You’ve probably heard that “Content is king.” After all, what would a website be without it? But simply throwing words or quirky quips on a page isn’t a strategy; and content without a purpose doesn’t really contribute to business revenue.
Keep in mind that online content has a job to do, even your blog and social media posts. In self-storage, its function is to build relationships with customers and sell your services. However, there are many forms of content and many things it can accomplish. Is yours positively contributing to your bottom line?
What’s in Your Words?
When creating online content, your word choice impacts your self-storage brand: the personality, relatability and expertise you convey. The right words not only promote and describe your facility features and amenities, they establish and affect your digital presence.
Keywords are all the rage in search marketing, and for good reason. Still determining a good part of search engine rankings, they’re important, but not in the same way they used to be. Before Google made some major algorithm changes, the more abundant a specific keyword, the better. Now, an overuse of keyword mentions can be viewed negatively. That doesn’t mean you should eliminate them altogether, but rather, incorporate keywords naturally. You want to comprehensively cover a topic so your content shows better in the search engine results page (referred to as “semantic search”).
A Walk Down Sales-Funnel Lane
Your online content does more than just capture Web traffic. It must funnel users through your website. Ultimately, your website should be one of your best salespeople. As such, its content should drive users through each stage of the sales cycle to eventually rent or reserve a unit. This means it must not only address facility features, but the benefits of renting at your property.
Your website pages need a strong call to action (CTA). By providing clear, relevant and actionable inbound-linking options on each page, you can drive users through your site like IKEA herds customers through its stores. It’s proven that users are more likely to click when a CTA is present.
Pieces of the Puzzle
A self-storage website should contain at least three types of content: static pages, facility pages and blogs. Once these are satisfied, you can diversify by incorporating more visually appealing, shareable types of content. These more creative pieces help capture audience interest and develop top-of-mind awareness.
Static pages. These are the educational or informative pages that are always on your site. They should answer users’ questions about self-storage in general and your company specifically. They’re typically more “evergreen” in nature, meaning the content doesn’t need to be constantly updated to stay accurate. Be wary of including things like nearby businesses or how many years your company has been in business, as these things will constantly change.
Facility pages. These market-level pages are integral to your website. This is typically where users can reserve or rent units, and where many sales conversions take place. But facility pages aren’t meant to include just a list of available units. Your content should build up the value of each type. In their heads, your customers are doing their own form of a cost-benefit analysis, and the content of these pages should account for that.
Specific markets (cities, states, ZIP codes, etc.) are also commonly part of search terms when users are looking for self-storage near them. By incorporating proper keywords into your facility pages, you can stay optimized for search engines.
Blogs. While the days of RSS feeds are past, blogs are still an important marketing tool. They should provide fresh, relevant and keyword-focused content to stay on top of search engine needs. The key metrics of a top-performing blog are increased entrances and page views, and a low exit rate. This means that not only does a blog need to be optimized for search engine optimization (SEO) to generate traffic, it should be timely and relevant to capture user interest and—with a strong CTA—funnel users through your website.
While it can be hard to measure your blogs’ return on investment, they’re still vital in the overall strength of your sales funnel. After all, could a funnel do its job without the wide mouth at the top?
Visual content. Once the essentials are covered, you can delve into more engaging content. These might include gated, lead-generating content and appealing social media graphics. While it’s important that your brand tone comes through in all forms of content, this is where your personality can really shine. Visual content can help with brand recall and loyalty.
Investing in Professional Help
Creativity doesn’t necessarily involve strategy and vice versa. With content, you need a good mix of both. If you find yourself struggling with anything from keyword research to copywriting, trust a seasoned expert to help. Content is a highly customized field that’s continually changing with new technology and evolving user attitudes. Don’t get left behind.
A content expert can help determine which messages will resonate with your market and how to distinguish your services in the best way. Content touches every single marketing team you have, from Web to paid media to SEO. Without it—and the right strategy behind it—where would your marketing mix be?
Tessa Lieber is a content specialist for Go Local Interactive, an agency specializing in localized digital marketing services for the self-storage industry. It creates true partnerships with premier companies by providing digital marketing services that drive results. Expertise includes tracked, customized solutions to local marketing. For more information, e-mail [email protected]; visit www.golocalinteractive.com.