• A Day in the Life: On Set with TriMark Productions
    TriMark office space

We went behind the scenes with our TriMark Productions video team as they shot a 30-second commercial spot to understand everything that happens on set. From the Director giving notes to talent to the gaffer getting the lighting just right, we got to see all the moving pieces that go into getting the perfect shot. Here’s how our sneak peek of the video production process went.

Who Does What On Production Day?

A video crew is a bit like an army—everyone has a specific job within an important hierarchy. While most video professionals are multitaskers capable of filling many roles, the more specific a crew member’s focus is, the higher the production quality will be. Here are the key players found on every TriMark Productions set:

The Director

The job of the creative lead on set is to turn words on a page into visuals on a screen. Directing talent, conducting interviews and working with the Director of Photography to design shots that convey the story and brand message all fall under their responsibility.

The Director of Photography

They’re in charge of all aspects of capturing footage, including lighting, lens choice, camera operation and shot design. Frequently, a Director of Photography will lead an entire camera department, which may include assistants, grips, gaffers and more.

The Producer

Their role is to manage the logistical and budgetary aspects of the project. They are responsible for ensuring the Director, Director of Photography and other key creative roles have the tools and information needed to bring a project to fruition.

The Sound Op

A Sound Op is the ears of the production, responsible for recording, mixing and organizing all necessary sound—from interview voices to sound effects. 

The Gaffer

The gaffer is in charge of lighting, including the maintenance of equipment. They work directly with the Director of Photography to design and place lights and other gear to create a style, look and tone for a particular shot. If the shoot is outdoors, they have the added challenge of maintaining consistent lighting throughout the day rather than in a controlled indoor environment.

The Grip

Their tasks range from being an extra set of hands for carrying gear to complex production engineering. Other responsibilities include rigging cameras, lights and other equipment to achieve a particular effect.

Behind the scenes video shoot at gold course with golf cart

What Exactly Happens on Production Day?

Every day on set has the same process of setting up, filming scenes, rearranging sets and tearing down. But how long does it all take? Like almost everything related to digital marketing, it depends. 

Productions can range from three to four hours to several days. An average shoot day is eight to 10 hours from setup to teardown—and most of that time is spent setting up, tearing down, changing locations or getting a shot just right. The more elements a production has, the longer it takes to capture.

Here’s what a typical day on set for a 30-second commercial can look like:

8 a.m. – Call Time

Cast and crew members are told when to arrive on set days before the shoot. As soon as everyone is there, a brief production meeting is held to ensure everyone knows their job, and the setup process begins. Sets, cameras, lights, talent and all other elements for the first scene are put into place.

9 a.m. – Scene 1 Filming Begins

This is where the real fun starts. Finally, all the ideas begin to come to life. Some scenes may only need three or four takes to get the perfect shot, while others may take much more than that to get the ideal lighting, angles, actions or other elements.

10:30 – Turnaround for Scene 2

Once the leads on set are satisfied with all the footage from the first scene, it’s time to move on to the second. However, all the elements used for the first scene have to be rearranged and set back up, talent has to be briefed on the upcoming shot and lighting has to be readjusted. Sometimes, there is an entire change in location, which can take a lot of time out of the day.

11 a.m. – Scene 2 Filming

After everything is back in place, the team has all the equipment fine-tuned to the proper setting and the talent is ready, the next scene can begin filming. Everyone on set is more comfortable with their role by this point, and any hiccups that may have occurred in the first scene are typically smoothed out.

12:30 p.m. – Lunch Break

Production can be grueling, so ensuring the cast and crew are hydrated, fed and have breaks is a crucial part of production management. Having lunches catered to the filming location keeps everyone on set the entire day and ensures production day stays on schedule.

1 p.m. – Turnaround For Scene 3

Now that everyone is full, hydrated and rested, it’s time to get back to work. All elements for the final scene are put in place to end the day strong. If the shoot is outdoors, it may take a bit longer to readjust camera angles and lighting with the afternoon sun to keep the shots consistent with what was filmed earlier in the morning.

1:30 – Scene 3 Filming

Finally, the story we’re telling comes alive. Now is the time to shoot the last scene, get any last-minute angles, take still shots for future social media posts and check the shot list one last time to make sure everything was captured. But everyone can’t go home just yet.

3 p.m. – Wrap

Even when all the filming is complete, the work of tearing down has just begun. With so much expensive equipment involved in the production process, everything must be broken down and stored away correctly. Like setup and turnarounds, this, too, takes time.

