- This is the time to rethink your business, operations, vision, and most importantly, your marketing.
- All signs point to a boom for coworking spaces as we move through COVID.
- Workspace marketing expert Cat Johnson shares six ways to position your space now for the workspace return.
Don’t waste a crisis.
You’ve probably heard this more than a few times in the last nine months, right?
Because it is spot-on. This is a golden opportunity to rethink your business, operations, offerings and vision.
It’s also prime time to position your space for the workspace return. The remote work model has been both proven and accelerated during the pandemic and work from home is the norm for millions of people.
But working from home is not ideal and I, for one, am antsy to get back into a buzzing, productivity-boosting, collaborative workspace full of people who push and inspire me. And I’m not alone. All signs point to a boom for coworking spaces, flexspaces, shared offices and collaborative workspaces as we move through COVID.
When that boom comes, you don’t want to be dusting off your marketing strategy wondering if it’s still relevant. You want to be engaged and shining, a beacon for workspace seekers in your community. You want your space to be top-of-mind for your target market, as well as emerging and growing markets of the newly remote, work from home parents, side-giggers, the work from anywhere crowd, remote students, teachers, media creators and corporate teams.
One powerful way to do this positioning is with content marketing.
Marketing is not just another todo item. Marketing—and especially content—is the bridge between you and your members, your potential members, and your extended community.
This is not the time to step away from your content, this is the time to ramp up your output, to experiment with new platforms, to test new strategies, and to stretch your content comfort zone.
Here are six ways to position your space now for the workspace return.
1. Keep Your Website Updated and Relevant
First things first, you have updated your website, right? Just making sure.
As we move through and beyond COVID, continue to update it. How are things changing, what can members expect, what are the current safety measure and guidelines, what offerings are available, how can people book time in your space?
Keep your website relevant to what’s happening right now. And be sure to balance human language with your COVID messaging. Yes, your safety protocol should be front and center. But scary photos of empty spaces that look like medical supply companies are not going to do much to attract new members. Be sure to strike that balance.
2. Dust Off Your Blog and Put It to Work
What’s the date on your last blog post? How about the one before that? If they both fall within a week or two, you’re on the right track. If your last post, however, was back in March, you need to put “create a blog post” on today’s todo list.
People are looking at your site and blog. Right now. If your blog is a ghost town, they notice. And it doesn’t give them confidence that you are open and ready to help and support them. It gives the impression that either you don’t care, or are in freakout mode, which is understandable but not the tone you want to set.
You don’t have to have big news or something profound to share on your blog. In fact, the best content—especially right now—is human, real, relatable.
Share resources and tips for your members. How can you support and serve them? What are you working on? How are you keeping your community engaged? What’s your vision moving forward? What are the biggest challenges you face?
Let us in on the journey.
3. Step Up the Social on Your Social Media
Social media is, first and foremost, a way to connect with your community of members, supporters, potential members and the coworking curious. Step up your social engagement—not just your posting. Comment, like, offer your perspective, share questions, repost relevant content.
Social channels are your most visible contact points with your market and community. Make sure they’re active, relevant, and that all your bios are updated.
4. Embrace Video Across Your Channels
Video is hot right now.
It’s easier than ever to create and share videos and informal, off-the-cuff video is as impactful—if not more so—than super polished videos.
Social media platforms want people to share video so they prioritize your videos and streaming posts in the feed. A growing number of platforms, including LinkedIn and Twitter, now have Instagram Stories-inspired options. Leverage these tools to share and amplify your messaging.
5. Give Virtual Tours of Your Space
People are looking for workspace right now. They may or may not move in this week or month, but they’re looking.
Differentiate your space with virtual walkthroughs and tours that give people a real-life look at your offerings. Virtual tours also offer an opportunity to show off the vibe and humanness of your brand.
Virtual tours can be produced professionally. They can also be off-the-cuff walkthroughs recorded on a phone, a streaming video, a FaceTime call, and anything in-between. Don’t overthink this one. Done is better than perfect. You want people to be able to imagine themselves in your space and community and this is a great way to do it.
6. Get Into Action
As I shared recently on LinkedIn, the best time to create a content strategy was two years ago. The second best time is today.
Create a strategy that aligns your market, your offerings, your content and your call to action. Then get going. The only way to learn how to create good content is by creating content.
You have to start somewhere. Your early content is probably not going to be as good as you’d like it to be. But you have to be willing to put that less-than-perfect stuff into the world. It’s the only way to learn. Then apply what you’ve learned to the next one, then the one after that, and the one after that.
You may be in survival mode now, but don’t let your marketing fall off your priority list. Stay connected, continue to support and serve your community and be patient. When people return to the workspace, your space will be top-of-mind and you’ll have leads who already know, like and trust you.
For support, feedback and guidance on your workspace marketing, join the Lab, a marketing club for coworking space operators, community managers and marketers.