Bison Transport: Driver Recruiting Best Practices

This is the final installment of a 3-Part Series: Recap of the TMSA Connections Seminar in early October in Chicago.

More and more, driver recruiting and engagement is becoming a priority for marketing and communications professionals in transportation and logistics – particularly with the every-challenging driver shortage. More than 40 marketing and sales professionals in transportation and logistics pre-registered for the TMSA Connections Seminar recently held in Chicago. The group learned about some of the best practices in driver recruiting from Lionel Johnston, Corporate Marketing Manager with Bison Transport, one of the largest carriers in Canada. Johnston also is Chair of TMSA’s Communications Committee. 

According to Johnston, Bison Transport embraced the digital world starting in 2012 by implementing content marketing and making a heavy investment in social media and pay-per-click advertising. He defined content marketing as a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.

More recently, in January 2016 Bison Transport has enhanced its content market strategy by leveraging technology to deliver personalized experience through automation, helping to ensure they had the right message, at the right time, to the right person.

“Our number one objective is to build an audience of people who are interested in engaging with us and they have provided their name and email and subscribed to our marketing communication,” says Johnston. “We are solely ‘permission-based’ marketers, meaning we NEVER buy names or lists, and our audiences have all explicitly subscribed. All of our marketing is directed and driving email subscriptions and engagement. Once we have a subscriber we can then segment and target them, which ultimately improves the users’ experience.”

Johnston and his marketing team have created promotions, contests, and have created relevant assets and landing pages (such as an extensive guide on “How to Choose a Carrier to Driver For”). During the seminar, he shared the marketing mix they use in driver recruiting:
Google AdWords has been Bison’s largest digital ad channel since 2012. In fact, Bison has approximately 10 active campaigns going at once, and total traffic generated clearly tracks with our PPC investment.

Facebook is by far the best channel for recruiting due to being able to follow a company, interact and send direct messages. Bison uses “Direct messages” to directly relate to its overall ad spend, and uses “page like” ads, “boosted posts” and “sponsored ads.” Bison’s budget is split between audience building (brand awareness) and conversions (applications, quote requests, etc.)

YouTube also is valuable as it is where Bison’s video content is hosted. This enables us to share our story and engage with and build an audience.
Instagram is interesting as the content is very raw but we have slowly gained a solid following.

LinkedIn helps us build our employment brand and connect with potential non-driving hires.

However, Twitter has not provided much value but it is a good channel to keep connected with industry and broadcast updates.

A copy of Johnston’s full presentation is available to all TMSA members in the Members Only section of www.TMSAtoday.org. Questions about membership? Contact TMSA Headquarters at 952-466-6270 x208.

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