The new year is the perfect time to reset your storage business’s marketing goals. You don’t have to be a digital expert to succeed at online marketing - just make a plan, stick to it, and don’t forget to measure your results. Whether you’re brand new to marketing and trying to get your small business off the ground, or you’ve been marketing multiple storage facilities online for years and hoping to take things to the next level this year, there’s always room to improve and new ground to cover by trying the latest methods used by effective digital marketers. Read on to get our top three tips for improving your storage business’s marketing in 2019, and be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for our FREE webinar resource!

Start measuring things you’re already doing

What gets measured, gets managed. There are many things that contribute to your business’s success, but do you know what your biggest drivers of revenue are? If you measure all of your marketing efforts individually, you’ll be able to identify specific things that are working, not working, or could be improved. If you’re not sure where to get started, check out our blog post on the 15 metrics every storage owner should be tracking, or analyze your budget to see where your marketing dollars are currently being spent. Make sure managers are gathering marketing information at move-in - sometimes the simplest (and most affordable) marketing tactics, like your facility’s roadside sign or curb appeal, can be extremely effective at bringing in new renters.

One of your most important metrics is customer lifetime value (CLV), which is also referred to as average lifetime value (ALV). Your storage business’s CLV tells you how long your average tenant rents from you at the average price of a unit. For example, if your average storage customer pays $100 per month and rents for a year, their CLV will be $1,200. ALV is extremely important, because as ALV increases, so does your ROI. You want to make sure you’re targeting and spending ad dollars on customers with the highest ALV and avoiding tenants who rent at a low rate (like a $1 first month rent deal) for a very short amount of time. You may find big variance in CLV across different types of renters, especially when comparing seasonal or RV parking renters with traditional storage unit renters. All of this data will help you fine-tune your marketing efforts so you can go after the “big fish” and avoid wasting money on small fries.

Be human with your marketing tactics

So much of what we do online is influenced by other people. We read reviews, look at star ratings, browse user uploaded images, and look for things that give us a good “gut feeling” before making a purchase. All of these online tools come from real humans: your customers. If you haven’t committed to getting more reviews and improving your review rating in years past, now is the perfect time to do so.

Make feedback a part of your culture by asking every single renter where they first heard about you and encouraging customers to leave reviews online. Check out this blog post for tips on how to get more reviews for your storage business, and make sure you’re keeping an eye out for any negative reviews that warrant a genuine, caring response. People love to share their experiences with businesses online, good or bad, and a lot of sharing happens on social media. If your storage facility isn’t on social media yet, now is the time to get started. Check out this handy guide to creating and setting up social media accounts for your storage business and start posting to interact with the community. Reaching out to your own customers, being friendly and neighborly, and asking for feedback are some of the best ways to improve your online reputation. Plus, it’s totally free!

Experiment with paid marketing options

Ideally, all of your customers would find you through organic search or by customer referrals, and hopefully the majority of your tenants do indeed find you this way. When it comes to getting more renters, experimenting with paid marketing and advertising options can often give your business the boost it needs to really get to the next level. Try experimenting with paid marketing tools like aggregators, paid search, and link partners in 2019, and keep excellent records of what works and what doesn’t.

If you’ve ever booked a flight or hotel on Priceline, Travelocity, or Expedia, then you’ve used an aggregator. Every industry has them, and self storage is no different. Hotels use aggregators to supplement their business with bookings they may not otherwise earn on their own. Similarly, many operators use aggregators as a way to supplement their organic leads, which serve as the foundation of their business. Consider throwing a few marketing dollars towards a self storage aggregator service and see what happens, especially if your business is in a heavily saturated market with lots of competition.

Sometimes paid search can be just what you need to rent those hard-to-fill units. Search engines allow you to be seen as a prominent solution to exactly what users are searching. Maybe “climate controlled RV storage” is your specialty, and you’d like to be easier to find online by people looking for premium-quality indoor RV storage. Consider setting aside some budget to test paid search for specific unit types or rentals. In the self storage industry, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to attract new tenants. If you’re interested in paid search and targeted social media advertising, check out this resource on deciding between Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.

Local link building opportunities can also help your business improve organic search engine ranking and bring in new rentals. Find other organizations in your community who might have a genuine interest in promoting your business. For example, a local university’s “moving to town” resource page might give out-of-town students local moving resources, like self storage, truck rentals, and apartments. Reach out to these types of businesses and see if you can get listed as a partner. You can also sponsor local fundraising events or donate to local charities to earn links for your business and give back to the community. It’s a win-win!

But wait...there’s more!

Still itching for more examples of how you can improve your storage marketing in 2019? Check out our latest free webinar. Hosted by SBOA and lead by storEDGE Product Manager, Lillian Wright, and Director of Digital Strategy, Danny Schumann, this brief, 20-minute webinar digs into the top 3 New Year’s resolutions self storage owners can make to improve their web presence and overall online marketing in 2019. No matter what your comfort level is with online tools, you’ll walk away from this webinar with actionable tools and new, creative ideas to fit your marketing budget. Check it out now to get started!

Click here to check out our free webinar with tips for storage marketing in 2019.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this blog post, you may also like: What’s the ROI on your self storage marketing efforts? (Infographic), 10 ways self storage businesses should be using video (with examples!), and Local link building: What it is and how your self storage business can get in on the action.