Digital agency Melt Content has launched a Knowledge Hub offering free advice as it targets rapid growth in 2017 following a rebrand and its first step into international markets.
Established in 2014 and backed by shareholders including experienced travel executives Dan Hart, Melt’s chief executive, and industry investor Ian Brooks, the firm is poised to build on significant early successes having won clients like Expedia, Hotels.com and Travelsupermarket.
Last month it soft launched its new branding and website which reflects the ethos it wants to present as it forecasts a 270% year-on-year increase in revenue in the current financial year, following 258% increase last year.
Central to this is a new Knowledge Hub, branded in orange and one half of the new website, which provides bespoke articles offering insight and advice about how companies should generate, manage and optimise content for their web marketing campaigns.
Hart said Melt was keen to “practice what it preaches” about content with the key message being firms must move on from just producing content to building a commercial strategy around it.
He likened the current approach to content marketing – an approach that reflects the changing face of search engine optimisation (SEO) driven by changes in the Google algorithm – to how companies once raced to build a website or mobile app before really understanding why or what they should do with it.
“The purpose of the Knowledge Hub is to give us a voice and add value and drive inbound traffic. People who are searching for information about the topic will come straight in to the hub.
“We must practice what we preach and get across what it is that we do. Since launch we’ve uploaded 30 to 40 articles and we aim for 11 a month. It will be a resource for information and advice.”
The hub includes how to mini-guides, check lists, and tips and tricks and will offer downloadable resources, video, research and analysis.
“We have taken the view this is the best way to build awareness and build the brand,” said Hart. “It reflects then team. We want to be very open in the way we do stuff, but also share, collaborate and get things out there that will help people.
“If we generate interest on the back of that we will be happy. It’s our way to talk about our expertise.”
Hart described Melt’s progress over the last 18 months as “speedy” and “intense” and said he was pleased with where the firm is now, three years on from its launch.
The agency now employs 19 people, either full time or on contract, has established a presence in the north of England as well as London, where it has its headquarters, and has just taken on a manager in Australia.
Hart said Australia was seen as being where the UK was a couple of years ago in terms of its evolution of content marketing and is also a doorway to Asia Pacific. He also sees potential in the US where he said, despite perceptions, online travel marketing is also behind UK best practice.
What is missing, said Hart, is the focus on what to do with content once you have it aligned to clear commercial objectives.
“We have gone through an evolution of refining what we offer,” he said. “There was probably too much focus on the publishing side of things, on content generation, producing assets that looked pretty but did not have enough of an association with what the purpose of that asset was.
“Where we have grown and developed methodology is in having a very rigid approach to how we deal with our clients on commercially-led objectives. For some there is an obsession with the asset, but before you get to that point we say ‘what are you trying to achieve’, ‘how does it fit in to the digital strategy’?”
This more performance-based approach requires a data-informed understanding of the target market and the channels, the online influencers and the strategies most likely to reach them.
In response to this Melt has developed an outreach team to engage influential writers, bloggers and content creators at an early stage giving them input in the hope of stimulating organic links and search engine visibility while keeping within Google’s guidelines on sponsored content.
Hart said: “The general lack of understanding of analytics is shocking. People either do not look at it or do not understand what benefits it can bring to them.”
Although SEO has moved on, the fundamental technicalities have not been left behind. A new in-house development team has been put in place reflecting the fact that there is often a technical SEO audit process to go through with clients before they can derive the benefits from content marketing.
Having welcomed Translate Media founder Patrick Eve as an investor and non-executive board member, Hart says he is bullish about the future. “We are good to push on now,” he said. “We are actively now engaging in driving traffic to our website and driving awareness.”
Melt Content’s ebook ‘Content Marketing Framework User’s Guide’ – a free 48-page ebook that takes you through Melt’s CMF step by step, using practical examples to bring it to life is available at meltcontent.com/CMF
Melt Content will deliver a content marketing Workshop at the upcoming Travolution Summit in London on September 26. Delegate places are still available at travolutionsummit.com