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The Top 12 Don'ts of Self Storage Marketing

August 29, 2023

self storage marketing donts
7 min

We give a lot of advice on best marketing practices, from how to organize your billboard to using drone video, but now it’s time to talk about what not to do.

Sometimes it can feel like you’re not doing enough when it comes to your marketing, and that may be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw all of your earnings back into a full-blown marketing team (or ever, really). 

There are a lot of simple, cost-effective ways to market your facility, but that doesn’t mean it’s intuitive! We’re going to dive into the don’ts of marketing, so you can feel confident and steer clear of marketing pitfalls.


The Don'ts of Self Storage Marketing

1. Don't spend too much

One of the easiest mistakes to make in the beginning is to overspend. You get excited about having your brand put out into the world, but that enthusiasm can translate into way too much unnecessary spending. Focus on the essentials, like having a strong website before you dive into radio commercials!

We recommend deciding on a strict budget before you start, so that way you can plan what you need and cut the excess. 


2. Don't try too much at once

Start small, go medium! The truth is, you’re not going to get as much traction to your website or facility as a REIT will. You don’t need to try and compete with billion-dollar companies who have dedicated marketing teams, you just need your community to know who you are! Start with the essentials, and go from there. 

Download our Self Storage Marketing Playbook eBook here for free.


3. Don't forget to track your results

What do we mean when we say track your results? 

Well, for example, if you’ve tried a new flier campaign, you can put a small promotion on the flier and see directly how many new rentals came from that campaign. Whatever you do, try and keep tabs and records of it. This is also a great way to avoid overspending!

It’s so easy to get frustrated when you’re trying to market your facility, especially if you’re trying out new campaigns and methods. Remember that it can take a lot of time to see results, that doesn’t mean it’s a failed idea, it’s just still cooking! For example, changing the SEO of your website can take up to months before Google realizes the changes. Marketing is a patient game.

4. Don't have a messy Google Business Profile

First thing first, let’s define the Google Business Profile: A Google Business Profile is the small informational profile your facility has on Google, where you’re able to link your website, put your hours and address, as well as your phone number. A good GBP is no longer a good idea, it’s essential! This is Google’s way of directing future tenants to your website, or even your office. 

Having a good GBP means having accurate information, clear and plentiful images, and a formidable amount of ratings. It may sound too obvious, but having an inaccurate address listed on your GBP can be detrimental, especially if it’s listed differently on your website. Google will notice this and make it less likely to find your facility when someone is searching online. It’s crucial to be uniform across the board on your website, GBP, and Yelp. A good Google Business Profile can be one of your most vital assets!

5. Don't overlook using video

Having clear, updated photography on your website and GBP is essential, but what about video? Well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a video worth? Video marketing gives you the chance to tell your story, to give your new tenant their first impression before they even get there. Even better, you can use your new video with social media marketing as well (we’ll get more into that later), and a customer testimonial can go right to your Facebook page!

Video ideas for your website:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Overhead drone footage
  • Facility or unit walk-throughs
  • Amenity showcase

6. Don't forget SEO

Let’s start with another definition: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the ability that your website or content has to appear in online searches. This is hard to measure, but undeniably effective. A lot of the work for SEO is done in your content, like the keywords you use on your website. Google and other search engines want to be sure that they’re sending people to the right place when they search for self storage. For example, when you search “self storage near me” or “storage units near me” what do you see? Do you see your facility ranked highly? If you do, congrats! You have great SEO, but if you see your facility a little lower down the search page, or possibly not even on it, then it might be time to up your SEO game. 

7. Don't invest too much into blogging

You’ve probably heard a lot about blogging, and how it can drive up your SEO and bring more people to your website. And while there is some truth that you may get more clicks, that doesn’t mean that they’re from future tenants. Blogging can help you get more website visits from people that live nowhere near your facility, and that doesn’t help fill units. Blogging, in general, is a waste of resources and time, especially if you plan on hiring a full-time blog writer. Spend your resources on what brings tenants, not visitors!

Focus on having a good website that gives clear, well-written information about your facility. Be sure that you have relevant terms, but in this case, the squeakiest wheel doesn’t always get the oil.

5 ways ebook

8. Don't overextend your social media presence

Having a strong social media presence can be great for exposing future tenants to your business, but that doesn’t mean you have to fire from all cylinders. For example, while you might have a great time posting the newest tik tok dance trend inside one of your units, it probably won’t lead to any new rentals. However, if you post a local charity event you’re hosting next week on your Facebook page, that might have the potential to actually reach people in your community. 

Your goal when using social media is to connect with your city, county, or neighborhood, not to spread your brand across the globe! 

Social Media We Don’t Recommend To See Results:

  • Tik Tok
  • Twitter
  • Clubhouse
  • Snapchat
  • Reddit

9. Don't respond harshly to negative reviews or comments

This one should be a no-brainer! Responding harshly to bad reviews or pesky Facebook comments makes your facility come off as rude, or even worse, unwilling to listen to criticism and make changes. The best way that you can handle negative feedback is by responding politely and asking questions on how you can improve rather than what you didn’t do wrong in the first place. 

This is how people get a glimpse into your customer service, so put your best foot forward!

When responding to a negative review, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my response helpful?
  • Is my response attentive to the issue?
  • Is my response timely and quick?
  • Is my response defensive?
  • Is my response polite?

10. Don't forget to stay consistent

Does your website’s voice match your Facebook group’s? Do all of your posts have the same friendly, or informed, tone across the board? 

Being consistent with your voice means posting things that all feel like they’re coming from the same place. If you want to have a light-hearted brand with a more whimsical tone to it, great! Just remember that posting light-hearted content can be confusing if you’re simultaneously posting crime statistics in the area. Make sure that what you post feels authentic to your facility, and how you want to be thought of by your tenants. 

Giving your tenants and future customers a sense of your voice is a great way to build tenant loyalty. In the same vein, having a social media presence that is all over the place can confuse people and alienate them from your brand. 

Staying consistent is more than just keeping your voice uniform on social media channels, it also means posting at a consistent, non-bombarding pace. Don’t disappear for three months and then post a promotion, show your tenants that you’re consistent!

Download our Self Storage Marketing Playbook eBook here for free.

11. Don't ignore current tenants

Word-of-mouth marketing is still the most cost-effective and time-proven way to get more tenants. In fact, 90% of people trust friends and family when they’re given a recommendation. In a way, your most effective marketing is keeping your current tenants pleased and willing to share the word. If you’re having trouble getting your tenants enthusiastic about telling their friends, a simple referral program can be all you need! 

Making sure that your tenants are happy with your service raises your rating score, referrals, and even your online interaction. If you don't know where to start on your marketing journey, start with the people you’re already serving!

12. Don't set it and forget it

It’s important to preach patience when it comes to marketing, but patience doesn’t necessarily mean sitting still and waiting for the pot to boil. If something is working, do it again! If something isn’t working, adjust what you have. Most importantly, make sure that you’re keeping a record of your marketing results. Even if you have to wait and see how a new campaign is going to play out, keep up with the results as they come in. Marketing is a patient game, but it definitely isn’t a lazy one.


So what are the Do’s of self storage marketing?

There’s one Do that we recommend across the board: be authentic. You have nothing to market until your facility has a clear story, message, and tone. 

Before you start spreading the word about your facility, be sure what you want to say.

For more self storage articles, take a look at:

At StoragePug, we build self storage websites that make it easy for new customers to find you and easy for them to rent from you.

Not sure how to market your facility?

Learn more about marketing and how to get started!

Marketing Playbook - Cover