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Mobile Marketing for Self-Storage: Tactics for Promoting Your Responsive Website and Converting Users to Renters

There are many unique and evolving options for mobile advertising. This article addresses the importance of a mobile website to self-storage businesses and explores the marketing tactics operators can use to promote their website and convert mobile users to renters.

February 18, 2015

5 Min Read
Mobile Marketing for Self-Storage: Tactics for Promoting Your Responsive Website and Converting Users to Renters

By Dave Wolf

More than half of local online searches originate from a mobile device, according to a 2014 report by ComScore, an Internet-analytics company that provides marketing data to many of the world’s largest enterprises, agencies and publishers. Nearly 80 percent of these searches are from local consumers looking for a business from which to make an offline purchase. Fifteen percent of these users make purchases using their mobile devices.

Based on these market dynamics, it’s crucial that your website be visible when a consumer does a local search for self-storage on his mobile device. It’s also important to provide a good user experience that enables him to easily contact your storage facility or make an online reservation.

Most websites built within the past two years are responsive, which means the navigation, images and other elements render to the device on which the site is being viewed. A responsive website’s interface is easy to navigate and view on a mobile device and features key call-to-action and conversion buttons that encourage users to call the facility, reserve a unit, view specials, etc.

The key objective of your website is to provide easy access to important information about your business and convert prospects to tenants. If you’re planning to build or update your website, create a responsive site that’s simple to navigate and customize. Once that’s done, explore the many options to increase site visibility and customer conversion.

Know Your Stats

When it comes to marketing your website and getting visibility for mobile searches, there are a number of advertising tactics you can use, at different costs. Before you embark on any paid campaign, however, check your Google Analytics to determine the percentage of visits to your website that come from mobile and desktop searches. This will give you basic insight to the devices consumers are using to visit your site and their bounce rates from each channel. If your bounce rate is higher for mobile versus desktop visitors, you’re probably providing a poor mobile experience and should consider improving your website.

If your analysis reveals that a meaningful number of website visitors are coming from mobile platforms (30 percent or more), it’s important to ensure your site is easy to view and navigate on Android and Apple devices, the two most prevalent mobile platforms. If you have or are developing a responsive website, it’s also imperative to do extensive quality-assurance testing to ensure images render and the key elements work properly on both types of phones and tablets.

Marketing Your Mobile Website

Once you’ve addressed your mobile user experience, there are many methods you can use to enhance your site’s visibility for search. The easiest and least expensive is to claim your storage facility’s local listings on Google, Yahoo and Bing and syndicate those listings using the four large data-syndication sources: Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup and Nuestar.

Claiming and syndicating these local listings will increase the likelihood of your business appearing in local organic search results. The key is to ensure your facility information (name, address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.) is consistent across all listings on mobile and desktop directories.

Paid search. In terms of allocating money to drive mobile leads, a search campaign is a great way to do an initial test. Google Adwords automatically serves your campaign to consumers doing mobile searches unless you specify that it should only run for desktop. If you employ an Adwords campaign, however, it’s important to have a responsive conversion landing page to which consumers are directed once they click on your ad from a mobile device. This will ensure a great user experience and enhance your conversion rate.

Monthly analysis of your paid search results and conversions will provide insight to how you’re driving rentals using mobile search. If you find you’re converting consumers this way, look for opportunities to expand your campaign to a broader set of paid-search tactics.

Mobile-display advertising. In addition to paid search, you can use mobile-display advertising to target consumers based on demographic and psychographic profiles. Mobile-display ads can be served to consumers who meet your criteria in the area around your facility, or they can be served to qualifying mobile users in the area around a competitor’s facility (a tactic known as “conquesting”). These campaigns can also be associated with a coupon or promotion, which can be leveraged to enhance conversion and track campaign performance.

Pay-per-call advertising. Another mobile-advertising channel is pay-per-call. The billable event in this method is any connected phone call of a specified duration. Calls are generated via a mobile-display banner on paid search using a non-branded, vertical lead-aggregation form. This platform is best suited for self-storage operators with a lot of facilities covering a large footprint, because the campaign needs to run in multiple metros to generate meaningful call volume.

QR codes. An offline marketing tool you can use is a QR code placed on your print ads and other consumer-facing collateral. A consumer scans this barcode on his mobile device, and it directs him to a mobile landing page that can feature a promotion or other content. This tactic allows you to leverage the reach of print collateral and provides an indirect method of conversion tracking for your print campaigns.

There are many unique and evolving options for mobile advertising. The first step is to create a responsive website that provides a great mobile-user experience. Once you’ve done this, start testing different advertising tactics. Be patient and monitor conversions to see how well your campaigns are generating new rentals. If you’re successful, you can move on to more advanced marketing tactics.

Dave Wolf has been the managing partner of online-marketing firm Linkmedia 360 since 2004. He’s responsible for innovative strategies that have enabled the company’s self-storage clients to use online, mobile and social media marketing to maximize the impact of their lead-tenant acquisition campaigns. For more information, call 877.843.1091; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.linkmedia360.com.

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