Self Storage

Local Self-Storage Marketing & Reputation Management (Top 6 Strategies)

January 23, 2023
7 minutes

Even with occupancy rates at an all-time high in 2022, self-storage operators must still explore fresh ways of marketing their facilities to the local market.

For self-storage operators, marketing and reputation management go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. The following are six strategies that can help you reach more potential renters and build a solid local reputation:

  1. Embrace email marketing and capitalize on steady demand.
  2. Create a referral program to incentivize positive word-of-mouth.
  3. Encourage customer reviews online to shape the narrative.
  4. Use social media to engage with the local community.
  5. Partner with local businesses and cross-promote.
  6. Host events at your self-storage facility.

Whether you have an in-house marketer spearheading your efforts or you handle all the marketing yourself as a self-storage operator, these strategies can help you maximize your local reach, build trust within the local community, and ultimately increase occupancy.

Email marketing is a tried-and-true way to get the word out about your facility and break the ice with prospective tenants.

1 - Embrace Email Marketing & Capitalize On Steady Demand

While email marketing has certainly changed over the last few years, the core concept remains the same: deliver timely, relevant emails to potential and existing customers.

To remain competitive, self-storage operators must utilize modern email marketing tools to keep their facilities top of mind for local customers. If someone willingly signs up for your newsletter and essentially invites you to take up a regular slot in their email inbox, you must get smart about how you capitalize on this opportunity and send them content they actually want to read.

Email Marketing Best Practices For Local Self-Storage Marketing

Here are just a few key email marketing best practices for self-storage operators:

  • Establish a "campaign checklist" before launch.
  • Create email templates to make your life easier.
  • Segment your email list by different personas.
  • Tailor email content to the personas on your list.
  • Check for broken links ahead of a campaign launch.

Before hitting the "send" button, what are the important steps you must consider as you launch your email campaign? From validating your email list to previewing the newsletter content, it's important to establish a "campaign checklist" before launch.

Create email templates to make your life easier

No matter which email marketing platform you use, they will inevitably have a full range of templates for you to choose from. With the support of these templates, you can stay on brand and keep your message consistent with the local community.

Segment your email list by different personas

Segmenting your email list will help you talk to the right people at the right time. Whether it's targeting new movers or offering discounts to returning tenants, you can use different personas to tailor unique email marketing content for every slice of your audience. 

Check for broken links ahead of a campaign launch

Before launching your email campaign, do not forget to check for broken links. The last thing you want is for contacts to click a link only to find an error page. You should make sure every link works before launching your email marketing campaign. SendGrid is a useful tool for double-checking this.

By employing these email marketing best practices, you can increase engagement with local community members and take your self-storage facility's occupancy rates to new heights. 

Building Up An Email List (Brick-By-Brick Or Ready-Built?)

There are a few different ways to go about building up an email list. While you can very easily buy an email list of contacts based on geographical criteria, such as similar ZIP codes, we would advise against this. Most operators leverage organic traffic for their list building, relying on existing customers and website visitors to sign up for email newsletters.

While you might collect dozens of emails via your website, this doesn't mean that you need to sell to them immediately. Build trust with your customers first and play the long game. Just sending mass, unappealing email marketing campaigns to your entire list is a waste. Consider segmenting your list to make the campaigns you are sending more personal.

We would recommend listening to our recent podcast episode on email marketing for self-storage operators.

Want to learn more? Listen to the Self Storage Lab
Episode 4: Email Marketing

2 - Create A Referral Program To Incentivize Positive Word-Of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth is perhaps the most powerful marketing tactic out there. In today’s digital world, it takes on a whole new form. Referrals play a vital role in local self-storage marketing and creating a referral program is an effective way to incentivize positive word-of-mouth.

When you create a referral program, make sure to include incentives for both parties. Whether it’s an extra month of storage space or a discounted rate, offer something valuable that will motivate customers to bring in new leads.

3 - Encourage Customer Reviews Online To Shape The Narrative

Online reviews from previous or existing tenants can shape how potential customers perceive your business and can even influence their decision-making process.

Encourage existing customers to leave feedback about their experience with your self-storage facility. If they post positive reviews online, it will create a sense of trust among potential tenants who might be considering your facility for their needs.

You can use a reward system to incentivize those working at your self-storage facility to collect as much customer feedback from renters as possible. For instance, you could offer bonuses to call center agents and managers for collecting customer feedback. They will then have a clear reasons to consistently point existing customers toward places to leave feedback.

Want to learn more? Listen to the Self Storage Lab
Episode 5: Reputation Management

4 - Use Social Media To Engage With The Local Community

In today's digital landscape, it's important to have a presence on social media. Not only can you use it as a platform to share information about your facility, but you can also engage with the local community and keep them informed of any updates or offers.

By regularly connecting with your followers, they will come to think of your facility as part of their local community — creating a sense of loyalty that will ultimately lead to more customers.

5 - Partner With Local Businesses & Cross-Promote

Partnering with local businesses will help you establish strong links in the local community. You might offer discounts or promotions for their customers in return for them doing the same for your self-storage facility. Cross-promotion is one of the most effective ways to find new customers and build brand awareness at the same time.

6 - Host Events At Your Self-Storage Facility

Events create the opportunity to engage with the community and generate interest in your self-storage facility. You can host events like open houses, seminars, networking opportunities, or even movie nights — depending on the size of your facility. Not only will these events help you to find new customers, but they will firmly cement your business as part of the community.

Developing Your Marketing Strategy (Next Steps)

We have produced an Operator’s BluePrint to “Building an Unmanned Facility” — the all-in-one resource of all the tools accessible to an operator to run their self-storage business more effectively.

To learn more about the self-storage technology landscape and how you can leverage self-storage software, get your hands on the PDF blueprint today.

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