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Content Marketing Deserves More Respect From In-House Agencies

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Content Marketing Deserves More Respect From In-House Agencies

Content marketing should have a place in in-house marketing agencies.

But what exactly should it be?

Newly released research indicates what’s happening, and CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose shares what you should be doing about that.

This week, Cella by Randstad released its 13th annual In-House Creative & Marketing Industry Report (registration required). The findings illustrate how much in-house agencies provide all kinds of services that go beyond the execution of digital content assets.

The biggest growth areas encompass video (shooting, editing, and production), motion graphics, digital design, creative strategy, brand development, animation, and campaign development.

That’s A LOT of service expansion.

Another interesting finding in the survey – is the growth in the abundance of highly qualified talent in almost every category of creative professionals. The most noticeable change occurred for graphic designers – 22% of respondents in 2023 say an abundance of talent exists vs. 11% in 2022.

In-house marketers report a growth in the available talent pool in almost every category of creative professionals, according to a @CellaServices survey via @Robert_Rose @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Given those findings, creative people will need to wear more than one hat and differentiate in ways other than digital asset creation.

CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose shared his thoughts in this week’s CMI News video. Watch it below or keep reading for the highlights:

 

Where content marketing operates

Cella’s research finds most creative teams sit in the org structure under marketing, but they’re focused on bottom-of-funnel programs – 75% say they focus on acquisitions, lead generation, or sales/revenue. That aligns with what CMI finds in its own research.

But while the research raises interesting results and insights, it’s missing something big. “It lumps content as a subcategory of retention under the primary objectives,” Robert notes. “What gives? No doubt content marketing is done in those other funnel categories.”

A new @CellaServices survey lumps #content into the subcategory of retention under primary objectives via @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Now, digital asset management (DAM) and content calendars earn a mention in the study’s section on integration and collaboration. Forty-one percent of respondents say they don’t have a DAM system but plan to. And 37% cite content calendars as a planned need for future implementation. But both of those elements are strategic content initiatives.

How the Cella study included content marketing is not unique. In 2018, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) referenced content marketing as “the specialty service most often moved from an external agency to an in-house agency.” It also noted content marketing was the most likely newly added service that an external agency didn’t handle.

This year, the ANA survey, which was released this week, reported 60% of respondents say content marketing is a special service handled by their internal agency. That’s down from 75% in 2018.

In-house content marketing takes orders; external partners lead

All this research points to two trends. First, content marketing and content strategy have integrated and comingled with other advertising and marketing content. As Robert says, “For many businesses, content marketing is marketing, so it’s just part of the video, copywriting, or creative services.”

The second trend – the more provocative one we see with our consulting clients – is that more businesses use external providers for thought leadership and content marketing efforts.

They’re dissatisfied with their ability to draw together their subject matter experts, executives, and content creators. “It’s the businesses’ inability to get their arms around a content strategy that encourages them to go external for those services,” Robert says.

When businesses can’t get their arms around a #ContentStrategy, they go external for those services, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Going deeper into the Cella research, the top two capabilities cited by businesses for using external agencies are “niche expertise” and “specific assignments.” The ANA research shows 92% of respondents still work with an external agency. Over the last three years, 65% of the ANA respondents have moved activities – search, email, print collateral, direct mail, internal comms, etc. – from external agencies to their in-house agencies.

“Businesses brought all the classic, well-worn agency activities in-house for cost and efficiency. But they still delegate things like strategic thought leadership and innovative content marketing programs that might actually differentiate them to external providers,” Robert says.

Flip your thinking

All that survey data smells like an opportunity to both differentiate and gather talent.

Instead of thinking about which content services to execute in-house, Robert says, stop and lean the other way: “Focus your internal capabilities on building strategic content – digital data, asset management, technology – and strategic content marketing – thought leadership, operating as a media company, and building an audience. Then consider outsourcing the execution.”

Change your in-house thinking. Build a #ContentMarketing strategy in-house and outsource the execution, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

What services do you build internally as an in-house agency? For which ones do you engage external partners? We’d love to hear in the comments.

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

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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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