BloggingSales and MarketingWebsite Development

Price is always a major factor in any purchase decision, and the purchase of a new website is no different. Website development companies have different ways of charging you for your new website. It’s confusing, and that’s why we are breaking it down. You can see for yourself the differences between a website you lease and a website you own. Leased website: Best price is always a concern when it comes to purchasing a website, and the leased website isn’t a bargain option. The main benefit that leased websites offer is a significantly lower initial cost than you’d incur when buying a website outright. It’s standard practice for website development companies to charge an upfront fee, but with a leased website you will also have a monthly bill for service. Lower initial cost is great, but there are a couple of cons to the leased website. Say you want to part ways with your website developer--if they are leasing you the website, they are going to take it with them. This means that your hard work, your content, your edits--all of it is gone when your business relationship ends, and that’s a drag! Another issue is the lengthy contract. Most companies that lease websites offer contracts in the 24 months-long range, and unfortunately, your website might still belong to the developers. After 2 years of payments, you’re going to want to OWN your website.   Purchased website: Purchased websites are more common and are a win/win for both you and your developers. In this case, you own the rights to your website, so if you decide to switch providers, you bring your website along. This alleviates your future costs on website projects because the bulk of the work is done when your website goes live the first time! When you buy a website, your initial cost is going to be a little higher than with a leased website. In a standard agreement, you will typically pay half the website cost to start the project. This secures development time. The remainder of the fee is due at the completion of the project. There are companies, however, that are willing to work with you on payment terms. For example, at Squirrel Works, we strive to make sure payment arrangements and development timelines benefit you! Your transportation and logistics company needs the best website, and it’s up to you to make that happen! If you are a newer company, and you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, a leased website might be a good option. But if you want your website to positively impact your company in the long-term, you’ll want to explore options for owning your website. A website is a big decision! Weigh your options and decide what works best for your unique transportation and logistics company. If you’re in the market for a partner who not only understands but loves the difficult world of transportation AND can help you with your digital marketing--give us a call at 618.509.5740. If you prefer email, reach out to [email protected] We’d love to hear from you....
BloggingSales and MarketingSEOWebsite Development

Imagine this- it’s midnight, you’re hungry, so you decide to venture out for a snack. Wait--there’s a problem. Even though the restaurants exist on Google, there are no instructions, and you have no idea how to get the midnight snack you deserve! Imagine your frustration. All you want is a tasty treat, but you don’t have a clue where to get one because your instructions don’t work. What if I told you that search engines, like Google, face these same frustrations when they crawl your website because you don't have a sitemap? So what the heck is a sitemap and why is it so important? The sitemap is the set of directions that shows search engines how to maneuver your website. Better yet, a good sitemap lets you dictate how search engines move around on your website. For example, let’s say your transportation has a new service offering, and you want to make sure website visitors find it. A good sitemap allows you to give higher priority to the new service offering over the rest of your site’s content. So you think a sitemap is important. Now what? There are in fact several different types of sitemaps--six in fact! HTML XML Video Image New Mobile The most common are the HTML and XML sitemaps. The main difference between these two sitemaps is pretty simple. HTML is user-focused to help the users navigate best on a website, while XML is search engine-focused telling search engines, like Google, what to do. Having smart sitemaps on your transportation website enables you to boost your digital marketing efforts by increasing visibility. You’ll get a leg up on your competition in this ever-changing digital world!   If your current digital efforts aren’t quite doing the trick, don’t let worry get you down. AMT Squirrel Works can offer you the helping hand you need. Reach out. We’d love to chat! Gives us a call at 618.509.5740, or check us out online at amtsquirrelworks.com.  ...
BloggingSales and Marketing

Inbound marketing has become a fundamental part of a successful marketing strategy. Whether you’re prepared or not, the way we market logistics and transportation has changed. You might have already found that your customer has tuned out your traditional marketing tactics, and your company has grown stagnant while others soar to the top. You’re probably wondering what are they doing that you’re not? Well, they are evolving with the industry and times – and you should too. If you are still on the fence of whether to adopt an inbound marketing strategy, these benefits might help convince you: 1. Credibility Building A successful inbound marketing strategy will not only improve sales but will also increase visibility and more importantly, the credibility of your brand. Good content creation paints your company as a knowledgeable expert and draws attention to your years of industry experience. Think about it, would you rather do business with a newbie, or someone who you know has the knowledge and expertise to handle the job? 2. Creates Brand Awareness When your website features on the top of Google’s search result listings, it boosts your brand’s awareness and encourages customers to find out more about your brand, which prompts engagement with your online platforms and learning more about your company. 3. Supplementing Engagement Through the use of online platforms like social media and blogging, authentic content that encourages engagement will continue to bring readers back, creating familiarity and brand loyalty among your audience. 4. Building an Audience Engaging content is one of the most vital components of an inbound marketing strategy. If your content is valuable, informative and encourages engagement, you will create an audience who are more likely of using your services versus a company who they have never heard of. 5. Value Proposition Inbound marketing adds value to your services and products and sets you apart from the competition. A well-thought-out strategy delivers your brand’s message to your target audience in an authentic way that prompts engagement. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to close the book on tired and ineffective marketing strategies and create a marketing strategy that promotes sales, increases brand awareness and helps take your business to new heights. Not too sure where to begin? Contact Squirrel Works, today!...
Sales and Marketing