Video camera on set of video filming

What Happens After Wrap?

The second the camera stops recording, the post-production process begins. Making a video is like baking a cake, and this is where all the ingredients are mixed together and thrown in the oven. Editing, music sourcing, color grading, recording voice-overs and animating all happen after wrap.

Once edits are complete, the video is delivered to the marketing strategists and the client, who will identify the platforms and strategies where the video can best communicate the brand’s message.

Whether your goal is to drive brand awareness or qualified leads, there’s a place in every strategy for video. Working with a team of marketing and creative professionals is the best way to maximize your content, tell your brand story and achieve your business goals. Passionate about integrated digital marketing, our experts can help you identify social media, web, CTV and OTT opportunities to share your video with your target audience and drive lasting results.

  • Digital Marketing Essentials: 4 Strategies Every Local Business Needs
    TriMark office space

In today’s mobile-first world, business owners have had to adapt to the digital model that’s grabbing the attention of more and more potential customers.

In industries where the majority of leads were gained with the free in-home consultation model, many brands are finding that is no longer enough. As a business owner, you have to meet your potential customers where they’re spending most of their time, and these days, it’s online. Whether on Google, social media, or email, the typical user spends an average of six hours and forty minutes online each day.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through exactly what you need to evolve in this fast-paced world. First, we’ll discuss the key challenges businesses are facing today. Then, we’ll cover the tools needed to overcome these obstacles and come out on top.

Key Challenges for Businesses in the Digital Ecosystem

Awareness

In a crowded digital landscape, building brand awareness requires a comprehensive, well-researched, and targeted full-funnel strategy. This involves leveraging a mixture of strategies like content marketing, cross-channel SEO, influencer marketing, and paid media placements to boost your business’ reach across audiences. 

Competition

Competition is inevitable and beneficial, driving businesses to innovate. A well-integrated digital marketing strategy that highlights your brand’s value proposition can help you stand out and present your unique brand voice and values. In such a crowded space with so many businesses, you need to tap into your brand’s authenticity and the ability to connect with customers.

Ad Spend & ROI

To avoid wasting money on ineffective digital strategies, a targeted, performance-based approach is crucial for keeping ad spend low and ROI high. You want to make sure you’re connecting with the right audiences for your brand, monitoring campaign performance, and making adjustments to keep up with trends and algorithm changes. This way, you know you’re doing everything you can to maximize your marketing performance and ROI.

Digital platforms like Google Business Profiles, Yelp, and Nextdoor are the new word of mouth.

Localizing Strategy

Digital platforms like Google Business Profiles, Yelp, and Nextdoor are the new word of mouth. Establishing your business as a local leader and expert through a mix of organic and paid marketing efforts is essential. Just as critical is engaging with your audience through an effective review and community management strategy where you can address customers’ questions, concerns, and thoughts in real time. Engaging with your audience online further humanizes your brand and builds on existing authenticity.

Let’s explore the four digital marketing essentials to help your business excel.

Organic Marketing Strategy

Organic marketing is the starting point for any successful digital strategy. Your organic presence is the proverbial “face” of your business online. This form of strategy has no ad-dollar investment associated with it. It is a living, breathing plan that requires long-term commitment, care, and maintenance to grow. Also, it doesn’t happen overnight.

Common forms of organic marketing include multiplatform SEO (search engine optimization), blogs, social media, and Google Business Profile(s). SEO is a marketing discipline aimed at growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. Technical and creative elements are necessary to improve rankings, drive traffic and boost search engine visibility. A mixture of integrated content creation and SEO strategy work together to foster a strong brand presence across all channels.

Additionally, on-site search engine optimization is a process that every effective organic marketing strategy employs. These sometimes subtle adjustments to your site’s design, copy, and tags make all the difference in how Google ranks your business presence in search results.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: content is king. Through highly targeted keyword research and understanding online user behavior data, a business can create content that will help it rise to the top of the search engine results page, or SERP. With targeted content, your brand will be able to establish credibility and its rightful place as the leading local expert in your industry.

The value of showing up in search results organically is high. By doing so, your brand positions itself as a leading authority and garners higher click-through rates, better user experiences, and more lead submission or conversion rates. The integration of valuable and localized content across your website and Google helps build that organic presence every business needs to maximize visibility and ranking in your local community.

Paid Media Strategy

On the flip side, we have paid media. Paid media comprises strategies that require investment, such as paid search, paid social, display ads, CTV (streaming TV services), and more. For most businesses, the best strategy is to combine paid and organic efforts because they complement each other in several ways.

