If you aren’t using video in your self-storage business marketing, you’re missing a golden opportunity to connect with customers. Viewers are hungry for this content. Learn about the types of video you should be producing, where to post it, and how to partner with a professional to reach a broader audience.

Quinn Johnson, Creative Brand Manager

February 13, 2024

6 Min Read

If it seems like just about every business has a video these days, it’s because most have recognized the power behind this marketing strategy. Video can inform, entertain and grab attention. In a media-focused world, it’s becoming more important in the effort to attract new customers and communicate with existing ones.

Creating quality videos for a self-storage business is important for driving rentals and improving the customer experience (CX). If you’re interested in adding it to your marketing, the following information will help you successfully create and launch a plan.

Video Types

There are two main kinds of video content: informational and advertising. Each has advantages and can solicit different responses from your audience. Both can improve CX.

Informational. These videos do exactly what the name implies: inform the viewer. Customers are interested in knowing more about what they can expect when renting self-storage. They want to feel more comfortable about the process. These types of videos are useful in convincing those who are considering the product but haven’t decided where or what to rent.

For example, at Extra Space Storage, we created a series of unit-size guides to help shoppers. They’re also effective at showcasing our brand and CX.

If you plan to create informational videos, put yourself in your viewer’s shoes to determine what topics they may be concerned about or would like to understand better. Use real footage of your properties, not generic stock footage. Explain everything in a friendly and helpful tone, and include text to highlight important details.

Advertising. When you think of video advertising, it might conjure thoughts of a hilarious Super Bowl ads full of celebrities. This is obviously outside the budget for most self-storage operators, however. Instead, start small and research other more cost-friendly options.

For example, video ads on social media can often provide a better return on investment with improved tracking, all at a lower barrier to entry. Find out why your customers care about your product or prefer your brand, then turn that into a multitude of engaging short-form videos. Make your ads attention-grabbing and memorable to get the most value from them.

Start by asking yourself what makes your brand attractive. Take a look at your customer reviews and note the areas in which your business excels. Is it facility cleanliness? The personal care of your property managers? The competitive pricing for your area?

Consider how you can make this concept visually appealing. Just don’t fall into the trap of trying to do too much with one video. Keep it focused, and your customers will be more engaged.

General Video Tips

Whether you’re creating a video yourself or hiring someone else, engagement is important. Viewers who feel “pulled in” by your content are more likely to remember and act on it. Ideally, these are people who are ready to rent self-storage. (Sorry, but it may not be a good sign if only teenagers are enjoying it.)

A simple way to draw in viewers is to use emotion. Videos can be funny, thought-provoking, nostalgic and more. We all love to laugh, but sometimes a post that brings you sweetly to tears can be just as impactful. Of course, this approach applies more to advertising videos. It might not be as relevant for informational ones.

In addition to the emotional core, include a call to action, for example, “Rent now” or “Call for more information.” Also, gather feedback about your video from others—preferably not close friends or family, as they may be understandably biased. Finally, find a way to track and measure video performance for future comparison and improvement.

Where Should You Be Using Video?

Anywhere and everywhere! Embed them on your self-storage website to convince people to rent with you. Post them on social media to gain awareness. Share them in emails to improve the tenant experience. Use advertising to get your video out to more people in your local markets.

That said, be smart about the types of video you post on certain platforms. Not every video belongs in every place. Consider your marketing funnel, or flywheel. If you ran an informational video during an ad break on Hulu, it might reach millions, but are those people ready for that level of detail? It might not be enticing for the average person who isn’t in immediate need of storage. Instead, they might be more likely to remember an intentional advertisement that’s short and entertaining.

Partnering With a Professional

If you’re lucky enough to have the resources for a larger video production, search for marketing agencies that impress you with their past work. Request a proposal from several vendors to compare pricing, and choose a partner in which you feel confident. Working with professionals will give you higher-quality videos; and quality production can be a quick indicator to customers of your company’s professionalism and care.

But a production agency may be well beyond your budget. If you’re looking for a compromise that still allows you to get video support, try contracting with a content creator. You can find a professional on your own or peruse the many available platforms.

The right hire can help you create video for your website and social media. You can also ask to be featured on the creator’s own video channel if it seems worthwhile. Some may even be willing to trade services. Try offering free rent on a storage unit for a few months in exchange for some video work.

Of course, you want to use caution when beginning a partnership to protect your self-storage brand and marketing efforts. You want someone who can represent your brand well and make your posts appealing. To begin, ask for examples of their work. If they’re posting on their own channel, assess their follower count and recent engagement (quantity of likes, comments) to avoid accounts with fake followers (bots). Finally, confirm that you’ll be able to ask for revisions if what you receive isn’t what you hoped for, but don’t expect too much. You likely won’t be getting any Spielberg-level cinematography.

Finally (and perhaps most importantly), allow your professional some creative freedom. Let them express themselves, and you’ll often be glad you did. A good content creator will help you find a healthy balance that’s respectful of your brand’s professionalism but brings life and inspiration to your media.

Time to Hit Record!

Your first self-storage video—or even the second—might not be great. The important thing is to keep trying. As cliché as it sounds, this kind of marketing gets better the more you practice.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and hire professionals if your budget allows it. The return on investment is often worth it. Use video marketing to drive rentals, inform your self-storage customers, and, of course, have fun with your brand.

Quinn Johnson is creative brand manager at Extra Space Storage Inc., a self-storage real estate investment trust and management company. He joined the team in 2019 as a social media intern while finishing his bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University. Since then, he’s held various marketing roles. To reach him, email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Quinn Johnson

Creative Brand Manager, Extra Space Storage Inc.

Quinn Johnson is creative brand manager at Extra Space Storage Inc., a self-storage real estate investment trust and management company. He joined the team in 2019 as a social media intern while finishing his bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University. Since then, he’s held various marketing roles. To reach him, email [email protected].

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