Old-School marketing or “outbound marketing” can be a costly and ineffective strategy which uses traditional marketing channels like direct mailers, television, radio and print ads. The problem is that they no longer bring in customers like they used to. Marketers call this approach “interruption marketing” as it creates an ingenuine or forced conversation that pushes the marketing message onto the customer when they are not interested or even looking for the service. Inbound marketing is a relatively new way of thinking and is based around creating quality content that targets your core audience and sharing it online using marketing tactics that work to create a magnet that draws in potential leads and customers when they are looking for similar products or services. Here’s how you can use inbound marketing for your business:   Create valuable content for all stages of the purchasing cycle Marketing is like a gear; it’s always moving. Think of this while you generate content. White papers, blogs, social media posts, email marketing and video are all great ways to consistently update your web presence and be found in search engines by your ideal audiences.   Invite people in who need your services It is important to set goals and understand who you are creating content for and why. Center your blogs, videos and social media around phrases and long-tail keywords that your customer will be using when they are researching your products and services online.   Convert visitors into leads and build the relationship Conversion is very important in inbound marketing. Once someone lands on your page, it’s key to give visitors something that encourages them to take the next step. Calls to action, landing pages and contact forms are all ways that you can collect and begin the process of servicing their needs and learning more about your audience and potential customers.   Transform leads into satisfied customers Once you have found potential leads through lead scoring, there are various ways to transform them into customers. Follow-up emails, tailored e-mail marketing, workflows, and campaigns are all ways to personalize their experience. It’s also important to have a CRM to help with marketing automation and close the gap between marketing and sales.   Monitor and modify your marketing strategy One of the essential pieces of inbound marketing is monitoring and modifying your process. How do you know how well you are doing? What is working, what’s not working? Where is your web traffic coming from and how is it converting to leads? You need to understand your ROI, so always monitor and refine your strategy to make sure you are consistently meeting (and exceeding) your goals.   Using this process for lead generation will help improve your inbound marketing strategy and turn casual website visitors into brand advocates and returning customers. If you’d like to learn more about implementing an inbound marketing strategy, get in touch with our team who are experts in digital marketing....
BloggingDriver RecruitmentSales and MarketingSocial Media

It was recently announced that Facebook and Twitter shares have taken a plunge, which forces us to ask the question; is your marketing strategy in jeopardy? The short answer? Yes! Especially, if you’re focusing all your marketing efforts on one platform, whether it be Facebook, Twitter or even Google. While it may seem unlikely, at any given moment any one of those platforms can technically seize to exist, and if that’s your sole focus, they take with it your customers, audience and years of strategy. Social media has many advantages and over the years we have shown customers just how powerful the medium is. When used correctly, it can unlock a world of opportunities where you can recruit new drivers, exceed sales goals and foster a community among drivers, agents and customers. However, it’s always a good idea not to put all your eggs in one basket and communicate with your audience in different ways, which is why we recommend multi-channel marketing. Multi-channel marketing is using a selection of direct and indirect marketing communications, in hopes of reaching a wider audience and igniting an interest in your business and what you have to offer. We’re finding that companies are more comfortable with using Facebook to market themselves but forget that by ONLY using Facebook, they are limiting their reach because there is still a large portion of people who do not use Facebook, or might reserve their Facebook usage for catching up with family and friends versus looking for jobs, connecting with other drivers or finding a new trucking company to handle their load. A good approach would be to broaden your marketing landscape by combining different techniques. As an example, continue with your social media marketing, but also include a blog section on your website and a monthly newsletter. A blog has a variety of benefits which can include establishing yourself as an authority on a certain topic, and improving your SEO, but above all, it is hosted on YOUR website which means you’re in control of the content, who sees the content and how it is distributed. With the right strategy, you can create the same or even better sense of community on your blog, where readers provide insight and engage with you and each other in the comments section of each post. The option to include a monthly newsletter to your marketing strategy is one of the smartest but often underrated ways of connecting with your target audience. Think about it; whether it is social media or blog posts, you are relying on them going to a webpage and finding your content, but by having their email address, you have DIRECT access to their inbox. How often do you check your emails each day? Probably 2 or 3 times a day, right? So is everybody else and having that sort of access to your target audience is a powerful opportunity of its own. By combining strategies, you have a wider reach and have the ability to promote the other platforms on ones you’re already focused on. So, you can promote signing up for your monthly mailer or share your latest blog post across your social channels, while promoting your social channels at the end of blog posts or in your newsletter itself. This approach encourages growth across the board and means that you can reach your audience no matter what happens to Facebook and Twitters shares. Have you given any thought to using multi-channel marketing? 95% of marketers already know the importance of a multi-channel approach, but only 14% of organisations believe they’ve successfully implemented one. If you’re the other 86%, get in touch with Squirrel Works today and let us help amplify your digital presence today!...
Sales and Marketing

