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410 N. Boylan Ave
Raleigh, NC 27603
TriMark Studios
401 N. West Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Featured Projects
  • 6 Ways Animation Can Improve Your Creative During COVID-19
    TriMark office space

Did you know that in the last few weeks video consumption has grown exponentially? With most of the country working remotely, it’s not all that surprising. In fact, we’d be willing to bet you’ve watched some form of video in the last hour.

With your audience spending more time at home, they are about as captive as it gets. This makes it prime time to explore video use in your own marketing efforts. But how?

Capturing live-action videos can be tricky while maintaining physical distancing best practices. But there’s a risk-free alternative that you may not have considered before: animation.

With animation, any story you want to tell, any message you want to deliver, or any world you want to build can be done completely remotely. And in these times of rapid change, you can get your message in front of your audience safely and expeditiously. 

Here are 6 ways that animation can continue to push your creative forward while your team works from home.

Make the most of a single image.

Are you trying to stretch your image gallery while you wait until your next photoshoot? With animation, you have the ability to repurpose a single photo into something much more impactful. 

An animator can turn one static image of your product into an engaging and entertaining video. Whether you are manipulating the photo to include additional design elements or to create a live-action look, you’ll be amazed at how much more effective your image becomes.

Animating text onto your image is another great way to breathe new life into it. You’ll still show off your wonderful photography while including a message, a deal, or a story.

Showcase a specific product.

A new product launch is another instance when creative assets can be slim. Often there may not be any photos of the product yet. Luckily, that does not slow down the animation process! 

An animator can create an illustration of your product that is as simple or complex as you like. You could even use illustration as an opportunity to create a visually stunning video that captures the audience’s attention.

Or if you want your creative to look as realistic as possible, then explore 3D animation. With 3D modeling and animation, you can recreate your entire product line or store environment. It’s a wonderful way to highlight product details and control the setting, without a video production or photoshoot.

Create a scene full of people while distanced.

Though it’s still possible to shoot live-action, if you are counting on scenes featuring large groups of people, it won’t be easy to achieve. An empty store, office, or cityscape can make the video feel cold, or serve as an unnecessary reminder of what’s happening in the world. 

Animation allows you to create a lively scene that’s full of people. Though they will be animated characters, these simulated smiles and laughs can have the same effect on the video’s mood and create a sense of community.

If you chose not to include characters in your animation, remember that colors have an effect on our feelings. Using bright colors can help elevate emotions. Pair that with fun motion, cheerful music, positive-sounding voice over for a lighthearted animation.

Improve your retention rate.

Besides providing a break from reality that’s easy on the eyes, animation has wonderful retention rates. This is primarily due to its ability to provide the viewer with information in three different ways, often all at once. 

First, visuals like icons help simplify the message. Second, on-screen text like callouts allow viewers to read along. Third, voice over reiterates what they are seeing on-screen in the form of audio. 

Together these three elements help make complex information simple and easy to understand.

Establish strong brand recognition.

Brand recognition comes from strong brand guidelines. Animation can put your brand colors, icon style, photography, and typography to work in a new way that’s true to your look and feel.

Experimenting with animation allows you to expand the type of creative you share without completely reinventing your brand. You’ll find you can explore new ways to show your personality and deliver messages while maintaining your unique and recognizable style.

Reuse the assets for other platforms.

When creating an animation, many elements are created from scratch through design, illustration, 3D, or photo manipulation. These new elements can be reused across multiple platforms. That means one animation project could provide you with additional, unexpected assets, giving you more bang for your buck!

For example, if the animator creates a set of icons to visually show the services you offer, those new icons could then be used on your website, email, print, or wherever you may find a use for it.

Not to mention that the animation itself can be cut and reworked into various sizes and time lengths. This is extremely helpful if you have multiple social media platforms for your business. To be most efficient, it helps to know these size requests at the beginning to ensure the animation is created with this in mind. 

Start Your Animation Project
In case you need some ideas of where animation can help your business, review this list of examples:

  • About Us
  • Brand Development
  • Case Studies
  • Commercials
  • Email
  • Entertainment
  • Explainer
  • Informational
  • Internal
  • Offers
  • Pre Roll
  • Product
  • Promos
  • Recruitment
  • Social
  • Testimonials
  • Training
  • Websites
  • And Many More

All businesses are being forced to adapt and be flexible. Animation is one way you can be nimble and produce beautiful creative remotely. Let’s discuss how we can leverage it for your business. 

