Many of our clients do not have the same marketing budget as some of the larger national brands who might be spending a ton of money on SEO, online pay-per-click ads, and other campaigns. SpareFoot takes a lot of the risk up front by renting online ad space, expanding to work with new partners and affiliates, and experimenting with new channels and tactics. We're constantly tweaking our spending and our approaches to see what earns you the most business. The beauty of using SpareFoot is that, since we're completely pay for performance, you aren't taking any of this risk! You only pay for the end result - getting new, paying tenants to your door.
The major way we accomplish this goal is by having a large array of traffic sources that appeal to a wide, diverse audience of consumers at various stages of their moving, relocating or storage search.
The list is always growing and each partner works a bit differently, but below are the major categories.
Storage Directory Partners
Many of our partners are online storage directories just like SpareFoot. These include selfstorage.com, selfstoragedeals.com, selfstoragefinders.com, onlineselfstoragedirectory.com, findstoragefast.com and many more. Customers find these websites in the same way that they would find SpareFoot and are able to place a reservation at your facility through any one of these sites.
Moving Resource Partners
Moving can be stressful, and fortunately there are a lot of great web-based resources for people to make planning and price comparison a breeze. SpareFoot powers the storage options for many of these sites, including:
- UShip.com - the leading online shipping marketplace
- MovingCompanyReviews.com - a comparison shopping site for moving trucks
- ForRent.com - a leading apartment hunting website
- MyMove.com - A resource to help people with all of the various pains of moving (utility services, moving trucks, etc.). They've even partnered with the USPS to provide relevant moving ads and resources to the change of address "check out" process on USPS.com.
- AAA Discounts & Rewards - SpareFoot is working with AAA to bring their members exclusive deals at facilities that offer exceptional customer service. With a giant network of stellar facilities and 30,000+ customer reviews, SpareFoot is a great fit for the excellence AAA members have come to know and love. Only facilities working with SpareFoot can be eligible for this exclusive opportunity, meaning this is just another way we give you a leg up over your competitors. Visit http://www.sparefoot.com/aaa to learn more about the program, your eligibility and opting in.
- Penske Truck Rental - We're fully integrated with Penske's top-notch call center, meaning that customers who call Penske to rent a truck are also able to reserve any storage unit listed on SpareFoot during the same call. Penske agents are trained to identify customers who may need storage and offer to place a reservation at a facility that meets their needs.
Paid Media is an extremely nuanced and difficult channel to succeed with, and SpareFoot is very fortunate to have an awesome in-house team that runs and tracks a variety of paid online campaigns. They've tried it all, from advertisements on Pandora and Twitter, to click-to-call campaigns with coupon and merchandising sites.
Additionally, sometimes customers browse our site but leave before making a reservation. Since we know that these customers are in the market for storage, we want to get them back and ensure that they reserve a unit. Many websites around the internet (Facebook, blogs, lifestyle pages, and even the login pages for a number of email services) will display relevant ads to the viewer after they leave the website. Our Paid Media team does the same by retargeting these customers and showing them the storage facility's listing that they had previously been viewing.
Though we're always tweaking the display of these ads, here's an idea of what a paid ad might look like:
Having a great presence online isn't free, nor is it easy. You can't directly pay Google, Bing or other search engines to appear in their top organic search spot, so it takes a lot of marketing know-how to ensure that your brand or business is deemed relevant and high-quality.
Fortunately, our in-house team of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) experts help optimize SpareFoot's performance in search engines. Additionally, our marketing team creates resources for consumers, which strengthen the legitimacy of our brand and our website. Our resources help educate consumers about moving and storage, which empowers them to make an informed decision and feel confident about booking with you.
Search engines are looking for the best and most relevant content and they reward sites (like ours) that consistently deliver it. If you're curious, feel free to check out our blogs (The SpareFoot Blog, and the SpareFoot Storage Beat), press releases, and news mentions (in notable publications like The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and more).
SpareFoot's search engine strategy is to perform well for generic search terms (like "self-storage," "Austin storage units," or "Brooklyn self-storage"). We don't aim to get traffic from using your brand or your business name, and your own website should always show up first in Google searches for your facility's name. We strongly encourage all facilities to develop their brand and their online presence.
Don't I want search engine traffic to come to my website?
It's incredibly time consuming and expensive to continue to generate relevant content to guarantee your site stays in a top spot in search results. SpareFoot does that for you, increasing the likelihood that search engine traffic makes its way to you via your SpareFoot affiliation.
While this traffic isn't coming straight to you (via your own website), the return on investment is much more positive from SpareFoot. Let's say it costs $3,000 each month to earn yourself the second rank on Google (this is hypothetical pricing, as SEO costs vary by city and by agency). Remember, that expense is spent up front before it earns you a single tenant. If you wind up getting seven or eight customers each month from your website's SEO, you're spending $400 per tenant.
Furthermore, almost 50 percent of the people who reserve a storage unit on SpareFoot reserve a unit in an area where they aren't located. For example, a customer might be located in Dallas, TX, but reserve a unit in Houston, TX. This makes lots of sense, as people are frequently looking for storage in a city where they're moving to.
In the above example, let's say you're spending $3,000 each month to rank for "Houston self-storage." The customer located in Dallas who typed a more generic term ("storage units," "self storage facilities," etc.) wouldn't find you based on your SEO efforts to rank for Houston self-storage. However, there's a good chance they'd find you through SpareFoot.
TIP: Remember that all customers you earn through your website are not always attributable to SEO. A customer who searches for "Storage in Boston" and finds your facility IS an SEO win. A customer who searches for "ABC Self Storage, Boston" is looking for you specifically, and can't be attributed to SEO. Make sure you've installed Google Analytics on your site to know exactly how each customer found their way to you!