While organic search and SEO are great tools to have, there are potential leads and customers that could be reached with a little bit of a nudge, and that’s where paid media comes in. The most well-known examples of paid media are Google Ads, display ads on websites, and paid social advertising.

What does it look like when you have paid and organic strategies running together?

Imagine this: you have a window cleaning business, and up until now, you’ve mostly been getting jobs through word of mouth. That’s great! Your website is decent, but you’re not showing up high on the search results or social media. So, you decide to write a blog about “How We Professionally Clean Windows” and then post it on social media. Your content shows how your process separates you from the competition. You take your time, are thorough, and don’t pressure customers to pay for services they don’t need.

To complete this puzzle, you decide you need paid media placements to run in tandem with this new organic content. You run a search ad with a “Free Window Cleaning Demo” offer callout so potential customers can see your services for themselves. This level of integrated strategy is a balanced approach that ultimately leads to more customers, builds brand trust and awareness, and collects that low-hanging fruit that maybe your blog and social post alone would not have caught.

Paid advertising dollars, when strategically placed, almost always pay off in the long run. It’s the megaphone your business needs to cut through the noise that may be overwhelming potential customers with options. This is why it is critical to carve out your unique value proposition and capitalize on it in your local area with paid media placements.

Website Maintenance

A website serves as the digital storefront for your business. It’s the first place potential customers visit when they see your Google Business Profile listing or paid media placement. So, it is crucial to stay on top of its maintenance and optimization. 

In this mobile-first landscape, businesses need to prioritize their site’s user experience across devices. Most users search for goods and services from their mobile devices, so optimizing your site for mobile and desktop is imperative. We’re sure you’ve heard about the growing privacy and security concerns in recent years, so another key part of website maintenance and management is privacy protection through HTTPS and compliance with privacy regulations. 

Keeping a website in good health involves contact form monitoring, lead nurturing process development and more. A team of website maintenance experts can ensure that your business’ website runs smoothly and efficiently across devices so potential customers aren’t lost before they even get a chance to fill out a form or place an order. 

Account Management & Reporting

While all of these strategies and tools are important for your business goals and objectives, there is one piece that brings them all together: account management and reporting.

Businesses with an effective account management and reporting system can consistently track the performance of their digital marketing efforts. With these findings, you can make informed decisions on where and how to adjust moving forward. Campaign optimization is a never-ending process as the digital space continues to evolve.

Through campaign optimization, we can ensure our efforts are targeted properly, and leads are gained at the lowest cost possible.

Balance Is Key

Adapting to a digital-first approach is essential for local businesses to grab the attention of potential customers and leads. By focusing on building awareness, overcoming the competition, optimizing ad spend, and localizing strategies, your business will thrive. Maintaining the balance between paid strategy, organic strategy, website maintenance, and account management will make your brand stand out even more.

Want to add some of these tools to your marketing strategy? Let’s talk.

  • Google’s Longest Algo Rollout Just Finished—And Here’s What It Means
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We’ve had eyes on Google’s latest algorithm update, which finally concluded last week after a 45-day rollout period. That’s a pretty hefty rollout for Google, which typically launches updates to its search algorithm over a week or two.

Here’s what you need to know about the update and what we’re doing to ensure our clients maintain and even improve visibility in this changing search landscape. 

Understanding Google’s March 2024 Core Update

Google’s core updates shape the way websites are ranked in search results. This update stands out as one of the longest rollouts we’ve ever seen (again, most are completed in two weeks—and this took 3x that). This is indicative of major changes.

Google Analytics chart showing website performance over three months
One of our clients saw a lot of volatility during the March Core Update Rollout. During the rollout, we originally saw visibility increases, but after the rollout completed, all visibility gained was lost. This shows that Google was making changes during the rollout, which could explain the unorthodox duration of the core update.

We also suspect there were hiccups along the way, as we saw many instances of user-generated content from Reddit and Quora temporarily outranking more authoritative sites during this period before being corrected. 

Google search engine results page for the query "What are the best SEO tools"

Above, we can see a post on Reddit that was made a year ago is outranking a new, relevant article by backlinko.com. How is a post that was made over a year ago by an anonymous user more helpful than a fresh new article on one of the most predominant SEO websites out there? Google’s new algorithm seems to believe it is.

Longer rollout times often suggest significant shifts in SERPs. This Core Update focused on combating low-quality, unoriginal and unhelpful content—and it worked. With a reduction in low-quality SERP content at around 45%, Google’s commitment to enhancing the overall quality and relevance of its search results seems steadfast.

