When it comes to marketing for your self-storage business, there’s a lot of emphasis on digital these days; but offline marketing is still an important part of your advertising mix. I’m talking about channels like print ads in newspapers and magazines, TV ads, radio spots, billboards, direct mail, printed materials like brochures and flyers, etc. These are always great ways to put your facility in front of customers. But with so many options, it can be hard to know which ones fit your goals and budget. Additionally, some may be difficult to purchase, design, and create.
Outside help can be a real boon. If you’re looking to revive your “old-school” marketing methods or get to grips with some offline channels, consider outsourcing. You can manage these efforts internally, but there are tangible benefits to bringing in an outside agency rather than trying to create, coordinate, and execute campaigns and measure their results on your own.
Assess your needs
Before considering offline marketing and determining if outsourcing is the right decision for your self-storage operation, assess your business needs. Start by defining your goals. What methods do you currently use, and what are their strengths and weaknesses? What do you want to accomplish through advertising?
Meet your team and chat. You don’t have to adopt all the suggestions presented, but it is interesting to see what ideas your peers or subordinates have to offer. Understanding different perspectives helps crystallize how advertising works for various people, and brainstorming helps ensure that you’ll make informed decisions based on need and apply spending accordingly.
Enjoy the benefits
If you conclude that your offline self-storage marketing would benefit from the expertise of a professional or agency, get ready to reap several great benefits. Since advertising is their singular focus, they know how to sell businesses and products to the public, and they have proven methods and contacts readily available for your use. They are also equipped with analytics and an understanding of how to spend money to generate more business. With the help of data from previous campaigns, they can create a unique plan for your budget and needs.
A good marketing agency will be able to understand audience demographics in your target area and can suggest additional markets to tap into based on the results of previous campaigns. You will certainly pay for these luxury services, but they will help you determine which marketing methods best suit your objectives while taking into account your budget and your audience.
Choose a partner
The greater your company’s commitment to offline marketing, the more difficult it is to manage it internally. Without relying on professional expertise to design, create, and distribute articles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, confused, and, quite frankly, lost. For example, most self-storage operators know nothing about TV shoots or how billboard pricing works. So it pays to let an expert handle the heavy lifting while you focus on running and growing your business.
When looking for a partner, there are many national and even international advertising agencies to choose from. However, there are probably smaller providers in your area that could meet your needs perfectly. A voucher will be able to give you estimates on future performance. Request data and projections based on your budget and goals. While there’s no way to 100% guarantee 100 results, you need to agree on a certain level of expectation and make sure you’re on the same page regarding messaging and delivery methods.
You also want to find a company that understands self-storage and knows your market. An ideal vendor will know your community and geographic targets as well as what marketing methods work and don’t work in those areas. That’s not to say there’s only one right way to advertise offline, but you should dig, do your homework, and ask questions to find the provider that fits your needs and yours. vision.
When a vendor understands your community and culture, it’s often easier to agree on project language and messaging. After all, you’re hiring an agency not only to work for you, but also to potentially represent you in public. Conduct interviews with several candidates. Ask for references as well as examples of previous work. Don’t be afraid to keep looking if a provider isn’t right for you. There is nothing wrong with shopping. When you find the right partner, you will know it!
Decide on an approach
Once you’ve chosen an offline marketing provider, it’s important to stay within your budget. Don’t be manipulated into increasing your expenses or spreading your money too thinly just to try everything available to you. At first, you might be tempted to jump into each channel. Fight that urge. It is far better to focus on a few things and do them very well than to perform poorly in many areas. Just step into the experience knowing you’re trying something new and results may vary.
To get a sense of what’s working locally and gather ideas you might want to try, pay close attention to what’s being used in your market. Turn it into a game to see what kinds of ads you can spot. Keep an eye out for TV and radio advertisements, event and school sponsorships, coupons in local publications or value packs, and even decals or vehicle wraps. You will be surprised by what you have seen subconsciously every day without realizing it.
Once you’ve identified the ads you like, discuss them with your marketing agency. They will no doubt have opinions and recommendations. Take them into consideration, but at the end of the day, it’s your money to spend however you see fit. Depending on your budget, it’s often beneficial to diversify your ad spend where appropriate. For example, bundling campaigns like radio ads and billboards can drive more traffic than card ads and TV ads. Similarly, distributing flyers and placing an ad in the local newspaper can generate community interest.
Not everyone is glued to digital formats, so offline ads can sometimes have a bigger impact than expected if you and your partner do your due diligence and research your target audience. It may also mean that you need to be prepared to limit or expand an advertising campaign to achieve your marketing goals.
Understand the costs
The cost of outsourcing your offline marketing will vary depending on the scope of services desired. An average budget ranges from 4% to 12% of a self-storage establishment’s overall revenue. This will allow you to pursue multiple channels simultaneously, although your reach may still be limited or certain activities such as highly produced TV commercials. Some agencies even have basic packages you can buy to get started.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can budget 15-30% of revenue. The idea is that spending more money earns more. It opens up more possibilities that can pay off a lot, but it’s definitely a financial commitment. This approach is really reserved when you’re ready to hire a full-service marketing agency and give them the reins to leverage the channels and messaging they believe will create the best brand awareness and generate the most revenue. business. Although it requires a considerable investment, it is sure to produce results, certainly more than you are likely to achieve on your own.
Keep in mind that many agencies require you to sign up for a certain number of months, so make sure your contract fits your budget. The reason is that most offline campaigns can take time to be effective. If you just need a quick announcement for a one-month special, you might have better luck with digital advertising.
Find your comfort zone
When it comes to offline marketing for your self-storage business, there are many channels available. Fortunately, there are also plenty of options for hiring outsourced support. There is never a reason to settle down. You want to be comfortable with your chosen provider. Choose one who listens and is able to tailor the experience to your specific needs and goals. They’re here to help, so don’t let the logistics scare you away!
Mohala Johnson is the Director of Web Technology for Tellus Development Ltd., a real estate and development company that operates over 30 self-storage facilities in the Southeast. With over 10 years of management and customer service experience, she manages digital and print marketing for the company. Writing has always been a passion for her and she is excited to share her knowledge with the self-storage industry. Connect with her @MohalaJohnson on Twitter or www.linkedin.com/in/mohalajohnson.