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10 Content Marketing Articles Readers (Like You) Loved This Year

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10 Content Marketing Articles Readers (Like You) Loved This Year

CMI published over 249 articles about all aspects of content marketing in 2022.

I bet very few of you read every one of them. (I understand – you have a lot of things to do.)

Since it’s my job, I read every article and check the performance analytics. So I put together the 10 most popular posts CMI published in 2022 to help you catch up on any you missed. I used data from BuzzSumo and Google Analytics, including social shares, email conversions, page views, unique linking domains, and a dose of editorial discretion to create the list.

Since I’m not big into rankings and more into managing schedules, I’ve listed the articles based on reading time (shortest to longest). I’ve also thrown in an honorable mention that’s quickly climbing in popularity.

All these articles include a ton of knowledge you can use right away. I hope you find these articles as helpful as I did.

Reading time: 5 minutes

Author: Manick Bhan

Why read this: The reduce-reuse-recycle waste management model also works as a strategy for search-focused content. Follow Manick’s 3R approach to help you snip and prune the content weighing down your search rankings.

Tweetable tip:

Use the reduce-reuse-recycle waste management model as a #content audit strategy, says @MadManick via @BrandLoveLLC @CMIContent. #SEO Click To Tweet

Reading time: 8 minutes

Author: Michael Brenner

Why read this: If you’re curious whether AI-generated content could replace human writers soon, you’ll need to read this. Michael shares the results of an experiment he ran to show why you shouldn’t believe the hype around AI-generated content – and why you shouldn’t ignore its potential. Though the article predates the advances of (and the explosion of interest in) ChatGPT, his advice remains sound.

Tweetable tip:

#AI-generated #content lacks the necessary nuance for high-quality content, and @Google still says it’s spam, says @BrennerMichael via @BrandLoveLLC @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Reading time: 9 minutes

Author: Aleksandra Iakovleva

Why read this: A lot of B2B marketing happens on LinkedIn – so your posts face steep competition for attention. Aleksandra shares advice on how to optimize your brand’s presence to get the most from organic and paid efforts on the platform. Tips include how to make sure your content shows up in LinkedIn search results and paid opportunities, make the most of available analytics, when to use the different types of paid ads, and how to craft posts that resonate.

Tweetable stat:

8 in 10 #B2B marketers use @LinkedIn and 40% say it’s their No. 1 platform, according to @SMExaminer via Aleksandra Iakovleva of @VistaCreate and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Reading time: 8 minutes

Author: Olesia Filipenko

What you’ll learn: Persuasive language is a powerful tool. Olesia explains how bringing science into the art of writing lets you better influence your audience and get them to take your preferred actions. She shares concrete, actionable ways to craft your marketing text to work with human psychology.

Tweetable tip:

Combine two rarely matched beneficial adjectives in headings, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Reading time: 9 minutes

Author: Irwin Hau

What you’ll learn: Publishing the wrong content can take many forms, but the results are similar. At worst, it could seriously damage your brand. At best, your content will be ignored. Irwin rounds up 15 mistakes to avoid.

Tweetable tip:

#Content that seems to have a personality crisis is a major turnoff, says @IrwinHau via @BrandLoveLLC @CMIContent. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Reading time: 11 minutes

Author: Ann Gynn

Why read this: Simply showing up on social isn’t enough anymore. You need to engage on the right channels with the right content delivered the way your audience likes to engage. Ann curates these expert tips from Content Marketing World speakers. The advice encompasses over 25 tips to help update and refine your social media strategy.

Tweetable tip:

Post on the one or two primary #SocialMedia channels your audience uses the most. But listen across all channels, says @SFerika via @BrandLoveLLC and CMIContent Click To Tweet

Reading time: 11 minutes

Author: Jodi Harris

Why read this: If getting better at video is on your content marketing to-do list for next year (and it probably should be), read Jodi’s post. She pulls together the best tips from an Ask the CMWorld Community interview with Andrew Davis, who shared his video creation process from start to finish. Jodi also rounds up his tech tips and tactical shortcuts to level up your content without maxing out your video budget.

Tweetable tip:

Screenwriting apps such as @ScrivenerApp or @WriterDuet provide more scripting templates, says @DrewDavisHere via @BrandLoveLLC and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Reading time: 11 minutes

Author: Ann Gynn

Why read this: Only the most successful content marketers take the time to create a documented content strategy. But writing one doesn’t have to be complicated. Ann shares a six-step process to help you finally write down your strategy. You’ll end up with a one-page document you can use to keep everyone aware of and working toward the same end. Before you know it, you may even join the ranks of the most successful.

Tweetable tip:

Without a documented strategy, you’re like most #content marketers. Just not the successful ones, says @AnnGynn via @BrandLoveLLC and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Reading time: 13 minutes

Author: Jodi Harris

Why read this: Take inspiration from these winning B2B and B2C content marketing examples Jodi curated from the e-book 35 Examples of Brands That Are Winning With Content (registration required). The article features companies that exceeded audience expectations – and their marketing goals – with novel content approaches and creative executions. And the e-book contains even more great examples.

Tweetable tip:

Asking influencers to co-create #content with your brand is a great way to sidestep authenticity questions, says @joderama via @BrandLoveLLC @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Reading time: 16 minutes

Author: Mike Murray

Why read this: Every content writer, whether creating for B2B or B2C audiences, faces writing challenges. Mike shares tips, tools, and resources to help with everything from creation to revision to publication and everything in between.

Tweetable tip:

Use the @webfx #ReadabilityTest tool to assess your #content, says @mikeonlinecoach via @BrandLoveLLC @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

Honorable Mention

Reading time: 10 minutes

Author: Stephanie Stahl

What you’ll learn: Every year, the Content Marketing Institute releases the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights report. This year, we asked an open-ended question: “If you could change one thing about content marketing in your organization, what would that be?” Stephanie shares what your peers said about their challenges, operations, teams, and success.

Tweetable tip:

If executives don’t understand the value of #ContentMarketing, it’s your job to step up and educate them, says @EditorStahl via @BrandLoveLLC @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Thank you, contributors

We appreciate all the guest contributors who shared their knowledge with the Content Marketing Institute community in 2022.

If you have an idea for an original article you’d like to share with the CMI audience, you could get it published on the site. First, read our blogging guidelines and write or adjust your draft accordingly. Then submit the post for consideration following the process outlined in the guidelines.

In appreciation for guest contributors’ work, we’re offering free registration to one paid event or free enrollment in Content Marketing University to anyone who gets two new posts accepted and published on the CMI site in 2023.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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