Selling Self-Storage: Grow Your Marketing Talents in a Fun Industry

You might think self-storage sounds dry, but the business is vibrant and evolving and it offers marketing professionals exciting opportunities. There are slogans and copy to be written, but also possibilities to think outside the box, make a reputation for yourself and your company, have some fun, and develop some very transferable marketing skills.

A self storage company can be promoted based on location, brand image, and the range of services it offers. To do this successfully, you will need an appreciation of local community aspects and modern marketing trends. Then there are the extra things you can try to get your company ahead of the competition. The self storage sector still features many small businesses, who rather than being hide-bound by company policy may be open to fresh ideas. There are good chances you can really start having fun and growing your talents in ways that bring both creative and professional fulfilment.

Local Businesses Have Local Marketing Opportunities

When people move to a new neighborhood or need to free up living space at home, having a storage facility close by would help them a lot. Self storage is said to be a ‘3-mile industry,’ and it is therefore appropriate to aim marketing at residents as soon as they close their front doors and walk or drive down the road. Local marketing strategies may include some very traditional ideas indeed, such as posters, billboards and even make flyers online for your own cafes and leave it in.

A marketing expert will take a good look at the local community, and their needs, and design a strategy that is relevant and appealing. Many people have pride in their communities, and a self storage marketer can learn to tap into this. Local weather was taken into account when any storage facility was built, but still not everybody realizes the advantages of air-conditioned units. Learn to promote the benefits of protecting delicate items against heat, humidity and freezing.

Get Your Self-Storage Building Working for You

Marketing wisdom says storage facilities should be built next to major roads. People notice a building looming large as they drive past and may then contact you — they might not even have considered self-storage as an option before then. New storage facility designs therefore often feature vertical elements, including clocktowers and imitation lighthouses, and you will need to put something snappy up there for passers-by. Yes, a lot of self storage marketing is rather ‘broad brush,’ but this gives you great opportunities for developing a clear, colorful and coordinated brand image.

In addition, storage facility developers now often style their buildings to give them an edge over competition. This might include borrowing from the region’s vernacular architectural or referencing something local such as wine storage. In all these cases, this will be your opportunity as a marketer to think up engaging text, images and strategies that suit how your company presents itself — it’s even better if you have a budget to revamp the exterior features of your facilities!

Grow Your Online Marketing Skills

During the pandemic, many businesses went even further online, and self-storage was no exception, implementing contactless operations and virtual payment processes. A web presence is now necessary even for the smallest mom and pop businesses. But nobody’s really expecting it to look like a million dollars, so if you don’t want to employ a website designer, this could be a great time to learn how to create one yourself, including all the latest web marketing ideas.

The website will incorporate ways of paying, and you can enjoy creating text not only for that but for any discounts and special deals your company lets you offer. As always, your customer base needs to be considered and the website made friendly for them. But experienced self-storage professionals reckon even older generations — who might appreciate a return to traditional face-to-face interactions — are now comfortable enough with online operations.

Marketing With Video Is the Future

People respond well to visual cues, often better understanding concepts that are performed rather than explained in words. Videos are huge these days and shared frequently on social media. Search engines tend to favor video, YouTube is now frequently used as a search engine, and uploading clips can greatly improve your website’s ranking on search engines — just remember to use good titles, descriptions and tags. Make videos offering useful advice about storage, what you can put in there, how to stack things, how to make the moving process go as smoothly as possible, and promote your business in the process. And if you’re not particularly ‘Hollywood,’ maybe somebody else on the payroll is!

Branding is quickly put across by video, especially those highly effective emotional and physical aspects. In addition, there is also the possibility to add subtitles, phone numbers, and so on. Video sharing platforms usually optimize well for smart phone usage, so can reach potential customers everywhere. Don’t worry if you are new to this technology, as effective videos can be made on low budgets and with limited skills and equipment, and there are resources to help you.

Try Self Storage Marketing Solutions From Left Field

Self storage was an essential business during the pandemic, diversifying its customer-base, but competition for clients is still high in many areas. You could therefore consider some more unusual marketing and branding strategies to give your company the edge. Try instigating a competition your clients can take part in, perhaps letting their children create artworks for an exhibition in your foyer — the prizes would of course be free months of storage!

Recent marketing trends include advertising murals and other outdoor marketing tactics. However, these require talented artists and permission from both local authorities and the owners of buildings where you can display them. It would be less expensive to employ such creatives to design your marketing literature, or perhaps let them do that art exhibition — this might see you welcoming people who would not otherwise think to visit a self storage facility.

And Don’t Forget to Laugh!

You may already have had plenty of fun pursuing self storage marketing strategies, but it doesn’t end with thinking up catchy taglines, color schemes and punchy images. The industry knows it’s not considered fancy, but with lower status comes more freedom to be yourself. The budget-friendly and often short-term nature of leases — not to mention the strange things occasionally found in units — encourages a light-hearted approach to self storage marketing.

Manhattan Mini Storage were legendary for their sassy taglines — “NYC: Tolerant of your beliefs, judgmental of your shoes!” and “Oh yeah, you’ll fit right in in Connecticut!” stick in the memory. A blunter approach was taken by BRITEBOX Storage Co., for example, with “FREE BEER. Just Kidding. Rent storage!” Witty slogans might mention bad fashions that should be kept out of sight, things people want to conceal from their spouses, and hints for youngsters to declutter. Enjoy!

There are many aspects of the self storage industry which can make a marketing professional’s life interesting. Some are fun, some are unusual, and others might give a great feeling of being part of a local community. The nature of the business means you can try out a lot of ideas, growing your talents in the process, and the positive results would be great additions to your resume.