Connect with us
Cloak And Track Your Affiliate Links With Our User-Friendly Link Cloaking Tool, Try It Free

MARKETING

Navigating CMS architectures across content, frontend and backend

Published

on

Navigating CMS architectures across content, frontend and backend


In the world of building applications using Content Management Systems (CMS), three essential ingredients play a key role:

  1. Content – This is the stuff editors add and tweak – think text, images, videos, and more. 
  2. Frontend – This is how content appears on various channels, managed by frontend developers using frameworks like React or Vue.  
  3. Backend – This is the custom functionality that goes with the experience, handling things like orders, form submissions, and database updates, managed by backend developers. 

The three components in a Coupled CMS

In a traditional coupled CMS architecture, these components are usually bundled together. The content is tightly coupled with the presentation layer, making it difficult to deliver the same content to other channels.

For marketers, this approach is attractive for websites because the frontend is “coupled” to the content, making the editing of web pages simple and fast. However, as soon as the need to serve the same content in other channels arises, they hit a brick wall. The content they’ve been editing all along is peppered with HTML tags behind the scenes, which is hard to remove when displayed on mobile applications.

The three components in a Decoupled CMS

It’s important to note that there are a few degrees to decoupling: one that decouples between the components of one software, and another that decouples between different systems altogether.

Hybrid CMS as a Decoupled CMS

Let’s first talk about the first type of decoupling, which is common in Hybrid CMSs. While content is decoupled from the frontend, they still live in the same place. This is enabled by software architectures, such as MVC (Model-View-Controller), that support the decoupling of components within one application.  

Image showing a hybrid or Decoupled CMS architecture

Figure 1: Even though Hybrid CMS bundles content, frontend, and backend together, they are loosely bundled, enabled by patterns like MVC, to enable content to be reused by other frontends and microservices 

In the architecture diagram above, while all the components live in the CMS, the integration is loose, making the frontend optional and the content available on its own for rendering in multiple modes: web (default), mobile, and kiosk apps. The decoupling happens at a software level, not at a solution level, which we will dig into next. 

What are the benefits of a decoupled, hybrid CMS? 

  1. Simplicity of management – While this point of view doesn’t apply to everyone, which we will dive into later, the reality is that some enterprises whose main business is not technology or digital, tend to prefer a one-throat-to-choke approach when it comes to digital. They prefer to retain lean teams who can manage digital and engage the least number of vendors that have the biggest coverage: software, infrastructure, and 24/7 managed service with a guarantee on SLAs. They want peace of mind without the complexity of managing it themselves.
  2. Cost-efficiency – Because of the one-throat-to-choke approach, organizations often benefit from a reduced total cost of ownership. Engaging multiple vendors not only creates complexity in the day-to-day management of the entire stack, but also often results in a higher total cost of ownership, which covers licensing costs from multiple vendors, the cost to integrate these solutions, and the added cost to learn multiple vendor stacks. 
  3. User-friendliness to marketers – a hybrid CMS comes with a frontend, but in the form of components that enable marketers to compose experiences, with drag-and-drop capability. This is important to highlight because this sometimes gets crippled or taken away from marketers in headless CMS builds, but we will discuss alternatives and solutions to this below.  

Who and which use cases suit a decoupled, hybrid CMS approach? 

Smaller digital teams, adept at interdependent work, benefit from the one-stop approach. It’s also ideal for simpler projects, such as marketing and brochure-ware applications, whose primary responsibility is to deliver content to consumers across multiple channels. If this is your use case, then be careful not to over-engineer your tech stack as the benefits may not justify the added complexity. Instead, focus on how you can enable your marketers to move faster, fulfill high volumes of content, and deliver personalised messaging to end users.

What are the drawbacks of a decoupled, hybrid CMS architecture?