If you would like to find out how animation can help your brand grow during these difficult times, and in the future, reach out to us today!

  • The Secret to Writing Killer Content for SEO
    TriMark office space

Search engine optimization (SEO) and high-quality content writing go hand in hand. 

That’s because a website that earns a first-page ranking (the holy grail of SEO) is written for both the search engine and humans. 

If your content is not well-optimized for SEO, you run the risk that 1) your content appeals to readers but can’t be easily found, or 2) your website ranks high but has a high bounce rate because your content isn’t useful. Neither of these scenarios will drive the right traffic to your website and brand.

Watch our SEO and content specialists explain why your website’s SEO strategy is only as strong as its content, and what exactly makes content SEO-friendly.

 
Transcript

Josh: Hey, everyone. I’m Josh, a Search Marketing Analyst here at TriMark Digital.

Molly: And I’m Molly, a content writer.  Today we’re going to be discussing why it’s so important that your website has SEO-friendly content.

Molly: SEO has been a digital marketing tactic for over a decade – but it’s changed a lot over the years. Strategies that worked 2 years ago may not be as effective today. 

Josh: That’s right! Google has made a holistic effort to focus search results on delivering the best content for the user. That means your content has to be exactly that — useful, and relevant, and discoverable. In other words, if the user is happy, search engines are happy. 

Molly: Google wants to provide users with the best possible answers to the questions being searched. To rank #1, your content must be good. That means it’s straightforward and comprehensive, clearly answering the search query.

Josh: The result: your customers find what they need, and you position yourself as the trusted resource they’ll be more likely to do business with.

Molly: Writing for SEO is basically just good writing that’s well-targeted against common queries customers have. At TriMark, our content and SEO strategists team up to ask ourselves, “What does my audience really want to know?” 

Josh: Keyword research is a big part of this. You never truly know your audience until you see what they search for. By doing keyword research, we can tap directly into your user’s motivations and behaviors to see what they are searching for right now. 

Molly: Once we figure out what your audience wants, we can evaluate what’s currently top-ranking for that topic and then make your content even better.

Josh: It might even achieve the coveted featured snippet, which means you’ll show up at the very top.

Molly: Google values these bulleted lists and tables because they help to break up long paragraphs and make it easier to scan the page. 

Josh: Writing SEO-friendly content is critical for your business. When done right, your website will rank higher in the search results, helping you to increase your organic traffic while outranking the competition.

Molly: If you need help writing content for SEO or have any questions about our marketing services, please visit our website at trimarkdigital.com. Thanks for watching!

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  • See What Made Our Holidays a Bit Brighter
    TriMark office space

Since 2009, TriMark Digital has “adopted” hundreds of angels through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. This program helps thousands of local children each year experience the delight of opening gifts during the holidays. Sponsors donate new clothes and toys for each angel to bring a little holiday cheer to those Wake County families who need it most.

TriMark embraced the call to give back to those in need, and we are excited to announce that 2019 was our biggest donation year yet! On November 22nd, we gathered at Target in our tackiest holiday sweaters for our 12th annual Angel Tree shopping spree to bring joy to 153 children in the Triangle area. In total, we donated nearly $4,000 in gifts of new clothing and toys. 

 

As part of the tradition, we brought our competitive spirit while shopping. Once divided into 7 teams, each group was challenged to spend as close to $25 per child without going over. The catch: no calculators were allowed to help tally the total amount spent on their collective children. The winning team spent $492.85 on 20 angels—just a few dollars shy of their $500 limit. 

This special event is one of our favorite days all year. Watch our video below to share in the fun and laughter we had as we brought joy to many families in our community. To learn more about this program, learn how you can adopt an angel.

  • Behind the Scenes at the 2019 Drive Action with YouTube Summit in NYC
    TriMark office space

Last week, specialists from our marketing, creative and paid media teams attended a YouTube summit to dive into the latest video targeting technologies and spend time with other creative marketers. Check it out.

 
  • How Quality Content Helps You Win Trust and Influence Customers—Seriously
    TriMark office space

Today’s digital marketing leaders are all about content marketing. Here’s why you should buy into the hype.

You’ve heard SEOs say it time and time again: Content is King. But what does that really mean, anyway? What kind of content are we talking about here, and what can it actually do for your business?

First of all, know that your business likely already has some type of content in place—whether it’s strategic and properly optimized is another story. At a fundamental level, content consists of anything your company puts forth to convey messages to target audiences. That includes any text currently on your company’s website. It also includes blogging, social media posts, e-mail marketing, whitepapers, infographics, video and more.

