When Rockefeller Center brought Big Human on board as their content and development agency, they wanted to elevate their current blog into more of a digital magazine, a destination for engaging, informative content with a definitive “New York” spin. It would be written by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers. With Rockefeller Center’s unparalleled access, the content would work to both engage and highlight the Rockefeller Center and greater New York communities.
There were three main goals for the blog: elevate the Rockefeller Center brand, encourage local New Yorkers to visit the campus, and generate excitement around in-person attendance to events and Rockefeller Center destinations. In order to achieve these goals, the content within the blog would need to feel inspired and “in the know.”
As far as specific KPIs, the Big Human team was tasked with the following: 1) increasing blog traffic, 2) boosting organic search traffic, and 3) showcasing the magazine's value to the Rockefeller Center business as a whole through an increase in newsletter subscribers.
The Big Human team took a three-pronged approach: editorializing the blog content itself, increasing the magazine’s SEO presence, and expanding the content distribution channels.
The team increased the regularity of the blog posts to six posts a month.
Topics for the articles were chosen based on Rockefeller Center events, organic search terms, and the areas in which Rockefeller Center wanted to increase topical authority.
The editorial team leaned into the “in the know” value proposition of the blog and utilized Rockefeller Center’s access to include interviews with stylists, fashion designers, composers, artists, entrepreneurs, and Rockefeller Center stalwarts, like Erik Pauze, the man who picks out the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree every year.
The Big Human team implemented a range of best SEO practices, including search-engine-optimized headlines (both on-page and via the title tag section in the CMS, keyword placement (in first body copy, headers, URLs), alt text for images, overall length of articles (700+ words), and digital authority-increasing outreach.
Beginning in September 2021, the team also implemented a monthly roundup of events around NYC in order to engage with the city outside of the campus and position The Center Magazine as a true New York authority. Half (50% +) of traffic from these articles now comes from organic search.
Content Channel Expansion:
In order to get more eyes on the blog/magazine content, the team worked to increase the number of subscribers in the corresponding newsletter, The Center. One of the larger initiatives in driving subscribers was the creation of a newsletter pop-up that lived on the relevant pages of RockefellerCenter.com. In order to capitalize on the excitement around the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in a meaningful way, the team launched the newsletter pop-up on the website in order to encourage signups ahead of the Christmas Tree lighting.
The team also worked hand in hand with the social media team to encourage magazine content promotion (which was previously not happening before August 2021), and participated in continuous outreach to those featured within the magazine, encouraging backlinks and social promotion.
Rockefeller Center’s online magazine saw an impressive amount of growth in 2021. Due to Big Human’s initiatives, blog traffic increased 29.5% from Q2 2021 to Q3 2021 and 465.4% from Q3 2021 to Q4 2021.
Organic search traffic increased 216% from Q1 2021 to Q4 2021, and 434% from Q3 2021 to Q4 2021.
One of the most notable success stories was the performance of the content surrounding Rockefeller Center’s Mexico Week. Showcasing the diversity of New York City is an important pillar of The Center Magazine, and the team wanted to highlight the talent and community that helped bring the event to Midtown. The top-performing article of Q4, "After 60 Years, Mexico Week Returns to Rockefeller Center," saw 58% of its traffic coming from organic search — demonstrating both the SEO work and the importance of creating content that resonates with different groups and cultures across New York.
Traffic is a huge win for the blog/magazine as more eyes to the content means the value and contribution to the overall Rockefeller Center brand increases.
There was also a 21.4% increase in newsletter subscribers from Q3 to Q4 and a 6.3% from Q2 to Q3; 75% of new subscribers in Q4 are attributed to the newsletter pop-up initiative, mentioned in the “strategy” section.
As blog traffic, organic traffic, and the content distribution channels grow, the overall Rockefeller Center brand becomes more powerful and more visitors visit the campus to enjoy all that Rockefeller Center brings to New York.