In 2016, Bristol and Bath accounted for £109 million in digital tech investment, according to Tech Nation’s 2017 Report. Furthermore, our region gave birth to 225 startups, saw a 17% increase in high growth firms, and created nearly 36k digital jobs. With initiatives like the SPARKies helping to generate buzz around our burgeoning tech sector, it’s safe to say that growth is only likely to continue apace, especially as technological expertise and digital marketing skills are nurtured by leading universities like the University of Bristol and UWE.

Given the high concentration of digitally focused talent in this part of the country, it should perhaps come as no surprise that these companies have a solid understanding of how to promote themselves online, and in particular, of content marketing. And the reason why so many are actively engaged is this: strategic content marketing campaigns get results.

In short, quality content gives you an opportunity to spark engagement with target audiences and creates a platform for you to showcase expertise while offering tangible value to prospective customers – encouraging the buyer’s journey and framing your company as a key player.

Interruptive advertising and shouty ‘BUY THIS PRODUCT NOW’ messaging simply doesn’t cut the mustard in the Internet Age, and you really have to go further to earn meaningful attention online.

With that in mind, here are four local companies excelling at content marketing, and a brief rundown on what you can learn from them:

Reach Robotics

Keen followers of TechSPARK will have charted the rise of Reach Robotics in recent years, with Silas Adekunle and his team pioneering a new form of hands-on, real world gaming, mixed with Augmented Reality missions.

The mighty MekaMon products have caused a real stir, quickly selling out of the initial batch of limited edition founder units, aided by this slick teaser video that has nearly achieved 20k views:


Many children and big kids alike will be excited at the prospect of creating their very own Robot Wars-style living room battles, and this video neatly engages both target audiences by embracing some good old-fashioned storytelling.

  • Intro: The excited child is enjoying her AR experience, as two bored adults sit idly on the sofa.
  • Conflict: The grown-ups disagree over pizza payment, escalating to a comical face-off as they decide to settle the score with a robotic war.
  • Resolution: After an epic battle, the dust settles to reveal the child ready and eager to carry on the relentless warfare, as she forcefully announces: “My turn.”

The basic narrative arc demonstrates that MekaMon is a product to be enjoyed by kids of all ages (even those with neatly trimmed beards and children of their own). The content is fun, accurately showcases what the product is all about and does a good job of whetting the appetite.

In fact, it’s such an exciting teaser that it has been featured on Venture Beast and Forbes, both highly authoritative websites with international audiences. Bloomberg also popped into Reach Robotics’ Bristol HQ to film the below piece:


Lessons: Firstly, video content is fantastic for reaching new audiences, especially younger consumers who get through more than their fair share of digital data. Video storytelling provides a great opportunity to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’, and is highly shareable across social channels. Secondly, engaging in targeted outreach campaigns can be a real PR coup, seeing you earn coverage on highly authoritative websites.

Open Bionics

Multi-SPARKies award-winners, Open Bionics have a heartwarming Twitter feed that showcases the incredible differences their products are making to people’s lives. For example, check out this video which has received over 8k retweets:


Based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Open Bionics have achieved international acclaim for their wonderful work, with their tweets gaining the attention of global news networks and charitable organisations.

They’re on a mission to change the way we think about prosthetic limbs, with 3D-printed products that can be quickly manufactured at a cost that is said to be 30 times cheaper than traditional prosthetics.

Lessons: Imagery performs particularly well on social media, so you should definitely start snapping away. Focusing on the unique benefits of your product or service using pictures of real people is innately appealing, demonstrating how your target audiences might be able to achieve similar results.


Conducting and publishing your own research is a great way of getting noticed by the right people. For example, ADLIB’s Creative Employment Today survey puts them front and centre in the mind of everyone involved in the region’s marketing and tech sectors, employers and professionals alike.

Producing such a report frames ADLIB as the go-to recruitment agency for creative talent in the South West, encouraging all stakeholders to bear them in mind when the time comes to either hire new staff or find a new job.

Lesson: If you want to establish yourself as a respected voice of authority, it pays to publish research that that shows you’re engaged with the current state of play, and even leading the conversation, in your particular niche.


The Bristol-based team behind the revolutionary food-sharing app, OLIO, aim to connect neighbourhoods – both businesses and individuals – in an effort to end chronic food waste, which is estimated to stand at a staggering £12.5 billion worth in the UK alone.

The app is intuitive to use and readily available on the App Store and Google Play, and there have been over 200,000 subscribers since launch in 2015, many of whom, are in the South West.

As well as regularly updated social channels, showing the wonderful variety of food that is saved from going to waste, the OLIO blog is a fantastic example of quality content marketing.

The team are great practitioners of ‘tentpole marketing’, i.e, piggybacking on topical, nationwide (or even global) events, bringing the focus back to OLIO, ensuring the app stays relevant, whatever’s going on in the world.

For example, posts such as Earth Day 2017: 7 easy things you can do to help the environment and World Book Day: 8 books to fix our food system are newsworthy pieces that will appeal to their audience, helping to win new fans while retaining the engagement of current users.

OLIO’s email marketing is also spot on, curating relevant stories from around the web, as well as linking to their own content that focuses on ethical consumerism:

Interacting with and sharing useful material, regardless of who produced it, is a smart way of enhancing your reputation, showing that you’re on the pulse of trending topics and on hand to serve them up to your followers.

Lessons: For many, blogging is the cornerstone of content marketing and with good reason: your blog allows you to demonstrate expert knowledge and provide actionable advice to your audience, while also boosting your SEO efforts – the more words you have on your site, the better chance Google has of returning your content in search results (providing they’re well-written and search-optimised, of course). Additionally, email marketing is one of the best ways to achieve click-throughs, and collating your latest content into one weekly newsletter could pay dividends.

Silicon Gorge-ous Marketing

Keeping users engaged in a variety of ways is key to successful online marketing, and the Bristol-based businesses listed above excel at finding the perfect content marketing mix for their audiences.

We’re blessed to have such a tech-focused, digitally-savvy workforce in the South West, which has led to the area being dubbed Silicon Gorge, with a nod to the eponymous Valley in California. Top tech and quality content marketing should go hand-in-hand, and you can take much inspiration from innovative companies around you.

The key thing to bear in mind is your ideal customer: Where do they spend their online time? What type of content would they find most appealing? What questions are they asking in relation to your niche?

If you can get a solid grasp on who you’re creating content for, you’ll find the production comes naturally, and you can swiftly start to reap the rewards.