Technology has changed the way that we interact with our clients in the transportation and logistics industry. While this new landscape presents a lot of opportunities that weren’t possible before, it is also accompanied by its own set of challenges. The key to being a good salesman? Building lasting relationships with your customers. Here’s some tips for building better sales relationships: Listen and pay attention to your customer when they speak and ask questions instead of talking the entire time. Often, your customer will tell you exactly what he needs, making it easier to serve quality service.   Try talking about something other than sales by finding things that you might have in common with your clients. You’ll be surprised what a simple social media search can reveal and how much easier it is to break the ice when you have discovered a common ground.   Respond promptly to emails to show your customer that they are a priority. It not only helps their ego but also keeps them in the loop about your progress, which gives them peace of mind.   Add value to your relationship by providing a solution or a fresh perspective. If you find yourself searching blogs for things that might help solve your current challenge, keep an eye out for things that could help ease a client’s problem too. Send them those links or introduce them to people who can help. Customers notice when people care!   Be genuine with your customers and show them that you care by simplifying the process and making it enjoyable to work with you. Consider their schedules when planning interactions and make yourself available in case they have questions or concerns. Remember that people can pick up when you are manipulating them only for sales, so nurture relationships. How will you be nurturing and building better sales relationships? We’d love to hear some of your tips!...
Sales and Marketing

Once you have mastered your digital marketing strategy and have begun generating leads, it is important to nurture those leads so that they become customers. We understand that it can be tough trying to figure out which approach works, so to make it easier we’ve put together a few of our top tried and tested hacks for nurturing and converting leads. Use Reply to this Email as your Call to Action One of the fastest ways to speed up the lead nurturing process in transportation and logistics is by opening the dialogue between your leads and you. Start the conversation by ending your emails with a call to action that prompts your leads to “reply to this email.” Create Pre-Written Email for the Decision Maker You may find that you’re not always speaking to the decision maker and while you might have your point of contact is sold on your service, the challenge remains selling yourself to their team. Create pre-written emails that your lead can forward on to the decision maker of their company, that introduces yourself, your company, what you do, how you can help them and answers any obvious questions. Try personalizing the email by mentioning your point of contact by name and saying something like, “David mentioned that you were looking for XYZ, this is how we can help you…” Send newsletters from real people Often, transportation and logistics companies send their mass emails from a [email protected] email address affecting the open rate of emails. It is a good idea to send the email from a real person. (i.e. [email protected]) By doing so, your leads are reminded that there is a person behind the keyboard who cares about fulfilling their business needs and are mindful in their response. Send emails during office hours While it is common practice to reply and send emails during all hours of the day, start scheduling a delay to ensure that your email responses are only sent between the standard working hours. Even if you’re using an automated system, it’s important to create the illusion of a real person who has taken the time to respond. This practice has been found to increase email click-throughs by 20%. Use Buttons for Call to Actions Replace plain text links with an eye-catching call to action button at the bottom of your emails, to help increase the click-through rates. Call to Action buttons inside of emails have been found to convert up to 127% more than plain text. Personalize your emails When sending a newsletter to a lead include their name in the headline to increase the chances of them clicking-through to open and read the email. Run Retargeting Campaigns Set up a retargeting campaign based around a specific piece of content like a blog post or landing page. By setting up a retargeting campaign you already know that the content you’re advertising is relevant to the leads and it allows you to be ultra-specific, which will increase the chance of engagement and conversion. Experiment with these different hacks and let us know which one works for you. Remember what works for one business may not work as well for another so be sure to explore your options and techniques....
Sales and MarketingSocial Media

