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The Content Marketing Industry in 2022

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The Content Marketing Industry in 2022

Sponsored by Semrush

The new year is well underway. Marketing directors have laid out their plans, and their content machines are revving back into action. But what new trends might 2022 have in store for our industry?

For Semrush’s annual State of Content Marketing Global Report, we looked at the data, analyzing more than 500k blog posts and 200k tweets, interviewing experts, and surveying more than 1,500 marketing professionals from all across the world.

Ninety-seven percent of respondents say content forms part of their marketing strategy. As we dug into their additional answers and insights, we saw indications of some big changes on the horizon. Below, we look at a few of the highlights from this research and what they might mean for your content marketing initiatives in the upcoming year.

Top survey highlights

1645116373 262 The Content Marketing Industry in 2022

Nearly all 1,500 respondents use content as part of their strategy, but a significant number (42%) are just getting started with content marketing. In contrast, only 19% feel they have a mature content marketing system in place. With such a high concentration of content marketing newbies dipping their toes in the water, it’s clear the industry is still experiencing considerable growth.

Here are some additional points we found interesting:

There’s still progress to be made: Of our respondents, 91% said that content marketing was successful to some degree. We analyzed this to mean that content marketing is here to stay, and it’s becoming more effective and sophisticated. However, with only 19% reporting that their content efforts are extremely successful, there is still a long way to go.

91% of marketing pros surveyed by @Semrush achieved success with their content marketing in 2021. Explore the highlights to find out what worked and what didn’t! Click To Tweet

Content is heavily concentrated on the early stages of the customer journey: The top three goals marketers pursue with their content are:

  1. Increase brand awareness: 45%
  2. Attract more traffic to our website: 37%
  3. Generate leads: 36%

When it comes to success, 78% of respondents that achieved their goals have a documented content marketing strategy. Compare that to companies that fell short of their aims – 81% percent of them do not have a documented content strategy – and our advice here is clear: Define your goals, write your content plans down, and then activate them!

Other reported factors contributing to success include running content audits, investing in paid promotions, and growing the content team.

Quality matters: Marketers in our survey also say that content quality is the primary driver behind organic ranking success, followed by the volume of content output. The benefits of creating high-quality content hold true for other desirable content marketing outcomes, as well.

Perhaps these are not huge revelations, but they certainly underscore the importance of writing well and providing value to your audience. Of course, creating quality content means more than simply writing good copy. It’s also about considering the informational needs of your customers as you are planning your content initiatives. Ensure that each content piece answers the right questions, creates a good user experience, and provides actionable value.

Insights from content marketing experts

We also spoke to a number of content marketing industry experts who gave us their perspective on what works well, and what’s not working anymore. Here are some of the highlights from these interviews:

Humanize your content: Henneke Duistermaat, the founder of Enchanting Marketing, says originality is super important if you want to get noticed: Do the same as everyone else and you’ll just camouflage yourself. At the same time, she says that you should weave original stories into your content and treat your output like a personal conversation with your reader. Making your content human-relatable and personally relevant to the people you want to consume it will help you stand out from the competition in 2022.

Follow the buyers: Along the same lines, Kathryn Strachan, owner and managing director at Copy House, emphasizes the importance of creating a human connection through your B2B content, as well. She points out that these customers will want different information at different stages of their buying journey. This means you should map each piece of content to the marketing funnel before you write it to ensure that you’re addressing their most pressing needs and answering the questions they have at that precise time.

Use creativity to spark a connection: KoMarketing senior director of digital marketing Casie Gillette asserts that telling a story with your content is important across all formats and channels. Like Henneke, Casie says that good storytelling means understanding and connecting with your audience. Her major takeaway is that creativity is key, whether you’re promoting a product, creating an ad, or writing a blog post.

Measure for clicks: Andy Crestodina, co-founder and CMO at Orbit Media Studios, Inc., says ranking isn’t the most important SEO metric to track, it’s clicks and the click-through rates. And once you have people on your page, you need to be memorable and engaging – that’s what will drive brand awareness and long-term success.

Go heavy on new video formats: Adam Connell, Founder of Blogging Wizard and Startup Bonsai, says that short-form videos are going to stay engaging throughout 2022 and could be an important way to drive growth. He mentions the wealth of video-sharing platforms available, including TikTok, Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories – as well as Pinterest Idea Pins, YouTube Shorts, and more.

Keep a sharp eye on what’s working: Michael Brenner from Marketing Insider Group says it’s time to focus on content audits. These, he says, will help you discover what already delivers results. Part of this means also looking for opportunities to improve the content you already have in the bank.

Expect opportunities to open up: Liraz Postan, international SEO, speaker, and founder of Liraz Postan LTD, commented on signs that more small businesses are investing in content marketing, which may mean more open positions for talented content marketers in the coming year.

About Semrush

1645116373 300 The Content Marketing Industry in 2022Semrush is a leading online visibility management SaaS platform that enables businesses globally to run search engine optimization, pay-per-click, content, social media, and competitive research campaigns and gets measurable results from online marketing. Semrush offers insights and solutions for companies to build, manage, and measure campaigns across various marketing channels. Semrush, with over 79,000 paying customers, is headquartered in Boston and has offices in Philadelphia, Dallas, Prague, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, and Limassol.




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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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