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Search-Engine Optimization: Cost-Effective Marketing for Self-Storage


By Brandon Honeycutt

No matter what industry you work in, a solid marketing plan is essential in gaining public awareness for your products or services. With so many different forms of advertising available, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind and consider the reach and effectiveness each medium will have for that specific demographic.

Search-engine optimization, or SEO, is rapidly becoming one of the most talked about marketing strategies among self-storage operators, offering an extremely targeted form of advertising combined with low cost and high return. Other traditional advertising includes TV, radio, magazines and periodicals, direct mail, and print directories. Each medium differs in price, but it’s important to look beyond the initial cost when deciding how you’re going to allocate your marketing budget.

Cost, audience reach, response/reaction rate, length of campaign term, and value of leads are all marketing factors that play a role in your bottom line. To achieve the highest return on investment, each factor should be carefully examined to determine the method of advertising in which your hard-earned marketing dollars will go furthest. 

Effectiveness of Other Avenues

In June 2010, Harris Interactive conducted a survey for Buddy Media on marketing tactics considered very effective by U.S. brand managers for reaching customers in local markets. The results reinforced the idea that SEO has become one of the most―if not the most―effective forms of marketing. Websites optimized with local content were considered by far the most effective tactic, named by 30 percent of brand marketers. Compare that to:

  • TV ads: 18 percent
  • Print ads: 15 percent
  • Local programs offering products: 11 percent
  • Radio ads: 10 percent
  • Social-media fan pages: 10 percent
  • Paid social media (sponsored ads): 7 percent
  • Banner ads: 5 percent
  • Short text-message marketing: 3 percent

The most effective forms of marketing differ between industries, primarily due to the diversity of the appeal, value and demand for the products or services being offered. While television or radio advertising may be extremely effective for business A, business B may find the same method to be completely ineffective.

For example, if you own a luxury car dealership and sell sleek, sexy, top-of-the-line automobiles, a 30-second network television time slot that allows you to show off your inventory and current promotional offers may be worth the $80,000 to $600,000 price tag. To evaluate the return on investment (ROI) for that network commercial, consider how much each new customer generated from that ad campaign is worth. You own a business that sells luxury automobiles, so if you spent $100,000 on a 30-second network commercial, you would only need that commercial to bring in a few new customers to see a reasonable ROI.

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