Elaine O’Regan interviews Traffic Media co-founder Julian Fleming on the importance of having great content
Why did you decide to set up your own consultancy?
“After I left journalism, I had been working in communications in the tech industry in Ireland and Canada, and saw that companies had a significant need for content across the board. Meanwhile, Garvan had done an incredible job building the social media profile of his wife Domini Kemp’s companies after he left journalism himself, so it made sense to start Traffic Media together. Our background in journalism and communications both in Ireland and abroad means that we know what it takes to produce written and video content that will really make an impression. We have clients here in Ireland and in the US, across sectors from property management to healthcare. But we are seeing a huge amount of potential in the food and drink, and hospitality industries.”
Why is it important for companies to think strategically about online content?
“Content is king in today’s marketplace, and it’s one of the best forms of advertising in the online world. Done right, it will build your brand and increase sales. It is vital that you know what your message is, and that this message is consistent across all your content channels. Your customers want to know that you have a voice and that you have something interesting and relevant to say with that voice. Also, it’s not enough to make sure your SEO is excellent; you also have to consistently produce great content – be it written, through video or any other channel – to push your company up Google’s search engine rankings and make yourself heard among your competitors.”
Why do you think you’re seeing particularly strong demand from SMEs in the food and drink sector?
“Our first clients were in the food and drink industry, so it’s a sector that we know extremely well, and what people want to hear and see from these companies. But really, a big reason is the fact that you have extremely tech-savvy people in the sector who understand the value of content – be it blogging, social media, or video – but simply don’t have the time to do the job themselves to the standard they want. They know they need a great social media and content profile to stay relevant in such a crowded marketplace, and we can make that happen for them.”
What are the typical mistakes companies make in terms of online content?
“Don’t make the mistake of only talking about yourself and your business. Self-promotion is obviously an element of content marketing, but people are going to lose interest if that’s all they hear. You want to focus on two things: engaging with people who are talking about how great you are, and giving your own insights into the sector in which you operate. If you can establish your company as one that people need to pay attention to, then you’ll be on the right track.”