Learn to Use Apple Business Connect and Apple Maps to Draw More Self-Storage Customers

Everybody knows about Google, but it isn’t the only online platform that can bring new customers to your self-storage business. Apple Business Connect is another, and if you use it, you’ll have a way to manage and enhance your facility’s presence on Apple Maps. This article explains more about these marketing tools plus how to set up your profile, build out your Place Card and more.

David Austin, Content Specialist

June 24, 2024

6 Min Read

Google dominates the world of online search. As a self-storage operator, you’re likely very familiar with Google Business Profile (GBP), Google Maps and Google Reviews, for example. If you want to reach the most people, you market your business on this massive search engine.

However, lots of people use iPhones and other Apple devices, so it makes sense to reach them through Apple Maps and Apple Business Connect (ABC), too. Let’s explore what these tools are and how you can use them to bring in more self-storage customers.

What Are They?

Apple Maps is the default map system on Apple devices. It has nowhere near the same market share as Google, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. In fact, it’s estimated to have 60 million to 90 million users. That’s a ton of people! If you have a chance to get your business in front of those folks, why not take advantage of that exposure? Include Apple Maps as part of your self-storage marketing strategy.

Many iPhone users employ Apple Maps to find self-storage when they need it, and you want it to be easy for them to find your facility specifically. One way to do that is to set up a profile on ABC, which is free and easy to do. This platform allows you to manage and enhance your presence on Apple Maps. It also has other benefits:

  • It allows you to ensure the app has accurate information about your business, which improves your facility’s visibility and fosters better engagement with customers.

  • Its algorithms can check your name, address, phone number and other identifying information to verify that you are who—and where—you say you are.

  • Your listing acts as backlink pointing toward your self-storage website.

  • The more places your company exists online, the more you’ll show Google’s algorithms that you’re a serious business with authority in your market!

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps

Apple and Google Maps serve very similar functions, but there’s a few key differences that might impact how you set up your Apple Maps profile and how your customers experience your business. First, ABC profiles don’t appear in web searches the way a GBP profile might. Even the Apple web browser, which is automatically installed on all Apple devices, uses Google as its default search engine. That means your GBP is still your No. 1 source of local search leads.

In addition, Apple Maps uses Yelp for reviews and photos instead of using its own proprietary platform the way Google does. This means you must keep your Yelp profile current, including high-quality photos.

Finally, to use Apple Maps, you’ll need an Apple ID. If you own Apple products, you probably already have one. If not, you can create one for free.

Setting Up Your ABC Profile

Getting your self-storage business set up on ABC is quick and easy. Just follow these steps if you aren’t familiar with the process:

  • Create a unique Apple ID for your business. If you’re the sole owner, you can perhaps use your personal ID; but if you think you might share access with another owner or a manager, it’s best to have a dedicated business account.

  • Go to businessconnect.apple.com and hit “Get Started.”

  • Choose the size of your business from the menu. For enterprise businesses (more than 25 locations), you’ll have to enter brand info, including your DUNS number, the unique nine-digit identifier assigned to each physical location of a business by credit bureau Dun & Bradstreet. If yours is a smaller businesses, add your first location. You can search for it by name and find it on the map. If you don’t see it, simply create a new location.

  • Fill out all relevant information including business hours, business categories, website, phone number, etc. Be as accurate and thorough as possible.

  • Complete your business verification. Provide any additional details, including your company’s legal name.

  • Upload your proof-of-identity documentation. This might be a copy of your business registration, a utility bill or a lease agreement. Expect to wait several days for the verification to go through. If you have a multiple locations, it could take longer.

Warning! There’s no fee to be listed on ABC. If someone is trying to charge you for setting up a profile, you’re being scammed.

Building Out Your Place Card

To lead potential customers to your self-storage business on Apple Maps, you must create a Place Card in ABC. Just as with your GBP, there’s room there to include all the information that makes your facility unique and attractive to prospective tenants.

Your first job is to write a compelling description of your self-storage business and what it offers. Provide as much detail as you can, but be honest. Don’t claim to offer amenities your facility doesn’t have, as you’ll only disappoint customers if you do.

Highlight the products, services and features your customers will most care about. Frame them in a way that explains the benefits of your offerings. In other words, what problems do you solve for your storage users? For example, your customers may not care about the specifics of your smart locks, but they’ll appreciate the fact that they don’t have to carry around a physical key.

In addition, include images, beginning with your self-storage logo and a good cover photo. Mention your accepted payment methods, whether or not you offer climate-controlled units, your general business model and any technology you use to help customers rent units, pay their rent, navigate the property and more.

ABC also offers a valuable promotional tool called Showcases, which is a unique way to create ads for your self-storage business profile. Here you can include a call-to-action button that encourages a visitor to visit your website, call you, share your profile or rate your facility. The button can be a prompt for whatever makes the most sense for your operation. If you’re asking for reviews, don’t be afraid to include Yelp in the request.

Your ABC profile and its connection to Apple Maps is mostly a set-it-and-forget-it type of self-storage marketing. Complete everything at once, and you won’t have to think about it anymore—unless you make changes to your business.

Many consumers use Apple products, so don’t lose your opportunity to appeal to this audience. Customers who use these devices, which tend to be pretty expensive, may even be better equipped to afford premium storage. For this reason, it may be worthwhile to put more marketing dollars into Apple maps and capture this demographic!

David Austin is an SEO (search engine optimization) content manager at StoragePug, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based technology company focused on self-storage website development and management. It aims to help facility operators attract new leads, convert them to paying tenants and rent units online. David previously worked as a content writer for the restaurant industry. You can contact him at [email protected] or 865.240.0295.

About the Author(s)

David Austin

Content Specialist, StoragePug

David Austin is a content specialist at StoragePug, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based software company that helps self-storage operators attract new leads, convert them to paying tenants and rent units online. Prior joining the company, he worked as a content writer for the restaurant industry. For more information, call 865.240.0295.

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