Effects on Search Rankings

1. Ranking Volatility and Traffic Losses

Following the rollout, many websites have experienced fluctuations in their search rankings. Reports of websites suffering traffic drops exceeding 60% have surfaced, highlighting volatility induced by the update. For those without a user-first, quality-content-focused SEO strategy, these updates will be painful and force a shift in focus.

Graph showing organic keyword rankings of a website from June 2022 to March 2024
One of our clients saw a major drop in organic rankings after the Core Update.

We have even seen many cases of websites getting deindexed completely after this core update. One standout is Zacjohnson.com, a website populated entirely from AI-generated content. Google picked up on it and removed the entire site from SERPs. While AI can be a helpful tool in many ways, it’s another reminder that Google will not promote websites that use it wholesale. We can see the rapid growth of organic traffic on this website until the March Core Update; from then on, we see a complete drop-off and full deindexation.

Full AI-generated content:

Screenshot of text highlighted in red, labeled "AI Content Detected"
Line graph showing organic traffic to a website from June 2022 to March 2024

It wasn’t only small websites that were impacted by this update. We can see LinkedIn was also hit pretty hard after this update, specifically LinkedIn Pulse, which enables users to publish articles, blog posts, and other written content directly on their LinkedIn profiles:

Line graph showing organic traffic volume to LinkedIn.com from February to March 2024.
LinkedIn Pulse saw a 42% decrease in organic traffic from 45 million to 26 million.
Screenshot of a Tweet by Taleb Kabbara discussing the decline in traffic to LinkedIn after Google's algorithm update

LinkedIn Pulse users were mass-generating content in an attempt to increase their profile’s visibility, which inevitably resulted in spam. The new March Core Update seems to have successfully targeted those articles and removed them from search engine results pages.

This underscores Google’s commitment to serving up websites with the most useful, original, and resourceful content in response to a user’s query. Black hat tactics and AI-forward strategies, beware. 

2. Crackdown on Violations

The March 2024 Core Update also brought a crackdown on websites violating Google’s guidelines, particularly link spam and manipulation attempts. Websites engaging in such manipulative practices face the risk of deindexation—and Google’s not messing around this time. 

For years, many SEOs have believed that acquiring backlinks leads to higher rankings on Google due to the fundamental principles of Google’s search algorithm. Backlinks, or inbound links from other websites, serve as a vote of confidence for a particular webpage, indicating that other websites find the linked content valuable and relevant. With Google’s PageRank update, sites are scored based on the quantity and quality of backlinks they receive. Pages with a higher PageRank score are deemed more authoritative and are likely to rank higher in search results for relevant queries.

And while it’s still true that backlinks can lead to higher rankings, it’s important to remember to prioritize quality over quantity. In the past, Black Hat SEOs purchasing hundreds of backlinks used to work. Websites would see massive improvements in rankings when purchasing links from low-quality websites. However, Google has been cracking down on these tactics by improving its algorithm to penalize websites that delve into such methods of obtaining backlinks, so maintaining ethical SEO practices is key to protecting website rankings.

3. Shift in Ranking Factors

We’re also seeing in this update a shift in the importance of ranking factors, placing greater emphasis on quality, credibility and substantive content. Google has reduced the significance of backlinks in ranking websites, prioritizing content that delivers value to users.

This is likely due to the rise in AI-generated content. With tools such as ChatGPT, creating content has never been easier—which may seem like a boon for lazy marketers or time-strapped small business owners. 

However, AI can give baseline information but is not (yet) able to produce high-quality, insightful content that’s contextually relevant to an individual business. AI content rarely dives deep into the subject matter, and it especially does not incorporate the nuances and differentiators between businesses of similar types. 

Google wants users to find the information they’re looking for faster, easier and more precisely. This update proves that Google is and will continue prioritizing more high-quality, insightful and credible content.

Google’s Response and New Spam Policies

Since Google is committed to providing users with high-quality, relevant search results, the latest March 2024 Core Update has also implemented new spam policies aimed at combating manipulative behavior. These new policies target three key areas of abuse:

1. Expired Domain Abuse

Expired domain abuse, which involves purchasing old domains with established authority and backlink profiles only to populate them with low-value, spammy content, has long been a concern for Google. These websites exploit the trust and authority associated with the expired domain, deceiving both users and search engines.

To address this issue, Google has improved its algorithm to identify websites engaging in expired domain abuse. By analyzing content quality, relevance and user engagement metrics, Google can determine whether a website is providing value to users or merely attempting to game the system. Websites found guilty of using this tactic risk penalties ranging from lowered search rankings to outright deindexing.

