A Leeds digital marketing agency has doubled its office space and taken on more staff to keep up with demand during lockdown.
Wildfire Marketing, which was launched by Billy Foulkes and Neal Foster in 2018, has moved into new premises at Thorpe Park Business Park. The agency, which specialises in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), has seen its turnover increase by 50 per cent since March.
The company, which has been given support by AD:VENTURE, a programme for new businesses in North and West Yorkshire, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), now employs seven full-time, with several regular freelancers, and has plans to take on more staff.
But Billy admitted the start of lockdown had been hard as clients looked to tighten their belts and cut back their marketing spend.
“It was tough, but by July we were back up and running again and the last few weeks in particular have been crazy on the sales front,” said Billy.
“I think at least part of that is because we offer a monthly rolling contract, rather than tying clients into a long-term retainer. It means clients know we will give them continual good service rather than sit back and just take their money. A lot of people have been stung in the past by SEO companies, but we’re straightforward Yorkshire chaps and don’t work like that.”
As well as the office in Leeds, Wildfire Marketing has a base in London, with some clients down south, but most in Yorkshire. The agency, which also provides website development and social media management services, was shortlisted in the Start-up of the Year category in the Leeds Digital Festival Awards 2020.
Wildfire Marketing was given a £4,000 grant from AD:VENTURE to pay for equipment including a 60-inch TV screen to display work to clients, a sign, sofa and chairs in company colours, and new PCs and monitors for the growing team. They have also received mentoring support from an AD:VENTURE business coach.
Billy said: “The mentoring and guidance we have received through the AD:VENTURE programme has been invaluable to us as a young start-up business.
“Without the funding from AD:VENTURE the business wouldn’t be what it is today. Having a modern headquarters to show off to clients will help us establish ourselves as one of the top SEO agencies.”
AD:VENTURE’s funding and delivery partners are from across the Leeds City Region and include the region’s nine local authorities.
Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer Economic Development at Leeds City Council said: “It is impressive to see companies not just surviving, but also thriving during this difficult time. I would like to congratulate Billy and Neal for all their hard work and initiative.
“It also shows that giving support to local businesses is vital, especially in the current climate, and can help create much-needed jobs. Support programmes like AD:VENTURE are so important for the local economy.”
To find out more about AD:VENTURE go to https://ad-venture.org.uk/