Your website should include some way to collect leads as people request quotes. Even if you don’t set up a system for potential customers to reserve online, your goal is for them to leave contact information so you can follow up quickly and close the deal.
To drive traffic to the site, use pay-per-click programs from Google, or try Bing or Yahoo if you want to see how the underdogs perform. These ads can be targeted to display only in your geographic area, keeping costs down.
Another Google feature you should look at is “Places.” Visit Google.com/places and add your business to the directory and maps.
Set up pages on social-networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and update them regularly. Ask local organizations to include your link on their websites, especially if they have somewhat related content on the site. This helps to improve your Web ranking.
You can also search the Web to see how other operators are marketing their services. Or sign up at Self-Storage Talk (www.selfstoragetalk.com), the official online community of Inside Self-Storage, and ask members what other mobile-storage businesses are doing.
Networking and Target Marketing
Join the chamber of commerce and other local business associations. Make sure local realtors know who you are, and thank them when they refer customers to you. One way to track referrals is to give discount cards that have a small notation of their source on them.
Another avenue is target marketing. Identify what kind of customers you attract and learn where to find more of them. For example, building-permit records tell you who’s remodeling, or you might scan real estate listings to see who’s moving. Send these targeted groups a brochure or postcard.
Use Traditional Advertising Cautiously
Newspaper, radio and TV all offer great exposure, but can be cost-prohibitive for a small business. Do send press releases regarding events such as grand openings and major charitable donations to all the major news outlets in your community. Also send press releases when you hire or promote staff. You never know when your press release will be picked up by a news medium.
As for the Yellow Pages, younger customers are more likely to search the Internet rather than the phone book. But for now, having at least a small YP ad is probably still wise. Just consider that every dollar spent there will be unavailable for something else.
The next time you’re looking for new ways to market your mobile-storage business, consider the suggestions above. Your goal should be to regularly reach new customers while keeping marketing costs in check. Remember to track your leads so you know which marketing strategies are working for your business.
Steve Hajewski, marketing manager at Trachte Building Systems, previously served as Trachte’s product-development manager and helped develop Trachte’s portable-storage product line. He can be reached at 800.356.5824; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.trachte.com.
Portable Storage Containers [Self-Storage Talk]