If you’re under the age of 30 and work in the transportation industry, you’ve probably been asked to help manage the company’s online marketing along with your other logistics duties.
While the industry has been slow to adapt to the digital media landscape, companies are aware they need to have a presence online with social media, content and email marketing.
But with so little time in the da
y and other tasks to complete, how can a growing company manage online marketing in the fast-paced logistics world?
All it requires is a few hours per week and the willingness to adapt to new tools like these four listed below.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to monitor and post to all of your accounts within one page. If you have company accounts on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and more, it can be time consuming to scroll through each of those feeds and interact with your potential customers and recruits. But if you have Hootsuite, you can list all of your accounts on one screen and interact whenever needed.
Along with monitoring each of your social accounts, Hootsuite also has an array of free and paid applications that work right within your dashboard. For example, I use the Hootsuite Syndicator application that shows our company blog posts which makes it incredibly easy to share your work across multiple networks with a single click of a button.
While the basic Hootsuite plan is free, the premium plan is only $10 per month and has the key feature “Auto Scheduler” which analyzes your user base and posts updates when the majority of your followers are online. Because the life of a social media posts is so short, it’s important to post when the majority of your targeted audience is online.
Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Hootsuite Pro.
Hootsuite’s auto schedule tool is especially handy when used with another application…
If you’re like me, you deal with email overload which can result with important industry newsletter update getting lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day duties.
To combat this issue, my advice is to get into a regular routine of digesting your industry updates using an RSS reader such as Feedly.
Most websites have an RSS feed that gives off a notification when the website has been updated. Instead of manually checking dozens of sites per day, you can set up a Feedly account, load the URL from your favorite website and it’s added right into your Feedly account—thus making it a one-stop shop for your industry news.
As a bonus, Feedly offers a variety of applications to make sharing your favorite stories easy. Included in those share options is Hootsuite’s “auto schedule” tool (Hootsuite Pro feature) so you can share relevant news stories with your audience without disrupting the social posts you may already have scheduled or leaving Feedly itself. Taking this route allows you to read up on industry news and share these stories with your audience throughout the day and week without the extra time commitment.
Best news of all? You really only need the free option from Feedly to read through all of your favorite sites. Should this change, they offer a pro version for $65 annually which has some handy sharing and search tools.
Content marketing, also known as blogging with goals, has become vital for every business, no matter your market. But when you find yourself combing through social media and industry news, you’ll likely find stories and tips you want to revisit later on.
Enter Evernote. AKA my lifeline.
Evernote is an organizational tool ideal for the freelancer all the way up to the multi-million dollar corporations. Think of it as an organizational tool for your entire life.
Evernote is essentially a series of digital notebooks with “notes” you save from around the web that can infographics, videos, tutorials, PDF’s and more. You can organize all of your notebooks based on your needs such as “Transportation News,” “Meeting Notes,” “Social Media Updates” or even recipes you’d like to try this holiday season.
Find an article you’d like to add to the company blog? Save it to your Evernote.
Want to read that 3PL white paper when you’re done tracking freight? Save it to Evernote.
Like Hootsuite, Evernote has a slew of options to make it easier to manage all of your work. Their mobile app is seamless and their browser add-on is a must-have. While the basic plan is free, Evernote offers a pro version that’s well worth some of your 2016 marketing budget.
Check out Evernote
Those of us in the logistics industry know we send a lot of emails. A LOT.
And if your team is using Microsoft Outlook, Gmail or another email platform to conduct business, you likely have a sales team using the same platform sending out mass emails to thousands of contacts.
The danger with mass emails using the aforementioned clients is there’s no way for the end-user to unsubscribe should they not want to receive your daily “Available Trucks/Loads” email blasts that are usually blindly sent.
This causes the end-user to grow frustrated and report your email as spam. If your domain (company web address used on your email) receives too many spam complaints, you’re email could be shut down without warning.
In this industry, if you can’t email, you’re dead on arrival.
Instead, opt for your sales team or anyone sending mass communications to use an email client like MailChimp. MailChimp allows for email contact lists to be uploaded right into the platform. From there, each rep can send emails to whomever they choose, monitor how they interact with their communications and adjust according to the behavior of the subscriber.
“Did X user read this email? Why not? What if I changed the time of day the email is sent? What if I changed the headline? What if the email was plain text vs. HTML?”
All of these options allow your sales team to send communications that ideally your subscriber wants to receive. If they don’t like it, they can unsubscribe and you can spend your company time massaging the leads who have interest in your company.
Best of all, MailChimp allows for custom designed email templates that can be reused over and over so the marketing department can manage the brand’s look and feel before that email goes out to the masses. Pricing depends on how many emails and contacts you send to on a monthly basis, but the majority of the packages are extremely affordable.
One last tip…
While these tools require a learning curve, I highly advise anyone taking on the digital marketing at a logistics company to set aside (at least) a few hours per week to tackle your company’s marketing goals. Most of us are so used to the chaos of the dispatch floor that when you’re interrupted (and you will be) it throws off the concentration needed to complete these tasks.
Get in the habit of finding a quiet office or conference room where you can manage your content, social media and overall marketing strategy effectively and free of interruption.