It has long been a trend forecast that video is the future of marketing, but implementing it in your marketing strategy remains a challenge, especially for transportation companies. So, how exactly can you use videos to promote your logistics company? There are multiple ways of using and promoting videos, so it is important to identify what you are hoping to achieve from creating your video. Here are some of the most popular videos and how you can use them: Explainer Videos are short and to the point videos which provide an overview of what problems you solve for your customer. As an idea, you can have one of your agents discussing a recent customer case where they went over and beyond to deliver quality service while overcoming unexpected challenges faced by the customer and how he/she helped overcome them. Remember they should be no longer than 2-minutes as they are great for sharing on social media and via your newsletter. Promotional Videos are a popular option for communicating your latest offers, exclusive discounts, upcoming events, or a community initiative that your company will be participating in. These types of videos are best used to create awareness and shouldn’t exceed a minute long as it is used to prompt your customer to click-through to a web page where they can find more details. Vlogs are no longer reserved for celebrities and influencers. These days everyone is nosey and wants to know what the typical “day in the life” looks like. While it may be time-consuming, using a vlog to show some of the interesting things that truck drivers get up to can be a good way to recruit new drivers. Chalk Talks or Whiteboard Videos are great for offering customers expert advice or solutions on industry-specific challenges. These videos are usually very quick, engaging, and provides the customer with a call to action at the end. They can be used for all digital marketing efforts including social media, newsletters and even sent directly to your customer when trying to communicate key messages that they struggle to understand. Customer Stories are the video version of testimonials and are proven to be more effective as viewers connect with the person telling their story. Highlight real customers and the service they experienced by having one of your staff members share their experience followed by reading the customer testimonial, or create a social media campaign asking customers to supply video testimonials of what they loved about working with your company. Culture Capture is an innovative way of giving your customer an inside look at how your company operates. A lot of transportation companies claim to be like family, but their stock photography website doesn’t really communicate that message. Use video to create a highlight reels of recent company events, team-building activities and give customers a glimpse of who they’re doing business with. Social Media Videos have recently become popular, especially with platforms like Facebook showing preference to video content. You can either incorporate some of the videos styles that we have already discussed, or you make use of their new LIVE feature to host live Q & A’s, show a little behind the scenes to give customers a better understanding of your company’s culture, or even host guest chats. Any videos shared on social media are great for driving engagement and opening the discussion with your audience. Now that you have a good idea of the different videos that could work to market your business, which one will you be trying first?...
BloggingSales and Marketing

In recent months Google has updated its algorithm to focus more on your website’s content than your SEO specialist’s work on the back-end. Simply stated, we see a shift from the technical side of SEO to the creation of blog posts and content that emphasize your role in the transportation and logistics industry.   Not sure what SEO is? Check here for a better understanding! My job as an SEO specialist is no less relevant. But instead of spending my time feeding Google instructions to boost your rank, I can now focus on creating SEO-rich content that reflects your company’s culture while also providing insight into industry trends, highlights, and company news. Take blogging, for example.   Having a blog confers great benefits--such as driving increased traffic to your website and building trust among potential customers. Once you’ve earned customer loyalty, those customers will return again and again to follow your company’s adoption of the latest innovations in transportation. Your blog posts will encourage customers to follow you on Social Media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.   The latest algorithm update emphasizes creating a better user experience which means websites offering relevant information will rank higher on Google. Therefore, creating original, quality, engaging content is your best investment. This will not only advance your Google rankings but will also strengthen sales.   Our clients with a cohesive content marketing strategy across sales management landing pages find that frequently updated blog posts and tweets steadily increase organic search traffic through many Google’s updates while the number of referring keywords continues to rise.   When considering SEO, you might make the mistake of overlooking Social Media. Don’t forget--your blog posts should get people talking, sharing and liking. In fact, Bing uses Facebook Likes as a ranking signal for logged in users, while Google says it is working on using Google +1 as their ranking signal, and tweets help Google index content faster. So why are more than 80% of all marketers investing in content creation, like blogs? Because using your website to tell your company’s story, makes you an authority within the transportation and logistics industry. And customers trust authority. We’re seeing an increase in content conversion where 52% of customers report that blog posts directly impact their buying decisions, while 57% of marketers see an increase in sales from SEO-rich blog posts. Most interesting--a considerable 61% of customers are more likely to choose the transportation company offering custom content and industry insights. Creating new, consistent, and SEO-rich content is the answer. So what’s the problem?   In a nutshell, most logistics companies don’t have a dedicated team promoting a unified message across their website, blog, and social media networks. Or maybe, they just don’t have the time to figure it all out. Sure, you can understand the benefit of content marketing, but it’s not a priority when you’re managing several sales teams, solving logistical issues, and paving your way within the industry. That’s where we come in!   AMT Squirrel Works is your partner in digital marketing. We offer an all-in-one solution, so you can leave the headache of algorithms and their latest changes behind. Stop worrying about whether or not your customer will find you. Leave it to us!  We’ll take care of your digital marketing needs. From websites to social media and even SEO, our team of experts will take your business to new heights. If you’d like to learn more about our service, click here to schedule a meeting with us today!...