Here at the Storage Facilitator self-storage blog, we’re fascinated by the ways the Internet has transformed marketing practices in all kinds of industries. For many in self-storage, it’s still unclear what role web marketing should play. In our effort to educate and encourage discussion on developing trends in the online self-storage marketing front, we’re starting a new series called “Web Marketing Perspectives.”
Every month or so, we’ll reach out to a different self-storage owner or manager to discuss their take on how the Internet affects their facility, what tools or methods they’ve discovered that have helped improve business, and what they feel the future holds for self-storage marketing.
Todd Holmes is relatively new to his managership at Storage Kings of South Congress in Austin, TX, but he’s already familiar with the role of the world wide web in this business. Todd said about half of his location’s tenant base found Storage Kings online and/or booked their unit online.
For Todd, the essential components for a facility website are basic: Prices, unit sizes, address and phone number, and reservation and billing capabilities will offer convenience and accessibility that can provide a push for shoppers on the fence. Furthermore, Todd said Storage Kings is making their presence available on Yelp, Yahoo!, and Google to increase the website’s visibility.
Todd said the Storage Kings website expedites the rental process by “getting reservations set up before you even walk in the door. If the office is closed you can get on there and do it at 2 or 3 in the morning.”
From a marketing perspective, Todd feels online reviews are an invaluable piece of his facility’s social networking presence. “When you get a good review it’s going to help promote business. It just works,” he affirmed. However, he remained skeptical of the tangible benefits of social media marketing.
“Everybody is using Facebook and Twitter, so it’s an advantage to have those profiles,” Todd admitted, adding, “but it won’t improve business.” The value Todd has seen in social networking comes from reaching out to peers and forming alliances in the industry.
Many thanks to Todd for providing his insights for our first installment of hopefully many Web Marketing Perspectives. If you have ideas about the state of online marketing in the self-storage industry, let us know in the comments below.