Self-storage operations teams are often made up of savvy go-getters with too much to do and not enough time to do it. When you’re so busy, it can be hard to really think through your digital marketing, including which tactics are actually generating leads and which are just adding to your to-do list.
These days, to attract more leads to your business, you need to connect with people where they are, online! So, busy or not, you’ll need to invest at least some time and effort into your digital marketing strategy this year. Let’s take a look at four things you should try to better connect with potential customers. If you’re already doing these things, you’ll get tips for improving results.
Must-Do 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It sounds basic in 2021, but I’ll say it: Your self-storage center needs a website! And this website must be adapted to current SEO practices. Search engines like Google constantly update their algorithms, which basically look for certain qualities in websites to determine if those sites will answer a searcher’s questions.
Keeping your website up to date with good SEO shows search engines that yes, your website will answer customer questions. Additionally, by adhering to best practices, engines are more likely to recommend your website on their search engine results page (SERP). When someone sees your website listed and clicks on it, we call it “organic traffic”. We like this because it’s free – there’s no cost to your business if someone clicks on your link here.
Of course, you have to invest time and, therefore, money to adapt your website to SEO best practices. It’s a long term tactic. It can take months to be considered trustworthy in your area of expertise and to be served in the top placements on SERP. That’s why it’s important to combine strong SEO with other marketing tactics.
Essential 2: Digital Advertising
SEO provides a solid foundation for digital advertisements. Why? Because it guarantees that a website contains what Internet users think they are going to find. There’s nothing more frustrating for a user than clicking on an ad for what appears to be exactly what they’re looking for, only to land on a clunky, useless website.
With digital advertising, companies pay to show their ads to internet users on various networks such as Google and Microsoft, and on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. For now, we’ll stick to search and display ads and get to social media a bit later. On the Microsoft and Google ad networks, we can broadly classify digital ads into two groups:
Paid search is served at the top of the SERP, usually above the organic results. This prominent location makes your self-storage website stand out. Each time someone clicks on your ad, you are charged. This is why you will often hear paid search referred to as pay-per-click. The cost of each click depends on the keywords, placement, and other parameters of your digital ad campaign.
Display ads appear in website banners and sidebars. According to Google, its display network advertises on more than 2 million websites and reaches more than 90% of Internet users. The game-changer is that, when combined with data science and technology, your marketing spend can be allocated to the most successful advertising campaigns and channels. This takes the guesswork out of getting the most out of your self-storage marketing budget.
Essential 3: Reputation Management
When we talk about reputation management, we mean online reviews, such as those found on your self-storage establishment’s Google My Business listing. According to a 2020 survey by marketing firm BrightLocal, the average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a purchase decision. As we increasingly vote in our digitally distracted world with our time and attention, this statistic speaks for itself: customers care about reviews. Plus, Google does it too.
Online reviews make up 15% of local pack ranking factors, according to Moz, an SEO marketing company. The local pack is a Google SERP section that is found on the first page of results for searches deemed to have local intent. Its prime real estate encourages searchers to look there first when researching businesses in their area.
If you weren’t already convinced, review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks in the local SERP, reports BrightLocal. Although your self-storage business may not necessarily seem “local” to you if you operate multiple locations, most of your customers will consider it as such. They are looking for a facility conveniently located in their city or neighborhood. They don’t think of your portfolio as a whole but of an individual site.
The main tenant of online reviews is to respond to each. Respond with empathy and in a timely manner. Customers want to feel heard and know that you care about them. How you handle reviews can build trust and resolve issues, or make customers feel like they should do business elsewhere. Also, if you’re resolving a customer complaint, they’ll often remove or edit any negative posts. This not only keeps customers happy, but also ensures that reviews don’t hurt your local SEO strategy.
Essential 4: Social Media
Social media and reputation management go hand in hand. Due to the pandemic, people are spending more time on social platforms. Worldwide, we spend an average of 2.3 hours a day, according to Statista, which specializes in market and consumer data. wow. For this reason, part of your digital budget could be allocated to social media advertising.
According to industry data, the average customer journey for self-storage is around 10 days. So, based on the stats above, social media advertising gives your property a 23 hour chance to connect with potential tenants. Simply put, social media isn’t just a channel for seeing cute puppy videos or sharing moving tips. It could also be a great way to help raise rents.
Marketing your self-storage business has never been more complex. By following the four strategies above, you can build a solid foundation that will get your online self-storage business noticed.
With nearly eight years of experience in the areas of account management and customer success, Adam Mackie has helped organizations improve their cross-departmental alignment to create a more customer-centric approach. As senior director of the self-storage vertical at G5drives the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the sales organization and account management to ensure self-storage operators utilize the full potential of the company’s products and services to achieve their business goals . For more information, call 800.554.1965.