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MARKETING

17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers (That Aren’t About Content or Marketing)

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17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers (That Aren't About Content or Marketing)

Inspiration and motivation can come from unexpected places. That’s what we found when we asked marketers and other business people to share their go-to book for marketers.

Many people recommended books about content and marketing (read those recommendations here). But others suggested intriguing books that aren’t directly about marketing at all.

These 17 recommendations range from one that’s more than 2,000 years old to a modern story about sushi. Some are focused on building you, while others will inspire your creativity, change the way you think about your content marketing, help you avoid procrastination, and more.

Inspiration and motivation for your #ContentMarketing can come from unexpected places, like 2,000-year-old treatise or a #book about sushi, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: This beloved classic presents a principle-centered approach for solving both personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and practical anecdotes, Stephen R. Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity—principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

Recommended by Steve Pogson, founder and e-commerce strategy lead, First Pier: “As a marketer and leader, these seven habits guided me. I realized that being a leader isn’t just about achieving success; it’s also about upholding ideals and ethics in order to leave a lasting legacy. This understanding had a significant impact on my decisions as a marketing executive.”

1643290106 339 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: In many crucial areas of our lives, reason plays a vanishingly small part. Instead, we are driven by unconscious desires, which is why placebos are so powerful. We are drawn to the beautiful, the extravagant, and the absurd – from lavish wedding invitations to tiny bottles of the latest fragrance. So if you want to influence people’s choices, you have to bypass reason. The best ideas don’t make rational sense: they make you feel more than they make you think.

Recommended by Jonathan Tian, co-founder, Mobitrix: “In this book, the writer highlights the complex theory with stories and great humor to both captivate and entertain. It’s a crucial work of evident irrationality.”

1643290106 94 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: Art of War is almost certainly the most famous study of strategy ever written. This treatise has been credited with influencing some of the most legendary military operations. Beyond the battlefield, people far and wide have long turned to Art of War for advice on how to succeed in various competitive situations, and companies around the world now make this book required reading for their executives.

Recommended by Chris Alexakis, co-founder Cabinet Select: “There are many essential lessons business owners can learn from Sun Tzu’s book about ancient military strategy. However, you have to look at it with different eyes than the average reader because what’s important here is the mentality and philosophical lessons. You don’t need to know how many chariots an army needs to store food.”

1643290106 939 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

Recommended by Ori Benshalom, founder, Self Made: “As a marketer, I was always intrigued by why people do what they do. Atomic Habits breaks down exactly what creates good habits and how you can break bad ones. One of the biggest takeaways for me was that if you want to create a new habit, start small and build it gradually.”

1643290106 413 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: Gay Hendricks demonstrates how to eliminate the barriers to success by overcoming false fears and beliefs. Fans of Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and The Secret will find useful, effective tips for breaking down the walls to a better life in The Big Leap.

Recommended by Laura Rike, consultant: “It teaches us that when we feel like life is getting in the way, we need to push through to reach our true potential and push past our upper limit.”

 

1643290106 983 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: Drawing on more than a decade of new work, Kim and Mauborgne show you how to move beyond competing, inspire your people’s confidence, and seize new growth, guiding you step-by-step through how to take your organization from a red ocean crowded with competition to a blue ocean of uncontested market space. They show why nondisruptive creation is as important as disruption in seizing new growth.

Recommended by Sep Niakan, managing broker, CondoBlackBook: “Suitable for anyone who wishes to make significant improvements in their marketing strategy. It comprises a road map drawn out by the authors, who have a startling 30 years of consulting and research experience and who carve out the way for easier and more successful reinventions.

“This book will help people from reinvention teams by answering questions about how and why each baby step toward reinvention is carried out. It also emphasizes things such as respecting your team’s feelings and delving into the details of everything, leaving little to chance.”

1643290106 351 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: This passionate expertise manifesto is intended to elevate the impact of advisors who sell insight as entrepreneurs. Three foundational chapters form the basis of the entire book: experts develop insight by isolating patterns in data; they convert those insights to wealth by crafting a unique positioning for which few available substitutes exist. Their confidence grows as the marketplace embraces their application of expertise.

Recommended by Joshua Feinberg, CEO, SP Home Run: “If you sit still too long, even the best content marketers will get commoditized and marginalized. David C. Baker offers a great solution around focus, deep expertise, selecting the right niches, positioning, and demonstrating expertise.”

