By Jen Alsip
Online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) used to be all about banner ads, paid-link building, e-mail campaigns and pay-per-click. While those things are still used, to be truly relevant to today’s consumer, self-storage operators must add strategic content marketing in the SEO space to the mix.
SEO refers to anything Internet-related that’s based on organic results. In other words, it’s when someone goes to their favorite search engine and types in a keyword or phrase related to self-storage, and your company appears naturally in the results. Making sure your information is visible in the search is important and plays a huge role in the art of communicating with your customers without selling them. It’s about creating fresh, relevant and unique content through your website and social media that reaches your ideal customers and enables you to earn a presence in the SEO space.
For any business, content marketing is one of the most important online activities to enhance SEO ranking. Unfortunately, many self-storage operators are not fully using it because they lack an understanding of the concept, impact and necessity of content marketing. As a result, they frequently get stuck in the old way of doing SEO, which entailed writing keyword-heavy content tailored for search engines vs. the new way—writing engaging content for readers.
It’s about focusing on user intent, which takes a little more time but yields great results. To fully leverage your content-marketing activities, follow these three simple steps.
1. Identify Personas for Your Target Audience
You likely have a target audience for your self-storage business, and often the audience is quite broad, such as “women ages 35 to 50 who have kids,” “baby boomers” or “college students.” While there are certain characteristics that go across the entire target audience, there are also many subsets of people (called personas) within the target.
For example, using the “women ages 35 to 50 who have kids” target audience, you could have specific personas of “married, working mom,” “stay-at-home mom,” “single, working mom,” etc. Each of these personas has different interests and will respond to specific content. Someone who’s younger with preschool kids may be looking for more engaging content, whereas an older working woman with teens may be more responsive to the technical information you can provide. Therefore, identify the various personas within your target audience so you can reach and engage each group.
2. Create a Targeted and Consistent Blog
The purpose of your blog should be to connect with and engage readers by providing value to them through relevant content. After all, when readers like the information you provide, they’re more apt to return to your site and ultimately store with your facility. The key is being able to provide usable content for all the personas you’ve identified.
Staying with the “women ages 35 to 50 with kids” example, you may write a narrative blog titled “Choosing a Self-Storage Facility” to reach the stay-at-home mom persona. The next day, you may write a technical blog called “How to Safely Pack Items for Storage” to reach the working-mom persona. Each blog would have a different tone based on the persona you’re targeting.