3 Essential Pieces of Your Self-Storage Advertising Effort

If you’re interested in widening the advertising strategy for your self-storage business but aren’t sure where to begin, these tips will get you started. Here are three important components of an effective program.

September 15, 2014

5 Min Read
3 Essential Pieces of Your Self-Storage Advertising Effort

By Amy Daniels

While specific advertising opportunities will vary based on your focus and market, there are steps you can take to concentrate your efforts and draw in the business you seek. If you’re interested in widening the strategy for your self-storage business but aren’t sure where to begin, these tips will get you started. Here are three important components of an effective advertising program.

No. 1: A Campaign

Developing an advertising campaign can be as simple as choosing a start and end date. With this small act, what you’re really doing is setting your focus. Once the campaign is over, it also allows you to take a step back, assess your strengths, and unearth areas that need improvement.

A campaign may seem like an unnecessary burden in the advertising process. When done properly, it does take quite a bit more effort than just buying an ad in your local newspaper, for example. But while a campaign is more work at the beginning, it can actually make things simpler in the long run. The hardest part is often brainstorming the overall theme. Once you do that, you’ll find it’s easier to push out advertisements that fit into that vision; and it’s quite a bit better than creating a grand scheme with every new advertising piece.

When you stick to one general message for a long time, your customers can more readily remember you. This is crucial because you want them to think of your brand specifically when they consider self-storage.

A smart business tactic is to observe the branding strategies of hugely successful companies, even if their industries are unrelated to yours. According to “Forbes,” some of the most unforgettable ad campaigns of 2012 were run by Microsoft, Red Bull and Toyota; however, memorability doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t positively impact profit. So, how did these companies do in 2012?

 Ad Campaigns and Net Profit***

Through smart ad campaigns, Microsoft was able to beat out some of its strongest competition, Red Bull was able to beat its record, and Toyota was able to overcome a massive hurdle. Imagine what a great ad campaign could do for your self-storage business.

No 2: A Tagline

Similar to a logo, a tagline or slogan is a useful tool to implement as part of all of your advertising materials. You can change your tagline with each campaign, or it can last as indefinitely as your logo. Hubspot once published a blog titled, “10 Companies That Totally Nailed Their Taglines.” The top five are below. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • “Just Do It,” Nike

  • “Think Different,” Apple

  • “I’m Lovin’ It,” McDonald’s

  • “Can You Hear Me Now?,” Verizon Wireless

  • “Because You’re Worth It,” L’Oreal

The fact that you recognize these taglines is a testament to their success. These examples also demonstrate that a great tagline can have an extremely long shelf life. Nike’s was first used in 1988, Apple’s emerged in 1997, and the McDonald’s tagline has been working for the company since 2003. By taking the time to develop a great tagline now, you can reap the benefits for many years to come.

Did you notice none of the above taglines explicitly mention the company’s product? Instead, they appeal to the customer—his emotions and what the product does to benefit him. Rather than wedging “self-storage” into your tagline, think about what you’re really offering. Is it the ability to get organized? Alleviate stress during a move? Expand a business? Your tagline is a powerful opportunity to relay this message in your very first point of contact with prospects.

Steve Strauss, a lawyer specializing in small business and entrepreneurship, shared his expertise on creating a great tagline with “USA Today.” Here’s what the internationally recognized author of 15 books had to say:

  • Focus on the benefit. Answer the question, “What do people get when they do business with you?”

  • Consider your brand. Think about the personality of your business. What do you want people to remember about you?

  • Keep it simple. Five words is a good place to start for length. Ensure your message makes sense.

  • Test. This is important, especially if you’re new to writing taglines. Ask for feedback from employees and customers. You could even get your community involved by launching a contest on social media platforms.

A Guide to Crafting Your Tagline*** 

No. 3: A Call to Action

A call to action answers the question, “What do you want your customers to do after viewing your ad?” Even if you employ a genius advertising campaign and your tagline is golden for years to come, each of your ads should compel your prospect to do something. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • A coupon or current special: Include an expiration date to evoke a sense of urgency, and clarify whether the customer needs to bring in the ad to receive the discount.

  • Your storage facility’s contact information: Your customers don’t want to take any extra steps to find you. Make sure your phone number and address are easily visible.

  • Links to social media: If you have a contest going on or you’re making a push for more involvement, invite your customers to join the conversation.

  • Direct appeals: Do you want college students to think of you over summer break? Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with saying that. If an explicit call to rent self-storage helps your customer understand what you want him to do next, it might be appropriate.

As with any change you make at your company, it’s wise to measure your results. Whether you put tracking numbers on each ad or you simply compare your quarterly/annual efforts against your profit, keep record of your most rewarding approaches. Use and measure the effectiveness of these three advertising components, and you’ll have uncovered a successful promotional strategy for your storage businsess.

Amy Daniels is the content-writing manager at StorageAhead, a provider of online-marketing services for the self-storage industry, and StorageFront, a self-storage lead-generation site. She enjoys the process of combining self-storage industry research, powerful Web-marketing strategies and small-business experience to cultivate the growth of facilities nationwide.

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