By Jon Wyles
I recently attended a great presentation by business-growth strategist Bosco Anthony about content strategy—the planning, development and management of content, in writing or other media, about your business. So what’s this all about, and why would I want to spend an evening learning about it?
We’ve seen a massive shift from outbound to inbound marketing in all industries, including self-storage. The challenge is how to get your prospects to engage with you. People are far more likely to do business with you if they get to know, like and trust you. Then, when they have a storage requirement, they will (hopefully) rent a unit from you. Your other audience—the search engines—also placing an ever increasing importance on unique and relevant content.
I heard a great quote during Bosco’s presentation. Question: “Do you know the best place to hide a dead body?” Answer: “On the second page of Google.”
How true! Do you ever go to the second page when you do Google searches? Your fight is not just for the best physical location in town, it’s for dominance on the first page of Google search results for relevant keyword terms. This is the battle ground for customer inquiries, and without having a cohesive content strategy, you will lose.
But it’s not just about producing quality, relevant, original content for your self-storage audience, it’s about distribution. You need to make sure your content is going to the right people and places, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. It takes planning and execution as well as consistency.
There are numerous platforms and outlets for your self-storage content. Use the ones that reach your audience most effectively, the ones that they use. For example, LinkedIn can be effective in driving self-storage inquiries. There’s no point to engaging with people who are unlikely to use your storage facility or posting content that will never reach your target market.
But don’t forget the people who may influence probable users, such as your local realtors. By the very nature of self-storage, local engagement is the key. There are various strategies to achieve this so you’re not just applying a scattergun approach and hoping for the best. Here are a couple of ideas for building your own content strategy.
Take Time to Plan
To be effective, you need to engage with your audience on a regular basis, and the content needs to be interesting and informative. This takes time. Just to come up with topics to write about takes planning, and then you need to do the actual writing!
Ideas will come to you at any time, so make note of them. If you don’t, you’ll invariably forget what they were. Allocate time for your research and the actual writing. Do it regularly so people engage and start to know, like and follow you.
Determine Your End Goal
Ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve and put a strategy in place to reach your goal. If you’re looking to get people to call you, include your phone number in the post. If you want people to sign up for a newsletter, tell them how they can register. Whatever the call to action is, make sure the reader can execute it.
Most important, include a link to your website in everything you post. This is for the search engines and will help drive up your ranking.
Results take time, and you may need to make adjustments along the way. However, if you’re persistent and follow your content strategy, it will be the gift that keeps on giving!
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Jon Wyles is the founder of Smart Storage Ltd., which operates five self-storage facilities in England, and a consultant who helps self-storage businesses in Asia, Canada, Europe and the United States with their marketing. For assistance with your content strategy, contact Jon at 604.628.1749 or [email protected]. Learn more at www.simplystorageexpert.com.