It is estimated that there are currently 17,725 co-working spaces in the world today, with shared workspaces having grown at an incredible rate of 200% over the past five years1. Leading the way is London, with flexible workspaces currently accounting for 21% of all office leasing and occupying 10.7 million square feet of space2.
The war for corporate tenants is , understandably, rife in an industry that’s showing little sign of slowing down – it’s estimated that the number of co-working spaces will rise to 24,306 in 2020, and 30,432 in 20223.
As the market space becomes more ferocious, so does the need to hold ground and maintain customers who are being poached and heavily incentivised to stray.
What kind of strategies can these businesses quickly adopt to inject loyalty and commitment within their customer base? Moreover, how many are treating their customers as community members rather than numbers on a piece of paper?
ENSURE CONTINUED GROWTH
Could flexible workspace learn from retailers and manufacturers who are dedicating time and resource to thought-leading, hard-hitting, high-quality content as a means of adding genuine value and distinguishing their brand from another?
“Consumers are increasingly cynical about content that is seen to be very obvious in its intentions. What they want is genuine content that is really useful, really inspiring, rather than just leading them down a path to buy something. By extension, they are then excited about that brand,” says Helena Lang, Editor-in-Chief at SevenC3, the agency behind content marketing campaigns for brands including Sainsbury’s, Bentley, Weight Watchers and Fujitsu.
Delivering a successful content strategy is a long term, sustainable approach that pays back over time. Those hitting their current loyal database with the right content will see a huge increase in engagement. And, if the content is valuable, they’ll share it, too, meaning a workspace’s reach goes ever further. However, any new reader is going to need some convincing that it’s worth subscribing – so the content must add value.
RESOURCE AND EXPERTISE
To deliver such content requires a strategised approach, and this, for many is where the problem lies. The challenge of becoming experts in delivering strategic content is not just finding the time required but having the resource and expertise to create it. Recent statistics suggest that 62% of companies outsource their content marketing, and for good reason5.
It’s also crucial to find the best format, and the best platform, for sharing it. Some industries favour the use of social media, while others favour the use of email campaigns – so identify what works best. Building a successful strategy requires much more than the content itself.
What’s vital is that workspaces are reaching their target market in the right way. Consistently delivering expert advice that appeals to an audience’s interests – and doesn’t purely sell the workspace – will build its profile, and, in turn, following.
As Steven Furrow, Managing Editor at John Deere’s The Furrow, an agricultural journal published in fourteen languages and distributed to farmers and experts in the industry across the word, says: “Using relevant content that your customers want to read will help you to appear genuine in your approach and build trust between your brand and its audience.” In the current-GDPR era that we now live in, the way workspaces market themselves has never been more important. Hitting existing members with promotional material just won’t cut it.
Engage audiences, then nurture those potential customers to the point of purchase. It’s a proven strategy we call Swarm.