Here is an example of Google cracking down on expired domain abuse: https://demotix.com/ was originally a “camera store” website with a DA of 80. The domain expired and was then purchased and converted into a “guest blog” website. The new website owners probably purchased the domain due to its high DA score. However, after the March Core Update, this website has lost all of its organic traffic and keyword rankings.

Two line graphs showing a decline in organic traffic and organic keyword rankings from June 2022 to March 2024

2. Site Reputation Abuse

Site reputation abuse involves individuals publishing content on third-party domains pretending to be legitimate extensions of reputable websites. By exploiting the established trust and credibility of first-party sites, their goal is to artificially inflate search rankings and deceive users.

In simple terms, site reputation abuse occurs when a website permits users to contribute content unrelated to its primary industry in an attempt to improve its ranking on SERPs. For instance, suppose I own a highly authoritative website dedicated to sports news. If I allow users to post content on my site regarding unrelated medical/health topics, my website could be flagged for engaging in “site reputation abuse.”

You might be wondering why a website would engage in this practice. There are actually three reasons:

1. Content Volume: Allowing users to contribute content unrelated to the website’s primary focus can result in a higher volume of content. More content may lead to increased website traffic and engagement, which some website owners perceive as beneficial for their online presence.

2. Diversification of Topics: Offering a wide range of topics may attract a broader audience and cater to diverse interests. By allowing users to submit content on various subjects, website owners aim to appeal to a larger demographic and retain visitors who may have varied preferences.

3. Monetization Opportunities: User-generated content can provide opportunities for monetization through advertising, sponsored posts or affiliate marketing. By increasing the volume of content on their website, owners may seek to capitalize on additional revenue streams generated by increased traffic and user engagement.

Google’s response to site reputation abuse is multifaceted, including algorithmic analysis and manual review processes. By assessing the relationship between first-party and third-party domains, Google can identify instances of exploitation and take appropriate action. Website owners are encouraged to monitor their website closely, flagging or deleting any unauthorized third-party content that may hurt their reputation and SEO efforts.

3. Scaled Content Abuse

Scaled content abuse involves the creation of thin, duplicate, or automatically generated content across multiple domains or subdomains. These pages serve no practical purpose other than to artificially inflate a website’s search visibility, undermining the relevance and quality of search results.

Example of duplicate, thin content. Source: https://superstarsculture.com/

Google’s algorithms are getting better at detecting patterns of scaled content abuse, such as duplicate content across multiple domains or excessive keyword stuffing. Through machine learning and natural language processing, Google can discern between genuine, user-centric content and manipulative attempts to game the system. We recommend focusing on delivering valuable, informative content that meets the needs of the target audience.

TL;DR—What Does This Mean for Me?

1. Quality Content is Important

The March 2024 Core Update reinforces the importance of creating original, valuable content that addresses users’ needs and questions comprehensively. Creating content that demonstrates expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is essential for maintaining and improving search rankings.

2. Compliance Matters

Following Google’s guidelines is essential for sustaining website visibility in search results. There are many types of actions that Google considers black hat SEO, such as keyword stuffing, purchasing backlinks and spamming unhelpful duplicate content. 

Users should not try to cheat the system by using black hat tactics. Some websites might see positive short-term success, but sooner or later, Google will catch on and penalize or deindex any website caught violating their guidelines. Compliance with Google’s guidelines not only preserves website rankings but also improves long-term credibility and trust with users.

3. Proactive Optimization is Key

After the March 2024 Core Update, website owners should adopt a proactive approach to optimization. Conducting regular SEO audits, addressing technical issues and refining content strategy are essential for staying ahead of algorithmic changes. By continually optimizing their websites, businesses can adapt to evolving search trends and maintain competitive advantage. 

Are SERPs Perfect After the March Core Update?

After the March 2024 Core Update, there has been a noticeable increase in the dominance of Reddit and Quora threads and discussions on Google’s SERPs.

Reddit hosts millions of discussions, questions and answers on virtually every topic imaginable, making it a hub of diverse content. Google’s algorithm, which prioritizes relevance and user engagement, may perceive Reddit threads as valuable resources that provide comprehensive answers to users’ questions.

Reddit’s strong domain authority also contributes to its strength in search results. Google’s algorithm assigns higher credibility to authoritative domains, such as Reddit, making it more likely for Reddit threads to rank well for relevant search queries.

