Covid-19 has shaken our world. As state and local governments allow businesses to reopen, how should flexible office space operators adjust their marketing game plan to prepare for the new normal?
Here are five things operators can do right now to market their spaces during this era of Covid.
1. Market your Virtual Office services now more than ever
A strong virtual office offering is so important in today’s climate as people are choosing to work from home (WFH) with a combination of flexible office services. Show off your broad menu of Virtual Office Plans on your website. Create bundled plans that include a business address with mail services, live answering services, and access to meeting rooms. Allow add-ons such as 24/7 access or a digital mailbox. Digital mail plans are one of the most valuable resources to WFH professionals.
Virtual office (VO) users are very price sensitive, so do your homework and benchmark your competition and price your plans competitively. Lower the barriers to entry by making all plans month-to-month and waive any service deposit if users auto-pay monthly via credit card.
In terms of marketing tactics on your website, here are a few things to tackle:
- Update copy on your site for virtual office keywords to help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
- Refresh images and update alt text and metadata to reflect relevant search queries.
- Update services, images, and descriptions on local listings (Google My Business, Yelp, Apple Places, and Bing Places.
- Use the tools Google gives you (i.e. Search Console, Analytics, and Trends ) to refine your keyword strategy.
- Create content about virtual offices through your blog. You can then leverage social media to promote those blogs and drive people to your site.
If you have the budget for Google or Bings Ads, set up dynamic search ads. Create ad groups for the services you are offering. Based on the keyword research, set-up ads using a manual CPC (cost-per-click) bid strategy so you can control the daily budget and maximum CPC. Leverage ad extensions to display snippets, site links, and locations to optimize your ads. For more information on PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, check out this training.
Along with your own marketing efforts, listing with an aggregator or value- added reseller like CloudVO will help expand your market reach.
Lastly, and we can’t stress this enough, your Virtual Office Plans should be available for purchase on your website. People want instant gratification. If they’re on your site and want to purchase a plan, they want to buy it now! The inability for a prospect to purchase a virtual office online can be a reason they choose to go with another provider, so get that e-commerce rolling already!
2. Come up with a new strategy for member engagement in your space and promote it!
Maya Delano, “OG” Community Manager at NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz has implemented new ways to keep people connected during this time of physical distancing.
- Host your happy hour onsite and online. NextSpace Santa Cruz set-up a “Zoom” area so members who are onsite can interact with our virtual members during happy hour. It’s as easy as opening up your laptop and starting a zoom session. Onsite members can take turns saying a quick hello, and the six-feet distancing floor decals assure this is done in a safe and healthy manner.
- Provide opportunities for your members to be interviewed. Connect them to local organizations and community groups hosting webinars so they can share their expertise. This creates awesome content for you, promotes your member’s business, and continues the networking value of your membership.
- Host your own monthly online event. NextSpace brought back its “What’s Next Lecture Series.” This is a monthly 40-minute Zoom event that highlights a member as the speaker. Sometimes experts in a certain industry or specific topic are invited to speak as well. The format is usually 10-20 minutes of presenting and then 20 minutes of Q&A. It’s important to curate topics that are relevant to today’s issues. Be sure to record the event so you can use the content on various social media platforms.
- Re-imaginine your space. It’s important to communicate, communicate, communicate! Host a weekly Q&A Zoom session that gives your members an update on the space, what’s happening within your community, and discuss any health and safety updates. Every member has their own timing and comfort level as to when they want to return to the space. This give members (and non-members) who are considering a possible return, the opportunity to get their questions and concerns answered. It’s also become a great opportunity for members to share their ideas about the space and get feedback.
3. Virtual Tours
Remember what we said before about instant gratification? This applies to space tours as well. You should have high-quality video virtual tours ready to send to new prospects during the sales process.
Highlight your space and focus on the products and services you offer. If you are incorporating still images in your tour, make sure they are high resolution. Use transitions between clips. The narration parts of the video should match any music you include. You should also add a closing title card with your location and contact information. The final video should be no longer than 2 to 3 minutes.
These virtual tours should be considered an important sales and marketing tool, so take the time to make sure they look good and communicate your unique value proposition to potential members.
Pro tip: Try posting your virtual tour on IGTV. This is an easy way for potential members looking at your Instagram account to view your space. You can easily upload your video to IGTV via the web at Instagram.com or use the IG app.
4. Spotlight your Tech
In this time of Covid, people are looking for more than just a desk and wi-fi. As an operator, you can set yourself apart by marketing the robust technology users can enjoy when they work at your space.
Adding technology services can be costly, but it’s an investment. Users will expect their flexible office space to offer better tech options than their home office can provide. Here are some things to highlight on your website, marketing collateral and ad campaigns:
- High-speed fiber gig internet (or 100 megabits up and down at the minimum).
- Meeting rooms that are fully-equipped with the latest technology including smart whiteboards and mirror displaying devices (AppleTV, Apple Airplay).
- Tech that reduces the need for international travel such as Language Boxes for real-time translation between 10 different languages.
- Real-time meeting room and guest office booking capabilities so members can easily schedule access to the space.
- Keyless entry into your space.
- Video conferencing capabilities such as Zoom Rooms. Enterprise users and large corporations, in particular, will want to leverage high-end video conferencing as a solution to connect with remote workers, customers, and employees.
5. A Transparent Health & Safety Policy
In this current climate, businesses need to spell out their health and safety measures. Prospects and members need to feel like working at your space is just as safe as working from home (or safer!)
Create a landing page on your website which specifically addresses the health and safety protocols in your space. Make this page prominent and accessible from anywhere on your site and update it regularly. People want to know what to expect when they enter your space.
Make sure your community managers are aware of the page and encourage them to leverage it during the sales process to ensure prospects that health and safety are top of mind. If you don’t know where to start, here is the Health & Safety Policy of our sister company Pacific Workplaces as a sample.
What are some of your post Covid marketing strategies? Let us know about them, or partner with us and get access to resources that can keep your space successful during these unprecedented times.
CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.