Self Storage Marketing Strategies
Marketing is an ever-evolving process. There are always new innovations to consider, and your competition is always looking to get an edge on your business. This guide is crafted in a way to help you implement effective marketing strategies at your self storage facility that will help you capture more reservations and rentals.
Universal Storage Group has 30+ years of experience in helping our clients manage and market their self storage properties. If you have questions in regards to marketing and managing your property after reviewing the guide below, contact our team, and we will help you by evaluating your property and developing a custom plan of attack for your market.
Set Your Goals for a Winning Strategy!
When developing the marketing strategy for your self storage facility, it is important to take the time to understand what your current goals are. Goals can always change, but having a vision of where you want to take your property will be essential to developing an effective marketing strategy. As an example, if your goal is to increase the occupancy of your property and sell it at its peak, then your strategy could be different than if this is your retirement project that you will hold for the rest of your life. Goals are meant to change, and your marketing strategy will change with those goals, but as a starting point, you need to identify what you are trying to achieve with your self storage business.
How to Create a Logo & Brand That Truly Stands Out
What is a brand? A brand is a promise. It is a promise of quality, value, and satisfaction. A strong brand can help a company build trust and credibility with its customers. A strong brand can also help a company stand out from the competition and build loyalty among its customers.
Although brand recognition isn’t as pertinent in the self storage industry as other industries, your brand will be important to those who choose to store with you and the impact on future referrals. When you determine what you want your brand to stand for, you can design and develop your property’s logo and brand to embody those traits. The self storage properties that people will lean towards choosing tend to incorporate the following with their brand:
- Friendly & Comforting: When a tenant feels comfortable in their environment and with the manager at the facility, they are more likely to trust them and feel confident that their belongings are in good hands. As an added benefit, creating this environment can lead to repeat business and referrals.
- Credibility: Potential tenants will want to know that your self storage facility is credible. This can be determined by the reviews online of the facility, the cleanliness and photos of the property, and the overall experience the facility provides the user online and in the office.
- Affordable: Affordability is important to the prospects decision making online. This does not mean that you need to be the cheapest in your market. This means that you need to understand where your unit rates stand in your market and to make sure you are competitive with the rates and specials you offer. If you try to be the most expensive, then it’s important to understand that you may not have the highest potential for lead generation on a month-to-month basis.
- Trustworthiness: Your facility’s trustworthiness is going to be extremely important. Again, the prospect is going to make this determination based on your reviews online, the cleanliness of your property, the photos you share online and the experience they have if they do decide to contact your facility. Your prospect is determining where they will be storing personal belongings that they care about, and they will want to make sure that their items are safe.
- Cleanliness: This will matter to not only potential tenants but also your employees. Keeping your facility clean will make your property more appealing to those who are looking for self storage and will also prevent pests and rodents. Cleanliness also includes making sure that the landscape of your property is clean and trimmed.
How Grassroots Marketing Can Skyrocket Your Property!
The goal of grassroots marketing for self-storage facilities is to ensure that everyone in the market area knows the brand. Unlike products that people buy on impulse or because they are on sale, people only buy self-storage when they need it. Therefore, the mission of grassroots marketing is to make sure that when people do need storage, the first facility they think of is yours. This requires fostering positive community impressions and building a sense of comfort and trust with potential customers.
Grassroots marketing is important for fostering great impressions and establishing a sense of comfort and trust with potential customers, particularly in the self-storage industry, where people tend to choose facilities in their neighborhood or near their place of business. By being known as a helpful, friendly, and community-oriented business, you can bypass online searches and attract customers through positive community involvement. This can include personal visits to local businesses, hospitals, professional offices, real estate, apartments, universities, and schools, as well as sponsoring local teams and clubs and forming local business networking and alliances.
A couple of steps or strategies you can use to start your grassroots marketing efforts are:
- Divide & Conquer - Zone Marketing: To effectively market your facility, it's important to map out the area using Google Earth and define it with a 5-10 mile polygon while paying attention to natural barriers such as highways, rivers, and mountains. This will help you to slice up your market into zones and plan your marketing visits by target, allowing for one laser-focused marketing message to be used across all platforms each month or quarter. For example, in month one you could visit all medical offices in each zone, then all attorney and CPA offices in month two, and all real estate offices in month three, and so on. This targeted approach can help you make a great impression and build trust with potential customers in your community.
