Understanding and marketing to self storage demographics

Understanding your target audience is the easiest way to refine your marketing message. When it comes to self-storage demographics, you could be speaking to students storing their belongings before a gap year, or you could be talking to business owners looking for somewhere to store their excess stock.
When delivering a presentation, you want to know who you are speaking to because the presentation you would deliver to teenagers could be very different to the presentation you would deliver to a room of senior citizens. In the case of self-storage, while the solution might always be the same thing, the problem will vary from customer to customer.
At the start of every marketing strategy planning session, the first goal is always to understand the audience. Marketers often have assumptions about their audience. But these assumptions can be limiting and even damaging. A one-size-fits-all approach will limit your reach, prevent you from starting a real conversation, and could make your marketing appear very dull.
To avoid this common mistake, carrying out market research can help fill the gaps in your knowledge. Understanding self-storage demographics, why customers need self-storage and how to reach them effectively will make your marketing campaigns more profitable and less costly.
This blog will explore some of the key self-storage customer demographics that will help to inform your marketing campaigns and messaging.

Self-storage demographics: an overview

Our research into self-storage marketing has revealed some interesting statistics about self-storage customers and their spending habits.

  • 28% of self-storage customers are aged 25-34
  • 39% of self-storage customers have never used self-storage before
  • Over 70% of customers live within 20 minutes of their storage facility
  • The average time spent on a self-storage website is just 2 minutes and 21 seconds
  • 76% of customers are using a mobile device to gather quotes

Understanding self-storage age demographics

As we’ve mentioned above, the solution is always the same, but the problem you are solving will differ between customers. Age matters in self-storage marketing. Age matters because it will change where you find your customers, how you position your self-storage facility, and what message you need to convert them.
Self-storage marketing customers fall into the following age brackets:

  • 15% are 18-24
  • 28% are 25-34
  • 22% are 35-44
  • 20% are 45-54
  • 15% are 55-64

The most common reason for needing a self-storage unit is during a home move, after a divorce, creating extra space, or travelling.
Students often use self-storage during the summer break so they can save money on accommodation. In comparison, older people may use self-storage if they downsize after their children leave home.
Self Storage Demographics

Understanding how self-storage customers research facilities

Most self-storage customers research facilities online before visiting in person. They spend an average of 2 minutes and 21 seconds researching each provider, so your site needs to be able to deliver a quote in this short space of time. Customers will also shop around, usually gathering 2-3 quotes before making a decision.
Self-storage facility owners can’t rely on traditional marketing to reach self-storage customers because they’re looking for more specific information and are less likely to decide based solely on the brand of self-storage provider.
Some will prioritise the lowest price, while others will be attracted by how ease of access. Younger people might prefer a contactless approach, with online booking and keypad entry, while older people might feel reassured by a person on the other end of the phone and a physical key.

Understanding what self-storage customers are looking for

Self-storage customers will shop around and gather information from self-storage providers before making a decision. It can be challenging to find the right words in marketing campaigns while remaining true to your brand identity. Still, by understanding self-storage demographics, it is possible to tailor your message successfully.
Customers are looking for location, convenience, price and transparency. Ensuring that your website communicates these points successfully will allow you to convert more customers.
Location pages will help customers to quickly decide if you are in the right area for their search. Ensuring that your Google My Business listing also accurately reflects your location will also help.
Most self-storage companies don’t display prices on their website, so ensure the enquiry process is fully automated so a customer isn’t waiting around for a call-back.
Your website should include an informative page that outlines the customer journey.

  • How do they sign up?
  • What information do they need to share?
  • When can they access their self-storage unit?
  • Is there a security deposit?
  • Does their unit include a lock?
  • How do they open, close and secure their unit?
  • Is there security on site?

This information should be presented clearly to help the customer make an informed decision.

How to reach self-storage consumers at the right time with the right message

The key to successful self-storage marketing is right-time marketing. A successful local SEO campaign will help target those within the catchment area, but a national campaign is always worthwhile if you plan to expand to additional sites. An SEO/PPC campaign might tempt customers to use a site that is a little more out of their way if you can offer a better deal.
Facebook and Instagram targeting allows you to focus on individuals at crucial stages of their life. Having a baby, moving house, travelling, and divorce might prompt users to think about self-storage. These life events aren’t always exciting or welcome, so keep messaging neutral to avoid intense emotional reactions.
If you gather email addresses as part of the quote process, you will likely have a substantial database at your disposal. Re-engaging with lapsed users to find out if they are still interested in self-storage is an excellent way to jog memories and put plans back on track.
Need help shaping your digital marketing plans for self-storage? We can help. Get in touch to find out more about working with Auburn as your self-storage marketing partner.