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Content-Marketing Mistakes to Avoid: Tips for Self-Storage Operators

Content marketing plays a crucial role in your company’s digital strategy. Avoiding these common mistakes will lead to better search-engine rankings and more customers for your self-storage business.

Content plays an important role in the digital age. One look at Google’s 164-page Search Quality Guidelines proves how closely connected it is to the search giant’s rating and ranking system. If your content isn’t pushing your self-storage company to the top of search results, you’re likely losing many potential renters.

If you take time to catalog the amount of content on your website, in your social media posts and throughout your marketing materials, you’ll notice it has its fingers in every piece of your company’s digital pie. Make sure each all this content reaches its full potential by avoiding the following three common mistakes.

1. Failing to Know Your Audience

How can you produce quality content that resonates with your customers if you don’t understand who they are, their interests and the questions they ask about self-storage? Creating relevant content that moves people through your sales funnel requires a deep understanding of your target demographics.

Some of the best resources for learning more about your audience are reports from Google Analytics, Facebook and the other social media platforms your company uses. These contain everything from your audience’s average gender, age and habits on social networks to the knowledge they’re seeking as they enter your website. Take time to comb through these reports and build personas for each of your target markets. That personalization will allow you to focus on specifics and create messaging and solutions you might not otherwise find.

2. Failing to Tailor Content to Your Sales Funnel

Adjust your content to each stage of your sales funnel. If you use pushy sales language too early, you’ll likely lose potential customers because they haven’t had the opportunity to build trust in your operation. On the other hand, if you forego a clear, compelling call to action (CTA) until too late in the process, you’ll likely lose renters due to confusion or lack of urgency. Consider the following:

Awareness. Content plays a vital part in the awareness stage because it acts like a digital billboard or a virtual handshake, welcoming consumers to your brand. This might come in the form of a catchy Facebook advertisement or a well-written meta description that perfectly fulfills a Google search. Your content at this stage should be all about brand awareness and capturing your audience’s attention.

Interest. According to market-research firm Forrester, 82 percent of customers will view five or more pieces of content from a company before moving down the sales funnel. The interest stage is your time to shine as an expert in self-storage and related topics, not to sell your products. Anticipating intent and providing knowledge and help before the consumer knows he needs it is a great starting place for content creation. For example, you might provide a checklist of essential moving supplies as a free download, or write a blog about how to store sentimental items safely in a storage unit. Content at this point should be engaging and educational.

Decision. Content marketing should be at its most compelling during this stage because the consumer is ready to rent and likely choosing between multiple options. You want your company to get the sale, so now’s the time to strategize how to secure it through special offers, well-placed testimonials and reviews, and a clear CTA for consumers to rent, reserve or call.

Action and retention. Your educating, compelling content helped secure a new renter’s business, so your marketing strategy is finished, right? Wrong! Content marketing is essential in the action stage because it furthers customer loyalty and retention. Your strategy going forward might include informative monthly newsletters to current customers, videos walking them through proper storage techniques, exclusive content and downloads, and more.

3. Failing to Invest in Specialized Support

Content marketers not only help you bring in new revenue but retain current renters to build a loyal customer base. If your company doesn’t have the capacity to take on its own content marketing, consider investing in professional experts who have a deep understanding of the self-storage industry and its digital marketing strategies and trends. They can help you avoid these marketing mistakes and be a priceless resource in the future of your business.

Caitlin Israel is a content specialist at Go Local Interactive, a digital-marketing agency specializing in customer-acquisition strategies. It helps self-storage operators implement, manage and track marketing efforts down to the local level. Offerings include creative services, local-listings management, paid search, search engine optimization, social media and website development. For more information, call 913.689.3170, e-mail caitlin.israel@golocalinteractive.com.

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