The annual self-storage industry revenue is $39.5 billion, that’s right billion. As people start to rent homes rather than buy, the demand for self-storage is on the rise. From 2010 to 2019 the industry revenue increase was 49.4%. It is truly a great time to be in the self-storage industry.
While the self-storage industry is growing, there is still room for facility owners to use marketing data to improve facility performance. If you are not using your data to drive your business decisions, you are not optimizing the earning potential of your facility.
Interpreting Your Marketing Data
Before you can leverage your data, you need to know what it means and how to interpret it. A table full of data can be daunting at first, but as long as you keep it simple you will be successful. Here are some tips on how to go about interpreting your marketing data:
1. Determine KPIs
Looking at all your marketing data can be overwhelming and intimidating. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help narrow your focus when looking at a large batch of data. These indicators can be anything from click-through rate to bounce rate. Looking for certain KPIs in your data will make your search easier and less frustrating. Here are a few possible KPIs and analytics to pay attention to:
- Traffic Source – Where is your website traffic coming from? Is it coming from social media, organic search, paid search? Knowing where your traffic is coming from will help you decide where you want to put your time, effort, and money.
- Page Views – What pages are getting the most traffic? There could be a lot of people viewing your homepage and not viewing your rent page. This piece of data can give you insight into pages that may need some updating or fixing.
- Average Session Duration – Average session duration shows the average amount of time people are spending on your website. A good session duration time can range between two to three minutes.
- Bounce Rate – The bounce rate can tell you how engaged people are with your website. The bounce rate shows how many visitors got onto your website, visited a single page without doing anything, and then left the site. Generally, anything under 40% is considered a good bounce rate. A high bounce rate could mean that there are technical issues with your website.
2. Keep your objectives in mind
Shifting through data without knowing what you are searching for is like hiking without a map, you wander around aimlessly, not sure what you are looking for. Keep your objectives in mind when you are looking at the data, what are you looking for, what question do you want an answer to?
3. Put your own interests and bias aside
It is easy for us to see the data we want to see and draw conclusions that benefit us. But, if you truly want to leverage your data to improve your facilities performance it is best to put your internal bias aside to learn what you are doing well, or what you can improve upon.
4. Dig Deeper
We all know the saying “there is more than meets the eye.” Well, the same thing goes for analytics, there is more to one metric. For example, say your average session duration is five minutes. But once you start to look at the individual sessions, one session was 20 minutes long. This outlier is bringing up your average and had you not looked closer, you would have missed this problem.
Now that you know how to read and interpret your data, it is time to act on it.
Find The Best Marketing Tactics
Combing through marketing data will tell you if your marketing tactics have been successful or if they have fallen flat. If you are running an email campaign and see that you are getting almost no traffic from the campaign, it is time to shift gears. On the flip side, if you saw that a good percentage of your website traffic was coming from monthly emails, maybe try an email campaign.
Find What Traffic Sources To Optimize
No size fits all. This saying rings true when it comes to marketing your facility. For example, just because a facility a few states away uses social media as their main channel for marketing, doesn’t mean it is the best for yours. The data will show what sources are driving the most traffic to your website. If you spend all your time on social media when most of your traffic is coming from organic search, you are not leveraging your marketing data.
After some time you will be able to see trends in your data. In the storage industry, generally, things tend to pick up in the summer months and slow down in the winter. Your marketing data will reflect this kind of trend. This will help you forecast demand for your facility. In this instance, you could optimize profit by raising prices in the summer months when demand is high and use promotions in the winter when demand is low.
Find & Build Your Target Market
You may think your target market is the people who live near your facility, but that isn’t always the case. This is where marketing data comes into play. By tracking your keywords, and actively looking at where your customers are coming from, you can better develop your target market. Sometimes people from a surrounding city can be the ones renting all the units at your facility. Once you have this knowledge you can alter your marketing strategies to better target your audience.
Things can slip through the cracks, but routinely reading over your marketing data can prevent that from happening. For example, you could take a look at your analytics and see that pageviews drop on a certain page. On further inspection, there is a broken link on the page causing issues. Within a few minutes, this issue can be resolved, but if you hadn’t been in the habit of checking your data it could have gone on undetected for some time. Even when things at your facility are going well, there is always room for improvement and your marketing data will let you know where you can make some changes.
You don’t have to be a marketing expert to read and leverage data. It can make the biggest difference for your facility. Remember to keep it simple and look at your data often and you will be able to leverage your marketing data to better your facility performance.
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