Online video has quickly become a key component to online content strategy for businesses, and the trend is expected to continue. By 2021, videos are expected to comprise 82 percent of all Internet traffic, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index forecast.
With the prevalence of video content poised to increase, it makes sense for self-storage operators to leverage this content to connect with customers and promote their facilities. Let’s discuss the value of using video as part of your marketing strategy and how to make the most of it.
Studies have shown the average Internet surfer spends 88 percent more time on websites that contain video, which is probably why 51 percent of marketing professionals identify it as providing the best return on investment of all content types. Furthermore, Millennials—an ever-growing segment of the self-storage customer base—watch the most video. What facility operator wouldn’t want prospective tenants to spend more time on their website as they decide on a provider?
My company has witnessed firsthand the value video can provide. Since posting about 10 videos promoting our self-storage facilities in August 2018, we’ve received more than 2,000 views from Web visitors, some of whom have walked into our stores and mentioned that they watched the content online.
Deciding on Content
Before you start a video project, decide on your content goals. Think about your target audience and what action you want them to take after watching. There’s no limit to the types of video you can create to promote your self-storage facility, but most industry video falls into one of three categories:
- Educational: The goal here is to teach the viewer about aspects of your operation. Common examples include guidance on unit sizes or specialty services such as wine storage. Educational video should be directed toward potential customers who are just beginning their search for storage and may not yet be ready to rent.
- Facility tours: Discuss your facility’s features and benefits. These videos commonly include drone shots or a combination of drone and walking footage. A virtual tour really gives you the opportunity to show off what’s unique about your property. It should be aimed at potential customers who want to see your site before renting.
- Customer testimonials: Arrange to film current or former tenants discussing why they recommend your business. These videos help create trust with the viewer, so they should be directed toward prospects who may be on the fence about renting from you.
Each of these video types can help drive more tenants to your facility. They reach prospective customers at different stages in their decision-making.
When it comes time to make a video, you can either pay a company or freelancer to shoot and produce it for you, or you can film it yourself. There are plenty of local production companies or professionals willing to come up with a concept, write the script, bring in their equipment and do the editing. Just bear in mind this comes at a price. The cost to have someone produce a video can run from $300 to more than $5,000, depending on the complexity and services required.
While producing video yourself is cheaper, the finished product likely won’t be as polished than it would if you outsourced. It takes time to learn how to make a quality product, but you can purchase basic camera equipment and a consumer drone for about $500 to $1,000. Once you own the gear, the videos will just cost your time to produce them. This savings can make doing it yourself an appealing option.
Where to Post
Once a video is created, you need it to be visible. Post it on your facility website, social media accounts, etc. If you have a Web page that discusses drive-up access to units, an educational video illustrating this feature would make a great fit. Facility tours and customer testimonials make great additions to any Web page.
Watching videos online is continuing to grow in popularity, especially among Millennial shoppers. It makes sense to up your ante in trying to attract their attention, so have some fun and get visual with your online content. Follow these tips to take advantage of the opportunities video provides to promote your self-storage operation.
Matt Casady is the marketing manager at Stor-N-Lock Self Storage, which operates more than 20 locations in California, Colorado, Idaho and Utah. He's a "do it all" marketing guy with experience in search engine optimization, website design, paid search, video creation and promotion, and more.