New York City is a noisy place. Without a decent pair of headphones you may never survive its endless shouts, screeches and beeps. And the same could be said for a typical coworking space in Manhattan. Characterized by affordable rent, fridges packed with Red Bull, and overflowing snack bars, these shared office spaces have become a magnet for those taking the leap from “safe” corporate jobs into the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship.
To support New York City’s thriving startup ecosystem there are now dozens, if not nearing hundreds of options for alternative work situations to choose from in the city that never sleeps. Coworking spaces are no longer competing just to fill desks, now they’re competing over who will fill those desks.
So, given this climate, the recently launched co-working space called Fueled Collective — operated by mobile development company Fueled — faced a marketing challenge as it worked to define itself and attract a wide array of top talent. My company Audience.io came on board to help build the Fueled audience and community, and immediately, we turned to content. It’s shaped up to be a mix of editorial analysis, blog posts, video interviews and email marketing that’s turning into one of our most important and effective strategies for differentiating ourselves from other coworking spaces.
While some might ask — Why does a coworking space or a mobile development company need a content strategy? — that was never up for debate with our team. As an outsider looking in, and as a former journalist, I felt like there were just too many brilliant people working for Fueled and in-house at Fueled Collective’s resident companies to not put in the resources to share their insights and strategies for success with the rest of our peers in the digital industry.
“It’s putting our money where our mouth is,” says Ryan Matzner, Fueled’s Director and Chief Strategist, of the company’s decision to open a co-working space in the first place. “We tell people that we’re really stoked by startups and disruptive new technology. So what better way to demonstrate that than hosting those very companies in our office?”
We knew we’d have to invest not just in content, but in really high-quality content in order to be on-brand for Fueled. If you’re one of the 75 people who visit Fueled Collective on a typical day, you’ll quickly notice its strong brand and design aesthetic that’s elegant, refined and sharp. The expansive SoHo space is more carefully designed and planned than most co-working spaces, with big leather sofas, airy conference rooms, and an endless supply of free snacks and ice cream for the 25+ companies that work there.
“Our content strategy strives to emulate this discipline, as evidenced on our website. It shows off not just our space and attention to detail but how deeply connected we are to the startup ecosystem,” notes Matzner. “We carefully curate our content and who we interview and feature to match the meticulous way we decide who we work with and host in our space.”
Fueled founder Rameet Chawla vocally wanted to use content as a way to distinguish Fueled as an expert in the startup industry and as a means of meaningful engagement with the local community. According to Chawla, some of the best benefits of having the coworking space are that you’re constantly surrounded by innovation, learning about new marketing tactics, sharing resources and receiving quality references for third-party vendors. Chawla points out that it’s not just about entrepreneurs but the entire Internet community — from journalists to investors.
We’ve been working to acquaint traditional and new media outlets with the idea that brands can be publishers too. We can hire talented writers and work with them to produce engaging content that doesn’t have an ulterior motive other than raising our brand profile.
So in May of 2013, we set out to execute Fueled’s content strategy with a focus on both New York and London, where Fueled’s first international mobile development office is set up. We brought our blog content to a higher quality and began to involve all members of the coworking space through a series of interviews. We hired a team of Fueled writers to help us produce content for the blog as well as content we can syndicate to higher-level media outlets.
The Fueled blog now serves up at least three original posts per week. The “At the Pump” posts are a part of our weekly content series featuring members within the space, while “Under the Hood” offers an insider’s look into the tastes and interests of the Fueled team. Recent articles describe the apps our team members are using and their picks of the best-designed websites. This is our way of being in touch with members and connecting them to a growing audience.
We’re really excited about our soon-to-launch Founders Couch Series, a collection of video interviews with entrepreneurs like Jon Oringer, the CEO of Shutterstock and Artsy’s CEO Carter Cleveland. You can find them on The Huffington Post as well as our blog starting next month. In addition, we’re working on a “stealth mode” editorial product codenamed “Octane” where we will assess different startup business models and global startup companies based on our own proprietary rating system. Email marketing is also on deck with a series of reports on design for various demographics.
We’ve been working to acquaint traditional and new media outlets with the idea that brands can be publishers too. We can hire talented writers and work with them to produce engaging content that doesn’t have an ulterior motive other than raising our brand profile. The media landscape is changing quickly and leveling the playing field for us all; the only thing that truly matters now is the creation of great, shareable content.