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How to Build a Robust Direct Marketing Strategy [+ Examples]

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How to Build a Robust Direct Marketing Strategy [+ Examples]

Every day, we’re on the receiving end of a direct marketing campaign. We just might not know it.

In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of a direct marketing strategy, how it works, and the benefits of leveraging it.

The Benefits of Direct Marketing

There are several key benefits to implementing a direct marketing strategy:

  • Personalized messaging: With direct marketing, you can send highly personalized messages to your target market, increasing the likelihood that they’ll take action.
  • Increased ROI: Because direct marketing is so targeted and specific, it often has a higher ROI than indirect marketing.
  • Measurable: This approach is also measurable, which allow you to gain valuable insights on what worked, what didn’t, and what to do in the future. 

How to Create a Direct Marketing Strategy

Now that you know the benefits of direct marketing, it’s time to learn how to create a direct marketing strategy. Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Define your target market.

Creating a direct marketing strategy can be a bit daunting, but step one is always to identify your target market.

This will help you determine what type of medium to use for your campaign as well as what type of message will resonate.

Start by asking yourself who your ideal customer is. What are their demographics? What do they like and dislike? What motivates them?

Keep in mind that your target market shouldn’t be everyone. In fact, the more specific you are, the better your strategy will be as it will resonate with a specific type of consumer.

By narrowing your focus, you can create a stronger connection with your audience and see better results from your marketing efforts.

Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can start to craft a marketing strategy that will reach them directly.

2. Research your competition.

Once you know who your target market is, it’s time to research your competition. This will give you a good starting point for your own campaign.

See what type of direct marketing campaigns they’re running and what’s working well for them.

What are they doing that’s working well? What could be improved? Understanding their strengths and weaknesses will help you develop a stronger strategy of your own.

From there, you can brainstorm how you can make it better.

3. Choose your direct marketing channels.

When creating a direct marketing strategy, one of the most important steps is to choose the right channels.

There are a variety of options available, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

To make the best choice, you’ll need to consider your target audience, your budget, and your goals.

Some common direct marketing channels include:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Text messages
  • Websites/landing pages
  • Print ads (newspapers, magazines)

One popular option is email marketing. This can be an effective way to reach a large number of people quickly and relatively cheaply.

However, it can be difficult to stand out in someone’s inbox, and there’s always the risk that your message will be ignored or deleted.

Another option is direct mail. This can be a more personal way to reach your target audience, and it can be very effective if done correctly.

However, it can be more expensive than other methods, and there’s no guarantee that your message will be seen.

Ultimately, the best way to choose direct marketing channels is to experiment with different options and see what works best for your business.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

4. Develop your offer and create your assets.

Your offer is what you’re promoting to your target market. It could be a discount, a free trial, or something else entirely.

Whatever it is, make sure it’s valuable and relevant to your target market.

From there, you can move on to creating your assets.

This is the ad, email, flyer, or other that you’ll be using in your campaign. If there’s no budget to hire a designer, leverage tools like Canva to create a high-quality, on-brand design. 

5. Test, measure, and refine.

Once you’ve launched your direct marketing campaign, it’s important to test, measure, and refine it to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Today, direct marketers now have access to a wealth of data that can be used to measure the success of their campaigns.

By analyzing this data, you can optimize your approach and improve your results.

You’ll want to focus on how many users converted as well as where they dropped off in the conversion path. That could indicate a point of friction that you’ll want to address, like a long form, vague copy, or missing CTA.

Direct Marketing Examples

Here are a few examples of direct marketing in action:

  • A postcard in the mail from a company offering a discount on their products.
  • An email from an online retailer with a special offer for subscribers.
  • A text message from a cell phone company about a new plan.

As you can see, direct marketing can take many different forms. The important thing is to choose the right medium for your target market and offer them something that they’ll find valuable.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to reach your target market, direct marketing is a great option.

With a little planning and creativity, you can create a direct marketing campaign that will generate results.

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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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