to add multiple images to posts. This latest development is designed to make your posts much more interesting to your followers. Imagine you're at a conference or even if you want to showcase features of your latest products, this might be of interest to you. 

Social Media Spotlight On: Flavourly Craft Beers

This article started out as a focus on customer love within social media: that is how brands embrace/encourage their customers to positively interact with the brand using tools such as images on Instagram or retweets, but it then developed into a review on how an online Craft brewery was using social media.  It is the 2nd such article we have done on this subject - the first being on Starbucks Social Media efforts . Flavourly is an Edinburgh-based craft beer club, which sends monthly boxes of craft beer to its customers. I came across them through some tweets that appeared in my Twitter timeline. Ironically, the first tweet I saw was a little dig at them for including one bottle less in their monthly pack - however, it was followed up by an apology and a promise to rectify said error.

How does Flavourly work?

They invite you to either sign up for a monthly 'supply' of 10 bottles or to offer this delivery as a gift to friends (the company also has a gin club). The cost of membership is £20 and includes a selection of light, dark or mixed cases. Flavourly encourage  you to rate the beers so they can be personalised to your own tastes. And here is some blurb from their own website:

At Flavourly, our team of top beer experts help you discover the best small batch craft beer from UK (and beyond) microbreweries who brew with a passion for quality, not quantity!

What Social Media channels do they use?

Flavourly use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. There is a blog but it looks like it may have been mothballed as they haven't updated it for over a year. YouTube and Vimeo accounts can be found but little activity has happened on them.


The company has a very good following on both Facebook and Twitter with a decent following on Instagram. Their approach to using these social media channels, appears on the surface, to be quite different. Facebook is a channel that is used to introduce the craft beer companies that they have teamed up with and whose beer they offer clients. They give some insights to the companies and very often include 'behind-the-scenes' peeks as to how these companies operate. These updates are enjoyed by customers as they help tell the brand's story. Here is one such example:

Have you heard the amazing story of Hillstown Brewery? A passionate pair of eejits in Northern Ireland decided to feed...

Posted by on Wednesday, 15 March 2017


Twitter seems to be an ideal channel for retweeting 'customer love'. To a large part the company itself is proactive in 'pushing' customers to publish images - each craft beer boxes is emblazoned with the words:

"Grab a brew, snap a picture, and join the community on Twitter using the hashtag below, it's lots of fun!"

Here are some recent examples of their customers publishing user generated content:

and another:

Their Instagram account - FlavourlyHq seems to be made up of user generated content from the folks at Flavourly. It features their beer, their suppliers, their staff, some behind-the-scenes images and images of boxes/materials/magazine. All good stuff.

Related Article
Social Media Spotlight On: Starbucks

Related Courses
Social Media Course London
Twitter Course