1643290106 430 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: Practical, proven self-help steps show how to transform 40 common self-defeating behaviors, including procrastination, envy, obsession, anger, self-pity, compulsion, neediness, guilt, rebellion, inaction, and more.

Recommended by Brenton Thomas, founder and CEO, Twibi: “Working on marketing, we are all susceptible to falling into the impostor syndrome or the procrastination traps. This book has plenty of actionable strategies to snap out of those destructive creativity-killer habits and transform them into deadline-smashers.”

1643290106 172 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: Somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. Daniel Levitin uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

Recommended by Jason McMahon, digital strategist, Bambrick Media: “We evaluate the data, research, transcripts, slideshows, and reports daily. How are we going to deal with all of this data and convert it into great content for our readers? This is a book about managing the constant flow of information we encounter daily.

“This book helped me observe and comprehend how various people process information. It helps me think about my audience and how they receive and digest information as a marketer. It helps me better understand myself and my organizing patterns as an individual. It’s a really thought-provoking book.”

1643290106 658 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: This book is the precursor to the modern phenomenon in advertising of Big Data. That is merely the conclusion one reaches after thoroughly understanding this groundbreaking book. It contains many principles that are common in all performance-based marketing today, such as the idea of testing and measuring ad effectiveness, writing to one person, understanding and using psychology, basing advertising on sales, eliminating risk, learning what the thousands want to understand what the millions will buy.

Recommended by Nate Tsang, founder and CEO, WallStreetZen: “I was skeptical when someone recommended this to me, but for a quick, free read, I was hooked. Seeing content marketing abstracted away to its earlier iteration (the 1920s) helped me understand choices our team made in our marketing.

“Some of the advice is timeless essential – the chapter on headlines will change the way you evaluate email marketing. Some of it requires you to think about the way we advertise products and the way we market online. The methods have evolved, but the underlying purpose and psychology are the same.”

1643290106 341 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: Napoleon Hill presents a “Philosophy of Achievement” in 13 principles drawn from the success stories of such greats as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and other millionaires of his time.

Recommended by Thomas Mirmotahari, founder and CEO, PerkUp: “It’s an all-time classic that is an absolute must-read for content marketers. He is absolutely brilliant and spent time with over 500 self-made millionaires. The aim is to demonstrate that, as entrepreneurs and content marketers, we are earnest about what we’re marketing, selling, and the problems we are solving. We can all learn some of the best traits of the greats to help us on our journey to serve humanity and make a fortune too.”

1643290106 926 17 Books Perfect for Content Marketers That Arent About ContentWhat Amazon says: In this richly reported story, journalist Trevor Corson shadows several American sushi novices and a master Japanese chef, taking the reader behind the scenes as the students strive to master the elusive art of cooking without cooking. It is a compelling tale of human determination as well as a delectable smorgasbord of surprising food science, intrepid reporting, and provocative cultural history.

Recommended by Myles Carter, director of content marketing, Payment Rails: “After finishing this deep dive into sushi’s history and its culture of dedication and mastery, I was left with a deep feeling of admiration. That, and just a little pang of guilt that comes from knowing we can all be a bit more masterful in our work and our content.”

Add these books, too

A.J. Turner, marketing director, Off Highway Van, says you can learn a lot from reading memoirs, biographies, and similar non-fiction writing. A.J.’s recommendations include:

  • Authentic by Paul Van Doren: “A memoir of the man who started Vans shoe company. A great insight into asking “Why not?” and pushing forward creative ideas.”
  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight: “A fantastic book about how to push forward and constantly be thinking about what’s next?”
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain: “Surprisingly not much about food and a great read for anybody. I appreciate his storytelling ability, and I think it’s a great example for storytellers.”
  • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey: “Matthew speaks to the importance of journaling, and how to approach life in a way that fleshes out great experiences. It’s a fantastic book for content creators.”
  • No Time Like The Future by Michael J. Fox: “Mr. Fox shows us that there’s nothing that replaces optimism and perseverance. As a content creator, it can be hard to constantly keep up and keep coming up with fresh and creative ideas. By remembering to look at the world through different lenses, we can learn to write meaningful things by pushing forward through setbacks and delays or even life-changing situations.”

What non-marketing book do you recommend to motivate, inspire, or help content marketers? Please share in the comments.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

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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