However, despite Reddit’s increased visibility on SERPs, some argue that this outcome was not the intended result of the Core Update. Critics point out that while Reddit may provide valuable insights and information on different topics, it is not always authoritative or trustworthy information. Reddit’s open and democratic structure allows anyone to contribute content, leading to a wide spectrum of quality and accuracy in its discussions. Reddit’s anonymity and lack of editorial oversight can lead to misinformation, biased opinions, and unverified claims.

Critics of Reddit and Quora’s dominance on SERPs argue that Google’s algorithm should prioritize authoritative sources, such as reputable news outlets, academic journals and expert-authored content, over user-generated platforms.

There have also been talks of Google looking to create a partnership with Reddit, which could be an additional reason we’re seeing Google push Reddit pages to the top of SERPs.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, website owners should employ a user-centric approach to content creation, focusing on producing original, insightful and authoritative content that best answers the needs and questions of their target audience. Ultimately, this kind of content builds trust, reducing the number of page bounces and increasing the likelihood of repeat visits or shares from users. Plus, following Google’s guidelines and steering clear of manipulative tactics means websites can protect their organic rankings and build trust with search engines, too.

  • Deinfluencing: The New Wave in Influencer Marketing
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In the ever-evolving world of social media, trends come and go faster than you can say “hashtag.” But every now and then, a trend emerges that fundamentally changes the landscape. Enter deinfluencing, the latest buzzword that’s turning the influencer marketing world on its head. But what exactly is deinfluencing, and how does it impact how brands and influencers operate? Let’s break it down.

What Is Deinfluencing?

Deinfluencing is the practice of encouraging people to think critically about their purchasing decisions and resist the pressure to buy products just because influencers endorse them. Unlike traditional influencers who promote products and services, deinfluencers focus on providing honest reviews, highlighting the downsides of products, and advocating for more mindful consumption.

Think of deinfluencers as the anti-influencers. They’re the ones who tell you that you don’t need that $50 face cream or the latest tech gadget. Instead, they might suggest more affordable alternatives or even recommend not buying anything at all. It’s like having a brutally honest friend who’s not afraid to tell you that those designer shoes you’ve been eyeing are just not worth it.

How Did the Deinfluencing Movement Start?

The deinfluencing movement started as a response to the growing skepticism around influencer marketing. With the rise of social media, influencers have become powerful voices (and result-driving partners) in the consumer market. However, this power has also led to concerns about authenticity and transparency. Many consumers began to feel that influencers were more interested in making money than providing genuine recommendations.

The response: deinfluencing videos have grown in popularity, with hashtags like #deinfluencing gaining over 248 million views on platforms like TikTok. These creators saw an opportunity to fill the authenticity gap by offering honest, no-nonsense advice. They started calling out overhyped products and encouraging their followers to think twice before making a purchase. The movement quickly gained traction, resonating with a growing number of consumers who were tired of being bombarded with sponsored content.

The Difference Between Influencing and Deinfluencing

At its core, the difference between influencing and deinfluencing lies in the intent. Influencers aim to persuade their audience to buy products, often through sponsored posts and brand partnerships. Deinfluencers, on the other hand, aim to empower their audience to make informed decisions by providing honest reviews and encouraging critical thinking. It’s a refreshing change of pace in a world where consumerism often feels like it’s on overdrive.

Deinfluencing illustration

Is Influencer Marketing Over?

So, does this mean influencer marketing is dead? Not at all. Influencer marketing is still a powerful tool for brands, but the rise of deinfluencing signals a shift towards more authentic and transparent marketing practices. Consumers are becoming more discerning, and they’re looking for influencers who are genuine and trustworthy.

Brands that embrace this shift and prioritize authenticity will likely find success in this new era. It’s not about abandoning influencer marketing altogether but rather adapting to the changing expectations of consumers.

Benefits of Deinfluencing

Deinfluencing offers several benefits for both consumers and brands:

  1. Increased Trust: By promoting honesty and transparency, deinfluencers can build stronger, more trusting relationships with their audience. Disclosing sponsored posts and brand partnerships isn’t just the law but also a way creators can earn long-term loyalty.
  1. Authentic Engagement: Brands that align with deinfluencers can benefit from more authentic engagement with their target audience. Instead of pushing products, they can focus on building genuine connections and providing real value.
  1. Mindful Consumption: Deinfluencing encourages consumers to think twice before making unnecessary purchases, leading to less waste and more sustainable consumption habits. This is a win-win for both consumers and the planet.

