Surpass 2020 Goals: 2 Key Insights from SSA 2019 Fall Conference Recap

Oversupply and increased competition from REITs are contributing to headwinds and market volatility.

To stay ahead of trends and move above competition, storage providers flocked to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to attend SSA Fall Conference 2019. After meetings and conversations during SSA, our team gained additional context into both unique and universal challenges in the storage industry.

While unique challenges require customized solutions, challenges shared across the industry are another matter. To help organizations outpace competition, increase occupancy and improve engagement with potential renters, we’re sharing strategies any facility can implement. In this recap of SSA Fall Conference, you’ll learn:

  • Two strategies self storage marketing teams can implement to increase conversions and improve occupancy

Strategy #1: Prioritize CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)

A topic often discussed during SSA Fall Conference was the need to maximize occupancy opportunities with existing site traffic while driving a low CPA (cost per acquisition) once that traffic converts. One of the ways storage organizations are accomplishing this is through CRO. Prioritizing CRO is especially critical in markets that are oversaturated with competition.

To provide customers the most user-friendly site experience possible, have your self storage marketing team make sure the CRO best practices below are implemented:

  • Create customer-centric copy and CTAs (call-to-action) in paid ad copy and landing pages. Write for humans, not search algorithms
  • Prioritize page speed by optimizing your storage facility for faster loading times on all devices. Google created PageSpeed Insights, which storage providers can use to test desktop and mobile page speed
  • Place CTAs and conversion elements above the fold (saving customers from having to scroll to discover your offer)
  • Test CTAs, forms, offers, paid ad copy and promotions with A/B and once that is mastered, incorporate multivariate testing
  • Position offers where click activity is the most prominent (heat mapping helps teams identify opportunities)
  • Limit the number of offers and CTAs so prospective customers don’t feel bombarded

The emphasis of CRO should be to make renting a unit as easy and seamless for a customer as possible. The best practices outlined above cover the basics, but true success stems from going above and beyond for customers in CRO marketing. Backlinko created a definitive guide that teams can refer to as it takes its CRO strategy to the next level.

Strategy #2: Optimize Paid Budgets

The paid ecosystem is incredibly competitive and constantly evolving. Which makes it no surprise that organizations had a lot of questions surrounding paid media and how it can be better leveraged during SSA. From a high level, costs for paid media are rising YoY due to various contributing factors including, but not limited to:

  • Prominence of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Smarter bidding auctions to maximize ad revenue
  • Increased personalization to provide more relevant ads for customers

…and more. Therefore, to remain competitive and keep customer acquisition costs as low as possible, your team must frequently optimize its paid campaigns. Though AI improves the bidding experience, manual effort is required to maximize results.

Additionally, gleaning insight from previous campaigns, possibly in the form of building out its list of negative keywords, helps self storage marketing teams iterate and plan for future campaigns.

So Long, SSA Fall Conference 2019. Until SSA Spring Next Year

Our team learned a lot through our discussions with attendees during SSA Fall. While it’s impossible to encapsulate all the moments that made this year memorable, we hope the strategies provided above help your team focus on the areas that will make the greatest impact on its occupancy and profitability. We’re also here to help. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help your organization with its unique challenges through a transparent and consultative dialogue.

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