Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency for Your Self-Storage Business – Part I

Consumers no longer scan the Yellow Pages and check local newspaper ads to find what they need. Marketing trends are changing the way your customers find you; and, as a busy self-storage entrepreneur, it’s hard to stay on top of the current practices, understand the latest platforms and master the newest digital marketing challenges. 

This is where you either use in-house staff or a digital marketing agency comes in to save the day (and your business). How, then, do you decide if you need an agency and, if so, which one is the best fit for your business? The first step in deciding whether you need a digital marketing agency is asking yourself the right questions. Secondly, you need to understand what it takes to run a successful in-house marketing campaign and whether your organization has the resources (staff, time, know-how). Finally, you have to apply this information logically to determine if and when you need to hire a digital marketing agency.

Ask Yourself the Right Questions

If you’re currently thinking about hiring a marketing agency, what’s your rationale? Do you want to increase brand awareness, maximize conversions, offer a better customer experience, or beat out the competition? Maybe you just started a new business, and you need some competent help to increase your online presence. Start by asking yourself the following questions.

What is my budget? 

This number is going to be based on your revenue and goals and will depend on the type of marketing campaign that you need. Do you want to increase customer loyalty and retention, improve brand awareness and convert leads, or increase positive reviews and referrals? Keep in mind that marketing efforts should result in a return on investment (ROI).

What are my marketing requirements?

Do you need a website, PPC, SEO, or analytics? If you have a marketing team, are they up to the task of strategizing, optimizing, and implementing cutting edge marketing campaigns?

Who is my target audience?

A strong insight into your buyer’s behavior is essential to your success. Your management team can create a simple avatar to help you understand your average customer’s goals, values, pain points, reasons they rent from you, and possible objections, as well as where they are geographically and online.

What is my company’s unique value proposition?

Make a list of reasons why people rent from you, and what makes your company unique and better than your competitors.

What are my marketing goals?

What do you want your new marketing strategy to accomplish? What indicators will you use to determine the effectiveness of a marketing strategy? For example, Facebook followers, contact forms completed, visits to the website, or online reservations made.

Who are my major competitors? 

To better understand your audience and your competition, you or your marketing agency should research your competitors.

What are my brand guidelines/design styles?

Marketing agencies will want to know your brand’s color codes, fonts, etc. Have appealing  pictures of your products and services and an image of your logo.

Ask Yourself If Your Company Has the Resources For Successful In-House Marketing

Do you have a thorough understanding of what is needed to support a competent in-house marketing team that includes creatives, strategists, customer managers, and writers, just to name a few? Read on to see if you can manage with an in-house staff.

Do I have the budget required to staff an in-house marketing team?

First-class marketing demands a formidable budget to staff marketing experts, along with the necessary resources to create, manage, and execute suitable marketing campaigns.

As a busy entrepreneur, do I want to spend time hiring and monitoring a team?

As a self-storage property owner, do I have the time and budget to find the right people to staff an in-house marketing team, or would it be easier and more profitable to hire an agency?

If I currently have an in-house marketing team, what are their strengths?

Do you have people who can handle the creation of a mobile-optimized website? How about search engine optimization (SEO), email, pay-per-click (PPC) and social media? This is all day-to-day marketing work; and, if your team isn’t up to the task, you need a digital marketing company.

Ask Yourself Whether a Digital Marketing Agency is Your Solution

You’ve thought about your questions and evaluated your in-house performance. You’re ready to make an informed decision. Or, are you??? 

Stay tuned for Part II of this discussion. You’ll learn what makes an agency a good fit for your business, and what questions to ask before you hire an agency. We’ll explain the process and help you tie it all together to make the right decision.