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Interview with Rob Salmon, Director of Digital Marketing at Torchbox

By Kathy Heslop

March 27, 2013 | 4 min read

Rob has worked in the digital marketing arena since 1998 in roles including Carling Premiership Press Officer, Sports Editor at AOL UK and Marketing Communications Partner at Molson Coors. During his time at Molson Coors he was the Chair of the ISBA’s (Association of British Advertisers) Digital Action Group and is a current member of the IAB UK’s Social Media Council.

He is now Director of Digital Marketing at Torchbox - an independent digital agency based in Oxfordshire. They provide a wide range of marketing services strategy development and implementation to search engine optimisation (SEO), social media consultancy, management and editorial services. He loves coming up with ideas and making the ideas happen.

Can you explain to us the importance of content in the digital arena?

Whatever you’re trying to achieve through digital or marketing, content can play a part in making it successful. This is nothing new! Sumner Redstone coined the phrase ‘content is king.’

More recently, Matt Cutts from Google said: ‘Word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site's reputation with both users and Google and it rarely comes without quality content.’

I believe that no matter what it is that you’re trying to achieve, content is at the heart of it. If you can produce something that is compelling, it could be informative, entertaining or useful, it is more likely to get shared and become viral.

And B2B Content; Do you think there is a saturation of keyword-heavy-content whereby its sole purpose is for search engines?

There is a lot of content out there that just isn’t very compelling - sometimes because it’s been designed to try and improve rankings. In my eyes the best content for B2B purposes is useful and informative. Churning out keyword heavy articles to try and increase search engine rankings is not enough. Quality of content is vital - because if it is compelling it will get shared.

From a social media point of view, quality of content is equally important. Take Facebook for example, it takes into account is the number of interactions your status updates achieve. The more interactions you get, the higher the reach your page is likely to achieve. The reach you achieve will also vary based on the sort of content you issue. Traditionally, images have got the most reach but just lately we’ve seen simple text updates with no links achieving impressive reach

What is the importance of making content famous?

Compelling content plus effective amplification equals winning digital campaigns! Ignore the, ‘Field of Dreams’ mantra here; “If you build it, they will come”. You could have the best content in the world but it might not be seen if you don’t go out and shout about it. Half of the battle is creating the content and then it is a question of ‘How’ are we going to reach the audiences that this content is intended for?

If it is compelling, there will be a way of getting it out there, whether it be PR, search, social. Or you may have a far narrower market so you may want to reach out on Twitter and start a conversation that way.

One thing that I think is very valuable is the power of partnerships. Partnerships will help spread the word. There are organisations out there that have a massive reach. You no longer have to be a newspaper to get circulation. A brand, an association, a celebrity – forming a partnership will help spread your message.

Stay tuned next week, when Rob will be telling us how to use different platforms for particular content, what he’s looking forward to most in 2013, and what he makes of search as a marketing t

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