The numbers are in, and they all agree: Better marketing can increase your occupancy.
The self storage industry continues to enjoy strong demand, with vacancy projected to bottom out to a record low this year. Baby boomers are just beginning to retire and downsize, and millennial households will continue to emerge. But revenue growth is expected to soften as vacancy rates shrink and supply dries up.
But marketing can help increase your net operating income (NOI) despite what the market is doing by giving your business better leads, increased occupancy, and longer tenancy.
If your self storage facilities are missing out on valuable occupancy, consider revamping your marketing strategy with these 5 simple marketing truths.
1. SEO Increases Your Visibility
In the self storage industry, convenience is almost as important as your amenities. The truth is, online users will not spend a lot of time trying to find you, especially if your competition catches their attention first. You may have excellent messaging, beautiful advertisements, and a fantastic-looking website, but if you rank low on Google, you’re losing out on a lot of user traffic. Lay the foundation of SEO through your website’s structure, your keyword phrases and more to ensure you get found when people are looking for your services.
2. Current, Accurate Information is Essential
It may seem obvious that you should maintain accurate information online, but it's actually a challenge for many businesses. When it comes to a robust online presence, there’s more to think about than just a website. Your business information, particularly your name, address, and phone number, must be correctly listed across all touchpoints, including review sites, social media, and directories. Incorrect information can result in a prospect getting a wrong phone number or driving up to the wrong address. This bad experience will likely result in them moving on to your competition. You also need to get found across various directories and review sites. If leads can't find you on the most well-known sites and resources, they are likely to move on after only a very brief search.
3. You Must Adapt to the Latest User Behavior
Recent research shows that 51 percent of internet browsing takes place on mobile devices, and that percentage increases every year. This means vertical screens are rapidly becoming the norm. Remember to take this behavior into account as you design your website and advertisements. For example, your website should be responsive, automatically adjusting the design and content to fit the device your customers are using.
If your website lacks this important capability, users will generally have a poor experience with your brand. This will likely mean fewer leads and leases for your business. Ensure your website responds gracefully across all devices and is loading fast for your audience.
4. Clear Branding Converts
To effectively reach and convert leads online, you need to establish a clear brand identity which builds trust and loyalty with your customer base. Knowing your value proposition and how you fill a gap in your market is necessary in order to create a strong brand. As the foundation of your entire marketing strategy, from your website and blog to your promise to the customer, your brand is what drives your messaging, communicates your value proposition, and defines your place in the local market.
Without a clear picture of your target personas, increasing your leads can be difficult, especially if your competition has a straightforward, attractive brand message and identity designed for conversion.
5. Your Reputation Will Precede You
Your brand identity and offerings do a lot to determine a customer’s opinion of your business, but there are other factors to consider when thinking about reputation management. The online feedback and comments you receive from your customers are an important resource for leads, who will use these reviews to judge and compare you with your competition. Negative reviews — or a lack of reviews — could be a problem when you’re trying to fill occupancy. Create a reputation strategy to engage in the online conversation. Respond to both positive and negative reviews and invite your happy customers to rate you across the social channels that drive traffic to you.
Strategic Partners, Smarter Marketing
If you’re wondering how you can leverage SEO, user behavior, branding, and reputation management to increase your occupancy, you’ve already taken the first step to smarter marketing — which, of course, is admitting that you need it and taking the time to evaluate how you currently are performing.
The next step is contacting G5 to learn more about strategic partnerships for effective digital marketing. Our experienced teams know the challenges and nuances of the self storage industry. We can tailor your digital solution to be scalable and practical today, and as the market changes.
To see the results in action, download this case study to learn how Storage Court partnered with G5 to effectively increase traffic, leads, and revenue by 42% and 119% for two previously underperforming facilities.