Shipping companies are experts in transporting cargo and serve as a critical link in the supply chain. Leaders have been able to employ technology to improve logistics and serve a greater number of clients in a more efficient manner, however the industry lags behind in one key area – online marketing. Digital transformation may have opened up a world of opportunity for your shipping business, but if you can’t let potential clients know about it you’ll be stuck spinning wheels. So what’s the problem? By now you have likely tried some combination PPC, SEO, email, and even social media to drive new business, but like many in your field you have not had the success you expected. The problem is not the medium, but the execution. A highly targeted content foundation is required to attract more qualified clients. Only then can you leverage proven online marketing channels to pack in the prospects. Here is a breakdown of how you need to create new content.
A Content Marketing Breakdown That Shipping Companies Can Use to Drive More Business
Breakdown by Commercial, Industrial, Residential Shipping
Commercial, industrial, and residential shipping are all fundamentally different. As a shipping company you know this, as do respective clients from within each sector. These individuals, businesses, and organizations are searching for transporting services more appropriate to their distinctive cargo. An antique dealer (commercial) who needs to ship a late 1800’s bureau to a customer from one province to the next has different demands than a heavy machinery manufacturer (industrial) who must to send an excavator overseas. Know your audience and give them the content they need to give them peace of mind that you’re the right shipper for them. Create a separate search-engine optimized and conversion-focused page on your website for i) commercial ii) industrial iii) and residential shipping, as applicable. Create targeted search, email, and social campaigns for each instead of using your homepage as a “catch all” which is far less relevant to those in need of your specific service.
Breakdown by Distinctive Shipping Services
Shipping is a generalized term. The phrase “full service shipping company” gets thrown around a lot in the industry, but potential customers want details. For one, what forms of cargo shipping services do you provide? Dedicated landing pages and blog posts should be created to account for the following types, as applicable:
- Air cargo transport
- Ocean cargo transport
- Trucking transport
- Rail transport
Within the scope of your offering there are also a number of supplementary services that support the national and international cargo transport process. Dedicated landing pages and blog posts should be created to account for the following service add-ons, as applicable:
- Heat-sealed shrink wrapping
- Cargo insurance
- Customs documentation and remittance duties
- Freight forwarding
The bottom line here is that you should never assume that the client understands what is included in your service. By creating specific content for each type of service you provide the useful information that they are looking for. This is an effective strategy that will generate a far more sustainable business model.
Breakdown by Route Geography
Expand geographic targets beyond the area code you call home. For example, you might be based out of the Lower Mainland BC, picking up cargo from the Port of Vancouver and taking it to cities and towns across the province, country, and/or continent. As per SEO best practices you will have completed your Google My Business page, claimed your rightful place on the Google Map for the Greater Vancouver area, and may even rank well for keywords such as “Vancouver shipping company“. However, most shippers stop at that geographic point when it comes to site optimization and content creation. If this is you, you’re missing out.
Instead, you should hit the gas and expand content to also include routes. Prospective clients are not just searching “Vancouver shipping company” (example). More qualified prospects who are further along in the “purchase funnel” are searching based on routes, such as “shipping from Vancouver to Montreal” along with nearly every other to/from destination that you serve. By creating dedicated route-specific landing pages and blog posts on your website you significantly increase your odds of attracting clients who are ready to ship cargo. With this content created you have the fuel needed for search engine, email, and social media campaigns.
Contact Strategis Consulting Group today to discuss what we can do to deliver more business to your shipping company.