By Christopher Hutchens

This week in inbound, we'll look at the most powerful SEO factors, why inbound marketing is different for SaaS companies, and we explore AI's future in advertising. 

New & Noteworthy

2017 Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Attracting website visits from search engines has been a skill marketers have been trying to master for years. The results from a search query today are drastically different fromwhat they would have been 10 years ago, and it can be difficult  for marketers to keep up with all of the factors that determine what comes up in a search engine results page. To help you understand the latest SEO ranking factors, Search Engine Land has updated its periodic table of success factors for 2017. Check out all of the updates and what you should be focusing on this year.

Apple Introduces Business Chat: A New Channel for Customer Service & Inbound Sales

The combination of mobile web browsing and people searching with local intent has led companies such as Google and Facebook to change the way search results are displayed. Technology companies are trying to give users the best experience possible, and that includes making it easier to contact businesses and get in touch. At a recent conference, Apple announced a new feature called Business Chat, which will allow users to message businesses directly, similar to sending a message to a page or person on Facebook. It’s an effort to connect more businesses with customers and a feature that could have big implications for companies and salespeople. Read more about Apple’s Business Chat feature.

The AdWords 2017 Road Map

At its Marketing Next conference, Google recently shared some AdWords updates that could give search marketers more bidding power for qualified leads.

With the announcement of “in-market audiences,” marketers will be able to dive in and see who is searching for a given phrase (e.g., a company executive or a high schooler doing research for a project) and adjust their bids accordingly. For PPC marketers, it’s a huge announcement that will allow for better targeting. See columnist Frederick Vallaeys’ article to learn more about the update.

 

Grow Your Inbound Marketing

Six Ways Inbound Marketing Is Different for SaaS Companies

Inbound marketing is a great way to drive traffic, awareness, and leads for your business. But every company and industry is different, and there’s not a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to marketing—you need to determine what works for you and your customers. For SaaS companies, inbound marketing can be very effective because of how long the buying cycle or Buyer's Journey is. Customers shopping for software weigh many options and go through a great deal of research before making a decision, and providing helpful blogs, ebooks, and case studies can all help educate those decision-makers. Learn the six ways that inbound marketing is different for SaaS companies.

 5 Innovative Examples of Video on Your B2B Website

Most of the videos you see in your Facebook news feed are for B2C companies: ads for shoes, clothing, new gadgets, etc. But B2B companies that sell products, software, or services are also producing videoand while they may not reach the everyday Facebook user, they are reaching decision-makers at the highest levels of companies. Video marketing is one of the best tools for B2B marketers as well as salespeople within your company. Here are five examples of how you should be using video on your B2B website.

 

Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

How to Discover What Your Customers Really Want 

A recent survey from Aberdeen Group found that only 4 percent of organizations are happy with their ability to ensure data-driven conversations with their customers. This ridiculously low number is surprising given how much data is available at our fingertips, and it proves that companies still have a lot to learn about their customers. Measuring the right data and knowing how to use analytics to drive future decision-making have never been more important in understanding what your customers truly want. Here are three ways of using analytics to help you understand your customers.  

AI’s Place in Advertising

Artificial intelligence is becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives. We now have self-driving Teslas, smart refrigerators, and automatic pizza ordering from Alexa. The rise of AI has many people speculating on its future and what role it could have in the the world of advertising with regard to targeting and personalization. In this article, columnist Adam Grow explores how AI is changing the world of digital advertising.

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Christopher Hutchens

About the author

Christopher Hutchens is an Associate Consultant at SmartBug Media. He previously worked as an interactive project manager, helping launch and redevelop websites for many B2B and B2C companies. Chris is originally from Chicago and has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri. Read more articles by Christopher Hutchens.