A one-stop shop approach isn’t something that attracts enterprises who have bigger teams, and skilled resources who want better control of their tech stack. Here are the downsides: 

  1. Technology limitations on both frontend and backend – Despite the decoupling we spoke about, at the end of the day, the frontend and backend still must be deployed with the CMS, creating limits within the two components: 
  2. Backend – your developers will have to use the backend programming language your CMS is built on, such as Java or .NET. The programming language and the right resources become a big consideration if you’re going for a hybrid CMS architecture. 
  3. Frontend – While you may have flexibility over the choice of frontend framework, there will be some limitations around client-side rendering, and static-site generation, that the CMS may not be able to offer so it’s best to check where these boundaries are with your CMS vendor. 
  4. CMS Upgrades can become difficult, lengthy, and costly – because the frontend and backend still live with the CMS, developers may build code that has tight dependencies on the version of the CMS. Developers must ensure they follow CMS development best practices to avoid lengthy and costly work to perform upgrades. 

As you will see, these are engineering problems that can create ripple effects in the organization. Is there a better solution? 

Decouple the three components using a headless and microservices architecture.

As we now understand from above, not all decoupled CMSs are headless. However, all headless CMS follows a decoupled approach; decoupling at a higher level (between software systems), as opposed to an in-software architecture level.

To solve the problems with a Hybrid CMS architecture, developers started to de-scope the CMS’ responsibility, ultimately removing the frontend and backend completely from the CMS. This decreases the responsibility of the CMS vendor while giving developers full flexibility on the frontend and backend, as these two components are now managed externally.  

headless CMS architecture

What are the benefits of a headless CMS approach?

  1. Ultimate flexibility for developers – when the frontend and backend components are extracted out of the CMS, the sky essentially becomes the limit. Developers have full freedom of choice when it comes to frontend frameworks, backend programming language, devOps, and hosting client-side applications.
  2. Shorter ramp-up time for new developers – because the main pattern of integration is through standardized APIs, the barrier to entry is lower, and therefore new developers onboarded into the team have a shorter ramp-up time.
  3. Engineering can go to market faster – with a complete separation of frontend and backend from the CMS, frontend developers can work independently of backend developers, which creates ripple effects in engineering. The team can go to market faster, upgrades become faster, and developers are less dependent on the CMS vendor.

Who and which use cases suit a headless CMS approach?

Larger engineering teams who prefer better control and management of their tech stack would prefer this approach. Applications that require complex frontend functionality or two-way interactivity, such as eCommerce or transaction-heavy applications, will benefit from this approach. The added complexity of managing multiple components is justified by the extra control and flexibility that engineers get from a headless and microservices architecture. 

What are the drawbacks of a headless CMS approach? 

  1. Increased complexity and responsibility for engineering – because the frontend and backend no longer live in the CMS, engineering teams now need to provision and manage new infrastructure to host these components, create integrations and manage DevOps to tie these components, and ensure SLAs are still in place, including the additional vendors in the mix. For simpler use cases discussed above, an over-engineered tech stack may actually slow you down. However, if your use case calls for significant development work and you have the right engineering resources, then the increased complexity for better control is justified. 
  2. Higher total cost of ownership (TCO) – due to the additional components that need to be licensed from other vendors, such as additional hosting license, and SLA, as well as the cost to integrate these, the total cost of ownership is expected to increase. However, the added TCO can be offset if this generates efficiencies within the engineering department. 
  3. WYSIWYG experience of marketers can be crippled – while headless CMS vendors enable editors to manage content, by its design, pure headless CMS vendors don’t solve for the capability to assemble the experience. Developers will need to build this capability in or integrate with other software vendors to bring back WYSIWYG capabilities to ensure the marketing experience is not impacted. 
Conclusion…

As with everything technology-related, there is no one-size-fits-all model. Selecting the right CMS architecture depends on the project complexity, team size, and skillsets, and the desired equilibrium between simplicity, cost, and control. The decision ultimately needs to consider multiple stakeholders: engineering for the build, marketing for the content authoring experience, and the business for a total cost of ownership.

Optimizely CMS supports both decoupling methods: hybrid or pure headless. In my next article, I will write about the newly launched Optimizely Graph offering that enhances our API offering to create efficiencies in software development, so watch this space.  
 


Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

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

Published

on

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!

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

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

Published

on

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

Amazon pillows.

(more…)

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Published

on

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.”

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending