Head of Content (EMEA) at Green Park Content and shortlisted Rising Star of the Year Award nominee at the UK Agency Awards, Steven Westgate has helped build one of the strongest and most unique content offerings in the industry, contributing to rapid business growth and proving the power of performance-driven content for brands.
We chatted to him about his content vision for Green Park Content and what’s next for partnered brands.
How did you build Green Park Content’s content department powerhouse?
When I took on the position of Head of Content 18 months ago, the department was in need of internal resources and structures to allow further growth and scalability. Fast forward to 2022 and I’ve helped set up processes and frameworks that enable creativity to grow while still meeting quality standards and high-performance success metrics.
The content department has grown from 6 to a network of over 40 editors and content creators around the world who bring vast experience in many verticals. I’m particularly proud of these teams and their consistent delivery of best-in-class content; they contribute to making the content department one of the biggest revenue generators for Green Park Content and one of the most profitable teams.
I have many other ambitions to achieve over the next couple of years, including expanding all teams across the content department and developing new pillars that will enable the business to be an early adopter of innovative content and next-gen creation formats, like the Metaverse.
What is your content vision for Green Park Content’s partner brands?
I’m always looking for new ways in which creativity and innovation can be coupled with performance tactics to provide true value for both audiences and brands. Performance-driven content starts with people. Content needs to connect on a human level with people, and align with their aspirations, their needs, their highs and lows. This builds long-lasting relationships that turn single-session users into repeat readers.
How do you build a world-class agency of content creators from the ground up?
Again, it starts with putting people first. Recognise the core needs of your clients and develop a team that will bring their experience to deliver amazing work and provide a vision. Bring in people who can do the job better than you and place them in driving positions to develop an internal framework where knowledge and skills can be transferred across teams.
It’s also incredibly important to give everyone the time and opportunity to develop new skills and continually hone existing ones. Take the time to train and mentor them, listening to what they’re struggling with and what they think needs to happen to make the business more successful.
What advice do you have for young content creators and agency professionals?
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to be every type of content creator. No one can be a social media manager, influencer, editor, producer, and strategist at the same time—and certainly no one will pay you the salary of all these roles combined. Hone the content skills that come naturally to you; find a passion point and recognise industry needs. This will make you good at your job, enthused by it, and indispensable within the market.
For agency professionals and particularly those who are managers and budget setters, never undersell your team and their skills. Content is a vital part of a brand’s success, yet they often don’t fully understand it or see why certain services cost what they do. Business models should be set up to enable profitability but also offer competitive, if not leading, compensation packages for content creators. This will help stop what we do being commodified and see it highly desirable and strategically important.
How do you feel about entering and being shortlisted?
It feels amazing to even have been put forward by my wonderful team at Green Park Content, knowing that they appreciate and support me at every step of the way. I honestly don’t know if I would be where I am without them, they not only bring an incredible amount of skill and expertise, but they truly make the day-to-day an enjoyable experience. To have been shortlisted is still an odd feeling but really gratifying that others also see that what I’ve been working to achieve is noteworthy, so thank you very much.