A lot of work goes into a self-storage marketing campaign, and measuring success can be difficult. It often feels dependent on luck, but that isn’t actually the case. You don’t need luck to effectively market your facility; but you do need to understand your audience.
Identifying the appropriate targets is the most important step in building great self-storage marketing. Understanding the users your business attracts is key to increasing revenue, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Ask yourself the following three simple questions. Once you can answer them, you’ll be able to make the most of your marketing efforts.
Question 1: Who’s Renting at My Self-Storage Facility?
By answering this question, you’re taking the first step toward learning your self-storage customer base. Most business operators believe everyone wants their products and services. In reality, you shouldn’t try to appeal to everyone but rather those consumers who are most likely to make a purchase.
Gathering simple demographic information on the people who already rent from you—data like age, gender and location—will help you assemble a picture of your target audience. Collecting it isn’t hard. In fact it’s readily discovered through your self-storage rental process, as these kinds of details are available from the tenant’s driver’s license or other government-issued ID.
Once you have this information, you’ll understand whom you should target with your marketing and can build streamlined campaigns around that audience. For example, let’s say your average renter is around 45, male and lives within a 10-mile radius. An ideal campaign assumes this as the main customer base, and any branding, ads or other marketing collateral should be designed with this user in mind.
Question 2: Why Do My Renters Need Storage?
Now that you know who your renters are, you need to understand why they need self-storage storage and, more specifically, why they chose to rent from your location. Knowing this will help you capitalize on opportunities created by your unique facility and identify its most popular unit sizes, features and benefits. Ask yourself:
- What does my facility offer that others in the market don’t?
- What types of units do my tenants typically rent?
- Do my customers respond well to discounts or pricing changes?
Perhaps you offer the only climate-controlled units in a 50-mile radius. Maybe your large, warehouse-style units rent more frequently than smaller units. Whatever it is that makes you exceptional, specificity is the key to success.
It’s natural to want to target as many potential customers as possible, but broad-based marketing is often confusing, unfocused and, therefore, unsuccessful. By building your self-storage marketing campaigns around the details of who and why, you can reach more qualified consumers, which saves you time, money and effort. Instead of wasting your budget trying to reach the most people, focus on the individuals who are most likely to rent your units.
Targeted marketing uses information about the customers you have already to reach more people like them. By using your rental data, you can see which are your best-selling units and the features customers most seem to like. As you build your campaigns, identify and present the benefits those units and features provide. Benefits motivate people to buy!
Question 3: How Did My Renters Hear About My Business?
Knowing how customers are finding your self-storage facility helps you understand still more about which marketing works best for your business. It’s as simple as asking, “How did you hear about us?” You can usually gather this information when someone calls or emails to inquire about storage, or during the rental process. You can also add a simple survey question to your website, email newsletter, etc.
It’s simple: The more customers you gain from a specific source, the more you should invest in that marketing avenue. For example, if you discover that people are finding you on Facebook more often than anywhere else, it’s sensible and cost-effective to allocate more budget to that platform.
Using Your Answers to Create Better Marketing
Learning about your self-storage customer base is simple. All the information you need is readily available through one-on-one conversations, rental agreements, sales reports and surveys. Once you know who rents from you, why they need storage, why they chose your location and how they found it, you have a clearer picture of your target audience, which leads to more focused—and successful—marketing campaigns. You’ll be able to stretch your budget and increase your return on investment.
Audience-specific marketing is the best way to reach potential self-storage tenants. It should focus on who the consumer is, what they need and how to reach them. Appeal to their interests and tailor your marketing around them. Make them see that your facility offers more than just self-storage—it offers their kind of storage.
For example, let’s say your facility is near a university and generally popular with college students. It offers everything they need, from the right size units to a convenient online rental process. You even offer a special promotion for holiday breaks. Now, which marketing campaign should you use?
The ad on the left is generic and aimed at anyone. The one on the right is targeted toward college attendees. It not only shows students gathered in their environment, it highlights specific benefits that might appeal to them: low prices and no deposit.
Targeted campaigns drive purchasing decisions. Opting for an audience-specific approach in your self-storage marketing brings more focus and revenue. It makes your ads more relatable and generates more rentals. Remember, you don’t need luck to market your facility. Just take some time to identify and understand your audience. Everything else will fall into place.
Russell Severe is the marketing specialist for The Storage Group, a digital-marketing and technology-development firm that specializes in website development, search engine optimization, reputation management and more. He’s responsible for the development and execution of digital and print content as well as special-event planning. To reach him, email [email protected].