Jun 5, 2018 | Editorial Team
“Does content marketing work for an industry like supply chain and logistics? Are these not just fancy words being exchanged by marketers?”
Those were the precise words that were asked by the general manager of a large supply chain management company. Till very recently, he admitted, he had not even heard of content marketing. Its only after a young turk, who had been recently hired in the marketing department, suggested that they should invest in content, that my client got in touch with us.
In the supply chain and logistics business, tried and tested strategies were preferred, he reminded me. The B2B industry of supply chain logistics, he added, was a different beast.
Why did they need content, was his question. “Show me the thinking behind it”.
And so I made a case for content and gave him 5 reasons why his business should invest in it. In the end, he signed us up for a 6-month trial.
That was a year ago. Today, we have been helping this business do 3 things –
How did we do this?
Well, the answer is content marketing.
Let’s understand this a little better
When it came to B2B content marketing, we have all the stats in the world to show that it is a proven channel to increase brand recall, traffic, and ROI.
Here are some stats that I gave -
You may want to ask, how does that happen?
Its because, in a B2B business like a supply chain management company, the ‘lead nurturing’ period, i.e. the time since the lead first enters your system until it finally converts, is long with multiple touch points.
During this period, a 'generic' lead goes to become a 'verified' lead (the name, email, phone number etc is validated), the business fit is ascertained, the contact is made over the phone, personal meetings are conducted and then contracts are signed.
One of the critical tools that come handy during the ‘lead nurturing’ period is a targeted content strategy that helps nudge the customer from one level to the next by providing reassurances, testimonials and the brand’s overarching mission that eventually aligns with yours.
Content marketing can extend a tangible improvement in results to many of these.
Apart from that, content marketing can also help a supply chain business or logistics business establish thought leadership in the sector, create brand awareness and customer loyalty.
For those of you who are still not convinced that an industry like supply chain and logistics needs content to push its sales funnel, here are five reasons why you should focus on content to help your supply chain business.
Five reasons why a supply chain business needs content marketing.
1. You are more than your product/service
You started out as an idea to become a solution to a pressing market problem. To build it, you have assimilated knowledge and talent that makes you uniquely you. Your organization culture is an overarching guideline in everything you do differently from your competitors. Many employees, especially those out there in the frontline of your delivery chain will have amazing stories that become a part of your legacy. Content related to these are not just blogs. They are employee stories, videos, and even photo stories that make you ‘you’.
2. Bring the storytelling aspect
The basic truth of how we are wired is that we remember stories more than facts. Content marketers are going big on storytelling. And supply chain companies have stories happening with each product delivery. From a birthday gift order that you went out of the way to deliver on time to the impossibly larger order that you managed to deliver against all odds, to the magnanimous warehouse management that you do every day which is fodder for Discovery’s “How Stuff Works”, there is a story lurking around the corner every day. All you need to do is recognize it and bring it out at the right time, through the right medium.
3.Connect and lead with UGC
B2B businesses find it difficult to build on UGC because of the very nature of their business. But it isn’t an impossible proposition for supply chain logistics company. A lot of B2B marketers turn employee content into UGC, which works very successfully. Take the UPS store, for example. Check out their insta and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how they take the content from the interesting shipments they receive and convert into social UGC.
Check this one out – it is a perfect capture of what the brand wants to bring out from content on Instagram.
Our jobs aren't glorious every day. But sometimes, we get to go home to our spouses and tell them, "Honey, somewhere out there, somebody is drinking out of a grotesque foot." We did that. We made that happen. #unexpectedpackandship
69 Likes, 1 Comments - The UPS Store (@theupsstore) on Instagram: "Our jobs aren't glorious every day. But sometimes, we get to go home to our spouses and tell them,..."
4. Push out thought leadership
Challenges faced by logistics companies when doing on-ground expansion is something on another level. It is the one thing that differentiates from the survivors from those who perish under pressure. Keeping focus on ground realities, sharing case studies, creating a sharable knowledgebase that allows the career progress of the talent within the company should be one of the key focus areas for your content. The best part is that you’ll not need to look beyond your office to do this.
5. Your competitors are doing it
The thoughts of doing content marketing often drives people to discuss the merits of it. But think for a moment that your closest competitor is already capitalizing on content. Can you really afford to stay back and lose your grip on the game? You don’t have to go in guns blazing, but it is important to ensure that your content is clear and present where it needs to drive attention to your top abilities. Check out what is the talking point for your competitors and see where it fits into the equation for your brand.
While people buy into the reasons for starting with content marketing, it becomes overwhelming to decide where to start, what to do and how to execute things. Content marketing starts with understanding your overall goals fitting in KPIs from content into the equation. It goes hand in hand with all the other marketing activities you do.
If you are a supply chain business who needs help to get started, drop us a note.
Watch: Why Should You Do Content Marketing?
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