The State of Online Marketing in Logistics

Martijn Graat
Martijn Graat

The Dutch Nieuwsblad Transport has questioned more than 400 Dutch logistics companies on their marketing efforts. This post will go into some of the findings.

Company Website the #1 Tool, Social Media Runner Up and on the Rise

When asked what the most important marketing tools are, 62% said the Company Website and 48% mentioned Social Media. 36% said conferences/events. Compared to last year, both the website and events are down a few percent, but Social Media jumped from 29% to 48%. I fully agree with the 62% that said Company Website (and the 48% that said Social Media as well, by the way). From experience I know that a company website is an excellent lead generator, if used properly. It is probably one of the reasons that 60% said that increasing website traffic is among the most important tasks of the marketing department. And Social Media is a key enabler!

Content is King

The most important element of any company website is the content. It needs to be up to date, frequently refreshed and relevant for your target audience. If you keep adding fresh content, your site will be more interesting for both visitors and Google. One way to make sure you have a steady stream of fresh content is by adding a blog to your company website, where you can share stories, case studies or insights for example.

We Have Our Company Website, Now What?

Next to social media there are more ways to increase traffic to your website: e-Mail Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Advertising (SEA), and Newsletters, to name a few. What surprised me is that, while more than 60% percent believe the website is one of the most important marketing tool, only 20% believes that all of the enablers of increased traffic mentioned are important marketing tools. With only 5% seeing SEA as among the most important. So you are convinced your Company Website is really important, but you don’t invest in generating traffic to it? Budget and team size may play a part here, but this is an area that should not be overlooked.

It’s all about traffic 🙂

How Social are Logistics Companies?

I am a big fan of social media and especially the good use you can make out of it. I really looked forward to the outcome of this part of the research. 80% of those questioned indicated that they use Social Media, which is almost double, compared to the 46% that used social media 5 years ago. 57% even uses social media daily. And which channels do they use business wise?

  1. LinkedIn    85%
  2. Facebook   67%
  3. Twitter       56%
  4. YouTube   42%

No surprise that LinkedIn comes out on top. It’s the main business network in use in the Netherlands. And while it hasn’t grown in number of users, the number of users that use it daily increased by 33%, according to the latest figures on social media use in the Netherlands. It is also good to see that Facebook is still used for business by over two thirds of the logistics companies. Facebook is great for showing the people side of your company. YouTube is on the rise, which also makes sense. Video is one of the favorite ways for people to consume information, and an increasing number of companies are releasing videos on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. Also nice to see Instagram gaining traction with logistics companies, growing to 14% from 9% this year. Did I mention that when it comes to social media, content is king as well?

Are the Social Media Objectives Met?

The marketeers that use Social Media in their marketing mix were asked what their objectives for Social Media were. Even more interesting: they were asked what they were getting out of it!

Objectives                                                  Results

  1. Brand Awareness              81%     1. Brand Awareness  67%
  2. Website traffic increase   46%     2. Bigger network      41%
  3. Networking                        45%     3. New Employees    34%
  4. Recruitment                      42%      4. New Ideas              26%

The results show that most companies get positive results out of their social media efforts. They must have seen an increase in traffic to their Company Website as well, but this was unfortunately not on the list of answers for the results question. So this increase was not measured.
Great to see that 26% said new ideas were among the results. That they are good for Brand Awareness, Networking, and Recruitment is a given, but I get so many fresh ideas when browsing through the timelines of my social channels. Personally, inspiration is one of my key reasons for using Social Media.

That’s Great, But We Don’t Do Social

Of course there is also a group that doesn’t use social media. The main reason for not doing so, is that they believe their target audience is not on Social Media, and they don’t see the use for it. I beg to differ. If 80% of Logistics Companies are using Social Media, I’m sure more than 80% of their customers are doing so as well. The other main reasons that were stated were lack of time and lack of knowledge. With a little commitment and the right help, these are not big hurdles.

Content is King

I know. I said it already, but I’m repeating it, because it’s very important. To be effective with your online marketing efforts, you need killer content. Whether that’s for your website or for your social channels doesn’t matter. Just make sure you have a plan in place, that your content calendar is filled, and that you have well produced relevant content. Showcase a project, interview a client or your own people, show you know your customers’ business by writing about trends and developments in their market (to name a few options). A plan, a calendar, and commitment and then you are ready to to be King of the Hill.

If you want to know more about what content- and social media marketing can do for you, I’d be happy to have a coffee with you (or Skype, if you’re too far away) to tell you more about it. Just send me an e-mail or connect with me through LinkedIn and send a message.


The results of the Nieuwsblad Transport Marketing in Logistics Study will be one of the key topics on the Logistiek Marketing Event that will be held on March 30 in Utrecht. For more information please see

Readers of LogisticsMatter that would like to attend the event, get a 50 euro discount by using this code: LME2017LM.

Just to be sure: the event will be in Dutch.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

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