Dallas Racklin | AMT SQUIRREL WORKS
THE TRANSPORTATION AND logistics market saw immense upheaval in 2020 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic early in the year. Today, with freight at all-time highs, shippers are beginning to adjust pricing to match capacity. While it might seem like an odd time to consider your marketing strategy, you should prioritize these four essentials in 2021.
Clarify Your Message
Sales and marketing are complicated in any industry, but especially so in the fast-paced world of logistics and transportation. People on the receiving end of your sales call are busier than they’ve ever been, and they don’t have time for the same old schtick. You have 30 seconds at the most, so it’s imperative your message is clear and concise.
That’s why we recommend creating a strong brand story. Human beings are wired for story. Story is the quickest and most empathetic way to connect with potential customers. And while there are a variety of story strategies from origin stories to customer-centric stories, we believe the customer-as-hero story works best in logistics.
Creating a powerful brand story takes time and thought, but it’s the best way to ensure you make the most of those first 30 seconds with a clear, concise message that sells.
Align Your Website with Your Messaging
If you think of marketing as a conversation, it’s important that the conversation makes sense. Your website is the perfect opportunity to deepen the conversation and connection.
Once your potential customer is thinking about buying, they will check out your website, and it’s imperative that your digital presence accurately reflects your sales team’s messaging.
This is where your brand story comes in handy. Once you have created clear, concise messaging to be used in the selling process, the brand story can double as the meat of content on your website. Your website must be a conversion tool, and the way to make that happen is message alignment.
YES, 2020 WAS AN INTERESTING AND BUSY YEAR FOR CARRIERS AND BROKERS ALIKE, AND EXPERTS BELIEVE MORE OF THE SAME IS IN STORE FOR 2021.
Use Social Media
The use of social media remains relatively new for transportation and logistics marketing. But now is the time to make the leap. With the boom of e-commerce due to COVID-19, more people are using social media to connect with brands.
So how do you get started on social media? Pick a platform. At Squirrel Works, we’ve found that LinkedIn is a powerful tool. Many of the sales reps we work with credit LinkedIn with helping them get stickier with not only the lead they are working, but the company overall.
Start off simply. Like a few posts by thought leaders in your space and work your way up to commenting. Remember that hashtags are an effective way to find a big audience of logistics professionals discussing topics directly related to your interests. For instance, the hashtag #shipping has more than 90,000 followers and more than 444,000 posts to explore. We recommend sales reps in the transportation sector add social media to their sales cadence.
Build a List
While content is king, the list containing the people receiving that content is gold. But building the list can be difficult, and most transportation and logistics companies do not build lists to help them reach out to contacts they were unable to initially convert. This is a lost opportunity.
If your sales team currently uses a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool such as Salesforce or HubSpot, you are probably using the system to track the status of leads. Building a list is your next move. Simply run a report inside the CRM to build a list of all prospects you were unable to convert due to pricing or timing. When you use email marketing effectively, you’ll see increases in the volume of freight you can secure.
Yes, 2020 was an interesting and busy year for carriers and brokers alike, and experts believe more of the same is in store for 2021. There’s no time like the present to consider your marketing strategy. You’ll want to begin with a strong story to connect with your audience and boost and align your online presence. At the same time, it’s important to generate a strong list so potential customers do not fall through the cracks. If you follow these four steps, you’ll increase your sales in 2021.
Dallas Racklin is the Marketing Strategist at Squirrel Works, a Digital Marketing Agency for the logistics industry. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit: OLIVIER LE MOAL/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM