In the age of globalization in a world of over eight billion people, any start-up logistics and freight company faces major challenges. The industry has never been busier, and there’s never been more competition. The need for a strong marketing plan is now more important than ever. The following 5 tips can give you the edge against industry competitors, and will go a long way to helping you attract and retain customers.
Understand Your Customers
Your company’s marketing needs to be appropriate for, and relevant to, your customers. There’s no point in pouring time, money, and energy into campaigns that target the homemakers of Beverly Hills if your ideal customers are businesses that need cost-effective, efficient shipping across the country, or around the world. When you know who your target audience is, you can fine tune your marketing, so it conveys what they want to know, and positions your company as the best option. You don’t need to use educated guesswork to pinpoint who you should target. Use the following tools to understand your customers:
Google Analytics–If your logistics and freight company already has a website, Google Analytics will become one of your best friends. Use this web analytics tool to get an in-depth look at your site traffic. You can learn how visitors behave on your site (how they use it), how much time they spend on the pages they visit, which countries they’re in, the sources of their visits, new and existing visitor numbers, and bounce rates. Also, this analytics tool is free.
Interview Customers–Speak to your existing customers to find out about their buying process. When you understand how they operate, you’ll know how you can convert them into returning customers.
Use LinkedIn–Groups on LinkedIn that focus on freight and logistics are another source of valuable insights that can help you market your start-up company more effectively. Take note of shippers’ expectations, complaints, constructive criticisms, and pain points (particular problems they’re trying to solve).
Know The Industry And Your Competitors–By staying up to date with what’s happening in the industry, and what your competitors are doing, you can keep your marketing relevant. Even if that means adjusting your campaigns from time to time.
Find Your Unique Selling Proposition
Once you’ve found out who your company’s ideal customer is, you know what your competitors offer, and you’ve noted the state of the industry, you can find your unique selling proposition (USP). The USP is the element that sets your logistics and freight company apart from the rest. For your customers, it’s the deciding factor in choosing your company instead of a competitor. A USP can be values or qualities such as reliability, security, excellent timekeeping, and integrity. Or, it can be the most varied product, a technological innovation, or simply, the most affordable price. For example, Domino’s Pizza USP is that your hot, freshly made pizza will be delivered within half an hour, or you get it for free. When you know what your USP is, identify it clearly, and link it to the brand in your marketing content.
Use Content Marketing
Your website needs to be more than a basic listing of the services your logistics and freight company offers, and your contact details. Use content to attract customers to your site and keep them there for longer. The more they engage with blog posts, infographics, and other content they can relate to, the more your brand’s credibility will grow in their eyes. Beyond this, your site should cater for all your customer’s needs. It must include honest information about your company’s offering, articles that add value to your customers, and a real-time tracker for customers to track their shipments. The site should also include FAQs, a listing of payment options, and details on how to contact customer service.
Develop A SEO Strategy
A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy should go hand-in-hand with the content marketing discussed in point three. SEO uses content and keywords, such as ‘trucking companies’ and ‘logistics services,’ to improve your website’s rankings in the results produced by search engines like Google. If the company appears on the first page of the results, and especially if it’s near the top of the page, there’s a much better chance of potential customers clicking on it. Once they’re on your site, your USP and engaging content could convert them from visitors to customers. You should use SEO on more than the homepage of your site. Ideally, it should be used on every site page, as well as in every blog post, infographic, and other content you post on your site. At its most basic, SEO works by incorporating one or more pieces into the copy on those pages. It also uses keywords in titles, meta titles, meta descriptions, and meta tags. The titles usually are approximately 55 characters long, while meta descriptions are approximately 155 characters long. Use tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Moz to know which keywords to use in your SEO strategy and ensure you always stay up to date with the latest trends.
Utilize Email Marketing
According to Statista, by 2023, approximately half the world’s population will use email. That’s almost 5 billion people—and a significant number of them will be Millennials and Gen Z. The latter’s already the largest generation in history. With that in mind, email marketing can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your logistics and freight company’s website. Don’t be tempted to take a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, use tools to analyze your email subscribers’ actions and browsing habits on your site, as well as the personal details you have access to, to create personalized emails. Keep the text short, include photos and video content, and write punchy subject lines. If necessary, use the services of a copywriter to make sure your emails are compelling, and resonate with your target audience. Regardless of how small your start-up is, or if you’re making the move from owner to operator, marketing is essential for any logistics and freight company’s survival. The above tips can help you kick-start your marketing strategy and reach the right audience. If you can speak your customers’ language, your business will grow.