Marketing Academy – Connecting with your local area

Parking garages can be rather difficult to advertise. The buildings themselves tend to be functional, and often hidden as part of a larger complex of buildings. You have to rely on the street signs pointing to a parking garage, but hope drivers choose yours over the other options available. Much of the time that’s what determines whether you can get people using your parking garages – location, hope, and a little bit of luck. The question is, what can you do to make your parking garage stand out?

The key is to connect with the local area. If people don’t know where you are, or what you offer, they won’t be in the position to make the choice to use you. But what’s the best way to do this? Here are a few options that will help you stand out from the rest.

 

1. Use Social Media

It might not seem like the most obvious option for a parking garage, but if you use social media well, it can be a really effective marketing tool. The key is to offer the user something. This could be in the form of special offers, but if you want to truly stand out you can go much deeper than that.

You could really be a service to locals, or people looking to visit your area, by offering a mini guide on what there is to do on any given day or weekend. Offer suggestions on local attractions, or upcoming live shows, and explain where they are and how far it is to walk there from your parking garage.

Once you start producing this content, you’ll need to find the right audiences. Thanks to advances in targeting on most social platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn, this can be very straightforward. All you need to do is choose the post you want to sponsor, or boost, or create an ad from your content. From there, you will have a number of options on how to select your audience. Just choose a group based on location, or people who are interested in the types of events or attractions you’ve written about, and publish the post with a set budget.

This makes sure that the people who see your post are the most relevant to what you’re offering. If they want to attend anything you’ve listed, the next logical step is to look for parking options. As they’ve already seen your page, the natural choice would be to use your garage. Not only will this raise the awareness of your facilities, but it should increase your revenues as well.

 

2. Host events

A parking garage might not be something you’d usually associate with a special event. Normally, it’s something you use to get to a special event somewhere else. However, they can be the perfect space for hosting something different to the norm, which not only generates additional revenue in the short term, but raises awareness of the location in the long term.

As an example, back in 2014 an old parking garage in Tobacco Dock, London, hosted a unique cycling event called the Parkour Ride. It put all types of cyclists against each other, racing to the top of a multi-story car park and back down again. It was full of people for the day, and they had food stalls, bars and music, as well as the event itself.

It was a massive success, and couldn’t have been done anywhere else apart from a parking garage. As long as you can get the necessary permissions, there are so many different ways you can use space a parking garage provides. You just need to think outside the box.

 

3. Inject some culture to the area

Any area can benefit from a little more art or culture. It makes life better for residents, and more exciting and interesting for visitors. Parking garages are unique in that they are generally large structures without residents or tenants, and tend to have huge, blank slabs of concrete.

Why not turn these slabs into canvasses? Work with local artists to create something unique and attractive, and make your parking garage into a parking attraction. You can make your garage really stand out from the rest, whist also adding some culture to the local community. EasyPark are already working on projects like this around the world, in their Parking Art initiative, transforming dull urban structures into vibrant spaces.

 

These are just a few ways you can market your parking garage in more effective ways, whilst also connecting better with your local communities. The closer you are to the people, the closer they are to you. For a parking garage, that can only be a good thing.