Sorting Facts from Fiction: Do You Know How to get a Good Night's Sleep?

1Because Inbound Marketing Deserves It

SEO gets a bad rap because of the black hat tactics of a few. That's why even now that Google has forced the worst keyword stuffers to don pretty white caps we've chosen to reinvent SEO as inbound marketing. But old habits die hard and even inbound marketing tends to find a tactic that works, like guest posting, and then ride that pony until it collapses in exhaustion (aka Google catches on).

I'm better than that. You are better than that. We don't have to follow along, we can lead, and staying on the cutting edge with new technologies will help us do that and to think beyond search engine marketing to real, people-based marketing.

2Because Our Clients Deserve It

As the entrepreneur Jim Rohn famously said, "You don't get paid for the hour, you get paid for the value you bring to the hour." There's a lot of good we can do for our clients' websites one hour at a time, but we can always increase the value by stepping up our games. Research shows that people engage longer and better with interactive visualization.

Building interactive content for our clients helps them take advantage of that fact. And after all, as an Internet marketer, getting eyes on your client's website is really step one to getting those all-important conversions.

3Because the Internet Deserves It

We live in a world where change is happening fast, and changes in technology are going to keep coming at us. Moore's Law, anyone? Yet, in many ways, the Internet has been stagnant. The same-old blogs, the same-old snark. The Internet is not the community we thought it would be. But guess what? WE develop and make content for the web, and we are the ones who can offer up a rich user experience. Interactive design is one of the tools we have at our disposal to make the Internet the kind of place that we actually want to hang out. Ain't nobody gonna do it for us.

4Because Early Adopters Get the Worm

The first people to adopt new technologies always get the most attention. For example, Marlo Meekins and Adam Goldberg started using Vine before anyone else had heard of it. They built whole libraries of Vines while the competition was low and we people were flocking to them to learn what a Vine could be. They went from being experimenters to being authorities.

Of course, if Vine hadn't taken off they'd have been like the early adopters of Betamax. But so what? They wouldn't have lost much. Here at Portent, we take calculated risks and invest in innovation because when it pays off, it can pay off big time, and that's what we're after. We want to attract other early adopters who can be our evangelists and help us spread our content organically.

5Because It Saves Our Clients Money (and Makes Us Money, Too!)

Here's the deal. When we can't make our clients pretty things like interactive infographics, but they see other people have them, they want them. Until they hear what the price tag for one-offs from that fancy infographics-only agency is (upwards of $25 grand) and then they balk. We already have relationships with our clients so our ramp up is faster, and we're invested in your success — that's why we worked with you to create a comprehensive content strategy — so a really cool piece of content is an investment that pays off for both of us.

6Because It Cuts Through the Noise

Trying to attract attention on the Internet feels like shouting across a sold-out arena during a Metallica concert. Nobody can hear you. Yet we're marketers. It's our job to make certain that the content we make for our client gets heard and seen. In the past, this has often meant link building. You know what else will attract attention to the content you make? Making it really cool and new. When your content wows people because they've never seen anything like it before, you won't be shouting across an arena saying, LOOK AT ME! Your content will metaphorically be up on that stage and all eyes will be on it.

7Because When We Don't Act on Innovative Ideas it Keep us Up at Night

It takes a certain kind of person to be good at Internet marketing. You have to be creative, you have to be analytical, you have to be able to think big and long-term, and you have to have a knack for distilling huge ideas into digestible pieces so that you can explain it all to your client. Oh! Guess who else that describes? Innovators! At our hearts, we Internet marketers are born with the same stuff as top innovators, and when we don't tap into our wells of creativity and idea generation, we don't feel at ease. The desire to do bigger and better things all the time is in our DNA.

8Because We're Lifetime Learners

Portent spends a lot of energy looking for creative, intelligent, and analytical people to hire. Once they have us, they know what they have to do to keep us — engage our brains. We are given time every day to just study, learn, and research. On top of that, we have weekly Portent U's where teach one another the specifics of our different jobs. Top that off with weekly sit-downs for department training and you can see why we can't wait to learn new coding, new design techniques, and new ways to deliver our clients' content to the public. We love to learn, and you can't stop us.

9Because We're Looking at Long-Term Value

Did you read the most recent Matt Cutts interview? How about all of the changes Google's made recently with their algorithm? Look, there are things that are beyond our control as Internet marketers. We can't bend the search engines to our will; we have to work within the parameters they lay out for us. And what do they want us to be making? Valuable, amazing content for people on the Internet. By using cutting-edge design techniques, we can be certain that we're making content that won't just be a flash in the pan but will build real value and authority for our clients in the long term.

10Because Today's Innovations Are Tomorrow's Realities

Remember way back in 2007 when the iPhone was first released? Man, that was futuristic stuff, the sleek little design and the usability and the apps! Yawn. Six short years later when over half of us own smartphones, many of us only access the web on mobile devices, and we've fully integrated these technologies into our daily lives. That's why we take learning new design techniques, and learning them in-house, seriously. Because it might be new and edgy today, but tomorrow it will just be the norm. And we'll already have been there and be thinking about what's next.