A Realistic Content Marketing Strategy for Trucking Companies
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In this episode recorded for the Tenney Group, Blythe Brumleve shares her journey into freight marketing, starting as an executive assistant who was handed the keys to run marketing for a $140 million logistics company. She discusses creating content that solves customer problems, being consistent, and why most companies fail at content marketing. She also gives tips on planning content and talks sports.




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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve: 0:06

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SPI Logistics and I am your host, Blythe Brumleve. Got another special episode for you today, this time in appearance on the Tenney Group podcast, talking about realistic content strategies for trucking companies, overall content marketing strategy in logistics and a little bit of my backstory, in case that is of interest to you. Spoiler alert I spend a lot of time as an executive assistant working for a former truck driver who turned into CEO and owner of the company, who then handed the keys of all of the marketing over to me, and so that is where my freight marketing experience started and has evolved really over the last decade. So this appearance on the Tenney Group podcast was really an enjoyable conversation. They put out some pretty great content and they do it consistently over on their YouTube channel, so be sure to check out the show notes for a link to where you can watch more content that they create, and it's pretty much exactly what you're about to hear in this episode. So hope you enjoy all of that sort of backstory insight. And here is the episode.

Spencer Tenney: 1:15

Welcome to In the Hot Seat with the Tenney Group. I'm Spencer Tenney. It's good to be with you. Is everything logistics, really? Well, we're going to find out from our next guest here in the hot seat. Please welcome Blythe Brumleve, host of the Everything Is Logistics podcast. Blythe welcome.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:34

Thank you so much for having me. It's exciting to be here.

Spencer Tenney: 1:36

Well, I'm excited as well. Before we heat things up a little bit, why don't you just take 30 seconds? You got a lot of stuff cooking right now, but give us a sense of kind of the things that you're working on right now.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:47

So things I'm working on right now is about starting in January of this year, I became a full-time podcaster and it's been something that I have been working towards since 2014. I've been creating content online in some capacities since 2007. So it's been a little bit of a long journey. I guess, you know, for most folks they say it's an overnight thing. Definitely was not for me. Then I also run a business called Digital Dispatch where I help freight companies get online and grow. So those are my main two projects right now.

Spencer Tenney: 2:20

So thank you for that number one. So let's just start with the why. I mean I've seen you in action. Clearly there's a passion for this industry. Where does that come from? You could be doing podcasting in any context. I mean, what is it about the logistics world that has got you so engaged? You know just from how you invest in the space.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:45

So I actually, when I started a blog back in 2007, it was a sports entertainment blog I wanted to teach my girlfriends how to understand the same things that I was really passionate about, so sort of in a selfish way, to teach them about different sporting events and why they're so fun, and also gaming and entertainment Typical things that were thought of. As for the men, I wanted my girlfriends to get involved, and then, shortly thereafter, social media started, and so I kind of found like my group of people, my group of women who enjoyed the same things that I enjoyed, and at that same time, in addition to starting the blog, it was a side hustle. My full-time job was working at a 3PL what's called third party logistics company, and I was the executive assistant, and when my boss, the CEO at the time found out about what I was doing, he said well, why don't you start? You know, handling all of our marketing, handling all of our digital campaigns, things like that, and so it was really like a trial by fire for me to get thrown into the world of logistics marketing. I had no idea what this industry was all about. I just knew I came from a world of waiting tables and I thought I would never get a desk job, I would never want to sit at a computer all day and then sort of fast forward to today, and that's exactly what I do. But it was one of those opportunities where it was, you know, I had learned these different skillsets, such as building websites and creating content and marketing that content out to social media, that my boss knew, you know exactly. He was like we need to have that for our company so you can just, you know, take it over. So it was $140 million a year company and here I was, just you know, given the keys to the entire ship, and so that was how I learned, you know, about the industry. I'm still learning every single day about the industry, and I think that that is what keeps me so hooked in logistics is because there's always a problem to be solved, there's always something new. Every time I learn something new, I realize how much more I still have left to learn, and so for me, that has been, you know, I've always been, you know, lifelong, you know sort of learner and, you know, stay curious, and I think that those are the keys to creating great content and that has served me well and that this industry just keeps providing that to me.

