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January 5, 2021
[This article was updated in September 2022]
Good marketing will make you money.
It can bring in new renters, and even if your self storage facility is full, good marketing can help you increase rates by improving demand.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to get great marketing results with a few quick steps!
The self storage industry in America is experiencing unprecedented growth.
But, when an industry booms, competition abounds.
How can your self storage facility stand out from the crowd? By implementing the best self storage marketing ideas!
It’s easier said than done, though.
Most self storage owners are focused on investment strategy or day-to-day operations.
They’re trying to get the big picture right, and they don’t always have time to focus on self storage marketing ideas and creating that pipeline of customers in order to drive revenue.
Let’s make this as simple as possible.
Here’s a look at the 7 best self storage marketing ideas — tactics that are working right now to help self storage businesses claim more than their fair share of the market.
The term “search engine optimization” gives a lot of self storage owners and managers hives.
But self storage SEO turns out to be relatively simple. You don’t have to worry too much about backlink profiles or rich snippets.
Instead, you only need to focus on Local SEO! The vast majority of your tenants will come from within a few miles of your facility, so you don’t need a blog that reaches the whole country. You just need to do well in SEO for your town.
The most important part of that is creating and maintaining a Google Business Profile.
Your GBP determines whether or not Google includes you in the Local 3-Pack, which is a highlighted set of businesses that shows up whenever someone searches for a local solution.
The Local 3-Pack gets more clicks than paid ads and organic results, and it’s the easiest for a small business to rank for!
Making a great GBP is the single best step self storage operators can take to improve their SEO.
Make sure your information is accurate and up to date, so Google knows where to send searchers! Include great photos that make your business look appealing. Double-check your address, phone number, and hours.
Again, if you’re simply a real estate investor involved in self storage for the returns, or a self storage manager simply keeping up with day-to-day operations, you don’t have time to get into the weeds on SEO.
That’s one reason why many operators turn to experts to handle website building and SEO. These simple steps can get you started, and if you want more check out our GBP Playbook!
SEO helps you build an audience organically and free of charge.
Reviews are the most important ranking factor that you can control. Once you’ve got your GBP up and running, you can improve your SEO positioning by getting more and better reviews. And all of your customers are going to notice those glowing reviews (or lack thereof).
Include a link to review your facility with your electronic communications. The easier you make the reviewing process, the more reviews you’ll get!
Invite tenants to review your business in person, especially after positive interactions. Something as simple as “can I text you a link to review us?” is quick and easy for both you and the tenant.
Don’t pay for reviews! While it can be tempting to offer a little incentive for positive reviews, this can backfire. Google (and others) could penalize your business if they think your reviews aren’t legitimate.
Responding to bad reviews is tricky, but it can be done well. Customers are likely to give a business a second chance after a helpful response to a negative review.
Another important part of ranking well in local SEO is consistency across the internet.
Wherever Google’s robots can find mention of your business, it’s important that the information is correct. If the information is positive, like good reviews, then great!
But if your Yelp profile has your address listed one way, and your GBP has it listed another?
The search engine might opt not to show you at all, rather than guess at which address is correct.
Google (and other major search engines) won’t show your website if they aren’t sure what you do. Make sure you include “self storage units” on your webpage multiple times, as well as “RV parking,” if you offer that.
For a deeper look at how to create and maintain proper citations, check out our Self Storage Marketing Playbook!
SEO helps you build an audience organically and free of charge.
But it’s also a good idea to pay for some inbound traffic — and one of the best ways to do that is through pay-per-click ads.
PPC ads appear at the very top of a search engine results page, getting your name in front of people looking for storage.
They’re especially good for self storage operators that are just getting started since you won’t have 5-star reviews (yet!) to bump you up in the search results.
PPC ads are good at getting your website more traffic. And more traffic means more units rented.
Google lets you cheat your way to the top of the rankings with its AdWords program.
AdWords is called a pay-per-click program because you pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on your ad.
You can also create pay-per-click ads on Facebook, which is a little more cost-effective than Google.
The cool thing about Facebook is that you can craft an audience based on specific details, including location, age, gender, interests, etc.
If you really know the type of customer you want to reach, Facebook lets you connect with just that type.
Pay-per-click ads are effective — if you know what you’re doing.
That is, you can’t just slap together some text or a display ad and expect to get results.
There are ways to make the most of the space available to you so that you maximize your return on investment in pay-per-click ads.
The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money — and not see any results.
Billboards are a classic self storage marketing tactic and one that still works when you need to get your message out to a localized audience.
You can make a relatively small investment to rent a billboard close to your facility — one that provides directions to your location or that shares specials or incentives.
Billboards aren’t a great fit for every self storage facility, so analyze your specific situation. You want to find billboards that are:
Absent those 3 characteristics, you may want to invest your marketing dollars elsewhere.
This is one of the most powerful things you can do to develop a strong pipeline of renters.
Referral incentives are the engine that drives word-of-mouth.
For example, offer a free month to anyone who refers a customer (who then rents for some set period of time - 6 months is a good starting point), and you’ll find that inbound calls and online inquiries shoot through the roof.
Just be careful about how you craft your incentives.
You want your incentives to drive lots of new inquiries, but you don’t want them to be so favorable to the referrer that you aren’t making any money.
Referrals will come organically, as well. If you create a great customer experience, your customers will recommend you to their friends, their family, and their coworkers when someone needs storage space.
A great customer experience will also keep your customers renting with you longer, convince them to accept rent increases, and encourage them to choose you again the next time they need storage!
Not only is community involvement a good thing to do, but it’s also a nice way to get your name out there.
Consider sponsoring a local high school team, or purchasing a sign at the local Little League fields.
The more involved you are, the greater the benefit you’ll enjoy.
But what exactly is the benefit of community involvement?
It’s a long play to be sure, but it’s one that will eventually pay off. Your business is likely competing with the Big Brands, and one way to stand out is to show that you’re a part of your community in a way they can never be.
Consider partnering with local businesses, like moving companies, RV sellers, and even unrelated endeavors. You can loop them in on referral payments, or offer to have their business card on your counter in exchange.
Think about it this way: When you’re involved in your local community, you become the obvious choice whenever community members need your services.
And that’s a strong position to be in when you own or operate a self storage facility.
One tip for creating a stand-out customer experience? Make it as easy as possible for prospects to rent units.
Today, given our connected world, most prospects don’t want to pick up the phone, and they certainly don’t want to visit your location to fill out some paperwork. So make it easy for them to secure rentals online.
This will require some website work. But, when you have a system in place for online rentals, you’ll find that more and more prospects are choosing your units simply because of how easy the process is.
Online rentals are an essential part of your self storage marketing strategy.
When you own a self storage business, the last things on your mind are SEO tactics, effective PPC ad ideas, and web development that will allow for online rentals.
And, when you manage the day-to-day operations of a self storage facility, you’re too busy working with customers to focus on these important marketing ideas.
That’s why StoragePug exists — to make self storage marketing easy.
We can build online rental systems, create and execute effective SEO strategies, and run PPC campaigns that actually deliver results.
Get in touch today to find out how we can boost your self storage business.
For more self storage articles, take a look at: