June 7, 2024

Top 5 Marketing Mistakes Self-Storage Businesses Make

Top 5 mistakes storage business owners make

If you’re in the self-storage business, you already know how crucial marketing is to keep those units filled. I’ve worked with many self-storage facilities over the years, and I’ve seen some common marketing mistakes that can really hold a business back from being the best that it could be. Today, I’m going to share the top 5 marketing mistakes self-storage businesses make and how you can avoid them to boost your business. Let’s dive in!

Mistake 1: Neglecting Online Presence

One of the biggest mistakes I see is business owners deciding to neglect an online presence altogether. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a strong, professional online presence. When I first started working with self-storage businesses, I noticed that many didn’t even have a proper website. Some only had a listing on SpareFoot and others had outdated sites that weren’t mobile-friendly or lacked essential elements like a phone number or a contact submission form.

On top of that, a lot of self-storage business owners make the mistake of not educating themselves about the different platforms they can be using to market their services. For instance, the first self-storage business owner I worked with was only promoting his units on SpareFoot. Not only does SpareFoot get less visibility, they are also charging you much more to acquire a customer. For me, marketing your storage units on SpareFoot is not worth it. On the other hand, if you use a platform like Google Ads for your storage business, your cost per acquisition goes down significantly.

Impact: Without a robust online presence, potential customers might never find you. In today’s digital age, people turn to the internet first when looking for storage solutions. If your online presence is lacking, you’re missing out on a massive pool of potential clients.


  • Build a Professional Website: Make sure your storage website is user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and provides all the necessary information, like unit sizes, pricing, and contact details.
  • Social Media: Set up and regularly update profiles on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Share updates, promotions, and engaging content to connect with your audience.
  • Online Listings: Claim and optimize your Google My Business, Yelp, and other online directory listings.

Mistake 2: Ignoring Local SEO

Local SEO is another area where self-storage businesses often fall short. Early in my career, I realized that many businesses weren’t optimizing for local search terms, which is a huge missed opportunity.

Impact: If you’re not showing up in local search results, you’re losing out to competitors who are. Potential customers are searching for “self-storage near me,” and if your business doesn’t appear, you’re practically invisible to them.


  • Local Keywords: Use local keywords in your website content and Google My Business Profile. For example, include phrases like “self-storage in [Your City]” on your homepage and service pages.
  • Consistent NAP: Ensure your Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistent across all online platforms.
  • Online Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. Positive reviews boost your local SEO and build trust with potential clients.

Something else I noticed is that business owners fail to realize the importance of getting reviews on Google. This has a huge impact on your social trust and credibility, which will affect your ability to get new customers. Every potential review you can get is precious and it's free to ask. This will ultimately affect your position on local search results.

Mistake 3: Underutilizing Customer Data

Customer data is gold, but I’ve seen so many self-storage businesses fail to leverage it effectively. I once worked with a client who wasn’t tracking any customer data, and they had no idea why their marketing efforts weren’t yielding results.

Impact: Without data, you’re essentially flying blind. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Not using customer data means missing out on opportunities to tailor your marketing strategies and improve customer satisfaction.


  • CRM System: Implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to track interactions and data.
  • Data Analysis: Regularly analyze customer data to identify trends and preferences. This can inform your marketing strategies and help you target your efforts more effectively.
  • Personalized Marketing: Use the insights from your data to personalize your marketing campaigns. For example, send targeted emails based on customer behavior and preferences.

Another thing I noticed is that self-storage business owners fail to keep track of the source of their leads. Was it a paid source? Social media? SEO? This needs to be calculated so you can determine your true cost per acquisition and which channel is the most effective.

I also think a lot of business owners do not leverage AI tools enough. There are AI tools like call tracking tools that can tell what the conversation is about and whether that phone call led to a purchase or not. I had an experience where a self-storage business owner didn't realize the potential of such tools. Once we implemented call tracking, we could analyze the conversations and find out which marketing channels were driving the most valuable calls. This allowed us to adjust our strategy and significantly improve our ROI. There are other tools like Swyvl that can automate review requests and reputation management, ultimately saving the owner lots of time.

Mistake 4: Inconsistent Branding

Inconsistent branding is another common pitfall. I remember working with a storage facility that had different logos and colors across their marketing materials. This inconsistency can confuse customers and weaken your brand’s impact.

Impact: Inconsistent branding can dilute your brand’s identity and make it harder for customers to recognize and trust your business. A cohesive brand helps build a strong, recognizable presence.


  • Brand Guide: Develop a brand guide that includes your logo, color scheme, fonts, and key messaging. Make sure everyone on your team understands and follows it.
  • Consistent Use: Apply your branding consistently across all platforms—your website, social media, print materials, and signage.
  • Employee Training: Ensure your employees are trained to represent your brand consistently in all customer interactions.

Mistake 5: Neglecting Customer Engagement

Lastly, neglecting customer engagement is a mistake that can cost you repeat business and referrals. I’ve seen businesses that only interact with customers at the point of sale, missing out on valuable opportunities to build long-term relationships.

Impact: Lack of engagement can lead to poor customer retention and negative word-of-mouth. Engaging with customers keeps your business top-of-mind and fosters loyalty.


  • Follow-Up Communication: Regularly check in with your customers. Send follow-up emails after a rental agreement, and keep them informed about any changes or promotions.
  • Respond to Feedback: Actively seek out and respond to customer feedback. Show that you value their input and are committed to improving their experience.
  • Loyalty Programs: Implement a loyalty program to reward repeat customers. Offer discounts, special promotions, or other incentives to keep them coming back.


Avoiding these common marketing mistakes can make a significant difference in the success of your self-storage business. By building a strong online presence, optimizing for local SEO, leveraging customer data, maintaining consistent branding, and engaging with your customers, you’ll set yourself up for success. If you need any help with your marketing strategy, feel free to reach out to us at Business Bolt. We’re here to help you thrive!

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