Does your facility work with non-profits to sponsor events or activities? Does your facility have a positive impact on the community? If not, you could be missing out on important marketing opportunities. Even with a shift to concentrate marketing budgets to on-line platforms, community marketing is key to your self-storage facility’s success. Community marketing can take form in various unique campaigns. It plays a significant part in building brand awareness for your facility.
The most obvious reason to do this type of marketing is for your self-storage facility to be looked on positively in the community. A good community member cares about the area in which they live, work and play in, so it is important to have a positive impact in your facility’s neighborhood. Working with a non-profit or another local organization, allows your facility to have a “feel good” moment that fuels your community to do even more good in the area.
Potential tenants will view you as facility that wants to be a solution to the local area’s needs, and not only just for storage. Your local marketing position is extremely important as most customers rent within a ten mile radius of their home. Participating in these type of marketing strategies allows it to be a positive outcome for the facility and your customers.
Along with having a great conscience about giving back to the local community, the activity of sponsoring allows for the building of your brand awareness. Sponsoring the activity associates your brand with a positive message that your facility cares about the community and is willing to put in time and money for the cause. The continuous use of your brand and facility name in the advertising and media for the nonprofit event or activity, allows your brand to stay in the front of the mind for local community members. Sending out a press release to media outlets is a great way for media to learn more about your facility. Putting the cause first catches the media attention.
Additionally, with building brand awareness and being a good community member, doing marketing focused on helping your area, can lead to free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your facility. By sponsoring or participating in activities the organizer will most likely list you on their website and advertising. Media may also cover the event and allow for additional links to your website. These links back to your website only act in helpful manner of increasing traffic to your site as well as being another credible back-link. Your non-profit contribution can also be helpful in creating content for your blog and social media. Search engines love to see fresh, new content on your website and social media platforms, so your recap or content about your participation can add to your editorial calendar.
Are you convinced that community marketing needs to be part of your 2015 strategies? Not sure where to start? There are plenty of creative ways to partner with non-profits.
Community marketing does not have to mean just donating money. It can be time or just donating the use of your facility. If you facility has a large parking lot, why not allow a local sports team or boy/girl scout troop to use it for their car wash? Hosting an event allows for foot traffic to your facility, which increases the chances of someone to come through your door who may have never thought to visit your facility otherwise.
Your facility could work with an organization to sponsor a family during the holidays to provide them with a great holiday. Your local United Way, Salvation Army, YWCA, and YMCA are all great organizations to contact during the holiday season to see how you can help with their initiatives. If these groups do not have programs in place, contacting a local school nurse can also help in identifying a family in need. Once you have identified a family, you can ask your tenants to help in donating gifts based on the family’s wish list. Post about the initiative in your facility with flyers, include it in all correspondence to tenants (e-mail newsletters, Sitelink reminders), blog about why you are helping the family and post the initiative on social media. These are a
ll great ways to generate enthusiasm and help from your tenants.
Choosing a cause for to contribute a percentage of your merchandise revenue to for a month is also an easy, but effective way to give back to an organization. Again, advertising this on your various channels online and within the facility not only creates a positive image for your facility, but also allows your facility to give back to worthy cause.
Additional ideas of simple community marketing is hosting a can drive at your facility, be a Toys for Tots location, sponsor an ad in a sports teams’ calendar or scoreboard, or just volunteer your time at a non-profit, either at an event or the actual organization.
So you have your idea and are excited to get started, now what? The first thing you should consider is there a local organization that caters to the needs of your tenants. Start with building a relationship with that organization. Find out how you can help them. This relationship may take time to build and you may not participate in something overnight, but it will be definitely only result in a positive outcome for your facility. Community marketing must be part of your self-storage’s 2015 marketing plan to continue to increase your local market position.