Marketing Storage Units With Generative AI: Accelerate Storage Unit Marketing

August 28, 2023
7 minutes

When it comes to marketing storage units, here are just a few ways generative AI can help:

  • Generate storage unit-specific promotional copy.
  • Identify likely storage unit renters.
  • Personalize storage unit marketing campaigns.
  • Analyze competitor storage unit strategies.
  • Handle storage unit queries via chatbots like swivl.
  • Optimize SEO with storage unit-related keywords.
  • Segment tenants based on storage unit preferences.
  • Craft compelling storage unit visuals.
  • Automate and tailor storage unit emails.
  • Test storage unit ads for performance.
  • Retain tenants at risk of vacating storage units.
  • Interpret feedback to gauge storage unit satisfaction.

Generative AI is the talk of the town. For storage unit marketers, this is one of the most exciting developments in years. It’s never been easier to produce compelling marketing collateral and craft engaging conversion campaigns for storage facilities. Generative AI can come in many forms and this article will break down the ones you need to stay on your game.

Why listen to me? I have worked in the conversational AI space for close to a decade, with our previous AI company getting acquired. My day to day consists of speaking to operators of all sizes to understand their automation needs and wants, and see how to best help them get there. I currently am in charge of swivl's go to market strategy and am a co-host of the Self Storage Lab podcast.

Marketing Storage Units: What Is Generative AI?

Generative AI refers to AI models capable of creating new content, such as text, images, or music. When applied to marketing storage units, generative AI introduced an entirely new dimension for storage operators, supporting the generation of targeted, personalized marketing collateral in seconds. It can produce human-like text and images seamlessly.

Straight off the bat, here are a few potential use cases for beginners:

  • Ask ChatGPT to write a blog post targeting local SEO keywords for your facility.
  • Ask Microsoft Edge’s image generator to produce graphics for social media posts.
  • Ask Google Bard to create a list of competing storage unit facilities in your area.
  • Ask Jasper AI to write ad copy for your storage unit facility’s next PPC campaign.

Generative AI can simulate human-like text, making it an ideal tool for creating marketing collateral such as blog posts, social media updates, email newsletters, and even video scripts.

If you are feeling more adventurous in the early days of testing out generative AI, you can swing for the fences and ask a platform like Xara to generate a brochure for prospective tenants. When you first start using generative AI, it’s pretty eye-opening stuff. It’s easy to get lost in the fun of getting these tools to produce usable marketing materials with a few simple prompts.

Impact On Marketing Collateral

As a marketer at a storage facility, the fundamental advantage of deploying generative AI is its proficiency in crafting hyper-personalized marketing material. Powered by machine learning algorithms and predictive modeling, these platforms can assimilate data and generate content that closely aligns with specific customer personas and your facility’s brand.

Such precise personalization takes marketing effectiveness to a whole new level. For instance, a storage unit facility located in the heart of New York can use generative AI to design marketing content that not only appeals to but also addresses the unique needs of urban dwellers grappling with limited space. All it takes is a few creative prompts from a switched-on marketer.

Time & Cost Efficiency

Another compelling argument for the use of generative AI in storage unit marketing campaigns is the significant time and cost efficiency it offers. When you largely eliminate the need for human intervention in content creation, it enables marketers to instead focus on iteration and steering campaigns in the right direction with extensive testing and segmentation.

The time efficiency enabled by generative AI can translate into accelerated campaign rollout speeds. With AI, marketing teams can generate, tweak, and distribute content rapidly. This makes it possible to respond swiftly to market changes and also launch more advanced campaigns that leave no stone unturned in terms of targeting and testing.

Conversations That Convert: The AI Advantage

Broadening the scope of AI in marketing, another powerful tool marketers can leverage is conversational AI. This can simulate human-like conversations, enabling storage businesses to communicate with prospective tenants more effectively.

Improved Interaction With Prospective Tenants

You can program conversational AI tools to confidently handle a myriad of inquiries from prospective tenants. It can offer personalized unit recommendations and provide proactive customer support. Storage unit businesses can utilize this technology to address customer queries about pricing, unit availability, security measures, and facility features around the clock.

Unlike traditional customer service, conversational AI offers immediate responses, available 24/7. This feature can boost tenant satisfaction and help support tenant retention, keeping your units occupied. By ensuring customers feel heard, valued, and cared for, storage businesses can achieve higher retention rates and improve overall business performance.

Data Collection & Analysis

Conversational AI also serves as an invaluable tool for gathering customer data. Marketers can use the data gleaned through customer interactions to analyze valuable insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and sentiments.

This information can further be used to refine marketing strategies, tailor services to customer needs, and make data-driven decisions. Consequently, Conversational AI becomes an indispensable tool for businesses striving to maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly customer-centric market.

Future Trends: The AI 'Gold Rush'

As generative and conversational AI continues to evolve at a rapid pace, these technologies will cement their positions in the marketing strategies of self storage businesses. In fact, it’s almost impossible to imagine a marketer not using AI in their campaigns going into 2024 and beyond. It’s a no-brainer for elevating tenant experiences to new heights.

The future could witness AI further bridging the gap between human and machine-generated content. With advancements in natural language processing, conversational AI will likely become more sophisticated, understanding and responding to complex queries with higher precision. If you have access to the latest AI tools, you can take full advantage of this.

Marketing Storage Units With AI: Closing Thoughts & Next Steps

Unpacking The Potential Of AI Tools

The potential of generative AI and conversational AI in redefining how storage unit businesses market their services is immense. If you are curious about the potential of AI but are yet to try any tools, I’d recommend starting with ChatGPT and seeing where it takes you. Ask ChatGPT to write your next email newsletter or generate some ad copy for your next PPC campaign.

Artificial Intelligence Is Here To Stay

Marketers working at storage unit facilities that leverage these technologies today will not only stand out but also be better equipped to thrive in the ever-evolving digital marketplace. As we move forward, the question is not whether AI will redefine the marketing landscape, but how soon businesses will adapt and harness its full potential.

AI Also Presents Challenges To Operators

While several AI tools are showing plenty of potential in supporting the renter experience and spearheading marketing initiatives, operators should carefully consider how they are leveraging these tools and when human input is necessary to steer renter experiences in the right direction. It’s about finding a balance between the possibilities of AI and the need for human interaction.

For instance, if you are using Google Bard or ChatGPT to generate copy for social media posts, the raw output produced by these tools may lack the local insights and knowledge needed to drive unit bookings at your facility and inspire confidence. Even though it makes sense to use these AI tools for a head start, operators still have an important role to play in content creation.

When using AI to produce content for your facility or interact with potential or existing renters, consider the following questions:

  • How can your facility team enhance AI-generated content with original insights?
  • What is missing from the AI-led customer interactions that humans could offer?
  • What other roles can facility team members now play in renter experiences?

Prompt Engineering Is Emerging As A Key Skill

Aside from taking a variety of AI-powered tools for a spin, the best thing you can do is start learning about prompt engineering. This is all about providing AI tools with an accurate description of the marketing materials you want to produce for your facility. If you can learn how to provide AI with effective task descriptions, it can significantly improve the quality of the output.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can put your storage facility on autopilot?

We recommend taking a browse through some of our other blog content for operators:

Self-Storage Website Software (How To Stop Missing 49% Of Incoming Leads)

Self-Storage Management System (Why Operators Need Automation Tools)

Self-Storage Industry Trends (Storage & Warehouse Leasing In 2023)

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