What the heck is intent research in SEO, is hiring a content manager really worth the cost, and why paid ads and inbound marketing can play nicely together ...this is THE LATEST!
🔥 Hot off the presses
🎬 The power of video and The Visual Sale. Lean how to expand your brand's reach, grow your business, and build trust faster with video on February 26 at 2 p.m. (Eastern) with Marcus Sheridan and Vidyard's Tyler Lessard.
Happy Saturday! I'm still coming to you live from New Haven, Connecticut, home of IMPACT HQ. Although, currently, I'm tucked away at a table at one of my favorite little coffee shops in town, The Coffee Pedaler.
With a honey lavender latte at my side and Wilderado's soulful lyrics drifting through my headphones, I'm earning my hipster stripes this morning... and I'm not sure that's something I should be proud of.😶
In a few short hours, I'll be packing up my Jeep for one last trip down the East Coast back to Maryland, with exactly one week to go until I make the move up here to New England.
But my letter to you this morning isn't about that.
I know a lot of people have had bad experiences with Airbnb — heck, I've had a few myself. For the most part, however, I almost always find myself pleasantly surprised in some way by the quirky and interesting places I end up staying thanks to that plucky little video-forward platform.
For example, last time I was up here in December, I ended up staying one night at a gorgeous Victorian brownstone owned by a little old French lady. I was completely exhausted by the time I arrived on her doorstep, wanting nothing more than to fall into the blissful emptiness of sleep without having to speak a word to anyone.
Instead, I stayed up with Émilie until the wee hours of the morning. We sat next to the crackling warmth of her cavernous stone fireplace drinking red wine and playing with her wild little cat Gigi, as she shared stories about her childhood in France and how her parents were part of the Resistance in World War II.
While my accommodations last night didn't involve any history lessons, aggressively affectionate cats, or French wine, I still found myself charmed...
Lame as it may sound to some, I always try to pick places that don't have a television, so I can take a mental break from the outside world. This place was no exception.
Although it was devoid of any human presence, my home for the evening featured one of the coolest little collections of books:
The Pocket Thomas Jefferson, Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, Crime and Punishment, a big book of Ancient Egyptian monuments and relics, a biography of Picasso, a few volumes on Native American religions, Craig Ferguson's hilarious memoir American on Purpose, and on and on.
Then, there it was:
Cosmos by Carl Sagan.✨
As some of you may have noticed in Tuesday's issue, I have a quote from Carl Sagan on my desktop. That's because Carl Sagan, an American astronomer, is probably one of my great inspirations as a writer and a content marketer.
(A fact none of my fellow IMPACTers have been able to escape, as I never miss an opportunity to be as insufferable as possible about how much I like his work. Whoops.)
Well, let's take a look at a milestone we crossed recently.
February 14 marked the 30th anniversary of NASA's Voyager 1 taking this photo of Earth from space, at the request of Carl Sagan himself:
This photo is now famously known as the "Pale Blue Dot."
This photo would go onto to inspire one of the most profound pieces of prose I believe has ever been written, also now known by the same name of the Pale Blue Dot.
This piece was later brought to life in a vivid and breathtaking way through the undeniable power of video, narrated by Sagan:
Watch the Pale Blue Dot.
Sagan inspires me as a content marketer, because his work reminds me of the boundless potential of carefully chosen words.
How you can persuade or move people to action... or maybe make them feel a little less misunderstood or really seen for the first time if you take the time to be purposeful about what you say and (most of all) how you say it.
So, as we head slide quietly into the welcome relaxation of yet another weekend, I invite you take a look at the words you're surrounded by every day — in books, magazines, songs, advertisements, blogs, or wherever you may find them.
Take notice of those that move you. Then remember you have the power to do the same, as well, in your own content.
And now, here's THE LATEST...
👉 "What the heck is intent research in SEO, and what do we need to know about it?" (9-minute read)
We know what you’re thinking: "Intent research? Really? Yet another fancy term SEO experts cooked up to keep me confused about how to rank my content?" Or maybe you’ve heard of intent research and you’ve brushed it off as another marketing fad that will wear itself out in no time. Never fear, fellow citizens. IMPACT Content Marketing Trainer Jolie Higazi is here with this fantastic article, which covers exactly what intent research is, what you need to do about it right now, as well as a few real-life examples and best practices you need to know.
💬 You asked, we answered
👉 "We keep hearing we 'need' to hire a content manager, but are they really worth the cost?" (5-minute read)
If you’ve read They Ask, You Answer, you know how critical it is to have someone chiefly responsible for content marketing within your organization, most commonly referred to as a content manager. Marcus Sheridan makes the case for having a full-time member of your staff 100% dedicated to publishing two or three pieces of content on your company blog each week. But do you really need to invest in one for your company? In this candid overview, IMPACT Digital Sales and Marketing Adviser Marc Amigone gives you all the information you need to answer the question of whether or not a content manager investment is right for your organization.
💬 You asked, we answered
🔥 "How do we get started with inbound right now, without having to commit to an agency that may not be the right fit for us in the long run?" (find out)
You’re looking for an inbound marketing agency to help bring your business to another level. All too often, however, the sales process goes too fast. And it doesn't take long for you to realize your agency partner never made enough time to get to know your business or its true challenges in the first place, so as to help you achieve your most aggressive growth goals with inbound marketing.
Don’t get stuck in a long-term contract and then find out what your business really needs to be successful with inbound in the long-run. With IMPACT’s Fast Start Program, you can get your inbound marketing on the right path fast, while truly getting to know us as your agency partner, risk-free.
👉 "I've been told forever that traditional paid ads and inbound marketing do not go together, so why are you telling me paid media can complement my inbound efforts?" (4-minute read)
When I first encountered inbound marketing many, many moons ago, I was presented with this absolutist perspective: "In order to succeed in the digital age, you must move away from traditional paid marketing strategies and, instead, attract potential buyers to you. Like they're a cat. But a cat whose money you want to take in exchange for goods and services." A lot has changed since then, however. And in this interview I conducted with IMPACT Paid Media Specialist Jason Linde, I learned precisely why paid media advertising (like Google Ads) and inbound marketing definitely aren't mutually exclusive.
💬 You asked, we answered
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Wouldn't you love to call me a teammate? Well, here's your chance. We're currently accepting applications for:
🍔 Weekend nonsense
This is not a drill. McDonald's really did release candles...
Personally, I'm with Jonathan.
⚡ One last thing
Did you hear the big news from earlier this week?
HubSpot VP of Marketing Meghan Keaney Anderson — who also happens to be one of my favorite humans — will be one of our incredible spotlight speakers at Digital Sales & Marketing World this year... and all we can say is that she'll have some HubSpot news to share.
(Don't forget, early-bird pricing only goes through February 29!)
Later, squares! 👋