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Insight & expertise

6 Businesses in the South West That Do Digital Well

By Joe Heywood, blog post 24/05/2016

The UKs biggest cities such as London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester are home to some of the biggest companies in the world, let alone the UK. As a result, its easy to assume that this is where to go to find examples of great digital media like a sleek-looking website, clever video content or engaging social media channels.

That’s all well and good but it’s also easy to forget that companies based further afield from these bigger cities have something to say in the digital world too.  Faced with this realisation, we’ve scoured the web to hunt down cool marketing campaigns, clever uses of social media and outstanding website designs from companies operating in the South West region.

Airhop

http://www.airhop-bristol.com/

One of the first trampoline parks to appear in the UK, Airhop has rocketed in popularity in the last couple of years, with their flagship park in Bristol boasting the biggest trampoline park in the world tag. Headquartered in Guildford, it also has a further two parks opening in Croydon and Solihull soon, and a staggering nine opening in Germany on the horizon too.


The company enjoys a highly active Facebook feed with frequent check-ins and rave reviews, such as the ones below (via Google Reviews):

In a digital sense, Airhops website does a great job of offering a personalised experience for their customers. Their main site is split into micro-sites corresponding to each location therefore all the information a customer sees will relate to the trampoline park theyre looking to visit.

They also share some great video content on their highly active Facebook feed. Take a look at this great time-lapse video below, for example, to see how the staff get on with maintaining such a huge complex;

 

 

Trunki 

https://www.trunki.co.uk/

You may recognise Trunki’s founder, Rob Law, from BBC’s Dragons Den where, unfortunately, he was one of the unlucky hopefuls to be turned down by Peter Jones and co at the time.

Luckily, that didn’t perturb the Bristol entrepreneur from making his business a success, and he now sells in excess of 2 million suitcases a year.

Such is the popularity of Trunki, it even made it into an episode of Ant & Decs Saturday Night Takeaway, which you can see below;

What has impressed us the most about Trunki is that, despite its meteoric rise, it has still maintained a high level of customer service via its social media channels. On Twitter, for example, the business makes sure it responds to every mention it possibly can in a kind, friendly and considerate way. Here’s just a small snapshot of this in action below;

Even further to this, like any great user of social media, theyre always on the lookout for capitalising on current trends and themes. A perfect example of this is the April Fools Day Facebook update the company posted earlier this year showcasing its new product, the Drunki Trunki;

 

Sharp's Brewery

https://www.sharpsbrewery.co.uk/

Chances are, at some point when youve been out at bars, pubs and restaurants, youve seen one of Sharps Brewerys fine range of beers, such is the popularity of the Cornish brand throughout the country.

Ales such as Wolf Rock, Atlantic, Sea Fury and its flagship brew Doom Bar, after achieving the number one UK bottled ale last year in terms of value, have given Sharps its household name status. Meanwhile, the brewrey has expanded its product range by going into the cider and lager markets with Orchard and Sharps Pilsner.

In addition to a well-designed website, bar the odd content coming soon notice in certain areas, they have a brilliantly simple graphic depicting its brewing process which you can see, along with the accompanying video, below;

 

Sharps are also currently running a campaign that really grabbed our attention called #SharpsAdventure. This competition offers the chance to win one of three adventures involving rugby, surfing, or beer & food. The brewery have managed to get some big names involved in this competition including Phil Vickery and Andrew Cotton, who have improved the brands word of mouth reputation considrably. People are getting involved both online and offline, making this a great example of a camapign that is extremely well tailored to its target audience.

South West Coast Path

http://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/

The South West Coast Path National Trail is a 630-mile long coastal path which runs from Minehead, on the edges of Exmoore, to the shores of Poole Harbour. In its own words, the Trail offers the ultimate challenge for the long distance walker.

The eyecatching imagery being used across the companys website and social media channels really captures the imagination. Moreover, its clear that a lot of thought goes into social strategy as the company maintains an active social presence across no less than 6 different platforms.

Celebrities such as Bill Bailey and Monty Halls have been featured on the South West Coast Path YouTube channel, endorsing the longest National Trail in the UK (see below).


What really impressed us was the use of #630miles and #SWCoastPath hashtags, which brings in a huge amount of user-genereated content for the company. This type of tactic works because it often proves invaluable for word of mouth marketing and can also be repurposed for future campains.

 

The Stable 

http://stablepizza.com/

With award-winning pizza, pies and cider The Stable has become a local legend in the South West. After starting out as a stable located at the back of a dilapidated hotel, the food chain has come a long way and now boasts 14 locations around the South West.

Digital has had a huge impact on the rapid growth of this company through an engaged social audience and stunning website design. One thing that really caught our eye was The Stables Flagon Wagon campaign, where members of the company drive around in a 1964 Bedford lorry bringing cidery goodness to the destination of choice and all for free!  

To get involved with this campaign, you need to be following the eaterys Facebook page, which has no doubt contributed to the 11,000 likes on their profile.

 

Grillstock

https://grillstock.co.uk/

Grillstock created a venue for possibly the best combination of them all music, meat and beer. The company has now become the destination of choice for BBQ food in the South West and this growth shows no sign of stopping; the reviews, as they say, speak for themselves.

 

Alongside the great online reviews, Grillstock uses digital to promote its events, eating competitions, reasturaunts and BBQ book in a creative manner that really resonates with its audience.

Its no secret that recipes and food content get a lot of love on social media, and Grillstock managed to capitilise on this trend with some well edited recipe videos that were used to promote their new BBQ Book.

 

This type of fast-paced and fun content can be seen across all the digital efforts of the brand and it never fails to generate a positive reaction from the community.

These are just six businesses that have caught our eye around the south west and no doubt weve missed a great deal too! So please feel free to send us your suggestions via Twitter so that we can add them on the list.