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Seven digital marketing trends to look out for in 2020

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It’s 2020 and a new decade of digital marketing strategy is upon us.

With TikTok set to revolutionise the definition of snackable video content, and brand transparency guaranteed to capture the fleeting attention of Generation Z, this year’s trends will spark a dramatic shift in marketing technologies and consumer behaviours worldwide.

PPC is no different.

As an intrinsic component of the digital marketing landscape, PPC is renowned for providing a staggering ROI under the correct circumstances. The very evidence of this notion is in the statistics. PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase than organic visitors as of 2019, and 40% of brands are anxious to increase their PPC budget.

With the intricacies of PPC growing at an exponential rate year-on-year, we’ve predicted a number of trends in the field for 2020.

1. AI will transform the digital marketing landscape

We can’t refer to 2020 PPC without addressing the behemoth topic that is AI.

It’s no secret that an increasing number of agencies have invested in AI and machine learning tools in recent years – think smart campaigns and automated bidding strategies.

An enormous part of PPC’s success lies in its use of automation tools to aid invaluable decision-making frameworks. Machine learning software manages all aspects of a campaign through statistical learning methods and bid management, resulting in an impressive 22% increase in conversions as of 2018.

In 2020, machine learning and automation will continue to pick up rapid speed. With AI producing analytics and performing complex tasks faster and better than humans, Google can offer advertisers highly targeted audiences, delivering ads to those in search of specific solutions in real-time.

Gartner predicts that by the year 2024, artificial intelligence identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see. Of course, this inevitable rise of AI and the loss of control that comes with it can be daunting to those who question Google’s intent. However, the days of PPC account managers and keywords are not over – they are simply changing.

2. Savvy marketers will use multiple platforms

When it comes to the staggering success of PPC, the majority of marketers still think solely of networks implemented by the duopoly of Facebook and Google.

In 2020, smart marketers are predicted to test multiple platforms in order to decipher whether or not an individual platform will be advantageous to their marketing strategy. With social media growing at a remarkably fast pace, testing platforms for LinkedIn Ads, Amazon Ads, and Twitter Ads offers the chance to experiment with new PPC networks, indulge in a variety of targeting options, and reach millions of customers worldwide.

Of course, social media is just a small cornerstone in the expansive maze of PPC networks. From Bing, to Bidvertiser, to RevContent, to Advertise.com, there are multiple, specialised platforms out there for marketers to effectively implement a PPC campaign.

In summary – marketers will broaden their PPC platform horizons this 2020.

3. Target audiences will be reached consistently

2020 will be the year of consistent, strategic audience targeting.

While 2019 focused on audience targeting through remarketing lists for search ads and custom affinity audiences, 2020 will focus on targeting audiences at specific touch points throughout the buying journey. Savvy marketers will speak to their target audience at the right time and in a way that enables customer growth, instead of bombarding them with one message for a direct sale.

According to the Marketo Engagement Gap Report, 56% of consumers believe businesses need to have a deeper understanding of their needs. In 2020, marketers will be forced to consider how their advertising improves customer wellbeing and fulfils personal learning.

In short, marketers are shifting their attention to the heart of all successful PPC campaigns: the people.

Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN) will also continue to drive audience targeting in 2020, combining user intent from search with user profile data to match consumers with advertisers.

4. PPC marketers will be forced to up their strategy

With automation set to replace both data-driven and mundane tasks, PPC marketers will be forced to either drive innovation through their own strategy, or fall dangerously behind.

While it is impossible for an individual to compete with the genius complexities of Google’s automated technology, PPC marketers will be required to adopt a more strategic mindset for themselves and for their clients. Instead of focusing on tasks now automated, marketers will be encouraged to develop their creativity and target audience strategy.

Learning the strengths and weaknesses of a broad scope of automation tools and embracing CRM data is the key to deciphering whether or not AI options are best practice for campaign management. Working with AI to build successful campaigns and not as a subordinate, marketers can also optimise their own process by building algorithms to automate tasks.

So, smart marketers will adapt to AI in order to survive and strive.

5. The rise of chatbots

A chatbot is a software program that interacts with customers and site visitors in a way that is both natural-sounding and real-time. This strategy can save massive costs on hiring someone to monitor your website and communicate with visitors on an ad hoc basis. A chatbot is personable, unbiased and informative. It allows customers to make faster decisions and makes users feel like they’re being treated as individuals.

If you’re not already on the chatbot train, you’d be well advised to buy a ticket. Decide whether it’s necessary to use software unique to your company or one of the existing options on the market. This choice is contingent on your budget and the predicted complexity of the audience-chatbot interactions.

6. Up your personalised content marketing game (again)

The competition never sleeps in digital marketing. Every single company is on the lookout for the next big thing, the freshest ideas, the most unique and quirky advertising strategies. High-quality content is and always will be one of the most effective ways of generating leads and closing deals.

As we move into the 2020s, consumers are increasingly insisting on adverts with depth. Your content needs to become even more focused, even more highly specialised, in recognition of your consumers’ idiosyncrasies and preferences. Ultimately, you should be striving for a user experience that is holistic, multichannel and incomparably personable.

7. PPC and SEO will become close allies

Although they are often deemed each other’s nemeses, PPC and SEO have a crucial relationship that drives the results of a campaign.

In 2020, this relationship will be better used to maximise success. By exchanging important keyword data and SEO ranking data, SEO and PPC teams will integrate to identify position strategy and increase SERP coverage for all clients.

Why is 2020 the year for PPC and SEO integration? After all, this relationship has been building for multiple years. It is more important than ever before for marketers to address the relationship between PPC and SEO because they will be forced to reconsider their strategy in a landscape driven by constant change.

Many still approach PPC and SEO as completely separate strategies with separate results. 2020 is the year for marketers to broaden their horizons and rebuild old fashioned strategies from the ground up.

The world of PPC is constantly changing. Can you keep up? Push are a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency, a leading voice in both Europe and on the global stage when it comes to online advertising trends. Get in touch with Push today and one of our friendly digital marketing experts will set you on the path to pastures new and uncharted technological territory for you and your business! Count on us.

Charlie Carroll, commercial director at Push Group.

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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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