How to Embrace Deinfluencing in Your Marketing Strategy

If you’re a brand looking to embrace the deinfluencing trend, here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Partner with Authentic Voices: Look for creators who prioritize honesty and transparency. They are more likely to resonate with your audience and build genuine connections that turn into brand-loyal customers.
  1. Focus on Value: Instead of only pushing products, offer additional value to your audience. This could be through educational content, helpful tips, or honest reviews.
  1. Encourage Customer Empowerment: Help your customers be active participants in their buying journey and make informed decisions by providing them with all the information they need. They’ll buy something they truly love and keep coming back.
  1. Promote Sustainability: Highlight the sustainable aspects of your products and encourage mindful consumption. Many customers today are willing to change their shopping habits to be more environmentally conscious, according to IBM.

Deinfluencing is more than just a trend; it’s a movement towards a more sincere and transparent approach to digital marketing. Curious about how to build a more genuine connection with your audience? Read how you can make your brand more authentic.

  • Leaked from a Google Insider: The Secrets of Google’s Search Algorithm, Unveiled
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Keeping up with search engine algorithm updates has always been crucial for success in the ever-evolving organic search landscape—but Google’s typically kept mum on back-end specifics. The lion’s share of what we’ve come to know as organic best practices has been born out of subtle hints and, frankly, interpretations with trial and error—but we’ve never seen the actual recipe for ranking in Google. Until… NOW.

On May 5th, Rand Fishkin (an SEO industry legend who founded Moz and SparkToro) was contacted by a source claiming to have verified API documentation directly from Google’s Search division. After investigation, the leak seems legitimate, and the first of its kind in recent memory. Among the noteworthy parts of the insider doc were direct contradictions to many claims made by Google over the years. 

A Quick Caveat: Before discussing specifics, it’s worth noting that while the areas below are all mentioned, the collective industry can’t yet know the weighted score of each feature or if everything is still being used. Take it with a grain of salt. Still, it’s rare that we get specifics this legitimate straight from Google, so it’s worth a read. 

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most significant findings and their possible implications for your SEO strategy:

  1. Change History
    Google maintains a meticulous record of every version of every page it has ever indexed. However, when analyzing links, it only considers the last 20 changes to a URL. This highlights the importance of not just frequent updates but quality updates.

Implication: Focus on the quality of updates. Regular, meaningful enhancements to your content are essential for maintaining a strong link profile.

  1. Site Authority
    It’s now confirmed that an overall score for site quality does exist. This means that even high-authority sites can suffer if they host poor-quality content.

Implication: High standards must be upheld consistently across all content. Bad content can negatively impact your site’s authority.

  1. Successful Clicks Matter
    While not a surprising revelation, the confirmation that successful clicks (and high click-through rates) influence search rankings reinforces the need for engaging experiences and high-quality content that resonates with users.

Implication: Continue producing new, quality content and deliver it through an exceptional user experience. This approach, which has been central to our strategy since 2021, remains vital.

  1. Chrome Data
    Google utilizes data from its Chrome browser to inform its search rankings. User engagement metrics gathered from Chrome play a significant role in determining where websites appear in search results.

Implication: User engagement is crucial. Ensuring a positive user experience on your site will directly impact your search visibility.

  1. UX Signals Are Not A Myth
    Google claimed in 2019 that “CTR, dwell time, other UX signals are made up myths,” but that has now proven false.

Implication: As has been the case since 2021, user experience optimization, particularly mobile optimization, will remain at the core of our SEO plans.

  1. Links Matter
    Link diversity and relevance are still key components of Google’s ranking algorithm. PageRank for a website’s homepage influences the ranking of every document within the site.

Implication: Maintain a strategic approach to link-building. Focus on acquiring diverse and relevant links as a natural outcome of producing high-quality content.

  1. Brand Matters
    According to Rand Fishkin, one of the most profound takeaways from the recent algorithm leak is the paramount importance of brand. A notable, popular, and well-recognized brand significantly influences search rankings.

Implication: Invest in building a strong brand presence outside of Google search. A well-recognized brand will naturally perform better in search rankings, reinforcing the need for comprehensive brand-building strategies.

  1. Page Titles Matter
    While anchor text links may be less important than previously thought, page titles are still important.

Implication: Get the SEO you can (we prefer BrightEdge for enterprise clients and SEMRush for SMBs), identify good goals (reasonable search volume, low competition), organize your content intuitively, and write good, clear page titles.

  1. Exact Match Domains Could Be Spammy
    According to the leak, a penalty may be placed on domain names created to exactly match unbranded search terms.

