Companies I've helped to grow:

STUDENT.COM

The world's largest student accommodation marketplace. It recently raised over $60M VC. My role was Vice President, Content.

Content Strategy & Scaling

  • Built team and infrastructure to deliver listings for 750,000 beds in 15 countries in 20 languages.
  • Launched content-rich alpha in just 3 weeks (including original photography of properties and local areas).
  • Launched beta and full global site in 6 weeks and 3 months respectively. 
  • Created all content requirements and style guides.
  • Hired teams under stealth conditions (internal and remote).
  • Implemented workflows in Salesforce and JIRA to create robust content pipeline with users across four time-zones.

Content Marketing & Brand

  • Crafted value proposition and brand story
  • Launched multi-channel content marketing strategy (social, CRM and SEO)
  • Led design/build of editorial platform (blog and landing page creator in Wordpress)
  • Built highly-engaged Facebook group of 70K fans in 5 months: reach of 2M p.m. with typical CTR of 3% and 1p CPC with peaks of 10K Likes and 15K shares.
  • Created local language content in Chinese for Hong Kong and China, and Korean, with CTR from FB over 3% and bounce rate 15% lower than average.
  • Built followings quickly on Twitter (5K) and Instagram (4K).

Testimonial

Luke Nolan, CEO and co-founder

Simon played a key role in launching Student.com. He is deeply passionate about all forms of content and has an unwavering commitment to quality.

His determination and focus allow him to meet even the most challenging deadlines and deliver the goods.


VoucherCodes - RetailMeNot, Inc. (NASDAQ: SALE)

Europe's leading coupon site and part of the world's largest coupon company, RetailMeNot Inc. I was Senior Director, Editorial & Operations after joining as employee #5.

Content Strategy & Scaling

Grew non-exclusive site and app content from 40% to 60% of annual revenue through data-driven merchandising.

Scaled content production from 2,000 offers p.m. in 2008 to 45,000+ in 2015, resulting in 8X growth to top line revenues.

Developed best practice and rolled it out to ops teams in Europe to help deliver continuous year-on-year growth for the region. 

Launched UGC and community features, quickly growing to 20% of revenue.

All regulatory compliance (ASA, FCA).

Content Marketing & SEO

Launched consumer lifestyle online magazine Most Wanted, creating platform for blogger outreach, content marketing campaigns and promotional opportunities for retail partners.

Gained thousands of editorial links into domain from bloggers and press.

Developed strategies to counter Google search algo updates (Panda, Penguin, thin affiliate etc).

Continuous optimisation of site based on organic search performance of landing pages. 

Testimonial

duncan jennings, FOUNDER vouchercodes

Simon played a pivotal role in growing VoucherCodes into the largest online coupon business in Europe.

His content strategy, leadership and execution continued to help the business outperform post acquisition and IPO.

He has a rare blend of editorial talent, operational excellence and digital marketing nous which he leverages to great effect.

Journalism Career

Before I got involved in digital marketing and content strategy for start-ups, I was a journalist, first as a freelancer (music, local news) and then as a staff news reporter.

Australian Associated Press | London Evening Standard | Freelance

My news reporting career (under my byline of Simon Kirby) covered crime, national and state politics, and sport first in Sydney, Australia and then London, UK.

My wide experience of covering high-profile court cases, reporting from budget lock-ups, chasing raging bush fires and filing football match reports has ingrained in me how to craft compelling content across a range of subjects under intense pressure.

The writing, research and analytical skills I learned as a journalist continue to serve me well in more commercial applications.