Guest Post: Marketing in the Winter By Nick Bilava

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    It’s official—the storage industry has entered the winter months, also known as the slow season. The willingness to move and store is down because people simply don’t like doing these things in the cold. While this obviously impacts some areas more than others, it is something that has to be dealt with every year. The good part though is that the spring isn’t all that far away.

    Since regular business has hit a lull this time of year, it’s a good time to focus on Internet marketing. With a limited number of prospects out there and all the potential of spring just a few months away, now is the time to take action. This will not only help increase visibility during the slowest time of the year, but it will prepare you to be successful during the spring as well.

    So what are some things you can do to increase your visibility right now? Take a look at a couple tools that can provide fast results.

    • Pay-Per-Click Advertisements – Bid for placement on the first page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo!, and pay for every website visit that you receive. During this season, this advertising option can be very beneficial. With overall search volume being down for the industry during the winter, PPC ads provide a low-risk solution since you only pay for what you get.

    • Local Listings – There are hundreds of powerful local directories that receive high volumes of traffic for a variety of industries. Many people prefer to use websites like Yelp and Merchant Circle to find their local business solutions, including finding a self-storage solution. Start by signing up for local pages on the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!), as well as Yelp and Merchant Circle. Most of these listings are free to claim and will be active within a few weeks at the longest. While you shouldn’t expect these directories to make a massive difference in an instant, having your business in front of more eyes for free will never hurt.

    Now that we have a couple examples of things you can do to increase visibility right now, what can you do to prepare for the spring? We have you covered there as well.

    • Website Changes – If you have been looking to make changes to your website, now is the time. Add a blog or an online payment/rental system. Make design changes so your website is more user-friendly. Remember, your website is a powerful marketing tool and is the online face of your business.

    • Content and Social Media Marketing – These two areas are great ways to establish your business as experts in your area. Providing useful information through a blog not only gets people interacting with your business, but also starts to build a level of trust. Social sites allow you to then go and share this information with a broader audience while creating relationships in the process. Don’t just use these marketing channels to sell your business though. Interact with people in the community on a personal level. As an extra bonus, blog posts and social media can both be very beneficial to website ranking.

    The great thing about most of these online marketing tools is that they benefit storage operators for years to come. These online marketing options will not only provide you with success in the short term, but will set your facility up for success down the road as well.

    About The Author

    Nick Bilava is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Storage.com. Nick has been an active member of the storage community for over seven years and can be found at various industry events throughout the nation. Nick’s goal at Storage.com is to help storage operators market their business more efficiently and effectively. For more information, visit Storage.com.

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