Don’t Get Left Behind! Digital-Marketing Fundamentals Every Self-Storage Operator Needs – Inside Self-Storage

If you want to grow your self-storage customer base, retain high-value tenants and remain competitive in the market, it’s vital to embrace digital marketing. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s the power of hand sanitizer and the importance of a business’ online presence and reputation. It’s been a stark reminder that facility operators must adapt to succeed.

Lead-generation is the lifeblood of any business, and in recent years, digitalization has taken the self-storage industry to a new level of marketing sophistication. Today’s consumers make purchase decisions before they’ve even visited your website; so, consider whether your facility is ahead of its peers when it comes to digital marketing or if you’re in danger of being left behind. In this article, let’s unpack the fundamentals you need to boost your overall strategy and ensure you aren’t eating your competitors’ dust.

The Fundamentals

Though staying ahead of marketing trends isn’t easy, don’t let the jibber-jabber overwhelm you. Instead, embrace the following fundamentals. They’ll go a long way toward boosting your self-storage marketing strategy and overall business success.

Identify and understand your audience. While the simplest form of self-storage as a product is space, the reason people use it varies significantly. It’s important to understand the “life happens” moments that drive storage use and how your various target audiences are segmented.

Use curated and targeted messaging. The reason it’s vital to segment your potential customer base is to deliver customized, relevant messages across various digital channels. The importance of a targeted strategy cannot be understated.

Have a clear search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. SEO plays an important role in driving traffic to your self-storage website and increasing your ranking in Google (a fundamental driver of rental inquiries). Today, it goes beyond content marketing, keywords and techniques to help search engines crawl and index your website. It’s also about setting clear business objectives, using data to guide the path, ensuring your website provides an outstanding user experience, leveraging online listings like Google Business Profile, and so much more.

Leverage social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be key to generating leads, which is why it can be smart to partner with an accredited digital-marketing firm that can leverage them on your behalf. Some marketers have even developed partnerships with these platforms and can access beta products through their technical and creative teams to further drive inquiries.

Social media goes hand-in-hand with SEO and other marketing strategies to give your self-storage business the boost it needs to attract potential renters. Choosing which platforms to invest in and how to roll out content is an important first step.

Focus on mobile. Mobile traffic is still dominant when it comes to potential customers browsing and making online decisions. Websites that still use manual form completion lag behind mobile engagement for the instant interaction consumers now expect from their online experience.

Embrace the power of data. Marketing efforts are significantly more impactful when you analyze the data. Creating a content calendar, selecting keywords and having a functional website is only half of the job. The other half involves looking at the results and analyzing it for insight.

Marketing is no longer based on the “post and hope” mentality. Now we have access to incredibly detailed data. Analysis is as important as anything else in your marketing toolbox, and although it’s somewhat cliché, the trend is indeed your friend.

Partner up. If you want to remain competitive in the self-storage market and attract high-value customers, you must adopt the latest digital-marketing trends. You can increase your chances for success by working with a professional partner that can be agile and respond to shifts in consumer behavior plus understand how targeted prospects engage with you digitally. A firm that can continually refine its marketing approach while remaining focused on the fundamentals that influence demand is invaluable.

Chris Oosthuizen is executive manager of U.K.-based Digital First, a digital-marketing firm that specializes in demand and lead generation for European self-storage operators. He’s also chief marketing officer for Stor-Age Property REIT, a real estate investment trust that operates self-storage in South Africa and the United Kingdom. To reach him, call 2721.671.3233; email [email protected].

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