The driver shortage has changed the way you recruit. If you have been recruiting drivers for a while, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re new to the profession, then you have been forced to get adjusted to the difficulties. It’s the new norm. Either way, you’re now a marketer.
Marketing tools are the best way to improve your driver recruiting. Even though there isn’t a silver bullet for recruiting, marketing offers the best tool box you’ll ever have. You may even be using marketing tools and concepts to improve your driver recruiting. But what you may not have known is that a full content strategy can actually help you both recruit and retain drivers.
This may seem strange. We all know that blogs and whitepapers aren’t usually the best way to reach drivers. However, if done right, you have a real opportunity.
A content strategy gets your content in front of drivers and can improve both your retention and recruiting.
Your Content Strategy
So let’s take a look at how a complete content strategy can help you address the problems you may be having with both recruiting and retention.
You probably already know this. Under the circumstances, many of you have probably been doing a lot of research about what programs have worked well to decrease driver turnover. For those of you that haven’t already blurted out the answer, I’ll go ahead and tell you. It’s respect. Drivers cite respect as one of the most common reasons they jump from fleet to fleet.
Content and Retention
Since we have established that respect is a top reason for high driver turnover rates, you can address this concern with content. First, let’s look at content as a retention tool, then as a recruiting tool.
Blogging to Retain Drivers
For you to begin your foray into content marketing, you should create a blog. Blogs are an easy way to publish your content. There are many free platforms that you can use to host your blog, so don’t worry so much about where you can create one. But the most important feature for you is what you can do with it.
Your blog can be used to address the problem we explored earlier. Because drivers feel disrespected by many non-drivers in fleets, your blog can directly address how drivers are helping your fleet become successful.
For instance, write blog posts that highlight drivers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. You could even just do a simple driver highlight and do write-ups about interesting stories they have. Your blog posts should be designed to help your drivers feel respected, like they matter to your fleet.
Whitepapers to Emphasize Retention
The next part of your content strategy is whitepapers. When you hear “whitepaper” you probably think of some 10 page, B2B marketing research paper, and that is one way whitepapers are used. But your whitepaper should be different. It needs to be suited to your audience.
You’re right in thinking that most of your drivers won’t actually read a 10 page long research paper, even if it is on a topic which directly affects them. A two- to three-page whitepaper is a good place to start.
Topics too should be based around what your audience is most interested in. Use your whitepapers to discuss issues that drivers will find interesting. Try topics like evaluating benefits and signing bonuses, health tips, or how to become an owner-operator. Remember, these whitepapers should be objective and not self-centered.
Newsletters Bring It All Together
Finally, newsletters are the perfect way to round out your content strategy. They can be used to push new content and old content to your drivers. And, because print is still an important medium in the trucking industry, you can publish them in both print and digital formats.
Newsletters can take some time to make, but they don’t have to be a weekly publication. You can make them a monthly publication, and repurpose some of your old blog posts. You might use the driver highlight blog posts or highlight new whitepapers. That way you are driving traffic back to your blog and white papers.
Content and Recruiting
This point is much shorter, I promise. Because you have been using your content as a retention tool, drivers know that you show them respect. You are directly addressing one of the major concerns drivers have. Since you are using your content this way, you should be seeing better retention numbers.
With your retention up, you should also be seeing better recruiting. The secret here is your drivers, who have engaged and converted, are telling other drivers that you respect them. Word-of-mouth marketing is still the strongest marketing medium. And respect is one of those weird qualities that makes other people talk.
Your content should be designed in a way that gets your drivers talking about how great it is to be a driver for your fleet.
Content marketing hasn’t always been considered the best way to recruit drivers. But that is a skewed view of content marketing. If you are using content correctly, then you have a real opportunity to increase both your retention AND your recruiting.