Spencer Tenney: 5:14

Well, we're glad that you're here and you're making an impact, clearly. So let's talk about that kind of where our worlds intersect. Us on the side, you know Tindy Group working with companies to create value to ultimately exit through a sale. You know, as part of that building value process, of course folks have to have some type of coherent brand positioning. You know type, commitment and effort in place. So I'm curious what are you seeing some of the people that you're working? What are they doing to differentiate themselves as it relates to, you know, kind of the way that they approach media, the way that they approach their digital marketing, what are they doing that's different, that you think is ultimately affecting the way that they create value?

Blythe Brumleve: 5:59

So there's a couple of companies that in particular that are creating content really well, because I see it from both sides of the aisle, where you know the overall, honestly, the overwhelming majority of my clients that I manage their websites for because that's essentially the services that I provide for digital dispatch Most of them do not create content. Most of them have tried to create content and if they do try, it's more SEO focused and they have given up, you know, pretty quickly. They don't want to be on camera, they don't want to be in front of a microphone. Covid a little bit changed that and it forced a lot of these companies and a lot of these owners to become the face of their company. And you know they everybody kind of, you know either got a microphone or you got a webcam at some point during you know the lockdowns and working from home, and so that made other companies a little bit more comfortable with creating content and getting themselves out of the comfort zone. A lot of them still don't, but the ones that have started out I'll give you one in particular is BCP Transport. They have a, so they have like a fleet of over 300 drivers and they started Facebook live streaming their driver safety meetings for the drivers that couldn't make it into the office, and so they had a group of drivers that were inside the office, you know, participating in the meeting, and then they would have a group of drivers who were watching on Facebook live. So it started becoming so successful on Facebook that they started making YouTube videos. And then the YouTube video started turning into. Well, let's take an office and let's completely gut it and let's start making content in that office. That same team now has a full service business that is separate from BCP Transport, where they're recruiting drivers, they're retaining drivers through their educational safety driven content. But now, on the flip side, they have found so much success with creating content that they're now starting to offer those services. A trucking company is now starting to offer those content marketing services, you know, to other trucking companies within the space, because not just for the simple fact of, you know, being able to connect with their audience, connect with drivers, you know, current and perspective, but then they're also able to save on insurance premiums. In a world where, you know, a lot of trucking companies are seeing a dramatic increase in their insurance premiums because of the fact that they've preached so much about safety. They saw another premium drop in their insurance costs two or three years in a row now because they have focused so much of their efforts on content, and I think that that is a really important distinction. No-transcript. They're seeing the benefits now, but those benefits weren't evident when they were Facebook live streaming, and so being able to see that growth and that progression has been really inspirational. So there's that you know aspect of it, but you also have to have talent that is able to be on camera and able to be committed to getting the reps and getting better with each and every rep. Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home? Or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the freight agent trenches sponsored by SPI logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves, and what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI. Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI3PLcom.

Spencer Tenney: 9:49

So have you ever had a client? Where you're, you're just like, hey, you have the best idea, but you are not the right person to be on the microphone. How does that conversation go, right? Well, it's typically, they don't want to do it at all.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:06

