By Brendan Bowers
LinkedIn is the largest and most active social media network for business professionals. In addition, each of its users is clearly identified by industry, job, location and title. This combination provides a unique opportunity for precise, business-to-business targeting that self-storage operators can leverage to increase sales. To get started, I recommend using the “Sponsored InMail” function to specifically target construction companies and real estate agencies for multiple unit-leasing opportunities.
How Sponsored InMail Works
Sponsored InMail allows you to get your message in front of the people you believe are most likely to rent a self-storage unit. This feature offers a guaranteed deliverability rate of 100 percent through LinkedIn’s message system, which is linked to users’ personal e-mail accounts. As opposed to traditional messaging on LinkedIn, you don’t need to be connected with the people receiving your message. There’s no need to request a connection with them at any point, either.
If you’re skeptical, rest assured the first month of Sponsored InMail is free and you can cancel at any time. After the trial period ends, rates range from $65 and up per month depending on how many e-mails you send.
Why It Works
By searching LinkedIn for companies near your storage location—and identifying who their key decision-makers are—you’re afforded a unique opportunity for precise targeting. Once your targets are identified, you can create a marketing message tailored to each company and send it directly to the people who need to see it. There’s no need to call the main phone number and hope to be put through to a person’s voicemail. You simply use the search bar in LinkedIn to look for the company or industry along with the location you’re targeting, and then begin sending marketing messages to each prospect.
Self-storage is a perfect storage solution for construction companies, contractors, electricians, painters and plumbers. Many contractors work out of their trucks or homes and don’t have actual offices or warehouses to store their equipment. Storing building materials and tools in a unit allows them to keep their overhead low and their budget in check. Having a storage space in a centralized location closer to a project makes it much easier to transport gear. We already know all this, but it helps to remind prospective customers.
For example, you could send out an InMail message to construction companies explaining how self-storage units would protect their tools and equipment from theft or weather damage. While it may not lead to a new rental today, at the very least, it will help you stay top-of-mind by providing helpful storage tips and advice to the prospects in your area.
You could also offer customized packages to these potential customers that includes lower rates for renting multiple units—without broadcasting those sales to other renters. Through one successful InMail message, you give yourself the opportunity to potentially rent multiple units to some of the larger construction companies in town.
Real Estate Professionals
The self-storage and real estate industries tend to go hand-in-hand in many ways. It’s not uncommon for real estate agencies to have relationships with storage facilities. When people are selling their home, buying a new one or in the midst of moving, renting a unit can definitely be useful. During the sale process, for example, real estate agents will often recommend that their clients rent a unit to declutter and organize their home. Storing personal belongings offsite is an important part of staging a property for potential buyers.
Real estate agencies might also need storage units when they build, show or sell model homes. Facility operators can use the LinkedIn InMail function to reach out to these companies or individual agents to begin building relationships that could eventually lead to these type of rental opportunities.
There are an infinite number of other industries you could similarly explore through LinkedIn’s advertising platform. The social media site can be a great marketing tool once you know how to use it to your advantage.
Brendan Bowers is a digital-marketing manager with Linkmedia 360. The Cleveland-based company helps facility operators maximize their return on investment and increase occupancy rates. Services include search engine marketing and optimization, website design and development, and other digital-marketing services. To reach him, e-mail [email protected]; visit www.linkmedia360.com.