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Fierce Digital Marketing for Freight Brokers


August 17, 2015

The loads you broker to carriers may travel for days over the road, but the impressions conveyed by your brokerage via digital channels can be more immediate and impactful. That’s why it pays to invest in engaging with your customers online. Tap the power of web-based, social and mobile marketing tools, such as social media, blogs and social advertising, to build your business and stay top of mind.

A digital marketing strategy can support prospects in researching the purchase decision, ease pressure on your sales department, shorten the sales cycle, and even help prequalify prospective customers. Acquisition, retention and upselling can also be streamlined with a great cross-channel digital marketing strategy.

Educate, engage and impress

For starters, use your website to educate prospective and current customers alike. Provide information that is valuable to your audience, then share and promote that content through your own website and the most relevant social media sites or platforms. Rather than scatter shooting, figure out the top two or three social networks your customers, partners and referral sources use and establish an online presence there. It’s not about accumulating thousands of likes or followers; it’s about capturing their interest and conveying that your people are knowledgeable, professional, approachable and capable.

Some key pointers for making positive impressions online:

  • Establish goals for your social media marketing efforts and how you will measure results.
  • Identify a team member who has the time and familiarity with content marketing and your chosen platforms to consistently maintain your online efforts.
  • Allocate the time and resources to feed the beast – to develop and publish a steady stream of content. This can include trend reports, blog posts, videos, comments on other articles or posts, photographs, infographics, etc. Focus on creating original content, which you can supplement with content from other sites if you secure permission and attribute it properly to the original source.
  • Ensure your own website is ready for its close-up. Is site content updated, polished and professional? Are page links and contact forms working properly? Can it handle a boost in traffic?
  • Engagement is a two-way conversation. Solicit input; respond promptly to comments and questions; offer content that prompts your community to talk about it and share with others.
  • Get real. Don’t expect a modest investment in social media efforts to propel your sales into the stratosphere or make you an online media darling. However, interactions can reveal more about what it’s like to deal with your company.
  • Be prepared for customers who use social platforms to complain about your company. If it happens, turn that lemon into lemonade. Social media can be a powerful vehicle for showcasing great customer service in real time. So make sure you respond quickly, acknowledge the customer’s concern, and resolve it in a caring, efficient manner.

Online can equal on-the-go

Also consider that digital marketing connects you to your increasingly mobile market. Today, an estimated 91 percent of U.S. adults have their mobile devices close to them and within reach at all times. It’s not just about online consumer purchasing. Today, more business people are using their mobile devices to conduct business and research providers – and they may be on social platforms at any time of day or night.

To reap the rewards of digital marketing, make sure you have a solid cross-channel strategy and a compelling, clearly defined value proposition that differentiates your services. Your social marketing needs to be integrated with traditional media and response channels. You’ll also need to be willing to try new approaches and to continuously improve on your efforts by compiling, reviewing and acting on analytics.