The Secret to B2B Marketing in the Supply Chain
Deliver an Excellent (and Mobile-Friendly) Online Experience
It all starts on the internet. It’s the go-to place for information, and your online presence makes a difference. Whether your company is looking to promote its transportation management system, 3PL services, API integrations, or other trucking telematics or logistics services, a search-engine-optimized website is the best way to garner attention and put your best foot forward.
It’s not enough to make a generic website, though. More and more users turn to their mobile devices first, and 80% of the top websites are mobile-friendly. So, your site needs to be mobile-friendly and capable of effectively showing off your company’s products and services.
When you deliver mobile-optimized content related to supply chains, desktop users will still be able to access your content. The website will dynamically shift and scale to accommodate the device and screen size, among other things. While you can’t control everything potential prospects search for, you can control how your customers experience your website. Therefore, ensure you’re optimizing it for popular industry search terms. (Don’t just rely on your own knowledge for that; make sure your marketing team uses SEO keyword tools to ensure you’re hitting the words and phrases your target market is searching for.)
Our position (and yes, we’re biased, but we stand by it nonetheless) is that investing in fulling your funnel through your marketing efforts is your best bet during tough times. Don’t forsake marketing because you think it’s disposable. To survive, your business needs a steady stream of quality leads. Now is the time to buckle down on marketing processes that drive your KPIs. At the same time, you must also consistently nurture your current customers to ensure customer satisfaction is at an all-time high, reducing churn and keeping your bottom line healthy.
While you may realize the importance of demand and lead generation and customer retention marketing, hiring more employees is probably not in the cards. So how can you get these critical marketing jobs done? Outsourcing is an excellent and flexible way to augment your team. A good vertical-specific marketing agency will know what you need to do and can execute faster and more efficiently (again, we’re biased, but it’s true).
Look Into Content Syndication or Advertising
With content syndication or advertising for supply chain or transportation/logistics companies, you utilize well-known industry publications to get your name out. Often, there are opportunities to create a blog post or an informational article for the trade publication or its website, which will link to your site. You can think of it as something similar to products and services advertising in television and film. It’s a less direct advertising approach, but it can often be more effective and affordable than traditional solutions. By naturally mentioning your company or companies and leaning on the expertise of industry experts, these sites can give your business the social proof it needs to convert prospects and leads.
There are also opportunities to sponsor email newsletters or advertise in print publications. Work with your marketing agency or department to set a budget, utilize it to the best of your ability, and ensure you are targeting the right audience, as each trade publication has a specific demographic they reach.
Of course, there is also the increasing use of influencer marketing. While still relatively new to the supply chain and transportation logistics industry, companies can gain a competitive advantage by leveraging the popularity of an online personality for an endorsement. Your marketing team could, for example, contact a YouTube reviewer or authority and provide them with technology, software, or other goods for a review or promo. This industry influencer marketing process can help get your brand out there. Of course, influencers in the transportation and logistics industry are hard to come by, and a with all tactics, you have to weigh your return on investment.
Don't Neglect Visual Marketing
One of the business practices that’s become standard at all levels of marketing is a reliance on visual content to tell stories. Companies that use videos and images tend to get more engagement than those that don’t, as more and more users crave a more dynamic experience online.
Where could visual content be harnessed for your business? Maybe you could show supply chain management customers how your business’s unique solutions solve common problems. Or perhaps a visual guide can convey the message. If you’ve got a good sense of humor, maybe you simply want to produce a funny video to ensure your brand sticks in prospects’ minds (but please, take your content to someone you trust to tell you whether it’s actually funny before you post it!). With the right message and graphics, visual content can be an asset to your overall strategy.
Leverage Social Media
Supply chain operations aren’t immune to the effects of social media. Engaging with users directly, responding promptly, and showing off your solutions organically can help grow your audience and reach new users or influencers in the transportation logistics space.
Social media also offers a perfect opportunity to double dip in supply chain marketing. It’s a great way to get multiple uses out of a particular piece of content or visual product. For example, if you produce a video or infographic to share on LinkedIn, you can use that content to draft a more extended blog for your website or use snippets of the infographic for multiple posts on Instagram.
Set up a Pipeline for Generating Content
Content is KING! Therefore, you need to have a steady flow for your page. It helps to create a pipeline for generating content.
There once was a time when quantity won out, and keyword-stuffed articles ranked highest on Google, but that isn’t the case anymore. Google has changed its algorithm to favor content that answers questions and fulfills a need or demand. It’s easy to start generating content, but it’s often difficult to keep it consistent without committing to a regular posting schedule. Marketing supply chain content that is iterative helps, as you can lightly edit posts to suit the needs of individual social channels and website framework.