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Data-Backed Tips for Successful Hybrid Team Leadership in 2022

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According to Microsoft’s 2022 Annual Work Trend Index Report, 53% of employees are considering transitioning to a hybrid work setup in the next year and hybrid work is up seven points from 2021.

So, what does it take to lead a hybrid team? We’ve got a few tips.

1. Set rules of engagement.

When everyone’s in the office, many rules and behaviors go unsaid. After all, everyone is in the same space, so it’s easier to pick up on cues. However, when everyone is scattered, it changes how you approach them.

Microsoft’s report found that following the pandemic, few companies (only 28%) have met with their teams to define their new normal since switching to a hybrid or remote model.

This can lead to confusion, unmet expectations, and high attrition rates. Setting a structure around communication and collaboration allows the team to work more efficiently as it promotes cohesion among all members, despite the physical distance.

2. Leverage asynchronous communication.

Speaking of distance, it can be nearly impossible to get everyone on a call at the same time depending on where your team is.

For instance, say you have some team members in California, others in New York, and some overseas in Kenya. Those are three time zones, meaning three different work schedules.

One way to keep your team connected is to leverage asynchronous tools.

For instance, you can utilize bots within your messaging system, whether it’s Slack, Teams, or another platform, to invite your team to share updates, check-ins, etc.

geekbot asynchronous communication tool

With Geekbot, the software can be programmed to ask your team specific questions, then share their answers.

So, if your team is unable to sync up for daily meetings, you can still get progress updates from everyone in a channel of your choosing.

3. Have a robust onboarding process.

Having a strong onboarding process is more important than ever.

Data from the Microsoft report shows that employees onboarded during the last two years are at greater risk for attrition, are less likely to feel included within their teams, and tend to have weaker relationships with their direct teams.

Since the pandemic, new hires are relying more on their managers for onboarding – and that’s a good thing for the company.

The study found that new hires whose managers played an active role in their onboarding process were 3.5 times more likely to be satisfied with their experience.

Here are some tips to optimize your onboarding process:

  • Prepare training materials and create an onboarding guide.
  • Launch an internal mentorship program to guide new hires within the first few months.
  • Have a welcome chat to introduce the new hire to the team.
  • Send your new hire a survey about their onboarding experience to assess gaps in the process.

4. Trust your team.

Trust is the number one component of a successful hybrid or remote team. Without it, neither party is able to successfully respond to their responsibilities.

In the office, you can always keep an eye on your team. Walking by their desk to check in on a project, peeking to see if they’re actively working. When your team is hybrid, you lose that level of visibility.

As such, you’re forced to trust your team. How do you build trust? Well, it’s a two-way street and it starts with you.

Firstly, be transparent. This encompasses everything from sharing feedback on performance to sharing resources to sharing team and company-wide updates.

Secondly, create a space where your team feels psychologically safe – safe to share ideas, be themselves, learn, and challenge the status quo.

Lastly, find out what matters to each person on your team. What do they value? What are their goals? How do they like to be celebrated? How do they learn best?

Trust also extends to their work. Even though 80% of employees say they are just as productive since going hybrid or remote, most leaders (54%) fear productivity has or will negatively impact their teams, according to the Microsoft report.

Avoid the temptation to micromanage your team. Instead, set the parameters for their tasks, check in with their progress, provide resources when needed, and offer feedback. This will empower your team to do their best work knowing that they have the full support and trust of their manager.

5. Prioritize team culture.

According to the 2022 Microsoft report, the top aspect of work employees views as important – other than money – is a positive culture.

Even though your team is hybrid, you still have to work hard to build its culture. If anything, it’s even more important since you don’t have the physical environment to rely on.

When you have a hybrid team, you have to be intentional about everything – particularly connecting on a non-work level.

43% of leaders surveyed in the Microsoft report say relationship-building is the number one challenge in remote and hybrid work.

After all, you can’t just invite your team to a happy hour at a local restaurant or have an impromptu group lunch.

What you want to avoid is an imbalance where some members feel disconnected from the team because of their distance, which is pretty common. In fact, 44% of hybrid employees surveyed said they do not feel included in meetings.

Here are a few ways to make sure your team feels connected:

  • Host virtual events, such as escape rooms, magic shows, and cooking classes, that your team can enjoy as a group.
  • Have regular “watercooler” meetings that allow your team to gather and talk about anything non-work related.
  • Create non-work-related messaging channels based on your team’s interests, like cooking, TV shows, home renovation projects, pets, etc.
  • Plan annual or quarterly meetups with your team, if your budget allows.

This is your opportunity to shape it into one that fosters inclusion, collaboration, and trust.

6. Invest in your team’s equipment.

When your team works in an office, there are certain things you don’t need to account for, such as Wi-Fi, computer, headset, desk, etc.

However, if you have some people from your team working from home, they will need to have access to the same equipment to succeed in their role.

There are also nice-to-have items that aren’t needed to complete the job but can make your team happier and more productive. Think headphones and ergonomic equipment.

Instead of seeing it as an additional expense, consider it an investment into your team that will pay off tenfold.

There you have it – whether your team is newly hybrid or has always been, there’s always room for improvement. With these tips, your team will work as seamlessly as you would in person.

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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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