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What Is Content Operations? A Straight-Forward Guide

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What Is Content Operations? A Straight-Forward Guide

In a 1996 essay, Bill Gates wrote, “Content is king,” and what was true then is still true now. Content is necessary to the success of a business.

If the content is the king, we could say its operations are the queen — or at least a knight. Imagine a startup that wants to create a blog post. It’s a timely post that needs to be up before the end of Q1. Because the startup is new, it hasn’t established concrete operations for blog content. So, the post sits in a Google document with no plan for who uploads the content or what blog platform will host the information. The business has a content writer, but operations don’t typically end there.

Blog posts aren’t the only content option there are. You can incorporate over a dozen different content types, including email, videos, social media posts, podcasts, infographics, and other visual content to increase brand awareness. Without content operations, though, this content likely has no plan for production, publication, or distribution. And what good is a blog post if no one reads it?

If the goal is to post content daily, then you’ll need to identify who is performing the work? What methods are they using? What systems are necessary to get the job done?

One department is the solution to these questions — content operations.

Content operations focus on three elements:

  • People: who is performing a task and what their roles and responsibilities are.
  • Process: what functions are needed to complete a project successfully.
  • Technology: what tools help build out a content operations system.

People

In content and content operations, the people are the foundation. While customers sit at the center of content, the operations aspect focuses on the company and its team. Roles and responsibilities should be well-defined and outlined to keep the system running smoothly.

The first step is defining clear roles. Content teams have content strategists, managers, creators, editors, and more. For example, the content creation department might break down into specialized positions — content writers, graphic designers, and photographers. Although these are typical roles, some content roles and responsibilities may overlap. Content writers and editors have distinct differences. Depending on the team and its bandwidth, your writers may be responsible for editing their work. It is best to avoid overlap; however, that is sometimes impossible. As long as the roles and responsibilities are clear, the team and its operations should function successfully.

Process

Once you have a team in place, how will you get your projects from start to finish? Your people need processes. Your team — and their roles and responsibilities — will help determine workflows to keep your content moving from planning to publishing.

Say you were publishing a blog post. A sample process might go as follows:

  • Step 1: Strategize and generate the idea.
  • Step 2: Set a timeline and schedule for the post.
  • Step 3: Write the post.
  • Step 4: Edit the grammar and content.
  • Step 5: Add graphics.
  • Step 6: Optimize the post for SEO.
  • Step 7: Publish.
  • Step 8: Share.
  • Step 9: Analyze.

If one of the steps in this process falls through, it impacts the overall success of the operation. Style guidelines, templates, and content governance models strengthen processes and promote accountability and consistency. These frameworks help keep content on track, but they need to be used with technology to ensure content operations are running smoothly.

Technology

The last key to successful content operations is technology or the necessary tools for accomplishing each task. Because the planning and execution of content are so extensive, teams require multiple resources to be successful.

The technology for content operations can fall into categories such as:

  • Project Management & Scheduling
  • Task Management
  • Content Execution
  • Analytics & Reports

Project Management & Scheduling

All content should appear in an editorial calendar. It is a high-level calendar that keeps track of where, how, and most specifically, when content publishes. Not to be confused with scheduling tools that send out timed posts, like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, tools for project management and scheduling include Monday and Asana.

Task Management

Monday and Asana are also great examples of task management tools. These platforms allow for the building, following, and executing of content operations by the team.

Content Execution

Content operations also require the technology needed to execute a task. What is the team using to get the job done? Writers need access to word processing tools, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Alternatively, designers might need a variety of web and graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop or Canva.

Analytics & Reports

Analyzing and reporting is usually the last step in a content life cycle. Analysis tools measure your content and its success. WordPress, the world’s biggest blogging platform, has its analytics capabilities while thousands of companies, including General Electric and NASA, use Google Analytics to monitor their content and traffic.

Who benefits from content operations?

This is a simple question with a simple answer — everyone. Content operations provide stability and consistency at every level. Upper management personnel, like a CEO, know that the business is operating efficiently, which has a positive reflection on the company as a whole.

Content operations also benefit the members of the team who are directly involved. Team members can use clearly defined responsibilities and processes to work confidently in their roles. It can boost both workplace culture and quality of work.

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, the final group that benefits from content operations are consumers. Content is one of the biggest tools companies use to keep current and potential customers engaged. Blog posts provide valuable information and tips. Emails inform them of current or upcoming sales and promotions. As customers build relationships with businesses, they have expectations. Content operations help meet them.

Why do content operations matter?

Content operations lead to results, and they result in:

  • Saving time and money
  • Better quality content
  • Producing content faster
  • Happy and confident teams

Saving Time And Money

When a content operations team establishes a sound cycle between people, processes, and technology, it leads to efficiency. Efficiency saves time and money. Content operations allow companies to save time by reducing the time needed to get content created, approved, and published. Companies save money when their team can produce content according to schedule without additional resources, for example, extra labor or tools.

Better Quality Content

Content operations promote better quality content. Teams uphold standards for accurate, consistent, and impactful content with a structured content cycle process.

Producing Content Faster

While there should always be a focus on quality content, that content needs to get out quickly. Not all content is evergreen. When faced with an immovable deadline, content operations keep teams on schedule.

Happy And Confident Teams

When team members are unhappy or confused about their roles, responsibilities, or resources, their work may reflect it. Not only does content operations promote accountability and structure, but it allows teams to become confident in their position. It breeds a positive and happy workplace environment for all involved.

Content Operations Manager

At the head of content operation sits the content operations manager. While the title can vary from business to business, the job function is the same. The content operations manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the content team to ensure that the necessary people, process, and technology execute the content strategy.

To accomplish their overall goal, content operations managers might also be responsible for:

  • Choosing the technology and tools to support operations
  • Creating and managing company policies and procedures
  • Streamlining content processes
  • Recruiting and hiring content staff members
  • Training new staff members

In summary, the work of a content operations manager has less to do with actual content and more to do with the people, processes, and technology needed to plan, create, and publish it.

The Three Words Of Content Operations

To understand content operations, remember these three words — people, process, and technology. As long as the right people are in place, with knowledge of the processes and access to the technology, the content operations of a company should run smoothly and successfully.

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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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