The self storage landscape is becoming difficult to navigate and competition is getting fierce in this down economy. You already advertise in the Yellow Pages, with several storage aggregators and in your newspaper. Your facility budget is already set for 2012 so where else can you advertise which is FREE and will help garner attention to your storage facility?
The most popular online classified service in the business is Craigslist. It is located in every major U.S. city and its free, effective advertising has made it one of the ten most popular websites on the Internet. When people go to Craigslist they are looking to purchase a product, it’s as simple as that.
It is effective because you can post several times per week highlighting special offers, coupons and free stuff. Add a photo to spice up your listing or list a promo for Craigslist customers only so you know if the ad is working.
Backpage is similar to Craigslist but is not as popular and I am not quite certain it is in every U.S. city yet. It is the same general principle with free, mostly effective advertising. You can also post a photo and list promotions for only Backpage customers in order to track the effectiveness of the ad.
The classifieds in your local newspaper will probably not be free for the print edition but if you choose to only use online classifieds these are most likely free. Your ad will be live in the online classified section of your paper for 30 days and then you can simply redo the ad for another 30 days. You will probably not be able to add a photo but could probably offer a discount if they mention your add so you can track as well.
There are countless numbers of free online classified websites online if you want to spend your time submitting your information to them. Most of these will probably generate minimal traffic and may take more time than it is worth to set up but getting even 1 rental from them would be worth your time. If you are interested, simply Google “free online classified ads” and spend a day submitting your info.
Facebook, Twitter, SST
As always, you should utilize Facebook, Twitter and the Self Storage Talk forums. These will give you some insight as to what your customers actually want and what the storage industry is doing. The SST forums are a good place to get feedback and bounce ideas around.
Blogging is a great way to get your facility name out in the public and a good way to acquire backlinks to your website. Be sure to blog often and talk about things your customers would want to hear and know. Blogging that you have specials every week or talking about your dog is not going to get you any traction in your community.
There are hundreds of ways to post free advertising online. Utilize these websites and you should be able to get a few rentals each month from them. Even if the rentals are minimal, it’s a better use of your storage managers time than playing Farmville.
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