Apple Maps and Self Storage

June 19, 2024

Hand holding a phone with Apple Maps pulled up
5 min

Online marketers love to talk about Google. I’m guilty of it myself - after all, Google has more than 90% of the search market share. 

It makes sense to focus most of your online marketing efforts on Google.

But I bet you know someone with an iPhone, too.

Apple Maps and Apple Business Connect can be valuable tools for self storage businesses. Read on to learn how to use them and how much effort they’re worth!

The actual number of people using Apple Maps is unknown, but Apple products are hugely popular in America, and Apple Maps is the default navigation app on iPhones.

You can draw your own conclusions for your community, but it’s safe to say that at least some portion of potential customers are on Apple Maps!

Setting up your Apple Business Connect profile shouldn’t take too long, and if it only gets you one rental over the next ten years, that’s still worth the investment.

Note: A version of this article (also written by me) was originally published on Inside Self Storage!

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What is Apple Business Connect?

Apple Business Connect profiles are the Apple equivalent of Google Business Profiles - they are the source from which Apple Maps draws information. And, just like GBPs, they’re completely free.

Your Apple Business Connect profile holds all the information you’d want to give potential customers who stumble across it. That includes your address, your phone number, your website, your hours, your prices, your products, etc. etc.

You can also upload photos to your ABC, which can help convince customers to give your business a shot!

Apple Maps and Self Storage3

This information will be used to fill out the Apple Maps app. Whenever Apple users put directions into their phone, this app will help them get where they’re going. Then, if the user asks about self storage units, the app will serve up nearby Apple Business Connect profiles.

Usage statistics aren’t public, so we have no idea how many people search for storage units through the Apple Maps app. If the user backs out of the app and searches in their browser, which is how a large majority of people search for storage, that will then pull from Google instead.

Google is the default search engine on Apple products, so even iPhone users are most likely to find you through Google.

How Do Yelp Reviews Affect Apple Business Connect?

One key difference between Apple Business Connect and Google Business Profile is that the ABC profiles do not directly have reviews. Instead, Apple pulls reviews from Yelp (another reputation platform you should be watching).

That means if you want to appeal to Apple Maps users, you’re going to have to maintain your Yelp profile too. Add good photos, respond to reviews, and get more reviews, just like with Google.

Like Google, Yelp does not allow businesses to pay for reviews or incentivize them in other ways - the best way to get reviews is always to simply ask!

Setting Up Your Apple Business Connect Profile

Getting set up on Apple Maps isn’t hard - and we love quick, easy marketing. 

  1. Create an Apple ID - this should be a unique ID associated with your business, if possible.
  2. Go to Apple Business Connect and hit Get Started. Choose the size of your business from the menu. 
    1. For enterprise businesses (businesses with more than 25 locations), you’ll have to put in brand info, including your DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number.
    2. For smaller businesses: Add your first location. You can search for your location’s name, find it on the map, or choose to “create a new location” if you don’t see yours on there.
  3. Fill out all the relevant information. This includes business hours, business categories, website, phone number, etc. Be as accurate and thorough as possible - don’t try to claim more than you can actually offer.
  4. Complete your business verification. You’ll need to put in all additional company details, including the legal company name. 
  5. Submit proof of identity documentation. This can be your business registration, a utility bill, or a lease agreement. You’ll upload these to Apple Business Connect and you may need to wait several days for the verification to go through.

There is no fee to be listed on Apple Maps! If someone is trying to charge you for simply setting up a profile, you’re getting scammed.

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Building Out Your Place Card

This is the part where you get to talk about your business! Just like with your Google Business Profile, you want to highlight the features that make people want to rent with you. Focus on their problems and how your business can solve them - and great photos go a long way too!

Your first job is to write a compelling description of your business and what you offer. Prioritize the information people will want to know, but don’t hesitate to highlight the stuff your customers will care most about. 

Self Storage Marketing Tip: All of your marketing should focus on the problems you can solve. Your customers may not care about the specifics of your smart locks, but they will care that they don’t have to carry around a key.

Add all the attributes that apply to your business - and again, be honest. Misleading marketing will hurt you more than help you when customers come to your facility and don’t find what they’re looking for. 

Include photos of your business, starting with your logo and a cover photo. These will represent your Apple Business Connect profile. Put in the payment methods, tech features, atmosphere details, business model, etc.

Basically, if it asks you a question, answer it.

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Apple lets you do “Showcases,” which are a unique way to create ads for your profile. Take your best deal and work up a cool showcase! You can attach a Call-to-Action button to your Showcase that will send a clicker to your website. The CTA can also have the user call your business or prompt them to leave a review.

As I said before, your Apple Business Connect profile isn’t going to net you a ton of rentals, but if it gets even one over the course of your career, that makes it worth doing.

There’s the additional benefit of improving the strength of your NAP strength for search engines. Apple Maps isn’t the most important marketing tool in your toolbox - but it’s free, and it can help. Take ten minutes and knock it out next time you’re sitting in the office wondering what to do!

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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.

Need to freshen up your facility?

Check out our Spring Cleaning Handbook to get more rentals through better curb appeal!

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