A dozen search engine optimization (SEO) consultants stand out from the crowd, according to research from Washington, DC-based Clutch.

Bruce Clay, Inc., Ignite Visibility, 180Fusion, LSEO.com, Vizion Interactive, Directive Consulting, Northcutt, Digital Current, Angular, Pole Position Marketing, Be Found Online, WrightIMC, Big Oak Studios, BusinessOnline, Anvil Media, ItsTheROI, 97th Floor and KoMarketing all provide expert thought leadership in the form of speaking and writing, Clutch reported.

This level of leadership is determined by authorship of acclaimed books, features on prominent industry blogs, and speaking engagements at industry conferences and seminars. Overall, Clutch's assessment is based on over a dozen factors, both quantitative and qualitative.

Another 12 agencies were also highlighted in Clutch's initial evaluation of the industry: HigherVisibility, Ignite Digital, Foxtail Marketing, Searchbloom, Big Oak Studios, BusinessOnline, Promodo, RustyBrick, inSegment, Local Search Masters, Greenlight Digital and Caliber.

The analysis leverages Clutch's proprietary Leaders Matrix methodology, which maps each firm's focus on providing value-added SEO services against their abilities to deliver on clients' expectations, the company explained. A Washington, D.C.-based B2B research firm, Clutch assesses both traditional research and consumer reviews.

In other technology news ...

MediaBrix Hires Its 1st President & CRO

MediaBrix, which provides mobile brand experiences, hired Richard Kosinski as its first president and global chief revenue officer. Kosinski was previously president with Unruly, a video ad tech company that was acquired by News Corp last year.

MediaBrix also closed a $6.5 million round of funding from Edison Partners, Revel Partners and new investor Horizon Technology Finance. The round brings the company's total funding since launching in 2011 to $18 million. Since then, MediaBrix has grown its revenue 741 percent, with a 43 percent compounded annual growth rate, and generated more than $100 million in total revenue, according to company officials. 

richard kosinski

Ari Brandt, CEO and co-founder of MediaBrix, called the investor support a validation of the company's commitment to respect for its users, "allowing brands to offer real value in dynamic ways, and always understanding it’s a human that brands want to interact with."

With the funding, MediaBrix will continue to ramp up its programmatic offerings, invest in research and development and expand its data sciences team focused on consumer receptivity.

Jivox Targets Video Ad Campaigns

San Mateo, Calif.-based Jivox, which provides personalized digital advertising and marketing, announced capabilities designed to allow brand marketers to execute targeted video ad campaigns. The campaigns are customized to the individual through the ability to generate hundreds of thousands of potential creative variations, according to Jivox officials. 

The platform eliminates the need for manual, custom-coded production methods, it explained.

Diaz Nesamoney, CEO of Jivox, said in a statement that the emergence of modern technology and greater data availability is enabling brand marketers to "finally do what TV has never been able to — add a personal touch. Instead of delivering the same video ad to each viewer, marketers now have the power to deliver video campaigns every bit as personalized as their display ad counterparts — and with equal ability to exponentially increase user engagement and improve campaign performance.”

The capabilities include: 

  • Dynamic intra-video elements: Generates different variations of the video itself using thousands of potential image, text and video combinations to customize predetermined portions of the video
  • Auto-play option for dynamic video: Extends auto-play video capability from social media into the mobile web, allowing campaigns to specify video auto-play on all devices
  • Support for dynamic out-stream video ads: Allows dynamic video advertising to be placed natively within a site’s content; therefore the video automatically starts playback only upon being viewed
  • Dynamic video for social: Enables the output of dynamic video into social media at scale
  • Dynamic video overlays: Creates hundreds of thousands of messaging, animation and product gallery combinations that can be overlaid in real time onto video ads

Journalists Like Social Media

Journalists view social media as extremely important, according to Cision's 2016 Social Journalism Study, conducted in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University

About 78 percent of respondents felt that they are more engaged with their audience because of social media, and nearly half said they could not work without it.

The journalists felt social media was most valuable for publishing and promoting content, as well as interacting with their audiences. However, only 35 percent make use of user-generated content regularly, and just 29 percent said that they intend to use crowdsourcing and user-generated content more in the future.

"Social media is infused into the daily routines of journalists, underscoring the importance and integration of content distribution and influencer communications within the media landscape," Ken Wincko, Cision's senior vice president of marketing, said in a statement. Respondents were gathered from Cision and Gorkana's media database of more than 1.5 million influencers globally. 

Act-On Software Enhances Partner Program

Portland, Ore.-based marketing automation provider Act-On Software unveiled its next-generation Agency Partner Program. Company officials said the program will allow marketing agencies and service providers to grow their business, create new revenue streams and establish themselves as the go-to experts for clients across all industries. 

New components include a revamped agency dashboard, a new structure for referral commissions and custom content for thought leadership and business development.

Paul Fuller, president of NuGrowth Digital, said in a statement that Act-On helped clients increase overall marketing qualified lead generation by more than 210 percent across the board.

Lingotek Integrates With Vistatec

Lehi, Utah-based Lingotek, a translation provider, is integrating with Vistatec, a global content solutions provider. The companies will deliver language services using Lingotek's cloud-based translation solution with Vistatec's workflow technology and content repository integration.

"There's a lot of synergy between Lingotek and Vistatec," Rob Vandenberg, president and CEO of Lingotek, said in a statement, noting that the companies even share some of the same clients.

Lingotek’s out-of- the-box solutions supported by comprehensive APIs will complement Vistatec’s own APIs, according to Phil Ritchie, Vistatec's chief technology officer. Lingotek's Translation Network and Vistatec's open source editor already use common source code libraries and conform to industry standards such as XLIFF. 

Pyze Debuts Enhanced Customer Segmentation Tier

Redwood City, Calif.-based Pyze, an intelligence and marketing platform for marketers and mobile app publishers, added a new tier of services to its Growth Intelligence platform. 

The Pyze Hypergrowth tier uses advanced intelligence to automatically segment users based on a multitude of behavioral attributes and engages each user individually to foster usage, retention and app monetization, officials said.

New features enable app publishers to  include app-defined categorizations of users in segment-less data explorations and initiate personalized actions based on their level of usage or loyalty. For example, they can compare engagement and loyalty of seasonal ticket holders vs. single-game buyers.

App publishers can also deliver content and experiences to each user based on their behavior, usage preferences and social graph.

Users can also market to customers based on recent or lifetime revenue and purchases, without creating segments and integrate these metrics in segment-less data explorations via the Intelligence Explorer.

Title image by Ben White