Buying Ad Space for Self-Storage: Online, Radio, TV and Print

Self-storage operators who wish to buy ad space may be confused about the various platforms and how to ensure a successful campaign. This article explores the benefits of online, radio, TV and print adverting, and offers tips on how to deliver an effective message.

March 14, 2015

5 Min Read
Buying Ad Space for Self-Storage: Online, Radio, TV and Print

By Amy Daniels

If you’re thinking about advertising strategies for your self-storage business, you’re probably feeling torn. As writer and editor Ryan Underwood points out, “You’re certainly making a bid to enter the big time. On the other hand, [you’re] at risk for spending a lot of precious capital.”

Advertising is a balancing act between reducing risk and increasing the likelihood of success, especially for smaller companies. Most of your opportunities can be lumped into four main categories: online advertising, radio, TV and print. Though there are several arguments for and against certain types of ad space, experts tend to have a fairly consistent opinion concerning the best use of each media type. Let’s explore the benefits of each as well as how to choose the best advertising avenue for your business and deliver an effective message.


Online ad space is a first-timer’s dream because the options for customization are nearly limitless. You can hone in on your target market, select from a wide range of prices, and view metrics that make sense. You don’t even have to search long for suitable space. Many social media websites—where many of your prospects spend hours of time—provide just as many possibilities as any other site.

Radio and TV

Radio and TV spots are great for relaying your primary message. The most appealing thing about this type of advertising is you can be as creative as you’d like. You can let your facility’s personality shine through with the help of audio and visual aids. Beyond ad production, radio and TV sometimes provide flexible payment options. A few retailers have swapped goods with local broadcasters in exchange for free or discounted airtime.


While you tap into radio and TV advertising to relay your primary message, print media can be used to support it. Print space can come in the form of local newspapers, industry magazines, classifieds and even billboards. Depending on your area, it can be an extremely cost-effective form of advertising. It can be even more reasonably priced if you develop relationships with editors and representatives, who may be willing to give you remnant or leftover space toward the end of the design process.


Any sensible businessperson understands how important it is to develop strategies with the proper market in mind. In the case of advertising, demographic information can actually save you money; so you need to choose your “where” wisely.

The typical self-storage renter is willing to drive up to 10 miles to access his unit. A simple way to decide where you’ll spend most of your energy is to target the market within a 10-mile radius of your facility.

One way to keep track of where your customers reside is to make note of their ZIP codes. If a large portion of tenants come from one particular area, consider mailing a coupon and flier to the remaining addresses in that ZIP. It’s a low-cost strategy that can be completed quickly. Plus, the concept behind it is effective: Locate the population that’s most likely interested in your services and give them that extra push to make the call.


Since money is usually on the line with advertising, you must do more than choose your favorite form of media. For instance, take some data on the types of leads you’ll reach with the following:

  • Radio: Listeners are often employed adults ages 18 to 54.

  • Television: Even though daytime commercial space will be more affordable, these viewers are more likely to be unemployed.

  • Billboards: This audience wants an immediate call to action, such as “Exit now!” A billboard across town from your facility will be virtually ineffective.

No-Nonsense Tips

Jonesboro Radio Group of Jonesboro, Ark., has consistently been voted the No. 1 radio choice by local listeners and businesses. General Sales Manager Kevin Neathery shares his insights for first-time advertising buyers:

  • Start small. Convince 20 percent of people that they 100 percent need to rent with you, rather than persuading 100 percent of people only 20 percent of the way. Narrow your position if it helps you better appeal to your target market. If that means isolating yourself from a small segment of your market, it may be worth it.

  • Be selfish. Avoid being intimidated or confused by media representatives by focusing on one number: cost per prospect. Avoid ad packages and “tag-along” promotions in which you and several other businesses are featured. Any time you spend money on ad space, your business should be the center of attention.

  • Use two types of verbiage. Variable copy, such as information about a current special, targets “now” buyers and urges them to act quickly. Permanent copy, like a tagline or an ongoing campaign, targets future customers and positions your brand’s story.


If you’re about to embark into the advertising realm for the first time or you’ve tried it before but didn’t get the results you wanted, you may feel like you’re about to fight an uphill battle. You may also feel uncomfortable when you think about the cutthroat image advertising tends to evoke. But trying new avenues doesn’t have to be all that scary.

Once you’ve decided on your platform, market and message, simply make sure your advertising is genuine. In reality, all your customers want is authenticity. They’re looking for a great deal or special features, yes, but they want to know you’ll treat them right once you have their business. So, while you narrow your focus and choose the best place to buy your ads, remember to provide a message that’s in line with what your company is and who you are as an owner.

Amy Daniels is the content-writing manager at storEDGE, a provider of online-marketing services for the self-storage industry. 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. For more information, visit

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