Freight Broker Marketing Tips
March 8, 2019
March 8, 2019
We’ve discussed how to become a freight broker before, but once you’ve got that ball rolling, started to understand the complexities of the job, and picked up your first few customers, you’ll want to start pushing your name out there as the right person for the next job, and the next, and the next… This is where a little marketing can come in useful. Understanding how to use the tools available to you is invaluable, so we’ve put together a little guide on how to market to and engage with your potential customers.
You Need A Website
This decision is a no-brainer. These days, having a solid website is the equivalent of a digital business card, allowing you to show off your industry focus and reputability, as well as some or all of your portfolio. Make sure not to skimp on the quality of the site, however, as the look and usability of the site can heavily shape the opinion of your users.
A Blog – Become A Content Marketer
You may wonder, why would I want to host a blog on my website? The answer is simple: in the age of digital marketing, content is king. As a truck broker, you no doubt have a well of knowledge built up over your months of grinding away, and this knowledge is useful to someone – potentially even to many. Writing regular blog posts that provide sought-after knowledge is a good way to get in front of many more eyes, and, given time, your content can begin to rank higher and higher on Google, potentially even reaching the first page for a given search query. This is the power of content marketing.
Think you have nothing to add to the deluge of information that’s already out there? That’s where you’re likely wrong. The industry changes, things can always be improved upon, and you may have your own unique insights into aspects of the industry that others would be interested to hear about.
In order to help your content rank even better, you can employ basic keyword research, a core fundament of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is essentially researching keywords and their search volume, and integrating targeted search terms into your content, to drive more traffic to your blog posts.
Use Social Media Effectively – But Be Aware Of Critique
If you follow the above step and start publishing some original content, you should also think about how to get this content to a wider audience. Relying alone on Google ranking your pages isn’t the best idea at this stage – you want to be proactive and push your content out there. Using social media for this is the best approach.
Additionally, you can use social media to spread interesting pieces of content from other websites that you have discovered; providing value to your followers is a great way of becoming a respected voice in the industry and having people look up to you within your field. Finally, social media will give you a simple way to interact with other voices in the industry, helping you establish potential contacts, as well as making you more visible to others who may potentially do some research on what you’re all about.
Rather than setting yourself up on every social media network, it’s best to first do a little research into who your target audience is (shippers, carriers, both?), which 2 or 3 platforms your target audience uses, and focus on those. As you can see in the graphic below, for truckers themselves, the main platform tends to be Facebook, followed by YouTube, and a ways further down the line, Twitter and LinkedIn. Going off this information, Facebook should be your main focus for content distribution and building a gathering, while Twitter and LinkedIn could be secondary channels used to emulate your posts from Facebook, especially if time is short – thought your posts may need some amending to fit into Twitter’s limited character limit (280 at the time of writing).
One thing to pay attention to once you set up your social media accounts and start getting followers, is that some of your customers may feel like social media is a place to vent their frustrations at your service instead of your preferred routes of email or phone calls. Respond to these comments quickly and tactfully, and instead of being frustrated by these occurrences, see this as a way of showing off your kickass customer service.
Social media can be a difficult beast to completely tame, and can require quite a time investment to get rolling, but if you are consistent with your posting schedule and are putting out quality content, your fanbase, and therefore potential customer base, should grow.
A Little Merch Can Go A Long Way
It’s shown that little items such as branded hats, shirts, pens, or USB sticks can have a very positive impact on your brand’s name recognition, at relatively little cost to you. You can hand them out at trade shows, send them to prospective clients with a friendly note, or just gift them to anyone who’s tangentially connected to the freight space – you never know when they may remember the friendly broker who gave them that pen and pass your name on. Get your name or logo on there, not forgetting about your web address or most important social profiles, and this can be an effective low-key marketing technique to throw into the mix.
Get Listed On Business Directories
This is a fairly no-nonsense tip, but a valuable one nonetheless. Those looking for freight brokers will often do so via a search engine, and if they stumble onto a directory, you want to be there. Yelp, Bing Places, and GoogleMyBusiness are all worth submitting to, as well as searching for more local, freight broker-specific directories.
Marketing is a field with numerous potential avenues you can venture down, and a large potential time investment. You’re no doubt already busy with your brokerage business alone, but finding the time to follow some of the above advice can yield fantastic results and open up avenues towards finding customers and making new contacts that you may never have known existed before. Good luck!
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