- Take Something, Leave Something: When visiting businesses as part of your grassroots marketing strategy, it's important to not only leave a business card or brochure but also to leave something 3-dimensional with each contact you make. This can include pens, cups, goody bags, promo items, or anything else that the recipient can use. This will make a lasting impression and keep your brand top of mind. Additionally, don't forget the power of food - bringing in snacks or treats can be a great way to leave a positive impression and build relationships with potential customers.
Implementing Digital Marketing For Your Self Storage Property
If your self storage facility is not accessible online, you are missing out on potential customers. In today's digital age, people expect to be able to find and reserve storage units online. If your website is not user-friendly or does not allow customers to reserve units online, you will lose business to the competition.
User experience is the key to successful digital marketing. If you can create a positive and user-friendly experience for your customers, they will be more likely to choose your facility over the competition. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that your online reservation and rental process is simple and straightforward.
There are many different digital marketing strategies you can use to promote your self storage facility. Some of the most effective strategies include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising, and Social Media Marketing. Since there are so many marketing strategies you can implement, we will go over the essentials of digital marketing for your self storage property.
Transforming Your Self-Storage Property’s Online Presence with an Effective Website Design
The design and implementation of your website will have a big impact on your facility’s success. Your website should be designed to convert as many website visitors into reservations or rentals as possible. It should also be integrated with your management software so that you can show live rates and accept reservations and rentals online.
Your website design should also represent the values of your business and show why a prospect should choose your facility over a competitor. If your website does not help you stand out from the competition, then you will blend in and most likely will not be chosen by the potential prospect.
Here are some tips for designing a website that will help you achieve success:
- Make sure your website is easy to use. Your website should be easy to navigate and understand. Visitors should be able to find the information they need quickly and easily.
- Use high-quality images. Your website should use high-quality images that showcase your facility and its amenities.
- Integrate your unit rates with your website. Your website should clearly display your rates and allow prospects the ability to reserve or rent a unit online.
- Include a call to action. Your website should include a clear call to action, such as "Reserve A Unit" or "Rent A Unit" This will encourage visitors to take the next step and become a tenant.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet. Make sure your website is designed for mobile devices so that visitors can easily view and use your website on their phones and tablets.
By following these tips, you can create a website that will help you attract more customers and grow your self storage business. If your website is not meeting the criteria in the tips above, then you are behind your competition. Take some time to review your website and make the necessary changes to improve it. You'll be glad you did.
The Power of Web Tracking to Optimize Your Self-Storage Property's Online Performance
Tracking is going to help you understand how your business is performing online and will help you not waste funds on ineffective marketing strategies. The most basic form of website tracking is Google Analytics. You will want to make sure that your website is running the latest version of Google Analytics and is also tracking the completion of reservations and rentals online. The forms of web tracking that will help you maximize your marketing spend are:
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics can track website traffic from all sources, including search engines, social media, and direct traffic. It can also track user behavior on a website, such as which pages are most popular, how long users stay on a page, and where they click.
- Call Tracking & Analytics: Call tracking is a marketing tool that allows you to track the source of phone calls to your business. This information can be used to improve your marketing campaigns and measure the ROI of your advertising.
- Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that helps website owners monitor and improve their websites' performance in Google Search results. It provides information about how Google crawls and indexes websites, reports on how websites are performing in Google Search results, and reports on the usability of websites on mobile devices. It also provides reports on the security of websites.
- Google Ads Conversion Tracking: Google Ads Conversion Tracking is a tool that allows you to track reservations and rentals that prospects make after they click on your ads. This information can be used to improve your ads and measure the ROI of your advertising.
- Social Media Ads Conversion Tracking: Social media ads conversion tracking is a way to measure the effectiveness of your social media ads by tracking the actions that people take after they click on your ads. This information can be used to improve your ads and measure the ROI of your advertising.
- Heatmaps & Session Recording (Hotjar or CrazyEgg): Heatmaps are visual representations of user activity on a website. They show where users are clicking, how far down they are scrolling, and which areas of the page are most popular. Session recording is a tool that records the actions of a user as they interact with a website. This can include mouse movements, clicks, scroll events, and form submissions.
