There can be no doubt that many businesses have found their marketplace challenging in the past few years. Whether it is the after-effects of the pandemic, ongoing geopolitical turmoil, or simply the economic downturn, many sectors have found themselves struggling.
It is fair to say that the transportation industry has undoubtedly had its challenges, but is not one that has struggled for business. With the rise in digital trading and the constant need for the fast transportation of goods and people, the transport sector has found itself in the middle of something of a boom.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that companies have had it easy. Indeed there has been a huge influx in competition in the market as new startups have arisen to take advantage of increasing demand. This means that all transport companies need to invest sensibly in high quality marketing campaigns in order to maximise their success.
In this article, we look at some of the most effective ways that transport companies can use to carry out markeitng.
Invest in branding for long-term success
Many transport companies make the mistake of assuming that great service and offering competitive prices are the secret to success in the transportation industry. Of course, there is no doubt that these things are important and they are crucial to maintaining your company’s image, but as a marketing tool it has a limited ability to have success.
This is because when transportation goes well, it naturally goes under the radar. Service should be quiet, quick, and effective. So, instead businesses in the sector need to take a different approach to being memorable. And the key here is branding.
Think about the most successful transportation businesses – they have distinctive and well defined branding. Having recognisible vehicles out on the road is one of the most vital elements of this – companies with large fleets can rely high levels of exposure, and could be seen on the roads 24/7.
Of course, a key part of this comes in the initial designing of logos and colour schemes. You need something that stands out and is eye-catching – indeed, many transport businesses are reaching out to branding specialists to have them create memorable looks for their fleet.
Another important aspect of marketing that every transport business needs to focus on is the digital side of the company. Improving your website and investing in search engine optimisation (SEO) are a key part of ensuring that you have a strong digital presence and rank well on Google.
But as with all forms of marketing, getting as much out of SEO as possible means picking the right battles. It is a great idea, for example, to focus on localised search terms.
“Writing for users, rather than search engines, enables you to create useful content around your target industry and focus,” explains Kirsty Schofield, writing for Artemis Marketing. “And by honing your focus on the local area, you’re more likely to attract a local crowd. From industry gatherings and news to trends and informational content, you can develop a reputation as an industry expert in your local area.”
Establishing a strong local SEO presence provides you with a base for targeted campaigns around national keywords.
Don’t forget email marketing
Email undoubtedly remains one of the most powerful tools available to marketers, and this is certainly true in the transport industry. Targeted email campaigns can be an extremely efficient and cost-effective way to generate new leads and get a rise in repeat business – but too often it is overlooked.
It is important to get into good habits with your email marketing. Perhaps the most important is to ensure that you are using automation tools to make the process as quick and as simple as possible. Automating your email marketing means “you can send emails based on schedule, trigger or user behaviours without manual intervention. Your email marketing software will execute the process”.
Of course it is also true that you need to be tracking your email campaigns closely and monitoring key metrics such as open rate and unsubscribe rates.
The power of social media
Social media might not be something that all transportation and logistics businesses feel is important for them. But ignoring this crucial marketing channel can be a real mistake – there is an awful lot that can be done to market a transport business via social media.
Of course, one of the ways that social can help your business is simply the posting of regular content. Potentially customers like to see that your business is active and operational, and having a social media account that regularly posts out is a great way to show this.
It is also true that having a powerful social media presence allows you to more easily produce adverts and content that can draw people in.
One area of web marketing that many transport businesses have been slow to embrace has been user generated content. Specifically, we are thinking about reviews and testimonials from clients. This kind of content can be extremely powerful tools on websites, especially when you consider that 95% of customers read online reviews before buying.
It is definitely a great idea to encourage customers to leave reviews and have a space on your website to present them. This not only helps to get new content on the site (which is a positive from an SEO perspective) but also promotes more sales and conversions.
Transport companies need to ensure that they invest in both short-term and long-term forms of marketing to make sure they are getting in the leads they need to keep the business going, but also growing the brand to the point that in the future this branding becomes the most important aspect of marketing.
It is vital that companies take their marketing seriously, even when business is going well. In general, the best practice is to use a variety of different forms of marketing to see what works best for you.
Author: Annie Button, freelance writer