Photo credit: Project Spaces. This is the third part in a three-part series on coworking marketing tactics.
Assuming you’ve created a place where people want to be and you’re sufficiently convincing them of your space’s value, as we discussed in the previous articles in this series, then generating awareness will be beneficial. If you haven’t done the other steps, this will be totally useless. Many coworking managers focus only on generating awareness but haven’t focused enough on their space and community for it to have much effect. DO NOT focus on awareness generation unless you’ve created a community people want to be a part of.
For the tactics below, I’m only focusing on those I’m most familiar with or have had the most success with.
Whatever audience you’re focusing on, whether it be social impact or tech startups, I’ll assume there’s already a community in your city or region focused on these. They probably have projects going on right now. They probably have events going on in the coming months. One of the simplest ways to build awareness in your community is to support existing projects as your organization.
You can support them by helping with finances, volunteering, assisting with marketing and awareness efforts, and all kinds of other things.
A great way to find out about the initiatives going on in your community, should you not already know about them, is to attend events related to the topic. You’re bound to meet at least a couple of people working on something.
You should be using something like Archie to automate your Twitter engagement, but that’s only half the battle. Having a bot like content for you will certainly generate an audience, but it’s only going to work if you’re posting quality content regularly.
You should also be engaging in conversations with local organizations that you would like to be a part of your community. This is a great place to further your community involvement as well, both as a way to find out about community initiatives and to have meaningful and contextual conversations with stakeholders in your area.
The thing that works so well for coworking spaces when it comes to Instagram is that coworking spaces produce a lot of visually appealing content.
Whether you’re hosting an event or a group of people are engaged in a fun conversation, there’s an opportunity to take pictures and record videos that can be posted to your wall and added to your storyline. This gives onlookers an insider view of your coworking community. After all, the first thing that a potential member is thinking when researching your space is, “What’s it like to work there? Who will I meet? Will I like the people?”
Quote your members saying funny things, make it accessible, make it human. People want to see your raw community, not a bunch of marketing jargon and special offers on your wall.
Use a tool like Instagress to automate engagement, but follow the same rules as with Twitter. Have great content, engage authentically. That means you should never automate comments, even though you can.
Events are the go-to way generate traffic and awareness for your space. But on-site and off-site events have different goals and different effects.
The goals with off-site events are these:
Hosting events at your space is the golden ticket. It gets people physically into your space where they can experience it first-hand, instead of just online. Hosting events at your space also contributes to your brand. Whatever topics you focus on and whatever level of quality the events end up being has a direct contribution to how the public and potential members see your brand. So quality and context are very key here.
Here you get to be a bit more salesy. After all, you’re the host. You should have a pitch for your space, complete with a short slide show. You should have staff available to answer questions at the event. You can even do this for paid event rentals, so long as you ask the hosts.
Doing a raffle is a great tactic as well for converting all this awareness into actual leads.