Google and Phenaki release AI video generators


It’s probably not the same level as watching the Space Race…

… But the pursuit of AI video generation sure is interesting to watch.

What’s going on: Days after Meta announced Make-a-Video—its artificial intelligence (AI) video generator—Google and Phenaki announced video generators of their own.

Looks good: Google’s Imagen generator can produce high definition videos several seconds long.

Yes, initial images still appear distorted, and objects and movement can look unnatural and blend in impossible ways… but the results are still remarkable.

Story time: Also, the founders of Phenaki launched their own text-to-video generator yesterday.

Phenaki prompts allow room for narratives and stories, and can generate videos lasting several minutes. Wild.

Why we care: It seemed impossible a few years ago, but AI-produced video is now becoming a viable industry with multiple competitors.

These tools could make video production much easier—and cheaper— for marketers without the skills or budget.


Google updates Display & Video 360 targeting, Meta renames ad policies

That’s not a peace sign we’re holding up.

It’s two fingers for the two ad updates we’ve got below…

Hooray for display: Google released two updates for Display & Video 360:

  • Optimized targeting may help you increase your reach by combining machine learning algorithms with your campaign settings to find relevant customers. It’s currently available for YouTube Video Action campaigns, and will be expanding to all display and video campaigns in the next few months. Exciting.
  • Exchange Provided Identifiers (EPID) help Display & Video 360 trade new signals with first party publishers in Google’s backend to improve ad quality without compromising user privacy. Sounds like good news for publishers and customers.

Still rebranding: Facebook’s Advertising Policies are now Meta Advertising Standards.

Meta says they’re not changing the scope of these policies or how they enforce them, and they’re not adding any new standards—just consolidating and streamlining.

You’ll find all policies in Meta’s Transparency Center.

Why we care: Google’s gradual steps away from cookies and towards first-party and programmatic advertising could be good for ad engagement… and your ROAS.

And while Meta hasn’t changed policies, now’s a good time to review them—especially if you’re fuzzy on the details and don’t want any interruptions during the holidays.

And now, an interesting question for you…


Should you stop charging people to use your product?


Here’s what the founder of Stack Overflow and Trello says about pricing:

“The only business models I want to work on any more have some mass-market component that is absolutely free, and a niche companion product that makes money off of the exhaust fumes of the mass-market component.”

He used that formula for both companies. Give a product away for free. Then earn revenue off 1% of your user base by charging for a premium product.

Why it works: A free quality product can attract an enormous audience, while a large user base provides the marketing and advertising channel that sustains the paid product.

It’s worked for Stack Overflow and Trello—both are leaders in their industries.

Picking the right business model can make or break a company.

Want to explore business models or optimize your own? Get advanced insights in the October Stacked Marketer Pro report.


How source types influence the SERP


Many content marketers and SEOs follow a similar playbook:

They study search engine results pages (SERP), read ranking informational articles, and develop a strategy to outrank them by creating similar content.

But according to Dan Taylor, this method is becoming outdated. It ignores the most important element: source types within the results page.

“Wait… what are source types, and why do they matter?” Apparently Google doesn’t only identify the article context—it looks at the entire domain to understand search intent.

Then, it

  • Example A: Dan lists results for “rotating proxy manager query,” and explains that two domains—Oxylabs and Zyte—will appear above every other domain on the diverse first page, simply because they’re commercial websites with lead generation as main intent.
  • Example B: The “pardot alternative” query shows 10 informational, non-commercial articles on the first page, such as Capterra blog and GetApp. This is because Google understands the “x alternative” query is intended to inform, not to sell.

So if your website is a “pardot alternative” SaaS, it won’t appear on the first SERP organically, no matter how great the quality of your content for the keyword.

Knowing the source types Google prefers for specific queries will help you determine if they’re profitable terms for you to target or not.

How to help Google understand your website’s source type: According to Dan, it’s all about topic clustering and frequency.

It’s why you’ll see high authority informational websites like Capterra ranking on the first page for a wide range of different tech queries.

You need to design a solid information architecture on your website that enables bots to seamlessly crawl your pages.

You’ll also want to create clickable, high-authority assets for non-brand search terms.

Makes sense, right? By better understanding source types on the first page, you can produce effective strategies and forecasts that drive better results, quicker.

Test it out, let us know how it goes!


The Growth Newsletter: Get 3 advanced marketing tactics in your inbox


Following trends and news helps you stay in the know. But the best way to improve your marketing? Study what top marketers are actually doing.

That’s what you get with the Growth Newsletter.

Each week, we interview experts to get actionable growth tactics. Then we share them with you.

See examples and get the next one here.


Debates about hustle culture miss the point


It’s hard to go a day on Twitter without finding another discussion about hustle culture, hard work, and the ethics of asking employees to go above and beyond.

There are generally two camps of opinion on this:

  • Pro-hustlers: Working super-long hours and putting in 110% effort is necessary to building anything valuable.
  • Anti-hustlers: Working super-long hours and putting in 110% effort is toxic, unhealthy, and leads to poor performance.

Would it surprise you if we said that neither are painting the real picture?

The “pro-hustlers” are wrong in the sense that most people’s brains are probably only capable of doing about 5 hours of focused knowledge work each day.

They’re missing the fact that it’s intense focus that makes great work, not long hours.

Four hours of intensely-focused work will often equal fourteen hours of unfocused work.

The anti-hustlers are partly right.

But, it’s still true that most founders work 12+ hours a day and many startup employees work 50–60+ hours per week.

Most successful people work long, difficult hours, at least to start—and the same can be said for many marketers.

So where does this leave us?

The Crew’s Insight: Most debate about hustle culture is meaningless, because it devolves into the same trappings that ruin most online discussion—oversimplification.

Sure, 12-hour days might be necessary for some people to succeed at some companies. Others might be raking in the dough working only four hours a day.

At Stacked Marketer, we focus on doing great work… or at least, what we consider to be great work.

Sometimes that means some extra “hustling.” Sometimes it’s more relaxed. But, in the end, it’s not about hustling at all; it’s about doing focused work.


PAID SURVEYS: Get paid to participate in marketing surveys run by the best companies in the world. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at what these companies do while making $10-$200 to answer questions. Learn more about the kinds of input others need in their marketing.*

GOOGLE: Leave reviewers alone. Google just added a new bullet to its guidelines under deceptive content, saying that discouraging or prohibiting negative reviews is forbidden, and so is encouraging positive reviews. No kidding.

ADVERTISING: Your ads don’t have to be wise… if you incentivize. Three out of four people in the UK would gladly view ads in exchange for free, quality content. Especially if the ads are visual, creative, and interesting.

LINKEDIN: Beware of the bots! Apparently LinkedIn is becoming flooded with fake profiles created from AI-generated profile pictures and random text taken from real accounts. Tell your recruiters!

*This is a sponsored post


What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?

You can find the answer here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

The robot did my homework


SEOs and online writers, you needn’t fear AI writing tools.

But teachers, on the other hand…

It seems like AI is sustaining side hustle ventures among students. One poster on Reddit said they’ve been using an AI writing tool to write essays and school projects.

The poster admitted to have banked $100 already by “writing” homework for his classmates.

Genius… or criminal?

We have to say, it wouldn’t surprise us to see this kid listed in Forbes 30 under 30 soon…

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