Extra Space Storage viral marketing case study

The Project

Extra Space Storage is a national leader in the self-storage industry, with over 1,300 facilities across the United States. As you may imagine, storage units don’t always spark a steady stream of creative content ideas. So, to boost their content marketing efforts, the Extra Space Storage content team toured the country to see what they could learn about their customers. And what did they find? Their customers valued how Extra Space Storage helped them through life’s transitions. From this idea, SEO and Content Manager Garret Stembridge led Extra Space Storage in creating a heartwarming video called “10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Having a Baby.”

So where does Big Leap come in? Creating great content is only half the battle. To make the most out of your content investment, you have to focus a lot of time and energy into smart content promotion. Extra Space Storage has been a client of ours for several years, so we were thrilled when they reached out to partner with us for some extra help in promoting their video. Our goal was to spread the reach of the video through strategic outreach and promotion.

The Strategy

Our original promotion strategy was to reach out to media outlets to see if they would pick up the video, and from there, repurpose the content from the video into other mediums. We soon realized that our outreach efforts were so successful that they deserved our full attention.

One of our most successful outreach tactics was building off of early media wins. Once we had a few big names under our belt, we used that to our advantage in pitching other outlets. We kept our pitches simple and to the point. Our pitch to Huffington Post, which you can read here, was under 100 words long.

You may be wondering how our strategy was any different than what a traditional PR agency might do, and that’s an important question. Because Big Leap’s focus is on digital marketing, we had an SEO focus throughout the outreach process. We weren’t just looking for who would spread the word, but how they would spread the word. We paid attention to things like links and referral traffic to analyze how each media share impacted the overall virality of the campaign. We closely monitored the channels that picked up the video organically to make sure proper links and attribution were given to Extra Space Storage.

Throughout the process, we worked closely with the team at Extra Space Storage to ensure our outreach efforts were integrated with their internal promotion and advertising efforts. Together, we saw outstanding success.

Collaborating with Big Leap is easy, which is so nice. They have an experienced team of experts in the industry. Through this project I had a lot on my plate, and it was great to have a partner who could remove a portion of the workload, rather than adding to it.
Garret Stembridge
SEO and Content Manager

The Results

In a word, the video went viral. The video currently has over 1.7 million views on YouTube and was picked up by a host of notable sites, including The Huffington Post, Adweek, Mashable and many others.

We even had a couple of celebrity shares from Ashton Kutcher and George Takei. These shares built a host of organic, high-quality links for Extra Space Storage. Overall, the campaign generated 88 referring domains and 191 quality backlinks, all earned organically.

A large part of the video’s success was from social shares. The Huffington Post article featuring the video, which started the snowball effect of media coverage, got over 214,000 social shares. Combined with social shares from sites like Buzzfeed and Mashable, the video got over 253,000 social shares from outreach efforts alone. Who knew a storage company could pull off a viral video?

Learn More

Learn how we incorporate traditional PR strategies into digital marketing campaigns

Learn More

Want to see your own content go viral?

Want to replicate this type of success with your own campaigns? Start with great content and be smart in selecting your partners. Extra Space Storage has an incredible content team and really did their research in crafting the right message. Good partners will allow you to focus your efforts on the creative side while delivering you incredible reach and ROI. To learn more about partnering with Big Leap, fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch.

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I would definitely recommend Big Leap to other companies. The results they produce speak for themselves. They’re very easy to work with and do a great job of achieving desired results.
Garret Stembridge
SEO and Content Manager