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Tips and Tools to Help You Track the Effectiveness of Your Self-Storage Marketing Efforts

With the amount of effort and money self-storage operators invest in their marketing these days, it’s important to know what is and isn’t working. The following tips and tools will help you track the effectiveness of your online and offline activities, so you know where you’re getting the best return and can find that “sweet spot” of ideal outcomes.

5 Min Read
Track the Effectiveness of Your Self-Storage Marketing Efforts

If you aren’t tracking your self-storage marketing campaigns, spending and conversion rates, you’re missing out on valuable information that can be used to improve your efforts and increase return on investment. To get the most from your budget, it’s essential to track activity and discover which channels are the most effective. Thankfully, collecting and analyzing your marketing data is easy with the following methods and tools.

Online Tracking

Every self-storage business should have an online presence to reach customers, and a website is a critical component. However, it isn’t a “set it and forget it” entity. It requires care and maintenance. A working knowledge of the following web-based marketing tools can help you realize the most value from this investment. Key performance indicators to measure include page views and completed actions, such as link clicks, form completions, online sales and email sign-ups.

  • Google Analytics (GA): This tool tracks and reports website data in granular detail for a deeper understanding of your self-storage audience. GA4 (formerly known as App + Web) is replacing Universal Analytics and offers several advantages. For example, it’s more privacy-focused and integrates with Google’s advertising platforms to optimize campaign performance.

  • Google Search Console: This helps you understand how your website appears on Google and how to improve it.

  • Google Ads: When using these, install a tool called “conversion tracking” to identify how well each campaign is generating leads, sales, downloads and other desired results.

  • Urchin Tracking Module: This analytics tool helps you understand audience behavior and gauge online performance. It provides very granular data, so you know which marketing messages and platforms are bringing the most traffic to your website.

In addition to a high-performance website, most successful self-storage operators are using email marketing to expand their online presence. This makes sense, as it’s a great way to build audience, revenue and brand loyalty! Your email platform should provide tracking data and detailed insight to your customer base. From demographics and purchase history to customer location and device information, the analytics have become very precise. They can help you better understand your readers and craft personalized messaging that resonates with them.

Integrated Tracking

Offline marketing includes things like print advertising, direct mail, pamphlets, billboards, signage, facility events, tradeshows, and television and radio spots. Though you can measure the performance of these activities through many methods, such as asking customers how they found you or distributing referral codes, the best way to track their effectiveness is through an integration with the following online tools.

Branded links. Custom URLs are an easy, practical way to track your offline marketing. They can be applied to just about anything—outdoor signage and banners, point-of-sale signage, promotional products, apparel, business cards, vehicle wraps, billboards, etc. The idea is to use a unique, targeted URL on each, so you know how much attention they receive.

Branded links also provide flexibility. For example, if you want to revise a promotional offer, you only need to update the landing page, while the printed URL remains constant. This extends the shelf life of your marketing collateral and minimizes costly do-overs or frequent replacements. Finally, these links connect to the tools you use for online marketing and tracking, allowing for seamless integration.

QR codes. Thanks to advances in technology, QR codes are back, and many companies are using them as an integral part of their offline marketing. They’re easily customizable, and customers can quickly scan them to link to all kinds of messaging and services.

There are two types of QR codes, static and dynamic. For marketing and tracking purposes, you want to use dynamic codes, as they’re much more accommodating. When a user scans a dynamic code, a short redirect URL sends them to a landing page containing your content. You’re free to change that content as often as you like, but the code and link remain the same, again extending the shelf life of any printed collateral.

Your QR codes and links are trackable through Google Analytics. In addition, there are user dashboards available through QR-code provider platforms that offer detailed tracking of total and unique scans, devices, browsers and operating systems, locations, and times.

Aligning Results With Goals

Since each self-storage marketing method has its own tracking metrics and analysis, it’s important to invest time weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually to see how the data aligns with your strategic goals. Whether your efforts are online, offline or integrated, set objectives for each campaign. For example, do you want to increase user engagement, close X self-storage rentals or encourage customer retention? Whatever your goals are, here are some specific metrics that’ll help you gauge performance:

  • Return: The dollars generated by a method or campaign

  • Reach: The number of people who see a campaign or post

  • Frequency: The number of times each unique user sees a campaign or post

  • Cost per thousand (CPM): What you pay for 1,000 ad impressions

  • Cost per acquisition: How much you spend to turn a prospect into a paying customer

Last but not least, there’s the conversion rate, which measures the number of people who complete a desired action in response to your marketing vs. the total number of people who were exposed to your marketing. The action might be anything at all based on your goals, from clicking on a link to signing up for a newsletter subscription to fully renting a unit.

Taking and interpreting these measurements is where a marketing professional can be a valuable asset to your self-storage business. With access to specialized tools and platforms, they can save you time and effort by taking on these tedious tasks.

If you want to understand, improve and maximize your self-storage marketing efforts, you must track the performance of every campaign. Take a step back and note key learnings. Using the right tools, analytics and data, you can tweak your strategies and set your budget. In time, you’ll find those “sweet spots” that deliver ideal outcomes.

Stephanie Farber and Casey Frankel are marketing professionals for Creative Blend Design, a San Antonio-based marketing agency that provides a range of online and offline services and solutions. The company uses a comprehensive, proven, multi-channel approach to ensure client success. For more information, email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Stephanie Farber

Creative Principal, Creative Blend Design

Stephanie Farber is creative principal for Creative Blend Design, a full-service marketing agency. In addition to creative services and offline marketing solutions, the agency develops and deploys multi-channel digital campaigns using a proven, comprehensive approach to ensure client success. To reach her, email [email protected]

 

 

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