Marketing for transportation, logistics and trucking companies
We live in an economy where the word “local” is largely irrelevant. Commerce is expanding exponentially. As the internet has helped facilitate the sale of products and services across state and even country borders, the demand for trucking freight companies that can manage logistics and facilitate transportation of cargo has exploded.
A professional copywriter who understands marketing for transportation companies can help your trucking business promote its services and share in the growth of this dynamic industry.
Nearly 70% of the freight shipped throughout the United States travels by truck at some point in its journey, according to Road Scholar Transport. The U.S. economy is growing and so is the population, both of which are causing freight companies of all types to see an increase in the number and weight of goods shipped around the country.
More people wanting more things from companies means more work for those who ship those things. Just think of all the e-commerce generated by companies like Amazon.
“Freight volume is at record levels, driven in part by the growth of e-commerce,” according to Trucks.com.
New trucking and freight companies have emerged to meet the growing need. And existing cargo-moving businesses have had to step up their game to carve out their slice.
Relying on networking and word-of-mouth to generate business might have worked for your trucking company in the past, but today that’s not enough to stand out in an industry that gets more crowded every day.
Many trucking and logistics companies look and sound the same. They’re competing for the same customers, and yet customers can’t tell them apart. When vendors appear to be commodities, customers choose the cheapest providers.
Marketing success hinges on finding a way to differentiate your trucking company and demonstrate your value. The copy on your website and in your marketing materials should be a big part of that strategy.
A copywriter who understands the shipping and logistics industry is critical to positioning your company and helping you achieve your sales objectives.
Effective marketing begins with identifying your target customer and then promoting what makes your company uniquely qualified to serve that customer. That means the copywriting on your website and any other marketing materials must speak to the benefits you offer, all of which is part of building your brand.
If you concentrate in logistics for a particular industry or geographical area, or offer unique trucking services, your branding ought to reflect those specialties.
Straight North recommends “incorporating your new branding into all aspects of your marketing, including web design, employee uniforms and, of course, on the most visible aspect of your business — your trucks!”
Apex Capital Corp. says that “When you market your trucking company, your brand is super important. Give your customers plenty of reasons to remember your top-notch service.” That’s your best bet for creating a successful trucking business that competes with some of the biggest names.
Commercial Capital says that one way to stand out as an owner-operator or with a small fleet of trucks in the freight industry is to focus on markets that the large carriers avoid. Consider hauling specialized loads, which large carriers avoid because of their complexity. With less competition, it’s easier to get good-paying loads and also regular (repeat) customers.
According to Commercial Capital, “Making decent revenues with a dry van is very difficult as an owner-operator. There is too much competition from large carriers and other owner-operators trying to pull the easier loads. However, hauling fresh produce and meat in reefers has many advantages, including: less competition, year-round work, and it’s resistant to recessions.”
Once you select the right market niche, then you can focus your marketing efforts on promoting your specialized services to that target.
A copywriter who understands supply chains, logistics, cargo shipping and transportation can help you establish your brand. She can create your online presence in the form of a professionally written website and also other marketing materials that will differentiate your company from other truckers and generate sales.
While photos of your shiny new trucks can attract attention, no promotion is complete without the right words to deliver your message. Don’t let your content take a back seat in your marketing effort. Your copy must resonate with potential customer.
A copywriter can quickly zero in on what to emphasize on your website and in your marketing tools. She can speak directly to your customer’s priorities and your best selling points such as:
A skilled copywriter also knows how to promote the right features such as:
To generate leads and sales for your trucking and logistics company, consider using a copywriter to help you create written content for any of these marketing materials:
Landing Pages – Create detailed landing pages for each of your target markets. For example, you might have a page for refrigerated shipping or e-commerce shipping, or shipping of items 100 lbs. or more. Each landing page would correspond to a service you provide that meets a very specific need.
Brochures – Brochures can be printed or used in a digital form. They make a superb complement to your website and are the perfect item to send any prospect who is considering using your services but hasn’t yet committed.
Data Sheets – Is your service somewhat technical? Perhaps you transport fragile or excessively large items. Use a data sheet to provide the specs and details. It will give your prospects confidence that your services precisely meet their needs.
Ads – Whether online ads or offline promotion in traditional print media like magazines, ads provide exposure to new audiences.
Direct Mail/Email Campaigns – Targeted sales letters or emails can be extremely effective in an outreach campaign to new prospects. You can also do outreach to existing customers to promote new services or remind them of your full range of services.
For example, you may notice that most customers are using your expedited shipping, but do they know you offer an economy transportation service that takes a little longer but costs half the price?
The Houston Chronicle recommends “purchasing a list of companies that fit your desired market, such as auto part manufacturers based in the Midwest; or food distribution on the East Coast. Next, draft a letter, flier or even postcard that grabs attention with a solid headline, promotional offer and response deadline.”
Effective copy can persuade hesitant prospects that your transportation services are the ideal solution to their shipping and logistics problem.
One component of marketing that has become increasingly important is social media. Create a social presence by posting profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and possibly YouTube. According to Factor Finders, “Having social accounts builds trust with your customers. It also gives them an additional avenue to reach you.”
A Facebook fan page will allow you to send promotions and updates with zero out-of-pocket expense. Plus, your customers can post reviews about your service, which allows prospects to learn about your service.
Use Twitter to promote an impromptu shipping price discount to avoid driving a partially filled truck across the country. You might just find a local merchant who has some inventory that needs to be delivered not far from where you’re heading.
To connect with your followers, talk about things like interesting hauls, tough logistics problems you solved for a customer, or tips for smooth shipping for e-commerce companies.
Share fun photos of places your drivers visit, company updates and exclusive deals. Be sure to convey your enthusiasm for the business and watch your customers respond with positivity.
Fortunately, for trucking and transportation companies, the industry continues to grow at a staggering rate. Those companies that can solidify their foothold should see their businesses expand significantly over the next few years.
According to Business Insider, the trucking industry is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. ” Every good that you buy has to make its way from the manufacturer to you, and of all modes of transportation, trucking is by far the most important. In fact, a staggering 80% of all cargo in America is transported by the trucking industry, four times as much as air (8%), pipeline (6%), rail (4%), and water (2%) combined.”
The American Trucking Associations, the largest national trade association for the trucking industry, contends that “Without the industry and our truck drivers, the economy would come to a standstill. To move 10.5 billion tons of freight annually requires over 3.6 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and over 3.5 million truck drivers. It also takes almost 39 billion gallons of diesel fuel to move all of that freight. Simply – without trucks, America stops.”
In the increasingly competitive trucking marketplace, differentiating one company from another has become extremely difficult. Trucking and logistics businesses must be innovative in their marketing efforts or risk failing.
In today’s world, you have an incredibly small window of opportunity to grab a prospect’s attention. And even once you hook them, that’s not enough. You need to be able to lead that prospect from initial interest to making a purchase.
Writing persuasive copy to promote trucking and logistics services is tricky. Get it wrong and you potentially lose customers who opt for the next vendor they find on Google.
A copywriter who understands the cargo and transportation industry challenges you face and has a command of marketing is your best bet for creative copy that delivers a steady, sustainable stream of new customers to your trucking business.