Up Your Transportation Industry Marketing Game with Meaningful Content
In the marketing world, it sometimes seems like only the “sexy” industries can win. Food, fashion, and exotic travel – they have all the fun, right? We beg to differ.
While you may be scratching your head about how you can compete with stories of beachside resorts, we guarantee that you can — because helpful, meaningful information is always engaging when aimed at the right audience.
And as we like to say for the transportation industry, trucks can be sexy too.
Quick refresher: What is content marketing?
Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable, free, self-published content to attract and convert prospects into drivers and customers, and both into big fans of your company. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. (Source: CopyBlogger)
Where did it come from?
Do you read your spam mail? Do you love pop-up ads and cold calls? No? Well neither do your prospective drivers or customers. When advertising started taking a turn for the worse, content and “inbound” marketing changed things. Today, we focus on providing helpful, meaningful resources so people will trust us (instead of us just annoying them).
Here’s what content marketing can do for trucking.
As potential driver recruiting pools continue to get smaller, it’s going to take more than just an advertisement saying “drive for us” to stand out. It’s also getting harder and harder to compete in a digital world for customers or recruits if you aren’t showing up in the right search results.
Luckily for you, the trucking industry has enormous opportunity for content marketing. Results from starting a content marketing campaign for your trucking company could be:
- More qualified driver candidates or customers
- More website visitors
- Better brand recognition as you establish your name in the industry
- More authentic engagement and prospects that have a deeper understanding of who are you
How to make your trucking industry content great
1. Be genuinely helpful
Remember, the transportation industry is sexy for those that need information on it. If you’re writing educational content, the people looking for it will be fascinated (or at least interested) if you are the answer to their questions.
Think of each piece of content as helping people in one of these areas:
- Helping someone understand that they have a problem, and you are their solution
- Helping someone learn that you exist and that you have interesting things to say about topics they’re interested in
- Helping someone align you with your competition, putting yourself in the running
- Helping someone understand your services, what makes you stand out, and how you’re different
- Helping someone understand why you’re the best choice
Take the time to put everything you do through these filters and ask yourself, “Is this being genuinely helpful, or am I just talking to talk?”
2. Avoid peer pressure (don’t say it just because everyone else is)
We’re a product of our environments. But, psychologically, we’re built to appreciate contrast and something new. Therefore, it’s up to you to audit what the transportation industry marketing around you is saying. Are you repeating everyone else or saying something different?
Just pick up a copy of Transport Topics and we bet you’ll find an advertisement that has a picture of a truck and a line that says something like:
- “At the crossroads of ________ and __________”
- “In it for the long haul”
- “We work as hard as you do” or “As tough as you”
- “Our innovative solutions”
- “_______ forward” (Moving you forward, fuel forward, drive business forward, etc.)
- “Loads of experience” or “Experience by the truckload”
And if your peers are trying to recruit drivers, we bet their content and advertisements say something like:
- “We’re a family-run company”
- “Sign on bonus and better home time”
- “Great benefits and new equipment”
- “Better pay and better miles”
- “Guaranteed weekly minimum”
Take a step back and ask yourself, “What makes us truly unique?” Then follow that with, “How can we stand out?” When it comes to your marketing messages, cut to the chase about why you’re the best option and don’t fall into the pack of what’s expected in your industry.
3. Be specific
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that marketing is actually part of the sales process. Every marketing message should be targeted toward a specific goal whether it’s gaining new customers, selling equipment, or attracting new drivers.
Not sure if you’re there? Take a look at your own website, marketing content, or advertisements and ask yourself two important questions:
- If I removed all lingo and industry speak, is there a substantial message left?
- Who is that message for? Is it “all people who need to ship things?” Or is it “food industry manufacturers concerned with refrigeration and delivery times?”
You’ll get the most bang for your buck and when you’re specific. Eliminate industry speak, focus on your target audience, and make sure every message revolves around your sales goals.
4. Let your culture shine through
In the transportation industry, you’ll find the majority of marketing messages are service-specific. There are thousands of companies that drive trucks, deliver things, or sell equipment. If you only say “we deliver things” then you’re competing against everyone else, and you look and sound like everyone else.
One of the ways to stand out is to let your culture shine through. Is delivering products really what your company is most passionate about? Do your drivers go home and say, “I’m obsessed with picking up tires from the manufacturer and bringing them to automakers”? Odds are, your employees and your customers stick around and want to work with you for more than just your services.
How can you integrate what it’s really like to know your company into your marketing content? Is it normal for you to crack a joke or reference a football game? Do you have a heart for charitable work or family values? These cultural details could be part of your marketing strategy because, in this world, like attracts like and people like you will want to work with you.
5. Tell your story in a different way
Starting a content marketing program for your trucking company means you now have an infinite number of ways to tell your story. You’re going beyond just paying for advertising. Once you take the plunge, you’ll find that this methodology is underused and perhaps still undervalued in your industry, allowing you to naturally stand out and one-up your competition.