Social media is a source of marketing opportunities. With more than half of the world’s population on at least one platform, establishing a presence on these sites has become an absolute necessity for businesses, including self-storage operations. The problem is that popular outlets like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become so saturated that users have come to accept low lead generation. In other words, it’s normal to expect low returns despite high marketing bandwidth.
That’s why, as the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is essential. In fact, it generates leads twice as effectively as Facebook and Twitter, according to HubSpot, which provides software for inbound marketing, sales and customer service. For self-storage operators, marketing on LinkedIn is crucial; but in addition to creating a business page or professional profile, how do you successfully leverage the platform?
To start, you need to create a consistent brand for your self-storage business. Let’s explore LinkedIn marketing strategies that will help you build your company’s presence and reach your target audience.
Content is king, even on LinkedIn. Publishing various types of material on a consistent schedule helps build trust in the brand. Posting at least once a week is essential. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of content.
Articles. Short posts are great, but as a business, you need to use LinkedIn’s article platform to build brand recognition and establish your business as a thought leader. Articles should be informative and nurture your audience’s curiosity while addressing a well-known industry issue. For example, you could write about contactless rental technologies, including why demand for them is growing and solutions to consider. On LinkedIn, the most effective way to market your brand is to provide useful information.
Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to overcrowd your feed. It is essential to change it by sharing quick messages with targeted hashtags. Content marketing will always be a balancing act depending on your audience, but a 60-40 split between long and short articles is recommended. This allows you to portray your business as a knowledgeable source while accommodating the average user’s shorter attention span.
Video. This format is very lucrative. In 2017, more than 75% of business executives watched work-related videos weekly, and that number has tripled since 2021. Video is no longer exclusive to YouTube; it is offered on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and, more recently, LinkedIn.
Most consumers would rather watch work-related content than read it. While blogs and written content are always valuable, video offers exciting and interactive ways to interact with information. Until recently, LinkedIn users were only allowed to embed videos from other sources, but now you can upload videos directly to the platform.
Your LinkedIn strategy needs video, but you don’t necessarily need to post pre-recorded or edited content. A new feature allows you to livestream directly to the platform and engage with your audience in an entirely new way. Videos presented this way are more manageable, provide great ROI, and help build strong engagement on your page.
For example, you can host a live video in which you walk through your self-service storage facility and give potential tenants a chance to ask questions. Also consider hosting live streams with renowned industry experts. It’s a great way to grow your audience for free. If you haven’t considered a video plan for LinkedIn, now is the time. There is an ever-growing market for self-storage video.
Organized content. Another great way to leverage your LinkedIn network is to share articles, videos, and posts from well-known industry sources. It gives you a constant stream of content and helps increase visibility. Remember, once you’re established as a self-storage knowledge base, your audience cares about what you have to say about things happening in the business. Let them know your thoughts, whether it’s a new property acquisition or a marketing promotion. Curated content is a great way to build trust and thought-leader status on LinkedIn.
Target audience tools
LinkedIn’s targeting features are very effective. While content is a great way to reach people on the platform, it’s also a good idea to use some of the built-in marketing tools. Here are two key places to start:
Targeting by interests. Like Facebook, LinkedIn lets you target your audience based on their interests; however, it allows you to be much more specific. For example, instead of creating a pay-per-click campaign hoping to reach a broad audience interested in self-storage, you can build a campaign based on specific groups and keywords. Using Campaign Manager, you can create a new audience by entering phrases such as “self-service storage operation” or “self-service storage management” to find a group of like-minded professionals and match your main interests. This tool is extremely robust, allowing you to reach certain audiences and maximize return on ad spend.
Advertising targeting. Microsoft recently created the Matched Audience tool to optimize prospect targeting on LinkedIn. It can retarget website visitors, account based contacts or email based contacts. The corresponding audiences are important. Since LinkedIn users are mostly professionals, you have viewers who are more likely to convert.
This is why establishing a content plan on LinkedIn is essential. Every click or impression you receive creates a lead that can be retargeted later. Prospects are twice as likely to convert on the second approach by a trusted brand; thus, once you have established yourself as the self-storage knowledge base on the platform, your potential customers are more likely to trust your products and services.
Take advantage of the network
As the largest professional network in the world, LinkedIn offers many opportunities for marketing to self-storage consumers on a business-to-business level. Build brand consistency with the long and short content you share, and leverage the site’s targeting features to increase visibility and engagement. By using the platform strategically, you can create robust marketing campaigns that reach potential customers based on the strength of your content.
Russell Severe is the Marketing Specialist for The Storage Group, a digital marketing and technology development firm specializing in website development, search engine optimization, reputation management and more. He is responsible for the development and execution of digital and print content as well as special event planning. To reach him, send an email [email protected].