But these days, not just any content will earn you customer favor. At its core, truly rich digital content—the kind that’s rewarded in search engines and generates traction among audiences—consists of far more than just words on a page (however targeted those words may be). As search engines become more and more sophisticated, traditional SEO tactics like keyword-targeting and link-building alone aren’t enough to keep your page in prime SERP-territory. In fact, today’s algorithms are so advanced that Random Acts of Content (aka pages that are duplicative, stuffed with keywords or provide no discernible value) can actually get your site penalized, kicking you out of Google’s good graces altogether.

To bring it back full-circle, content marketing is worth your investment for a variety of reasons. For starters, quality content keeps users on your site longer, giving them more time to interact and potentially do business with your brand. It optimizes your sites for peak searchability, builds relationships with target audiences and can convert real, measurable leads. Think of it like this: Rather than spending ample time chasing after your target audience, with the right content strategy, you can essentially lure the customers to you.

Content Gets You On Google’s Radar (And Keeps You There)

When it comes to SEO, every business vies for valuable Page 1 real estate. But today, search engines are savvier than ever, and only award that prime visibility to pages deemed truly deserving. Though constant algorithm advancements continue to refine the “winning” formula, search engines are trending in a clear direction: Reward sites offering useful, high-quality content, and penalize those with irrelevant or low-quality content.

What is High-Quality Content, Anyway?

Google’s ultimate goal is to populate results a user will find most helpful to their particular query. Since crawlers can’t actually digest page content themselves, they rely on certain cues to help determine where a page falls among the ranks with trillions of others, allowing the crème de la crème to rise to the top. Content is considered “high-quality” if it’s deemed relevant, substantive and authoritative in regard to the topic at hand.

To decipher what’s quality and what isn’t, search engines have evolved to the point where they’re now able to analyze context rather than just individual words, helping better understand user intent. Perhaps Amit Singhal, Google VP of Search, describes Google’s latest algorithm, Hummingbird, the best: “With more complex queries, the algorithm can better understand concepts vs. words as well as relationships between concepts.” And that’s just one update. The big picture: Search engines are now all about context, context, context.

These updates don’t mean keywords and link-building SEO tactics are suddenly obsolete. The difference is that now, Google judges a page’s quality based on the total package. So for example, if my company sells home furniture, I can’t create 10 different pages with “Leather Sectional Couches” in the title and throughout the body, but that ramble on about my love for fantasy football in between. I can, however, create 10 pages that target “Leather Sectional Couches” as a key term, but provide relevant context that’s rich and not just filler text—for example, the pros and cons of Leather vs. Suede, tips on how to make a large couch work in any room, and possibly even a fun-to-read blog post on how leather sectional couches can be perfect for watching the Sunday games. It’s all about making your content relevant to the reader.

The Fuel Your SEO is Waiting For

All that in a nutshell: Quality content is now one of the most important factors in determining your site’s PageRank. Advanced algorithms judge pages not just by links and keywords, but also by the quality of the content those elements are woven into. By offering up more high-quality content, you give you give Google more credible resource to crawl when filtering search results, making you more likely to wind up among the elite.

Content Brings Customers to You

A million customers could be searching for the exact products and services your company offers—but how can they discover you if you don’t put your company out there for the finding? If leveraged correctly, content can earn you valuable face-time with Google AND with target audiences, drawing potential customers directly to your company’s pages through a variety of channels.

Consider a blogging program, for example. By posting regularly on a company blog about topics that are of interest and provide helpful information to your target audience—yet that still relate to your business and expertise—you increase your chances of landing on a customer’s radar even further. In fact, according to research, blogs give sites on average 434% more indexed pages—that’s huge. Research also shows that companies with blogs had 55% more visitors than companies without.

Whether you’re launching a blog, writing guests posts for another blog, expanding upon existing site pages or posting to social media channels, the more information you put out into the Webosphere, the more content search engines have to index. And the more content search engines have to index, the more you enhance a) your company’s visibility and b) opportunities for target audiences to stumble upon your company and interact with your content.

Google also factors in volume of dynamic content associated with your site to determine your relative subject-matter authority, which can boost SEO. Are you offering valuable insight to audiences? Are you putting out white papers? Are you a thought-leader in your industry? Do you provide useful tips for potential customers? The more high-quality content you generate, the more credible your company becomes to search engines. The more credible you are, the higher you rank in SERPs. It’s a self-feeding system, which is what we call a win-win.

