Building a tech hub and brand through quality content – TechSPARK case study
Established in 2014, TechSPARK is a not-for-profit hub for all things tech related in the South West. Not only do they promote the area, highlighting the fantastic work of the tech sector in Bristol and Bath through their blog, they also host the annual SPARKies awards.
The South West of England has always had a community of quality, innovative businesses in the technology and engineering sectors. From aerospace to physics, robotics to software, Bristol and Bath in particular have been a rich breeding ground for success. What the area hasn’t generally had is a community; a place where all these industries can mix, mingle, exchange ideas and inspire each other. That’s exactly what TechSPARK aims to be; a hub of information, events, jobs and interesting news from across the region.
When we first met with David Maher Roberts (founder) and Jamie Middleton (editor) they had a very clear goal to be the go-to space for tech in the South West. The organisation isn’t selling a service or product, the whole premise of TechSPARK relied, and continues to rely, on a constant stream of quality, engaging content.
As Jamie says: “TechSPARK was just starting out as a website when we enlisted Future Content’s help. We were a very small team and Future Content helped define our brand and content strategy. They then demonstrated they could provide us with a team of writers who could quickly provide us with news, articles, profiles and interviews that would interest our audience.”
What We Did
As Jamie touched on, we worked with TechSPARK initially to define the target audience for their blog. We established the initial goal was to appeal to the tech community in Bristol and Bath, then to readers in London, convincing them that there’s a thriving tech scene outside of the capital, encouraging them to relocate, and thirdly to attract eyes from across the globe to the thriving scene in the region.
By focusing on local startups and influential names in the area’s tech scene, we were able to help them build a directory of great businesses, and also build the community, starting with the people closest to it. We worked with Jamie to create an editorial calendar for the TechSPARK online magazine, which included a mixture of in-depth profiles and interviews, two a week, which we researched and wrote. We also provided the social media headlines and publishing services which took a lot of the strain out of Jamie’s increasingly busy role. Thanks in part to the shareable content, TechSPARK.co is becoming an increasingly popular online destination for avid tech fans across the globe.
In terms of what the TechSPARK team has achieved with our help, Jamie is unequivocal: “Without Future Content we wouldn’t have half the content on our website! Future Content helped us have a fully-functioning website with the breadth of content we needed at a fraction of the time (and cost!) it would have taken us to write it ourselves.”
While growth was slow at the beginning, once the name of TechSPARK began to take hold, there was a huge spike in traffic. TechSPARK secured its first advertising money three months into our work together – a huge relief to a not-for-profit organisation – and continues to grow apace with some 600 visits per week and rising. Their social media following has also grown considerably and their influence in the local scene has blossomed.
This year’s SPARKies awards was able to secure sponsorship from the likes of Deloitte Digital and Gradwell, thanks in no small part to their more established name and standing on the South West. As Jamie says: “Over 40 articles later, Future Content has helped us become a known tech hub for Bristol and Bath – and as that was the brief, what more can you ask?”
And would he recommend the service to other businesses? “I would indeed – for content delivered at a fast pace by enthusiastic writers.”
“Without Future Content we wouldn’t have half the content on our website! Future Content helped us have a fully functioning website with the breadth of content we needed at a fraction of the time (and cost!) it would have taken us to write it ourselves.
“Now, over 40 articles later, Future Content has helped us become a known tech hub for Bristol and Bath – and as that was the brief, what more can you ask?”