When it comes to marketing self-storage, Facebook advertising is often underutilized. It just doesn’t have the same adoption level as Google Ads, which are quite common. But this also means there isn’t as much competition, and there’s an opportunity to drive traffic from a less saturated marketplace.
Though Facebook was once a place for younger generations, older users are becoming increasingly familiar with it. In fact, chances are that your ideal customers are active on the platform and ready to be targeted. Combine this with the fact that Facebook provides a wide range of options to really drill down to your ideal customers, and it makes a great addition to your overall marketing strategy.
If your self-storage business is already active on Facebook, regularly publishing content for free, you may wonder why you should consider paying for ads. Well, it’s no secret that the organic reach of your posts has been in decline over the years, with only about 5.2 percent of your audience actually seeing your posts. Facebook’s 2018 algorithm update placed more importance on “personal” posts, moving further away from marketing content.
Paid adverts are simply the best way to guarantee you get in front of your relevant audience. Let’s explore a few ways you can maximize your campaign’s effectiveness on Facebook and get the most from your advertising budget.
Use the Demographic Targeting Feature
Facebook provides much more detailed targeting options than you typically get from a Google Ads campaign, due to the nature of the member data it collects. The demographic targeting allows you to really narrow your focus to the key characteristics that match your typical self-storage customer. You can define your desired audience by age, location, relationship status, occupation or education status, even whether they’ve recently moved or are new to an area.
This can be an extremely powerful way of reaching a new target market. Here are a few examples of how you can put it into action:
- Show ads to people who’ve recently moved. They might need storage during the transition.
- Show ads to college students at key times of the year. They might need storage during school breaks.
- Show ads to newlyweds and people 35-plus who have recently noted a change in their relationship status. They might need storage when they merge households or move into a new home.
Install a Facebook Pixel to Track Conversions
As with any self-storage marketing, you need to analyze your efforts when advertising on Facebook. Installing a pixel is essential to understanding how well your campaigns perform. It’s just a little snippet of code that allows you to track what customers do once they arrive on your website from your Facebook ads. It allows you to easily gauge which parts of your campaign are working, and which aren’t.
For example, you can set your pixel to measure how many people who clicked through to your site actually went on to reserve or rent a storage unit, purchase products from your online store, or any other action you deem valuable. This makes it so much easier to measure the return on investment, and will prevent you from spending more on ads that send you poor-quality traffic.
Create Audiences From Your Pixel
The Facebook pixel can do more than track conversions and actions on your website. You can also use it to create audiences based on the actions people take and target them directly. For example, you might want to focus on those who:
- Visited your website but didn’t request a quote
- Got a quote but haven’t reserved or rented a unit
- Rented storage with you
- Visited a particular area of your website (e.g., a page for one of your locations)
You can then tailor your advertising campaigns accordingly. You might include specific offers for each audience segment, or opt for something more generic aimed at building brand awareness.
Create a Lookalike Audience
This is a great way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your self-storage business because they’re similar to your existing customers. To create a Lookalike Audience, simply choose one of the custom audiences you managed to build using information from your pixel or some other source. Facebook will identify the commonalities among people in that group and deliver your ad to an audience that “looks like” them.
Here’s some more details about how lookalikes work from the Facebook Business Help Center:
- Your lookalike will only include people from the countries you select.
- Your source audience must contain at least 100 people from a single country.
- You can create up to 500 Lookalike Audiences from a single source audience.
- People in your source audience will be excluded from your Lookalike Audience unless they came from a pixel.
- You can use multiple lookalikes simultaneously for a single ad set.
Use Saved Audiences
Once you’ve created an audience for one of your Facebook campaigns, click the “Save This Audience” button so you can use it again. It can take a while to create all the specific targeting features for an audience, and you don’t want to duplicate that work every time you want to run a new campaign. Instead, you can simply click “Use a Saved Audience,” and select the one you want.
Important note: When you use this feature, everything about the audience will be saved except for the target locations. Those you’ll need to select each time.
Employ A/B Testing
A/B testing allows you to examine whether a change to your Facebook campaign would have a positive impact. The feature will run both the original and updated campaign, evenly and randomly choosing when each one appears. It’s a structured way to see what works best without making a permanent change.
Hopefully, this has helped you understand how powerful Facebook advertising can be for your self-storage business and provided a few pointers to get the most out of your marketing budget. The platform is continually evolving. To take advantage of all it has to offer, you need to keep up to date with testing and changes.
Ben Hook is a marketing strategist at Storist, a digital marketing agency providing services exclusively to the self-storage industry. His website provides storage marketing advice and updates designed to help increase online visibility and occupancy rates. You can reach him via email at [email protected].