Content Earns You Trust the Organic Way

More than just earning the favor of search engines, for any digital content to be effective, you ultimately have to earn the favor of customers. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Marketing in the 21st century poses its own set of challenges. In a world where customers are constantly bombarded with pitches, pushes and direct sells, traditional advertising isn’t as effective as it once was. That’s where content marketing steps in and shines. Rather than telling prospective customers how great your company is and why they should do business with you, you have the unique opportunity to actually demonstrate that value first-hand, helping customers arrive at that same conclusion on their own.

Today’s Web-surfers are looking for sites offering up information that’s helpful or of direct benefit to them. They’re less impressed by claims of greatness—instead, they want to experience it for themselves. According to research, 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers customized content, and are therefore more likely to buy from that company—and it makes sense. Think about it: Are you more likely to believe in a company that’s their own biggest cheerleader, or a company that proves they understand you by anticipating your interests and addressing them outright?

For example, if I’m a roofing company looking to stand out from my competitors, I could mention my expert team of contractors on various pages of my site—or, I could demonstrate my company’s expertise by posting a blog about, say, the importance of having your roof inspected before winter. The second approach accomplishes two critical things: First, I’m demonstrating that my company truly understands the necessity of the services we provide. Secondly, since winter is around the corner, it gets customers thinking about whether they should get their own roofs inspected—and if so, since I’ve already demonstrated authority on the subject, they’ll be more likely to entrust that service to me.

Content Fulfills Needs and Build Relationships

Remember that people turn to search engines for a reason. Let’s go alllll the way back to SEO 101 for a second. When a person types something into Google, they’re looking for something specific—whether that’s an answer to a question, details for a specific service, helpful tips, recommendations, etc.

Content gives you a unique platform to talk back, providing the exact answers/solutions your customers are looking for. With the Hummingbird algorithm’s new “conversational search” features, Google can better interpret complex search queries, such as full questions or thoughts. In using those insights to inform your content, your company can help fulfill customer needs, forging a connection between them and your brand.

But content strategies leave much deeper imprint on a brand’s perceived value.

Beyond answering questions and offering up valuable info, content actually humanizes your brand, establishing an individualized voice in an otherwise crowded marketplace. When brands have the opportunity to communicate with consumers, either via blogs, on social media channels or otherwise, they’re doing more than just engaging—they’re opening two-way lines of communications. That lays the groundwork for lasting customer relationships.

Believe it or not, customers notice. According to surveys, 90% of customers find custom content useful, and 78% believe that brands who provide custom content are interested in forging good relationships with them. Quality content on blogs and social media channels is also highly shareable, which helps word-of-mouth. In fact, according to a recent study from Syncapse, 31% of users “Like” a brand’s Facebook page to share their good experiences with others.

Content Converts Leads

Most content marketing “best practices” are rooted in strategies that ultimately improve the user experience. Relevant, helpful, authentic content makes a customer more comfortable with your brand from the start, and the easier you make it for customers to find your content, the easier you make their shopping and decision-making processes. Already, you’ve differentiated yourself from your competition and, plainly speaking, that will ultimately make customers want to buy from you.

But don’t just take our word for it—the proof is in the numbers. See for yourself:

  • 57% of companies who blog have acquired a new customer via that channel. [HubSpot]
  • 92% of bloggers who post multiple times per day have gained a customer through their blog. [HubSpot]
  • 70% of marketers feel that content marketing has increased their brand awareness, 59% believe it supports growth in sales, and 45% say it has reduced spend on advertising. [Business Bolt via iMediaConnection]
  • 51% of businesses have acquired a customer through LinkedIn, 71% through Facebook and 55% through Twitter [HubSpot]

Optimization strategies get content in front of your target audiences, and the quality of your content can help convert those into measurable leads.

Why You Should Feed the Content Machine

According to a recent Unisphere survey, nearly half of the businesses polled reported having a formal content strategy in place.

As search engine algorithms advance, customer marketing preferences evolve and the marketplace grows even more cluttered with noise, it’s clear that strategic, quality content will play a key component in any integrated digital strategy that truly gets a brand seen and heard. To achieve maximum visibility, it’s looking like it’s no longer an option for brands to opt out.

What are some examples of cool content marketing initiatives you’ve seen? Have any techniques worked well for your business? We’d love to hear about them!