Digital marketing is not a one-time thing. It requires a lot of love and attention, just like your dog. You can only leave it for so long before you have to return to it and take care of it. Staying ahead of your digital marketing does not have to be a chore. Making sure its fed on a regular basis and playing around with it time to time can mean a lot of love for you in return. Here’s your five-step plan.

First, do your research and learn. Digital marketing is always changing. You want to identify what you do right and what you did wrong. Learn from those mistakes and then do our research. Be curious and allow one thing to lead to another thing. It allows you to uncover ideas you wouldn’t normally have uncovered but for the curiosity in it.

Second, plan ahead. This means determining what you need in advance and setting a schedule. Use your research to determine what you need. Is it more blogging? Is it more social media collaboration? What? Then design a schedule to block out time to work on those efforts on a regular basis.

Third, don’t be afraid to experiment. Science class isn’t for everyone, but experimenting can be fun. But remember, what is working shouldn’t be experimented with. You want to experiment with the things that weren’t working. Maybe you just weren’t attracting people on Facebook? Why? Were your campaigns too dull? Were your campaigns not useful? Why aren’t followers sharing them? Experiment with new ideas.

Fourth, stay on top of it. Look, you need to be proactive. Not to bring your dog into the discussion again, but your dog needs you — so does your social media. Stay on top of it. Don’t let your dog get hungry, or he just might find another home. You don’t want that.

Fifth, be attentive and know yourself. Ok, so this sounds generic, but it’s not. It’s probably the most important piece to staying ahead of your digital marketing. Know yourself. What do you like? When you are on the internet, what strikes you? What doesn’t? Did you just exit a website because it was…. what? Why did you decide to look at another website and not the one you were in? What motivates you?

Therein lies the answer to staying ahead of your digital marketing. You — yourself — are a consumer. You know what works and what doesn’t, you just need to identify it inside of you.