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What’s Your Word for 2023? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

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What's Your Word for 2023? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Happy new year.

It’s that time. You dust off the journals neglected in the end-of-the-year rush. You locate the gym membership card and wonder if it will still scan since it’s been a few months – or maybe a few years, given the concern about being around people. And you create New Year’s resolutions.

Or maybe you don’t.

Have you come up with your 2023 word yet?

Resolutions seem so old school. Instead, pick one word to summarize your intentions and hopes for the new year. I’ve been doing it for about 20 years, and it’s worked well.

My yearly word sets the foundation for where I want to focus. It acts as the root of all the intentions I write in my new year journaling.

My word for 2023: balance.

But it may not be the balance you think.

@Robert_Rose’s word for 2023 is balance. But it might not be the definition you think via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When you think “balance,” an image of a scale with two equal weights providing perfect symmetry may come to mind. So, when saying things like “work-life balance,” “resource balance,” or even our “balance sheet,” you believe it’s about adding or removing the force of one to equalize everything.

Now, that’s not wrong. It’s the first definition in the dictionary – “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” But the second definition fits my intention for the year – a “condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” (The emphasis is mine.)

Striking the right balance

Finding the correct proportions for my work is my focus for 2023. But the question is, “Proportions of what?”

I’m not looking to make a calculated decision on the amount of work I do in one area so that I can focus on some new innovative project. Yes, I’ll reconfigure my activities (as we all do), but that’s just determining the weights that fill my containers of time.

That’s not my focus this year. My focus is on balancing the meaning of each of those weights.

I’ll ask myself about my balance of satisfaction in how I do those activities, so I can build my life in the way that feels the most rewarding.

Let me explain.

Whenever I told my grandfather I was unhappy at my job or frustrated developing a skill, he would ask: “What are you building?” Then he would tell me this story:

A man happens upon three stonecutters. He stops and asks what they’re doing. The first stonecutter pauses and says, “I’m cutting stones. I’m doing my job. I’m making a living.” The second stonecutter never stops hammering as he says breathlessly, “I’m cutting and polishing the best-crafted stones in the entire country.” The third stonecutter takes a moment, points to the horizon, and smiles, “I am happy. I’m building a cathedral that will one day stand there.”

Most know they don’t want to be the first stonecutter. Most people want more than simply “doing the job” or “making a living.”

However, it can be easy to get lost as the second stonecutter. You fool yourself into thinking you’re working toward something worthwhile – the equivalent of beautifully polished stones. That was both 2021 and 2022 for me.

Are you building a cathedral or cutting the best-crafted stones (i.e. stories)? Too many strive for the latter, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Worthwhile or worthwhile?

There are years when you end up with a lot of what seems like quality work and perhaps a full bank account to show for it. But you constantly pushed, forced, and sweated your way to that destination. You’re a living embodiment of the mantra I hate: “No pain, no gain.”

You believe the pushing is worth your while. You’ve got the best-crafted stones. You’ve balanced your activities optimally to get there. But, maybe, if you listen just a bit more closely, you realize it’s “worthwhile” with a little “w.”

There was nothing bigger in your mind. There’s no satisfaction in contributing to the larger picture you hope to see painted, even if it may be painted over after you’re long gone.

When you’re in this mode, you may move from job to job, taking your commitment to excellence and frustration with you. It doesn’t matter if you “quiet quit” and give yourself that side hustle that embodies the opportunity you think you want. Instead, you push and push, still feeling frustrated and like it’s not enough.

Which stonecutter will you be?

Last month, I talked with the CEO of a content marketing technology startup. He was as frustrated as he’d ever been. A former journalist, he now runs a venture-based company looking to grow quickly. He wasn’t frustrated by the usual startup challenge of feeding the growth engine. He knew he could create a company that made money. He was frustrated that he didn’t know how to change the industry.

He said, “Increasingly, I see myself separate from my business, polishing some separate jewel instead of feeding my passion. We are now wholly focused on building things that will sell or satisfy growth rather than the things we think are meaningful.”

I told him the story of the three stonecutters and asked, “What are you building?”

I asked if he might consider adapting some of the same aspects of his new job that he was less comfortable with. I asked him if he might rebalance the meaning of his business so he didn’t see himself as separate from it. I asked him if he might ask his team to consider why they are cutting stones. I said, “It’s not just balancing which activities you’re doing; it’s rebalancing why and how you do them.”

I asked him to consider the same question I’ve asked myself: How do I allow for the right mindset to create more satisfaction?

People (including me) often try to force solutions. They think, “If I just push harder, sell more instead of writing more thought leadership, or say no to more things then I’ll get better results.”

I’ve found that things can “get better” even when I still do #allthethings. Approaching them with a different intention allows me to rebalance their meaning in my work.

That’s what I want to remember by making balance my word for 2023.

What’s your word for 2023? Let me know in the comments. I hope whatever you choose gives you the satisfaction of knowing you’re building cathedrals.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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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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