Many logistics companies still rely on conventional business-to-business (B2B) marketing channels to promote their business, focusing on relationship management, cold calling, and traditional media outlets. In this industry, digital marketing may be overlooked, but an estimated 97% of people use internet research to find a local company, according to SEO Tribunal.
When developing marketing strategies for your logistics business, include digital tools. Digital marketing channels can help you expand your reach and find a higher volume of quality clients.
- Define your target customer
- Identify your main competitors
- Develop your value proposition
- Optimize your website
- Identify other digital channels like blogs and email marketing
- Take advantage of social media
1. Define your target customer
Logistics companies help customers distribute and store products, materials, and services from manufacturing to consumption. Some logistics companies handle all functions at each step of the supply chain, but others are responsible for only part of the process, such as distribution or storage. Your company may deal exclusively with product shipping or warehousing, or you could do strategy and planning for the whole supply chain.
Regardless of how broad or narrow your business’s focus, identifying your target customer is critical in developing a marketing strategy. Your business plan and your list of current customers can help you to identify your target market.
Once you determine your target market, you can develop a customer profile. When marketing to customers, this would involve creating a personality for your target customer to inform your digital marketing strategies. In B2B marketing, the customer profile should make the purchasing decisions at your target company.
2. Identify your main competitors
To stand out in a crowded market like logistics, you need to conduct a competitive analysis. This will allow you to identify your value to potential customers and better communicate your benefit to them through your digital marketing strategies.
You probably already have a good idea of who these competitors are, specifically if your company has to go through a bid process to get customers. You can also identify competitors in your market that you think offer superior quality services — or those who are leading the way in terms of service delivery.
Once you identify your competitors, take some time to look at their digital marketing. Check out their website, social media presence, and other digital channels. Read annual reports (if available) and other corporate documents, and look at how they interact with their customers digitally.
While conducting this research, take note of areas in which your company offers a better value. Look for services that your competitors don’t provide, as well as aspects of your company for which you are well known.
3. Develop your value proposition
Knowing what you do well in relation to your competitors can help you strengthen your value proposition. Use your website and other branding materials to communicate this to prospective clients. To develop your value proposition, know what you offer to your customer. Look through testimonials and past successes to determine what you do better than your competitors.
You might not get this right on the first try. But a well-crafted value proposition creates a strong message that helps people find your website and immediately understand what you can do for them. Try out different value propositions and look at your website analytics to determine the keywords and phrases that bring people to your site. You can also conduct an informal poll of past customers to see what they think you do well.
4. Optimize your website
After you determine your value proposition, you can start identifying digital channels that will help you communicate it to potential clients. The first step is to refine all the language on your website.
Evaluate each page to see if you can strengthen your search engine optimization (SEO), and make sure there are keywords in multiple locations that will help customers find your page among the crowd. Make sure the site displays and functions properly on mobile devices as well. Customers may find you on their phones and tablets while they’re working off-site, so your website needs to be mobile-responsive.
5. Identify other digital channels like blogs and email marketing
Traditionally, logistics firms have used client relationship management to generate word of mouth and find new customers. Email marketing, such as newsletters or other targeted direct messaging, allows you to do this more quickly and effectively. Update your client follow-up procedures to include digital touch points that will enable your clients to connect with you.
Other tools can help keep your website updated and high on the list of search engine results. Use a blog or a newsletter to share your industry expertise and drive traffic to your site. Make sure there’s a place on your site to collect email addresses and build your email list. Use emails to send promotions, company news, and other content.
Mix it up to keep your emails interesting to customers. Don’t just use the email list as a sales tool. Share interesting tips and tricks with your customers too. Send out messages on a schedule, and make sure that each email has a call to action, even if it’s as simple as calling to request a quote.
6. Take advantage of social media
Logistics marketing isn’t always focused on digital tools to reach clients, but many different channels can help you meet potential new clients and convert them into customers.
For B2B marketing, one of the best social media platforms is LinkedIn. Although the site is primarily known for connecting professionals to peers and employers, it has grown to become a primary site for B2B networking — LinkedIn now offers tools for sales prospecting. Optimize your company’s LinkedIn profile and post consistently to help clients locate you on the site.
Other popular and established social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use these tools to communicate with your customers in real-time and promote your business and those of your clients. Posts that tend to resonate with clients are usually celebratory in nature. Celebrating your successes also helps to build your credibility and reputation with current and future clientele.
If your company offers domestic and international shipping services, social media is a cost-effective tool for reaching customers in many countries. However, you should familiarize yourself with content restrictions in different countries to keep your content from being blocked.
Bringing it all together
Although many logistics companies do not use digital marketing to its full extent, there’s a large prospective client base waiting to find your company on the internet. Using tools like search engine optimization, email marketing, a company blog, and social media can help build brand awareness and keep you at the top of potential clients’ minds.
Source: Constant Contact