- Rank Tracking (AWR & LocalFalcon): Rank tracking tools are used to monitor the position of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords. This information can be used to track the effectiveness of SEO campaigns and to identify opportunities for improvement.
Conversion Rate Optimization Boosts Your Self Storage Website's Performance
Website conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of improving the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as reserving or renting a storage unit. There are many different strategies you can implement on your facility’s website to improve the conversion rate overall. Some of those strategies include:
- Improving the website's design and layout: A well-designed website is easy to navigate and provides visitors with the information they need to quickly and easily reserve or rent a unit online.
- Using high-quality images: Images can be a powerful tool for attracting attention and engaging potential tenants. Make sure your website uses high-quality images that showcase your facilities and units in a positive light.
- Testing different versions of your website: A/B testing is a process of testing different versions of your website to see which one performs better. This can be a great way to improve your conversion rates by testing different elements of your website, such as the headline, call to action, or images.
- Tracking your results: It's important to track your website's conversion rates so you can see what's working and what's not. This will help you make informed decisions about your CRO strategies.
The Power of Call Tracking: Boosting Operational Efficiency for Your Self-Storage Property
As the owner of a self storage facility, you know that every lead counts. That's why it's so important to track the source of your leads and measure the ROI of your marketing campaigns. Call tracking can help you do just that.
This information is invaluable for making better decisions about your marketing budget and improving your overall results. For example, if you see that a particular marketing campaign is generating a lot of traffic but not many reservations or rentals, you can adjust your campaign accordingly. Or, if you see that your website is not converting well, you can make changes to improve the user experience.
Call Tracking can also be used to help your operations and sales process at the facility. As an example, you may have marketing campaigns that are generating phone calls to the facility, but they aren’t turning into reservations or rentals. Most call tracking providers record phone calls, and you can go through and listen to those call recordings to analyze how your manager is handling the sales call.
Call tracking is a powerful tool that can help you improve your marketing results and increase your bottom line. If you're not already using call tracking, I encourage you to give it a try. You may be surprised at the results.
Boost Your Self-Storage Business with Online Local Listings
One great way to improve your marketing results and visibility for your facility is to make sure your business is listed in as many online directories as possible. When potential customers are searching for self storage facilities near them, they're likely to use local search options like Google Maps and Yelp. If your facility isn't listed in these directories, it's less likely to be found by these potential tenants.
Not only that but local listings and citations can also help to build trust with potential customers. When potential tenants see that your facility is listed in multiple directories, they're more likely to believe that your business is legitimate. This is because directories typically only list businesses that have been verified by the directory.
Local listings and citations can also help to improve your business's ranking in local search results. Search engines use a variety of factors to determine the ranking of businesses in local search results. One of these factors is the number of citations that a business has. The more citations that your business has, the higher it's likely to rank in local search results because search engines will trust that your business is a real business for the user.
So how do you get started with local listings and citations? It's actually quite simple. You can submit your business to online directories like Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Places for Business. When you submit your business to these directories, be sure to include accurate, consistent and complete information about your business, such as your name, address, phone number, and website.
Developing a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy for your Property
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimizing a website so that it ranks higher in search engine results. When you optimize your website for SEO, you are essentially making it more visible to potential customers who are searching for self storage facilities in your area.
There are many factors that go into optimizing your facility’s website SEO, including conversion rate optimization, local listings and citations, the speed and accessibility of your website, and your unit rates management.
If you want to improve your self storage facility’s SEO, then you should consider focusing on two main factors. The first one is the speed and usability of your website. Your website should be loading quickly to users in your area and should be designed in a way that is easy to navigate and reserve or rent a unit online. You will also want to make sure that you are sprinkling value propositions along the user journey on your website so that you can improve your website’s conversion rate.
The second strategy to focus on is your unit rate management. If your rates are not in line with your market and you are not using unit specials strategically, then you may not be showing up on Google and Bing. If you’re going to offer high rent prices for your market, you need to clearly and concisely show the potential tenant why they should choose your facility over the others. If you can’t do this, the potential tenant will go with the more affordable option because, to them, your facility will look the same as the other high-quality facilities that are more affordable. When Google sees that users are choosing other properties over yours, then they will continue to show those properties instead of yours until you make a change.
