Submitted to Investment Real Estate by Adam Mackie at G5
Summer leasing season is on its way and temperatures aren’t the only thing that’s heating up – competition is, too. Standing out in a crowded market takes more than rent discounts and a free lock. You need a marketing strategy that engages renters where they’re searching for storage – online. These are the five digital marketing must-haves for self storage owners who want to generate more new leases.
- Streamlined Website
Searchers looking to rent self storage units want to find the information they need easily, without having to jump through hoops. Your website should be laid out in an intuitive way that helps users along the path to conversion.
Having a streamlined website with accurate, up-to-date information can help you convert more prospects into renters. Make your website user-friendly and actionable by eliminating common roadblocks that may be preventing users from leasing your units.
Provide Answers — Searchers looking for self storage units have questions that bring them to your website and if you can provide answers in a clean format, you give yourself the best advantage to attract new renters.
Calls to Action — Streamlining your website starts “above the fold,” the screen space that appears on initial load. This area should include a visible and inspiring call to action that leads users to the most pertinent information. “View Units” or “Lease Now” buttons and encouraging language leading to the Units page help you provide an immediate answer to one of their primary questions — do you have what they are looking for?
Easy to Contact — Your location and contact information needs to be included on every page of the website. Not every searcher comes directly to your homepage. Whether through organic search, digital advertising, or social media, users may find their way to other pages on your website and you want to ensure it’s easy for users to contact your property.
- Local Search Strategy
Organic search is the best way to gain new renters at a low cost. And as local search continues to grow in importance, you need a location-specific digital marketing strategy to show up in search results when prospects are searching for self storage nearby. Search algorithms have changed and continue to evolve, placing more weight in location rather than branded name searches. According to Search Engine Journal, 97% of consumers searched online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to the process search engines use to “crawl” content on the web. Crawling is what search engines like Google do to assess whether or not a website will provide quality answers to users’ queries. Keywords, title tags, links, and content (the copy or words on the website, images, and videos) all contribute to where a website ranks on the search engine results page (SERP).
- Smart Digital Advertising
Digital advertising delivers traffic to your website by engaging the 18% of self storage renters who click on paid ads. These ads show up in search results, on social, and across the Microsoft and Google Display networks. Placement of ads and where they appear have to do with keyword placement and usage – and doing both well requires a deep understanding of your renter and when/where/how they want to engage.
The most effective ads increase brand recognition by putting your business front and center in search results. Paid search drives targeted traffic to your website, which helps pre-qualify renters by attracting searchers looking specifically for your services.
More advanced digital advertising solutions leverage automation, technology, and data science to optimize campaigns for the greatest number of qualified leads.
- Real-Time Pricing & Availability
A prospective renter should be able to determine if your property is the right fit from the moment they click through to your website. The most efficient way to accomplish this is to pull your current inventory data directly onto your homepage. This way, a prospective renter knows exactly which units are available, and for how much.
Take it a step further by including this real-time data in your digital advertising campaigns. This gives renters the information they need to self-qualify before they even click on an ad.
- Online Leasing
There are a lot of soft costs associated with running a self storage facility – front office staff, maintenance, security, etc. But what if someone told you that you could save money by investing in online leasing? Rather than paying a call center to answer the phone round the clock, online leasing is available 24/7.
Today’s renters expect a quick and easy leasing process. According to “The Real Self-Service Economy” by Steven Van Belleghem, 40% of consumers prefer self-service to human contact, and 70% of consumers expect companies to offer a self-service option like online leasing which makes it simple for them to search, find, and buy.
Integrating an online leasing solution also results in fewer phone calls for your staff to return, more conversions, and happy customers that will be easier to convert into advocates for your brand.
Set Your Business Up for Success
Having a tailored digital marketing strategy will set your self storage facility up for success in 2020 and beyond. For more tips on how to use marketing to generate revenue, download the G5 eBook, Increase Revenue with Digital Marketing & Online Leasing.
About the Author
As the Director, Account Management for Self Storage at G5, Adam Mackie drives operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Account Management organization to ensure that Self Storage operators utilize the full potential of G5‘s products and services to meet their business objectives. With nearly 8 years of experience in the Account Management and Customer Success fields, Adam has helped organizations improve their cross-departmental alignment to create a more customer-centric approach across the business. Adam has a BA from the University of Oregon and enjoys spending time on the golf course and fishing the many rivers and lakes in beautiful Central Oregon.