With over 100 hours of video uploaded very minute, 1 billion unique monthly visitors, and 6 billion hours of video viewed every month, YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google (source: Mushroom Networks). In fact, YouTube is larger than Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask, and AOL combined. Today, I want to share why the self storage industry is in a unique position to leverage video marketing, and how one can get started.
Self Storage Is Exceptional For Video Marketing
Every great video needs a compelling setting. When you’re selling a digital product without a physical storefront, you can be at a disadvantage in the world of video. Self storage storage facilities, by contrast, are physical brick and mortar businesses that provide the most amazing settings for high quality videos. Just based on our very business and product (physical self storage facilities), we are perfect candidates for video marketing.
Getting Your Facility Ready For Your Big Film Project
So, you’re ready to start filming? In the world of video, planning and setup are everything. Before starting any filming, you will want to make sure that your facility is in perfect order. Whether you offer an older self storage facility or a brand new one, all facilities should be prepared for your big film shoot.
Some important tips:
- Power wash your buildings, if they are looking old and dirty. (Make sure to clean roofs too if you will be shooting any drone videography.) If you will be repainting anyways, consider filming after painting.
- Make sure your office is in exceptional order. Remove clutter, organize, vacuum, clean windows and counters, and arrange some nice plants and decorations.
- Pay attention to your landscaping. Film the day after your landscape crew mows your grass, rakes up leaves, and trims your hedges. Consider planting some fresh flowers to make your facility pop even more.
- Have a moving truck? How about golf cart(s)? How about moving carts? Make sure all of these props and others are prominently displayed.
- Try to film in the early morning (around 8:00 am – 10:00 am). Lighting will be ideal.
- Make sure the actors in the video (if any) come to the set with a clean, nice outfit. Wardrobes with colors are ideal (as opposed to patterns). It’s always a great idea also to brush teeth, shower, and shave before any videography or filmography session. Also, remember to joke, laugh, and take it easy during your videography session. It’s all about having fun!
Your Brand, Your Film Strategy
Now that your set is all ready, it’s time to determine your video strategy. At Smart Self Storage, our strategy started with drone filmography. After filming a drone video for each facility, we later began incorporating more of a human element on top of our drone foundation. Here is our latest creation:
To help jumpstart your creative brainstorming, here are a few possible storylines:
- Drone Tour – Leverage drone technology to give your customer a breathtaking tour of your facility and the surrounding community.
- Manager Tour – Your manager walks the viewer through your facility, giving them a hands-on, personable virtual tour.
- Customer Interview – Interview a customer about their experience at your facility. Those watching get an honest, peer-to-peer review of your facility.
- Self Storage Tips – Your manager or an actor shares self storage basics and tips with the viewer. For example, could your unit size guide become a video?
In the world of marketing, it’s important to build a brand identity. Start where it’s most comfortable to you. Let your brand emerge. While drone worked well for us, it may be that self storage tips and tutorials are in your wheelhouse. And, your strategy can evolve over time. Video is not a one and done marketing practice. Craft out a content calendar and trajectory where you want to see your video marketing evolve over the years.
Video Marketing For Self Storage – Closing Tips
To close out, I want to share a few practical tips that will ensure you start on the right foot:
- Develop a Storyline – It’s always helpful to develop a storyline before filming. Once your particular film strategy is selected, determine the precise cadence of events that will unfold, including video, spoken words, acting, and also captions. A great storyline will ensure your day of filming goes smoothly.
- YouTube Account Strategy – Do you own multiple self storage facilities? If so, determine your YouTube account strategy from the beginning. Do you want one YouTube account that represents all of your properties or do you want a unique YouTube account for each property? Two factors come to play here: First, how do you manage your social media overall? If you have custom profiles for each facility, I would consider doing the same for YouTube. Second, how many videos do you anticipate producing? If you will be filming multiple videos per facility, you are probably better off with unique accounts per facility.
- Don’t Forget About Facebook – Rather than simply sharing your YouTube videos on Facebook, consider uploading your videos directly to Facebook. I have found that Facebook really likes video uploads and makes it incredibly easy to promote video assets. Uploading directly to Facebook will get you increased scale.
- Don’t Overlook Release Forms – Before anyone participates in a video, make sure they sign a release form granting the company the perpetual rights to use their likeness, video, and voice recordings in promotional marketing. Have honest conversations with employees and prospective actors. If someone is uncomfortable signing a release or showing up in the video, that is totally fine. Not everyone has a calling to be an actor, and we all excel as different parts of the team.
- Get Scrappy – Don’t have a lot of money for a complex video production? That is ok! It’s amazing what one can accomplish with a smartphone and iMovie. Consumers do not expect perfection. They expect someone who is real, honest, and helpful. Let your true voice and brand shine through!