Do-It-Yourself Video Marketing Helps Self-Storage Operators Get Real With Customers

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By Rachel Greenfield

The influence of do-it-yourself video is everywhere. Big brands are using popular motifs from viral Internet videos in their huge mass-media campaigns. They’re doing this because marketers recognize the simple appeal, and they want to associate their brands with that down-to-earth, scrappy vibe.

This trend in advertising is popular in 2011 because consumers are seeking transparency and realness from the businesses they choose to patronize. The most successful brands aren’t afraid to let a little personality shine through.

Believe it or not, you can create and promote a video that appeals to your potential self-storage customers and generates return on investment for your facility. You don’t even have to hire a production team. We’re talking do-it-yourself video. It can be a low-budget, fun marketing effort that actually works in a trackable way.

But Self-Storage Is Boring

It’s easy to think self-storage is too unglamorous to be entertaining. However, video is actually the perfect means to showcase how you and your team make storage great. You’d be surprised by how many cool examples there are of self-storage featured in movies and on TV and the Web, where several operators have posted entertaining videos.

Manhattan Mini Storage enjoys great press coverage and tons of social sharing with its ad campaigns thanks to smart, creative writing in videos and billboards that appeal to the local target audience in an inclusive way. Their ads make viewers feel like they’re real New Yorkers, included in the city’s inside jokes. This tactic can work in any location.

Ultimately, Internet users prefer hitting the “play” button on a one- or two-minute video over reading lengthy copy. For potential future tenants, this is an ideal first point of contact with your facility. Video can enhance the customer experience and add value to your facility through educational “how-to” content. It also has the power to help potential tenants find you in the first place—not only through social sharing, but through online search engines.

Where Do I Start?

The best place to start is with a short welcome video on your website. Ask staff for content ideas or hold a contest for your social-media followers, rewarding whoever comes up with the best idea for a commercial.

This should be a fun tour of your facility, staff, products or unique value position. Think of the physical tour as your cake, and then add icing and sprinkles to make it awesome. Your video can include anything from funny staff antics, to the unique history of your facility’s building, to the charitable work in which your company loves to participate. This is what’s going to make your video entertaining, compelling and unique. Also work in a local angle whenever you can.

Keep videos short and simple, no longer than two minutes. Always avoid coming across as too self-promotional. Video should be entertaining, helpful and real. You want viewers to feel as if they can relate to your business. A welcome video is perfect to feature front and center on your website.

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