5 Steps to Building an Effective Content Strategy for Your Self-Storage Business

An effective content strategy revolves around one idea: reaching your self-storage target audience. Follow these fives simple steps to stay focused on your customer while shaping your message.

June 12, 2016

4 Min Read
5 Steps to Building an Effective Content Strategy for Your Self-Storage Business

By Dave Beltramini

An effective self-storage content strategy revolves around one goal: reaching your target audience. If you have an idea of who your customers are and what they want, you're already on your way to developing a great plan. The rest of the process builds on this foundation. Follow these five simple steps.

Step 1: Create Buyer Personas

Before developing content, it's important to create buyer personas based on your ideal customers. Think of specific details to describe these people. Do they have a shared age, gender, financial situation or profession? Detailed personas can make your decisions about content easier and more accurate. Refer back to them when:

  • Determining the content you need

  • Setting the content’s delivery strategies, style and tone

  • Developing a content calendar

  • Targeting content topics

Be sure to map your personas' journey as customers, too. Tracing this journey allows you to understand the process buyers go through when considering a self-storage facility. With this map, you can develop a content strategy that speaks directly to your prospects, regardless of which buying stage they're in.

Step 2: Research and Brainstorm

After forming your buyer personas, you might already have good content ideas, but you should still take time to research your industry, especially trending topics. Be selective and strategic. Every idea should fit your overall strategy.

As you begin to create content from these ideas, remember to stay informative and worthwhile from the start. Here are some tips:

  • Provide new information relevant to your customers' lives.

  • Be entertaining wherever possible. Jokes aren't necessary; just grabbing your audience's attention is enough.

  • Remain consistent and honest. Redo sections that stretch the truth or lack authenticity.

If you use content from other sources, don't just copy and paste. Reference your source and provide commentary so your unique voice shines through.

Step 3: Publish and Follow the Response

Once you're done creating your content, take a moment to examine it critically before publishing. If everything looks exactly how you want, publish! Next, promote the content on all your social media channels, keeping in mind each one’s capabilities and culture of communication. Get to know the “voice” of each and tweak your message accordingly.

Finally, measure how your audience responds. Look at the number of downloads, likes, shares, and tweets as well as website traffic and other analytics. Don't despair if your content receives little interest. Knowing what your audience likes and dislikes will help you make better decisions in the future.

Step 4: Stay Connected on Social Media

Your content strategy will lose power if you ignore social media, so be consistent with checking and using your profiles. This activity brings you followers, which could translate into more leads and customers for your storage business.

To be most effective, your social media content should avoid selling self-storage. Instead, be genuine and conversational. This personal approach will build your business’ “personality,” or image, and connect with your readers better than advertising.

Also, remember to keep your social media and content strategies separate. If you confuse the two, you might inadvertently adopt an ineffective strategy for content outside of social media, like blogs and newsletters. Create specific content for social media, but don't let it absorb all of your attention.

Step 5: Be Inclusive

On social media, anyone who interacts with you is a potential storage renter. You should engage with him, even if you doubt whether he’ll actually become a customer. After all, he may have friends or relatives who are in your target market.

This openness to conversation includes engaging with negative comments and complaints about your service/location/etc. In these cases, act professional and try to get the customer to accept a resolution offline.

In the end, each interaction—whether prompted by a positive or negative comment—reveals your brand's personality. Your target audience will notice your unique voice and, if they like it, they might browse your content and start following you.

Time to Get Started!

Each step of building your strategy revolves around your customers. You started by creating buyer personas and ended by interacting with them on social media. If you've followed all five steps but still aren’t getting the results you want, evaluate whether you've fully understood your personas and their journey as customers. Your strategy should appeal to them, first and foremost, with a clear purpose shared by your brand narrative.

Regardless of the content you create, your readers should always be your focal point. Talk about their interests rather than your business, and plan your editorial calendar around their lives. You began building your strategy with them in mind. Now continue to focus on them as you move forward.

With more than 15 years of digital-marketing experience, Dave Beltramini is vice president of digital performance at G5, which provides Digital Experience Management software and marketing services to the self-storage industry. The company’s offerings include responsive-design websites, search engine marketing, social media, reputation management, lead tracking and management, analytics, and client-performance management. For more information, call 800.656.8183; visit www.getg5.com.

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