The ability to plan and execute a successful online marketing campaign will make a big difference for your self storage business. Online marketing has quickly grown from simply having a company website to expanding into several new areas like social networking, online aggregators/directories, referral websites, and more. It is highly recommended that you start implementing at least one or two of these techniques in your next marketing campaign. To help you get started we have gathered information on the most popular and effective ways to market your self storage online which will enhance your existing self storage facility’s marketing strategies and help keep those storage units filled:
– Having a website has now become the norm for any type of business and it’s the starting point for basic online presence. There are many options available for creating company websites like do-it-yourself website builders (Google Sites, Webs, Yola) to full-blown custom websites. A basic website with details about your self storage facility and services should not break the bank. The most important pieces of information you should have on your company website are: facility description, unit types, sizes, prices, amenities, and pictures. If your budget allows for a custom build website, be sure to hire a reputable design firm and ask for previous work samples and references. A company website will be an investment that in the long run will pay itself and will have a positive impact on your business.
Self Storage Aggregators/Directories
– An online self storage aggregator/directory is an excellent option that will increase your facility’s online exposure. There are several advantages to listing your self storage business in this manner. They’re primary purpose is to provide you with customer leads. They are also cost and time efficient – many small businesses may not be able to afford to create and maintain a website so this is a viable alternative. Self storage aggregators will take care of listing the facility’s specials, units, prices, and specific information. One important feature of online aggregators is the ability to synchronize your facility’s inventory with its online profile -- this helps to keep the information always accurate and reduces the amount of time needed to set-up and maintain the facility’s profile. USSelfStorageLocator.com is one of the newest and fastest growing self storage aggregators available. They offer features such as online unit rentals, call tracking and recording, enhanced facility profile, email notifications, and activity tracking and reporting. There are other self storage aggregators available.
Online Business Directories
– These list businesses according to their specific categories. Your self storage listing would be listed along with other self storage businesses either in your state or town. Services such as Yahoo Local, Bing Local Business Portal and Google Places For Business are great to start with. Listing your self storage facility in this manner will help increase your online exposure and search engine visibility as you are getting the name of your business out there in an organic manner. One very important thing to remember when listing your self storage in online business directories is to make sure all your information is accurate and uniform across all directories. For example, you can list your business on Google Places, it can be found using Google Earth. In order to list your self storage facility, you must have a Google account. Once you have a Google account, visit Google Places and enter the information for your business. It is completely free of cost and very beneficial to your business.
– This is perhaps the most cost effective online marketing strategy currently available. Many of the features that are offered by the various social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn – are completely free of cost. Social networking is extremely popular. Facebook alone has over 100 million users. Therefore, you can reach a large number of people with very little effort. The establishment of a Facebook or Twitter page will only begin to scratch the surface of what you can accomplish marketing via social media. You have to be interactive. Remember, people prefer to interact with self storage businesses which are represented by real people – not automated bots which routinely post status updates forcing a product on the consumer. Try to answer the questions which your website did not (if you have one) on your social networking pages and take careful note of what users are saying about your business. Using Twitter, it is easy to search in real time what every user (with unprotected tweets) is saying about any topic. You can use this feature to find out what people are saying about self storage and target your marketing efforts more efficiently. You can use Youtube to show videos of your self storage facility. This is helpful if you want to give users who rent online an idea of what to expect from your facility before they commit to rent. Adding your videos to Youtube is easy. You first need a valid email address to create an account. Then, choose ‘upload’ from the upper right hand corner. You can record a video from your webcam or navigate to a video file on your computer. Videos can be up to 15 minutes in length, HD, and in a variety of formats. When you’re done, you can auto share your video across different social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. It’s that simple.
– These rely on the recommendations of online users who are familiar with your services. These recommendations can come from customers, friends, family members, or business peers. Services such as Stik.com allow people to connect to goods and services based on the recommendations of friends on Facebook. You can use your Facebook page to create more exposure about your self storage business and have people who ‘like’ your page recommend you on Stik.com. Yelp.com is another useful referral website. On this site, persons who are familiar with a company can provide reviews and recommendations to others detailing their experience. Listing your self storage company on Yelp and encouraging your satisfied customers to leave positive review is an excellent way to create interest in your business. You can also encourage your customers to leave reviews on Kudzu.com, which is similar in functionality to Yelp. All these services are free of charge.
– This creates a direct link to the consumer as you are able to tell them exactly what sets your business apart from others in the form of an email. There is however a method to sending email blasts however. You have to ensure that the content of your email is not labeled as spam and sent directly to the recipient’s junk or spam folder. You can ensure this by having a reasonable word to picture ratio – if you include images, ensure that there is more text than pictures in your email blast. You can run your email blast through a free spam checker such as SpamCheck.com before sending. This service gives your email blast a score and will tell you the likelihood of your email blast making it past the popular spam filters for most email services. Popular email blast systems such as Constant Contact and Mail Chimp provide affordable email marketing services. For upwards of $15 a month, you gain access to email templates, one click editing and customer support to assist you with constructing email blasts that will help you get more targeted results.
The marketing possibilities which you can employ online are practically endless. As you can see, a few of those listed are interconnected (E.g. Stik.com and Facebook) so when designing your marketing strategy you should keep this in mind. You can use your existing self storage company website to link to your various social networking profiles to create even more exposure for your self storage business. Whether you choose to use one or a combination of the online marketing strategies listed, you can be confident that your self storage facility will benefit greatly from it.