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Digital Playbook For Trucking Schools And Carriers, Part III

chalk drawing of an advertising playbook

In February of 2020, Avatar Fleet president Scott Rea presented at the 5th annual Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Conference. Rea’s presentation focused on the driver problem and what organizations can do to find more quality drivers. As one of many solutions, he advocates for a better marriage between trucking schools and carriers. Specifically, he discussed how schools and carriers can improve their digital marketing efforts in order to attract better candidates.

In our first two articles on this topic, we discussed how you can attract better candidates by standing out from your competition. To stand out from your competition, you need a unique driver brand and pitch. We also discussed the importance of using driver personas to improve your pitch. With driver personas, you can figure out why a candidate would choose you over your competitors and thus, you can create your pitch. Now that you have your pitch, we’ll show you how to get the most bang for your buck in your next digital marketing campaign.

Why Digital Marketing is so Valuable

To learn more about staying competitive in digital marketing, we need to turn to the professional baseball team the Oakland Athletics and the story of Moneyball. The Oakland Athletics historically have hundreds of millions of dollars less in payroll than teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers. It’s nearly impossible to compete with that, yet the Athletics are always vying for a playoff position. That’s because they look at different stats that other teams aren’t looking at and find undervalued players.

The Oakland Athletics succeed by getting the highest return on investment possible. Like the Oakland Athletics, you need to find what other people are missing out on. Seek out undervalued recruiting avenues to stay competitive in recruiting drivers. 

You’re in Competition With Everyone

In driver marketing, everyone is your competition. We often hear small- to mid-size haulers say they’re not in competition with the big players like JB Hunter, Schneider, or Werner when it comes to recruiting drivers. Are you on Facebook? Indeed? Jobs in Trucks? If you are, then you’re in competition with them. They drive-up the cost per click for ads with their million dollar recruiting budgets.

If you want to survive, you have to figure out a way to compete with them. Think like the Oakland Athletics. Through keyword research, find what driver candidates are searching. Pick five keywords that are lower cost-per-click and apply directly to your business. Dominate them. You can’t go head-to-head with the biggest companies out there, but if you find the undervalued keywords, you can succeed.

Choosing The Right Platform

Once you figure out what your five keywords are, you need to determine where you’ll advertise. Not all platforms are valuable, and not all of them withstand the test of time. Facebook and YouTube are good places to start. Facebook is still the most-used social media platform and YouTube is the world’s second most popular search engine. They have the eyeballs.

Creating Effective Ads

You have your five keywords. You have your two starting platforms selected. Now you’re finally ready to create your ad for your digital marketing campaign. When it comes to creating effective ads, there are two things to keep in mind: video and “safety”.


It’s crucial that you utilize video in your ads. Neuromarketing has taught us that video is the most effective way to move somebody to make a change. Video’s impact is apparent in landing pages, where landing pages with video convert 80% more leads than those with just text.


Simply put, it’s scary to switch jobs. There’s a lot of risk involved. That risk is amplified when it comes to CDL schools. In your case, you need to convince someone to make a career change. Your ad should focus on your organization being a safe choice, despite the risk. Think about the top three barriers that would prevent someone from joining your organization. What can you do to take those three barriers off the table? Put that in your marketing material. 

You Have The Playbook. It’s Time to Make The Play

Over the last several weeks, we’ve shown you our digital marketing playbook. If you’ve followed along and put to use what we’ve shown you, you should have a driver brand that shows why you’re special, driver personas to tell you who your audience is, and a pitch based on those driver personas. Now, you’ll have an ad, keywords, and your platforms to go along with it.

In today’s driver market, with the entire country sunk into the driver problem, an effective digital marketing campaign is no longer an option. It’s an essential part of success. To stay relevant and have a shot at hiring all-stars, you need to start implementing your digital marketing campaign today. Questions? Concerns? Still confused on how to start? Contact us. We’re here to help you along the way.

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