Logistics businesses are getting wise to the idea that “helping” is the new “selling.” When marketing for logistics, more and more educational content is being created that aims simply to make prospects smarter.
According to Brad Berger, publisher of the logistics information portal and magazine Supply Chain Brain, “The volume of provider-generated content has easily tripled in the past few years.”
Here’s the problem with all this content: a lot of it is CRAP. Check out this Slideshare deck from Velocity, appropriately named “Crap.”
It’s hard to sustain quality where you have so much quantity.
Today, logistics businesses are creating more and more content and delegating the task to junior staffers not up to the task, or writers for hire who don’t know a pallet jack from a pallet rack.
What to do….what to do….
Marketing for Logistics: Content Marketing Keys to Success
If you do marketing for logistics and plan to step up content generation, what you DON’T want to do is add another shovel load of #*@! to the pile. Reexamine your strategy and consider the following keys to success:
- Care. Not about just leads, but about the subject matter. Don’t create content because it’s on the schedule, create it because you want to share your passion about a new and better way.
- Have an opinion. Lean forward. Take a stand. These days, busy prospects read a headline and move on quickly if they think it’s generic fodder they’ve read five times before. Be provocative and share a new perspective. Check out this “thought starters” document we sometimes use in our content marketing workshops.
- Get the boss involved. Right from the start, if possible. But if that didn’t happen, re-launch the effort internally with him/her as your biggest cheerleader. Content marketing is not a marketing department strategy, it’s a company strategy. Your best thinkers need to invest time to share their best thinking. The boss’s imprimatur (had to look up spelling…boy was I wrong) may be required to enlist their enthusiastic involvement.
- Share it! Content works like a magnet. It can attract prospects, but only if it’s close enough. Share your content liberally – through social channels, emails, blogs, and paid advertising. Your media partners can help get it in front of the right audience.
- Hire an outside logistics marketing specialist. They can help in whatever way you need, from simple content creation to orchestration of a complete inbound marketing program.
The Downside of Poor Content
I am a content marketer. I believe traditional advertising and sales tactics don’t work in a wired world where prospects are just a few clicks away from the answer to their question. They leverage the information available to get smart – about strategies and providers – before they even talk to potential providers. When they are ready, they’ll talk to a small set of companies that they know, from their research, can help. In that way, logistics products and services today are BOUGHT, not SOLD.
In this world, you need content more than ever to get noticed early in the sales process. But too much bad content will lead prospects to screen it out in the same way that they now screen out cold calls and spammy emails.
We need to raise the bar on our content quality so prospects don’t shut the door.
During a phone discussion on marketing with the senior executive of a large, warehouse-based logistics firm, I shared my perspective that many such companies make salespeople work too hard to unearth sales opportunities. After a brief silence, the executive said, tersely, “That’s what I pay them for.”Download the eBook