Among my personal treasures from years ago are a bunch of campaign buttons, bumper stickers and signs for various political candidates I helped to get elected. Now I’m declaring a new campaign I’ve been thinking about for almost a decade. The timing is finally right. Unlike any campaign I’ve been a part of in the past, it doesn’t require me to worry about raising contributions, writing speeches, kissing babies, walking in any parades, or debating any opponents.
I’ve nicknamed my crusade “Project Picture Storage.” The goal is to get 5,000 facility pictures (representing approximately 10 percent of all U.S. storage sites) posted on Google Maps by Jan. 1. The goal is achievable, and the purpose is to get our industry―and, in particular, your self-storage facility―more attention nationwide.
I’m calling on every store manager and owner to grab a camera and join the biggest joint marketing effort in our industry’s history. The best part is posting facility photos on Google Maps is completely free.
Show Off Your Facility
First, let’s talk strategy. We’re all searching for ways to promote our businesses and recover some of the occupancy losses we’ve suffered over the past several years. However, we’ve also been faced with the reality of limited financial resources to crank up the marketing machine.
For years, Google has allowed people to post pictures of locations around the world through its Panoramio program. To check it out, go to Google Maps and take a look your facility. (Make sure you have the photos option checked under the “more” tab.)
If you don’t find your facility’s photo, there are several ways to post one. The easiest is to go directly to Panoramio.com. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to set up a Google Gmail account, which is free and easy to do. Next, if you haven’t taken any digital photos of your facility recently, take 10 or 15 shots. Download them from your camera, and then pick the best images, including one of the entrance, another of the office, and one inside the facility. Once you have two or three quality pictures, make sure the images are in JPEG format and less than 10 MB each (the maximum size that can be uploaded to Panoramio).