With technology being an industry that is constantly changing, there is always a never-ending need for facilities to come up with cutting-edge and innovative ways on how to market themselves. We used to use phone books and high school stadium ads, but now we use highly targeted Google and online ads. Whether you’re using social media, pay-per-click, or something else entirely, knowing how to effectively budget and create traction using ads is key in improving occupancy rates for self storage facilities.
Pay-per-click ads (PPC) are ads that only charge the advertiser when somebody actually clicks on the link. While this is most common on Google, this can also be done through many social media platforms and competing search engines. You may be wondering why using PPC is now recommended over the old-fashioned online ads that sit on the website, but the fact of the matter is that over 615 million devices have adblockers now, according to Power Traffik. These are designed to hide the ads you spend money on.
To combat this, pay-per-click ads look more similar to traditional links and are not hidden by ad blockers. If an ad blocker does hide your ad, you won’t be charged because nobody is clicking on your links. It’s a win-win, as you only have to pay when leads are generated.
Let’s start with Facebook! Here at The Storage Group, we can’t stress enough that Facebook is an excellent platform that allows you to tailor your posts for an extremely specific audience. Although you can set a campaign to run for a set amount of time, Facebook also allows you to run ads similar to pay-per-click campaigns. This allows you to set a campaign with intention and a measurable goal. These goals can include trackable numbers such as leads, views, or likes.
With so much freedom to tailor Facebook campaigns, it’s important to understand your target audience. Where do they live? What do they value in a storage unit? Are they more concerned about price or safety? A common example is storage facilities near college campuses. College students, traditionally between 18-25, need storage units primarily in the summer and winter breaks, so planning a campaign around when they are most likely to be interested can greatly increase the chances of an ad campaign being successful and driving up occupancy rates.
Use media to drive up engagement with your ads – people love videos and images! You want to stand out, and developing an exciting post to boost or advertise is paramount in creating content that drives lead generation. If developing an ad is too daunting a task, boost a post you’ve already made!
Facebook lets you “advertise” a pre-existing post on your page, which can be a great way to dip your toes in the water if you don’t know how to start. The same rules still apply, so don’t start boosting your post from the last fourth of July if it’s March!
Track your success over time. Your first ad campaign will probably not be the most successful one you ever have, so tracking analytics and creating an internal report will help show growth over time. By actively paying attention and learning from analytics, you can develop a sense of what posts resonate best with customers and potential leads.
While Facebook, Google, and other social media platforms do a great job of internally tracking analytics for your company, there are ways to help generate stronger leads. Landing pages are the pages that someone sees when they click on the link in your advertisement. This is your first, and potentially only, chance to impress them. Make it strong, clear, and concise. Consider adding a contact form to collect emails and phone numbers, and then run an email campaign that’s targeted towards those clients.
The biggest lesson someone can take away from stepping into the world of online advertising is to be simple. Facebook and Google are the champions of digital advertising, and if those aren’t enough for your growing business, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp are all great options to work into your digital advertising strategy.