Implication: If you own domains like this, this documentation indicates they may be more effectively utilized somewhere else in your marketing mix (e.g., as vanity URLs for a paid search landing page).

  1. Subfolders Over Subdomains
    From experience, our team has always found subfolders to perform better than subdomains, despite Google claiming that subdomains weren’t considered separately in results. In this leak, what we’d seen first-hand had proven to be true.

Implication: Building a robust website structure within a subfolder rather than on a subdomain (e.g., for your blog) will play favorably with Google, considering your primary website a richer repository of valuable content.

  1. There’s a VIP List
    A whitelist exists for travel, information related to COVID and elections. Particularly in an election year, the fact that whitelists exist to ensure accurate information in this area is critical.

Implication: If you’re in the travel industry, adherence to the highest web security standards is undoubtedly a key area to focus on.

Fortunately, none of this changes much of how we at TriMark operate day-to-day. We’ve always prioritized a quality web experience in efforts to drive sustainable organic growth for enterprise and SMB clients, keeping the fundamental aspects of organic strategy and the user at the forefront of every SEO project. Our SEO professionals draw from their experiences, good user data and a deep understanding of their clients. So, really, this leaked data only affirms some of our practices while giving us a bit of a peek under the hood on the how. 

Is your organic strategy built for success in today’s Google and SERP environment? Let’s chat.

  • How to Develop Marketing Campaigns in the “Off-Season”
    TriMark office space

By Devon Cameron, Integrated Marketing Strategist

A critical aspect of running a successful business is knowing how to manage the ebbs and flows of the business year. There will naturally be points during the year when sales dip and you see fewer customers or clients walking through your doors, or less traffic to your site. But with an effective marketing strategy during your off-season, you have the ability to set yourself up for success when things pick up again. Exposure to potential future customers and nurturing current leads can help you move your audience through the sales funnel. Capitalize on the calm between your busy seasons and grow your company’s bottom line with the following approaches:

1. Build your network during the busy season.

In order to nurture leads in the off-season, you must first generate leads! Building up your contact lists when your brand is top of mind makes it much easier for you to nurture and engage those users when the dust has settled. 

During your peak season, ensure that you engage as many potential customers as possible through newsletters, emails, social media and your content strategy. Once you have those contacts, you can use the off-season to build on initial engagement and begin to instill brand awareness and loyalty. 

Photo of TriMark employees working on couch and others walking by

2. Focus on promoting brand awareness.

Think of the off-season as an opportunity to prime your audience for purchase before business picks up again. Sales should not be your focus during this time; instead, focusing on spreading brand awareness and introducing potential customers to your brand can result in a pool of hot leads that are ready to convert as soon as the timing is right. 

Brand awareness campaigns can include social media campaigns, incentives for word-of-mouth referrals and search engine marketing. These campaigns take time but pay dividends, and can be particularly powerful leading into a sales-focused campaign.

3. Continue to create good content. 

While sales might be down during the off-season, it’s important to keep top of mind with your current customers. Prioritize customer engagement by releasing a steady stream of content that champions your product or service and how it can serve your audience’s needs. That will ensure that they are thinking of you when your busy season comes back around. 

Releasing regular articles, social media posts and emails will keep your audience interested, as well as give you ample opportunity to discuss new products or services, convey brand values and generally nurture a stronger relationship with your audience.

4. Use social media.

Social media can be a powerful tool to develop your brand voice and show your customers relevant content, from frequently asked questions to new product offerings. Looking for a boost in online engagement? Social media can drive traffic to your website or a specific page you want your audience to be aware of. In turn, this can create a new pool of leads for a specific area of your business, primed to purchase when the time is right. 

Pro Tip: If you’re running this sort of campaign, a “link in bio” account like Linktree can be a valuable resource!

5. Encourage reviews.

Incentivizing customer reviews is a good practice all around. However, during the off-season, your customers have typically had time to evaluate your product or service performance and how they like it. This is an optimal time to ask for feedback.

Through social media, email or an on-site campaign, you can encourage your current customers to leave their thoughts. This type of feedback often acts as a major resource for future customers in the consideration phase, and it can be a powerful tool for your overall brand trust.

No matter what season you’re in, marketing campaigns can help stabilize your business and foster its success! By moving your audience through the consumer journey with targeted, thoughtful tactics, you can develop your warm leads into piping hot ones, who are eager to convert at the right moment. Take the valuable time you have when business slows down and use it to prepare for further sales to make your busy season even busier.