Marketing Trends All Movers Need to Master in 2018
The 2017 New Jersey Warehouseman and Movers Association Conference (October 5, Atlantic City) saw moving companies from all over the Garden State come together to grow their businesses through education, partnerships, and networking. A huge thank you to NJWMA for inviting Updater to participate in this incredible day by teaching new and developing marketing strategies to its members. Here's a recap of a few things we discussed.
Marketing moves fast
The marketing industry is constantly evolving and shifting, and it can sometimes feel completely impossible to stay up-to-date. Panda. Penguin. Hummingbird. Dog. Zebra... Come on. Keeping up with the ever-changing rules of the game is complicated. Here's just a quick map of some industry buzzwords we've been hearing in the moving industry. Notice it's in the shape of a moving truck!
You're in a search business
There are over six billion searches per day (67% of them happening on Google). But, consumers aren't searching for your company to learn more about your brand. They're searching because they need a moving company. You need to be everywhere they are and available at the exact moment they need you.
Search is larger than ever, but it's also more powerful than ever and it absolutely must be part of your digital marketing strategy. Advanced Web Ranking published this chart of search engine click through rate (CTR) in correlation to position on the search engine results page.
Notice the steep drop off in CTR from position one to position five. Consumers trust Google to provide the best possible recommendations for their search needs – if they search for "best movers in NJ" the results that pop up first could very likely be the best movers. If you're not in the top three, you need to be.
Therefore, Google should become your new best friend. SEO should be one of your top priorities. Content is crucial. But, customer experience, at the end of the day, is still king.
What does Google really want?
A great page title and description. Google wants to ensure that you are providing high-quality content. One way it measures this is through engaging page titles and meta descriptions. A great page title and description should accurately reflect the content on a page.
Alt text. Google is smart but it can't read images. So make sure that all of your images have alt text.
Great words and content. Just like you want to provide quality headlines and meta descriptions, the same is true for the actual copy of a page. The more informative and relevant that content is to a specific search on Google, the happier Google will be.
Fresh content. Creating content once is great, but then you need to keep that content fresh and relevant. Wrote a great post that did well two years ago? Time to update!
Other people linking to your site. One way Google is able to identify if a website contains relevant content is by the number of backlinks a website or page has, that is the number of times another website links back to you. The more, the better!
Shorter URLs: The shorter the better. Put bluntly, the easier it is for a human to read, the easier it is for a search engine to read.
Https vs. http: Https is basically a secure version of http. It was developed to help safeguard information-sensitive transactions. So if sensitive information is being exchanged on your website, opt for https.
Other people visiting your site. Traffic! Yes, you're doing all of the above to gain traffic, but once you have that traffic, Google will see that people are visiting your site and will reward you by increasing your domain authority.
Publish more content. Take a look at your Google Search Console and find out how many pages of your website are being indexed today. Most moving companies at the conference ranged from 40 to 80, but you should aim for higher than that. There's no right or wrong number, but the more you have, the better your odds of being discovered, converting those users, and pleasing the Google gods. If you don't have the resources to publish and write on your own, outsource it! Check out Fiverr, Upwork, and iWriter.
Your published content can be so much more than just moving tips. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Capture leads on your blog posts. You already capture leads on your homepage, but why stop there? Capture everywhere! If you don't have the technical or marketing resources, implement a simple technology like SumoMe or HelloBar to help. They'll help you generate leads from many pages of your website, not just the homepage where most moving companies' forms live.
Put your social media on auto-pilot. You should focus on posting what people want, not what you think they want. Use the content ideas above for social media ideas as well. Not having a marketer is no excuse for not posting on social media if you have the accounts open. Once you open them, it's like Pandora's Box – you need to keep them fresh. Use Hootsuite, Buffer or CoSchedule to help you put social on auto-pilot. But, don't forget to keep the content interesting, engaging, and helpful. If you have amazing, 5-star reviews on Yelp, that's incredible – congratulations! But, we don't need to see them all in Tweet format.
Other marketing trends to watch for in 2018
Chatbots. Chatbots are robots that appear to look like live online chat, but they're programmed to chat with web visitors in a particular workflow. You've probably interacted with a chatbot at some point in time without even knowing it! And, by 2020, nearly 85% of web interactions will be with chatbots. The future is now!
Mobile. If you don't have a mobile-responsive or mobile-friendly website by now, you're behind. More searches take place on mobile than on desktop in the United States. Think about your own search and browsing habits — sitting on the couch watching TV while Googling. You're likely on your phone, not your laptop. Make sure your mobile homepage shows off your brand, some element of reviews, your phone number in a click-to-call format, and a "request a quote" form. That's all you truly need. Remember, people are searching for you because they need a mover, they don't need to know every single detail of your business right from the get-go.
Video. Video is the next wave, as nearly 1/3 of all online activity is spent watching videos. You only need 30 seconds to capture someone's attention and generate interest in your company. In fact, anything more is a waste. Studies have shown that anything longer than 30 seconds experiences a significant dropoff in engagement. We know, we know, it's time-consuming and potentially expensive to create videos. However, video generates the highest engagement out of all content forms, people on social love it, it increases conversion rates, and it's easily repurposed. Just try it. Here are a few more ideas of what you can film and distribute:
We'll dive a bit deeper into each of these topics in later blog posts, but we hope this serves as a nice, high-level overview of what to pay attention to when drafting your 2018 marketing strategy: Google, SEO, Content, Mobile, Video, and Experience. Check out our omotenashi presentation from last year's AMSA Convention for a crash course on delivering an excellent customer experience.
Remember: marketing is both an art and a science. It's not easy and it moves fast. If you ever need help staying afloat, feel free to revisit our blog at any time.