When it comes to the digital landscape, having an online presence has increasingly become one of the most important factors for a successful business. It’s important to know where, when and how to reach prospective customers online. Pay-Per-Click advertising, or PPC for short, is one of the most effective ways a self storage facility can reach potential tenants who are actively searching for storage units. PPC campaigns allow you to show ads in search results on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, or even on Social Media platforms like Facebook.
Did you know that 89% of potential clicks on average are missed by businesses who don’t leverage paid search?
Let’s dive in and discuss what you should be doing to leverage a well-rounded PPC strategy that maximizes the success of your storage facility.
Let’s start with the marketing funnel. At the top of the funnel is where you should be gaining attention and awareness. Toward the bottom of the funnel is where people are ready to make a purchase or become repeat customers. Understanding this simple concept can help you plan a PPC strategy that effectively targets these different points along the customer journey. Being that Google is the largest search engine in the world, we will be focusing on Google PPC ads.
Display Ads: Awareness & Interest
In the self storage industry, the buying cycle is a short one.
Only half of potential tenants begin to look for storage within a month from when they actually need it. Of this half, more than 56% of them have not made a purchase such as a reservation or rental.
This clearly tells us that these people are simply researching the best options for storage units based on their upcoming needs such as needing storage because of a job relocation. This is the best time to start using social media as well as Google Display ads to help drive attention and awareness of your brand. Using display ads in Google allows detailed targeting such as topics of interest, demographics and types of audiences like those who fall under moving & relocation.
Another benefit of using Google Display ads, is that it can be cost effective. We’re talking about cents on the dollar for every 1,000 times your ad is shown within the Google network.
Being that Google is the largest search engine, using display ads can give your storage facility a serious boost in awareness and interest for those who are soon to be needing a storage unit.
Search Ads: Purchase Decision & Fulfilling the Immediate Need
The majority of people begin to research self storage options on the day they’re ready to move. Remember when we said that the buying cycle for the self storage industry is fast? Well, of this percentage of people who are now searching only 11% of them have not purchased. This means that the majority of people looking for a storage unit have an immediate need and are willing to make a purchase the closer they are to moving day. These types of users would be considered to be at the bottom of the funnel based on their immediate commercial intent, or in other words, how close they are to renting a unit from you.
The best way to reach those while they are actively searching for services and ready to make a purchase is by using Google Search Ads. These type of ads are also more associated with the term Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, because you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. According to Google, when a searcher is ready to make a purchase, 65% of them interact with paid ads. There is no better way to get in front of the customer than the moment they are actively looking to buy. Again, being that the buying cycle is so short (1-30 days) in the self-storage industry, this is one of the most crucial and beneficial times for using PPC ads.
Being that you’re putting yourself in front of the consumer the moment they are actively searching for products and services, you can begin to generate revenue immediately. While other digital marketing strategies such as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, take time, PPC ads offer a way for you to hit the ground running the moment you open your doors.
Remarketing: Drive Advocacy, Repeat Business, & Convince Others to Come Back
So what do you do if someone reached your website whether through ads, social media or organic search results but continued to look elsewhere? This is where the magic of remarketing ads come into play. Remarketing ads are cost effective because you are only showing ads to those who previously visited your website while also providing some of the best conversion rates compared to other ad types.
Here is how it works:
- Someone looking for a local storage facility finds you online and decides to check out your website
- After reading some of your amenities, pricing and other features you offer, they decide to leave your website and continue to search elsewhere, or, give up searching altogether for a certain amount of time
- While this same person searches the web and visits other websites such as weather channels, blogs or news sources, they will start seeing ads for your company telling them to come back
Remarketing ads are a way to help entice people to come back to your facility and make a purchase. Essentially, not only are you helping to drive brand attention and awareness at the top of the marketing funnel, but you’re also maintaining your presence and remaining top-of-mind throughout the customer journey to previous website visitors until they have made a purchase.
You can even create remarketing ads based on landing pages users visited on your website such as a vehicle storage page. After someone landing on your vehicle storage page then left, they can begin to see your ads throughout the web with a special deal such as 50% off if they reserve RV storage today.
You can also use remarketing ads to drive repeat business and advocacy. Let’s say for example someone became a tenant of yours. You can create remarketing ads specifically for this group of people offering a discount for the month if they refer a friend.
Putting It All Together
In a business where brand loyalty is low and the buying cycle is fast, you want to make sure you are leveraging your PPC strategy to reach users throughout the marketing funnel. Doing so will maximize the likelihood of purchases and brand recognition. To have a well-rounded PPC strategy, you need to look at having the following:
- Display Ads: Helps to drive attention, awareness, & consideration
- Search Ads: Reaches those with purchase intent and need to fulfill an immediate need
- Remarketing Ads: Helps bring back previous website visitors who have not made a purchase, drive brand advocacy and repeat business
And the best part? You can set your own budgets! You will never spend over your budget and the targeting and tracking capabilities are more advanced than other, more traditional forms of advertising. But that’s several long conversations for another day. Good luck!