By following these tips, you can improve your self storage facility’s SEO and attract more tenants.
Managing Your Unit Rates and Inventory For Ultimate Visibility
Having a strong online presence is crucial to attracting potential tenants. When people are searching for a self-storage unit, they often turn to search engines like Google to find nearby options that meet their needs. Google's goal is to provide its users with the most relevant and useful results for their search queries, so it looks at various factors to determine which self-storage properties are the best match.
One key factor that Google considers when determining a property's rank in search results is its inventory. If a self-storage property has a large selection of units available, it's more likely to satisfy the needs of users searching for storage options. On the other hand, if a property has limited availability or doesn't offer the types of units that users are looking for, it's less likely to appear at the top of search results.
Additionally, Google also takes into account the prices and specials offered by self-storage properties. If a property has higher prices or doesn't offer competitive specials compared to other options in the market, it may be less likely to receive maximum exposure on Google. This is because Google wants to ensure that its users are presented with the most relevant and affordable options for their needs.
Overall, having a strong inventory of available units and competitive pricing and specials can help self-storage properties improve their visibility on Google and attract more potential tenants.
Developing A Rock Solid Google Ads Strategy For Your Self Storage Property
Using Google Ads as part of your marketing strategy is critical for promoting your self-storage property. Google Ads, also known as PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, enables you to appear at the top of Google's search results while you work on enhancing your organic search ranking through SEO strategies.
However, a common mistake among self-storage marketers and property owners is setting up a Google Ads account and then neglecting ongoing optimization. The self-storage industry is highly competitive, and your competitors are likely making adjustments to their advertising strategies. Without making your own ongoing adjustments, you may end up spending your marketing budget without seeing any returns on your investment.
Running a successful Google Ads campaign in 2023 requires careful planning, execution, and ongoing optimization. Here are some important things you need to do:
- Define your goals: Defining your campaign goals is crucial before you start running your Google Ads campaign. Consider what you want to accomplish with your campaign, such as boosting occupancy rates for a newly built facility or increasing rentals for a property that is already 70-90% occupied. There are various scenarios to consider when promoting your property, but having a clear goal in mind allows you to customize your campaign to attain it.
- Conduct keyword research: Conducting keyword research enables you to discover the specific search terms that potential customers are using to find self-storage options. With this information, you can create targeted ads that appear when people search for those terms. It's vital not to assume which keywords are popular in your market. Instead, thorough research allows you to identify the actual terms that people use to search for self-storage, such as "self storage in [city-name]," "self storage near me," "storage on [street-name]," and "drive-up storage units near me."
- Create compelling ad copy: Your ad copy needs to be compelling and relevant to your target audience. It should highlight the benefits of your self-storage property and encourage users to click on your ad. Make sure to include prices and specials in your ad copy if you have the technology available to keep them up to date.
- Send users to the correct landing page: Your landing page is the first page that users will see after clicking on your ad. For self-storage businesses, it's essential that your landing page is your rates page. When potential customers are searching for storage options, they want to easily find the rental prices and the value your property offers. Because your ad will lead users to the rates page, it's important to ensure that it includes essential information such as facility photos, address, phone number, and compelling reasons why they should choose your property for their storage needs.
- Set a realistic budget: It's important to set a budget that aligns with your campaign goals and ensures profitability for your self-storage property. The initial budget will vary depending on the competitiveness of your market, but as a guideline, you can start with a monthly budget of $400. Keep in mind that this budget is flexible and may change depending on the competition in the market and the availability of your property. Ultimately, you want to ensure that the budget you're investing in is generating a positive return on investment by acquiring tenants at a low cost per acquisition.
- Setup all methods of tracking: Tracking is crucial when running a Google Ads campaign because it allows you to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and make informed decisions about how to optimize it for better results. By tracking metrics like reservations and rentals (through the website and phone calls), you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your ads and the behavior of your target audience. This information can help you identify areas for improvement, adjust your targeting or messaging, and make data-driven decisions to maximize the return on investment for your campaign.
- Test and optimize: It's important to continually test and optimize your ads to improve their performance. You can use A/B testing to test different ad copy, landing pages, and targeting options to see what works best.
