So who are Sutro Digital? – We are a completely new kind of agency. We take a new and innovative approach to creating and delivering compelling branded content to consumers across a range of platforms including digital, social media, print and mobile phone applications.
So you are a customer publisher? – In some ways yes, but we don’t just create content, we work with brands to share that content and create conversations with their customers via social media. We think branded content is going to grow massively in the next decade and that social media will be the engine that brands use to distribute it.
So what makes you unique? – We think that no other company in the UK is taking such a holistic approach to branded content. We also boast a unique team which has years of experience in content creation, customer publishing, social media consultancy and PR.
We also know how to build large and very successful consumer websites. Sites that members of the Sutro team have part ownership in (including Anorak, Shiny Shiny, Whoateallthepies, Tech Digest and Bridalwave) attract over three million visitors each month. We not only have the tools to build exciting and engaging websites but we also know how to optimise those sites, using compelling editorial, organic SEO and paid for promotions, so they attract large and engaged audiences.
We have some great partners too including an ace video team, some very smart SEO experts and a magazine editor who we rate as a bit of a genius.
Why do you think branded content has become so important? – For all kinds of reasons. Brands can now connect directly with consumers via the web. They also need to be aware of what comes up when people search for them online. To succeed in the new digital marketplace, brands need to think and act as publishers. They need to understand the publishing mentality, develop innovative content and build proper commercial relationships.
So you are all about online content? – Yes, but we think that print still offers massive opportunities for brands. We also think many of the new independent magazines are fascinating and that tablet PCs will create new opportunities for branded content providers.
So how much experience of working with brands do you have? – Marc was founder and chair of Fishburn Hedges, a large and high profile PR company. Mike has a decade and a half of working in customer publishing with brands like Asda, Toyota and Sainsbury’s. Ashley was a joint founder of Shiny Red, the UK’s first social media PR agency. Chris has worked with many brands – Vodafone, Nikon, Cisco, LG to name a few – in his time as MD of Shiny Media.
Why is there a lot of editorial on your site? – We are passionate about keeping up with the latest trends in publishing, social media, technology and PR and working out how they might impact on brands. We would never employ an agency that we felt had nothing to say and we feel you shouldn’t either.
Who or what is Sutro? – He was a mayor of San Francisco in the 1890s. We chose the name because he built the world’s biggest swimming pool Sutro Baths, and we are nuts about swimming.