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Self Storage Marketing 101

Jun 11, 2024

Understanding Your Target Audience

Before delving into marketing tactics, it's crucial to understand your target audience. Identify the demographics of individuals or businesses most likely to require storage in your area. Are you catering to homeowners, renters, college students, small businesses, or a combination? Some might be downsizing, moving, or needing temporary storage during renovations. Businesses might require extra space for inventory, equipment, or documents. Additionally, determine if you are targeting those looking to store large items like boats and RVs or those needing space for household goods. Tailoring your marketing efforts to these specific needs will help attract and persuade potential customers to choose your facility.

Online Marketing Strategies

In today's digital age, people rely heavily on computers and phones to find services, including storage solutions. Online marketing is essential because it offers extensive reach, usually at a lower cost than traditional methods, and matches the way people now live and search for information.

➡️ Build/Optimize Your Website and Implement a User-Friendly Online Rental System

Your website is often the first point of contact for potential tenants, so it's crucial to make a great first impression. Ensure your site is user-friendly, with clear and accurate information as well as strong calls to action. Make sure it's mobile-friendly, as most users search on their phones. Allow customers to view available units, compare prices, and complete rental agreements online for a seamless experience.

➡️ Focus on SEO

Investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for increasing your self-storage facility's online visibility. With effective SEO strategies, you can ensure that your website ranks higher in search engine results, making it easier for potential customers to find you online. After all, having a website that no one can find is useless. Good SEO practices not only drive organic traffic to your site but also enhance your credibility and authority in the industry.

➡️ Setup and Optimize Your Google Business & Yelp Profiles

For local marketing, having a Google Business Profile (GBP) is crucial. Users often search for terms like "self-storage near me" and go directly to the Maps results to see nearby options. By setting up and optimizing your Google Business Profile, you increase your chances of appearing in these local searches. Similarly to Google, Yelp is another well-known platform for users to search for local businesses. Ensure your profile is complete with accurate contact information, business hours, and photos of your facility. It’s important that the information on your GBP matches your website! Google always tries to provide their users with accurate information, and having discrepancies of info on your website and GBP profile could harm your SEO efforts.

➡️ Leverage Online Reviews and Testimonials

Potential tenants often look at reviews and testimonials before making a decision. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google & Yelp. Respond to reviews, both positive and negative, to show that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving your services. Highlighting testimonials on your website helps build trust and provide social proof to prospective clients.

➡️ Use Paid Search Advertising

Investing in paid search advertising, such as Google Ads, is one of the best ways to reach individuals actively searching for self-storage solutions. Targeting specific keywords related to your business ensures that your ads are displayed to users who are likely to convert into tenants. With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you can set a budget that suits your marketing goals and track the effectiveness of your campaigns through detailed analytics. No matter how great your website SEO is, Google will always display ads as the first results for targeted keywords. So if you are ranked number 1 on Google but your competitor is running ads for the same keywords, their ads will be shown on top. The best part about Pay-per-click advertising is that you ONLY pay for audiences searching your keywords in targeted locations! This is the best and most cost-effective paid marketing initiative.

➡️ Setup Your Facility on SpareFoot

SpareFoot is a third-party listing service that helps users reserve storage units at facilities in a desired area. Like Expedia does for flights, when a tenant searches for storage on Google, SpareFoot will often show up as one of the top organic search results. Additionally, SpareFoot distributes your listing to 60+ other sites!

➡️ Offer Promotions and Discounts

Promotions and discounts are excellent incentives to attract new tenants. People shopping for self-storage are often looking at multiple nearby facilities and making a decision based on multiple factors including price/promotions! Consider offering first-month-free deals, discounted rates for long-term rentals, or rate lock deals. Limited-time promotions can also create a sense of urgency and drive immediate action.

Offline Marketing Strategies

While online strategies are crucial, offline marketing methods can still be effective, especially when targeting specific demographics or local communities.

➡️ Invest in High-Quality Signage

First impressions matter, and the physical appearance of your facility can significantly influence a potential tenant's decision. Invest in high-quality signage that is visible from a distance and clearly displays your business name and contact information.

➡️ Utilize Direct Mail Campaigns

While much of today's marketing happens online, traditional methods like direct mail can still be effective, especially when targeting specific neighborhoods or demographics. Sending out postcards, flyers, or brochures highlighting your services, promotions, and contact information can reach potential tenants who may not be actively searching online. Direct mail can be particularly effective for reaching older demographics who might prefer more traditional forms of communication.

➡️ Network With Local Businesses

Building relationships with local businesses can create a steady stream of referrals. Partner with real estate agents and moving companies who can refer their clients to your storage facility!

➡️ Work on Referral Marketing Strategies

Implement a referral program that incentivizes existing customers to refer friends, family, and colleagues to your facility. Offer rewards such as discounts on rental fees or gift cards in exchange for successful referrals.

Track and Analyze Your Marketing Efforts

Finally, it’s crucial to track and analyze your marketing efforts to understand what works and what doesn’t. Regularly review this data to adjust your strategies and improve your return on investment. Being adaptable and responsive to your marketing performance will help you stay ahead in the competitive self-storage industry.

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