As COVID-19 drives even more renters online in their search for storage, make sure that you’re doing all you can to stay competitive. The growing digitization of the self-storage industry means that you have many new ways to attract potential renters. But by that same token, if you do not understand how to make your property stand out, you may find your facility assimilating into the vast crowd of others with self-storage units. Bring your self-storage property to the forefront of customers’ attention by following this simple four-step guide on how to effectively advertise online.
1. Always Start With Your Website:
Creating a website that accurately represents your business, offers valuable information and a great user experience is key to gaining buyers’ attention. Many other marketing techniques will bring customers to your website, but if the quality of the website isn’t good then buyers will quickly lose interest.
- Your website should present your business in a positive light. It truly is your online storefront, so it should be professional and up-to-date. Also, highlighting features such as online payment and reservation capabilities is a bonus for current and prospective renters. People are making more decisions without ever visiting or calling a facility, so it is important to list prices and have a digital way for them to rent a unit.
- Make it mobile. People are getting more accustomed to making purchases and decisions from their mobile devices so create a mobile friendly site. Giving them this convenience is important because it increases the chances that they will take action and rent from you. Extra Space claims that more than 50% of the company’s demand comes from mobile devices now.
- Another important aspect is easy navigation. This should absolutely be at the front of your mind when designing or upgrading your website. If you have something useful (online-reservation capabilities) making it hard to find will completely defeat the purpose and frustrate visitors. This applies especially to information pertinent to the renter making a decision (your contact details, information about your property etc.).
2. Establish an Online Presence Through Local Search and Social Media:
Establishing a local online presence is actually a relatively simple process. Local profiles on Google+, Yahoo!, Bing, Yelp and other directories are easy to claim and can make an impact in a short amount of time. These directories receive high traffic and are used by millions to find local businesses.
- Local search and social media are gradually merging. Many social media websites like Google+ and Facebook have local business features and are even used like a search engine by networkers. In fact, Google Places was moved within Google+, which put one of Google’s most used services within its social network. These options come at no cost whatsoever.
- Social media profiles alone are equally as important, however, as they not only provide unlimited amounts of connection with your local area, but a chance to attract and connect with customers from outside the immediate area too. Good social media profiles often travel far. Read our Leveraging Social Media for Self Storage Success article for more information on social media marketing.
3. Make Sure to Use PPC (Paid Search Advertising):
A way to measurably increase your self storage facility’s visibility is through paid search advertising—often referred to as pay-per-click or PPC advertising. Paid search is a simple concept: you create an ad and bid for its placement on popular search engines such as Bing, Google or Mozilla. You basically buy your way onto the first page of search engine results. This is obviously the place you want your ad to be as most web-users do not go past the first couple of pages of search engine results. Having your ad there will ensure optimal visibility and thus divert web traffic to your website or listing.
4. Use Directories:
Your website and online presence are important, but they can only take you so far. There are more than 20 first-page positions to choose from in online search results. Businesses that do an incredible job of online marketing can achieve multiple top spots on the first page of the major search engines. But takes a lot of hard work and time and, in some cases, can require a lot of PPC advertising. However, self-storage directories can do a lot of the hard work for you as they are constantly working on their SEO. They rank well for online storage searches and increase your chances of being found through another one to two of the positions on the major search engine results pages. Online directories can give you an increased local presence while also making it easier for those moving into the area to find a storage solution. In addition, facilities that are struggling to be found online because of a high competition will find directories are an incredibly affordable way to get the high-quality visibility they need.
An online presence will also be a consideration for the valuation of your self-storage facility. Many buyers will be interested in what you are currently doing online and how they can build off your momentum. As a self storage broker, we help make sure you get credit for having a great marketing plan, in addition, to it showing in your bottom line.