- Monitor and adjust: Keep a close eye on your campaign performance and adjust your strategy as needed. You may need to adjust your targeting, bidding strategy, or ad copy to ensure that you're getting the best results.
By following these best practices, you can create and run a successful Google Ads campaign that drives traffic, generates leads, and ultimately helps you achieve your business goals.
Implementing A Social Advertising Strategy For Your Self-Storage Property
While social media advertising may not be suitable for every self-storage property, it can still be an effective strategy depending on your market. However, it's important to start your advertising process with Google Ads. Social advertising, particularly on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, can be an excellent way to increase visibility for your property. Although some social platforms' tracking capabilities have been impacted by the phasing out of third-party cookies, they are not completely obsolete. To ensure success, it's crucial to set up tracking and measure the effectiveness of your social ads campaign. This way, you can verify that your efforts are generating leads and converting them into rentals for your self-storage property.
Some of the common strategies implemented in social media advertising for self-storage properties are:
- Website Retargeting: Retargeting is effective because it allows you to target users who have already shown an interest in your self-storage property by visiting your website. This means they are more likely to engage with your ads and potentially convert into tenants. Additionally, retargeting allows you to tailor your ads specifically to these users, using messaging or promotions that are more likely to appeal to them based on their previous interactions with your business.
- Lookalike Audiences: Lookalike audiences are a targeting option that allows you to reach new people who are similar to your existing tenants. This is done by using algorithms to analyze your custom audience data (such as your current tenants) and find other Facebook users who share similar demographics, interests, and behaviors.
The Importance of Review Management & Review Generation
Online review management and generation is the process of actively monitoring and influencing the online reviews of your self-storage property to maintain a positive reputation and attract more tenants.
- Review management involves monitoring review sites, such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook, to keep track of what customers are saying about your business. Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows that you value your customers and are committed to providing excellent service.
- Review generation involves actively seeking out reviews from satisfied customers. This can be done through various methods, such as sending follow-up emails or text messages after a rental or simply asking customers in person. The more positive reviews your business receives, the higher your overall rating will be, which can lead to increased visibility and more customers.
Online review management and generation are essential for your self-storage property for several reasons:
- Increased visibility: Positive online reviews help your property to be more visible to potential tenants. When people search for self storage options, they often look at reviews to determine the best option. If your business has many positive reviews, it is more likely to be seen by potential customers.
- Increased credibility: Positive online reviews also increase your business's credibility. When potential tenants see positive reviews from previous customers, they are more likely to trust your property and choose it over competitors.
- Improved customer service: Online reviews provide valuable feedback about your property's customer service. If you receive negative reviews, you can address the issues and improve your customer service. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and positive reviews in the future.
- Competitive advantage: If your property has more positive reviews than your competitors, it can give you a competitive advantage. Customers are more likely to choose a business with positive reviews over one with negative reviews or no reviews at all.
Overall, online review management and generation is a crucial aspect of your self-storage property's marketing strategy. It can help you attract more tenants, improve customer service, and stay ahead of the competition.
Implementing An Ongoing Experimentation Mindset With Your Marketing
Your self-storage property’s marketing strategy is not a one-time process. Ongoing experimentation is important for many reasons. First, it helps you stay competitive in your market by adapting to changing conditions and customer preferences. What worked yesterday may not work today, so it's essential to continually test and optimize your strategies.
Second, ongoing experimentation can help you identify new opportunities for growth and expansion. By trying out new marketing channels or strategies, you may discover untapped markets or ways to better reach your target audience.
Third, ongoing experimentation can help you improve the ROI of your marketing efforts. By testing different strategies and measuring their results, you can identify which tactics are most effective and allocate your resources accordingly.
Overall, ongoing experimentation in your marketing strategy is critical for staying ahead of the competition, identifying new growth opportunities, and improving the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
We Handle The Marketing For The Facilities We Manage!
Universal Storage Group is an award-winning self-storage solutions provider in the United States and has worked around the world for over 30 years. Our team provides full-service third-party management, á la carte or comprehensive training programs, and start-up or conversion services, including facility design, feasibility studies, brand development, and property acquisitions.
If you have questions in regards to marketing and managing your property after reviewing the guide above, contact our team, and we will help you by evaluating your property and developing a custom plan of attack for your market.