And I for a while, because when I started, when I started digital dispatch, I started the podcast to promote pretty much a talk to my client base, talk to subject matter experts in order to find out where their struggle points are and where they're finding success. And I started finding success with content. So I would start to preach to them you need to be on camera, you need to be on camera, you need to be on camera, you need to be in the microphone, in front of a microphone, you need to be talking about these things. You need to just take your cell phone and put it up in front of you and record a five minute video. And I think for a lot of them, they get very scared, they get very nervous. They don't. It's a lot of those same common fears. It's the fear of equipment, the fear of perfection, thinking that you have to have everything perfect before you hit publish on something, and so more times than not, a lot of folks just don't create content and they get scared because they're building up all of these things in their head and then they don't actually get to the point where they're hitting publish over and over again, and that's what it takes. So I spent a. Honestly, I spent a long time trying to convince a lot of my clients to get in front of a camera, to get in front of a microphone and take the same emails that they were making and just create a video for them instead. You can do both. It doesn't have to be either or, but the video function still freaks a lot of people out, and they really only have been the one example of BCV transport that has really taken that and run with it. Everybody else has sort of just stayed behind and focused on more of like the SEO focused content where it's like 3,000 words and you just hope that somebody that arrives on your site is going to read all of that and then become a customer. And I think we've just seen a dramatic shift in the way people buy, the way businesses buy and they're not converting, and so maybe some of them are rethinking that. But it really just comes back down to they're just scared to get on camera.

Spencer Tenney: 12:06

No, I think that's really interesting, and you said something in terms of the fear of perfection, which I think that is. I've not really heard that phrase said exactly like that, but that's so interesting because you see a lot of folks that want to do content, but the reason that they won't either because they're uncomfortable, but there's not a definable outcome about what's going to come of this, and so, like you're trying to put real capital behind these types of efforts, of which you don't really know how or when the return is going to be. It's just more of a gut. You feel like this is what we should be doing, and so how do you think about that? You produce an enormous amount of content. Like how do you think about the content that you're producing from a value standpoint versus return on investment? What's your thought process about that?

Blythe Brumleve: 13:03

So my thought process behind content is, I think a lot of businesses mess up in a sense that they're not talking about. They're talking about it from the lens of okay, well, how many leads am I going to get if I make this one video versus? It's the work that you put in consistently on top of each other that builds on each other, that you know will eventually turn into leads. And I think, from a marketing standpoint, you know, I've always marketed myself out of necessity, out of bootstrapping myself. You know I didn't have, you know, the $50,000 that you know to pay a big time marketing agency to handle my content. I didn't have that. So I had to figure it out for myself. And when I first launched the business, you know, focus podcast, I ended up switching the name from digital dispatch to everything is logistics because the podcast kind of took off and but originally that podcast was really meant to connect with my customers to find out what concerns that they were going through right now, so I can anticipate those needs coming down the pipeline. So it wasn't necessarily about getting the big numbers or, you know, getting, you know, 10,000 views on a video. It was what are my customers struggling with? What are my current clients struggling with and how can I create content to help them combat these issues? So then, that way they're not just, you know, a website hosting customer of mine and a maintenance customer of mine, but that they actually see the real value in staying with me long term, because I'm going to be right there in the trenches with you, I'm going to teach you everything that I've learned so far and then, hopefully, you'll be able to pick up on that in the end. Now, as far as like measuring ROI, you know I have systems in place for that now, but I also still, you know, strongly caution. You know any other you know business out there that that's thinking of starting up content. You want to worry about your, your specific target market, and I would always suggest to start with your customers first, because chances are, whatever problems they're dealing with, other customers or other prospects are dealing with those same exact challenges, and if you can come up with solutions to solve those problems, then you can display that and you can showcase it through your content to where, even if only five people watch that Video, those five people have a higher likelihood of being in your target market than if you are to just, you know, cater to the big vanity metrics is what I call them. So if you're trying to get the going viral and getting, you know, 30,000 views on a video, then content is not going to be a right fit for the overwhelming majority of people, because the overwhelming majority of people do not hit those numbers unless you create content on a very consistent basis. So it's setting up, I think, though, those early expectations that you're probably not going to go viral. Your videos are probably going to suck for the first six months, but you got to work past it, and then, once you work past it, then you'll start seeing the benefits of it, and one of the I guess a better comparison that I've heard recently is from Chris Walker from Refined Labs, and he has, you know, a comparison that if you're going to create content, it's like going to the gym. You're not going to be able to attribute you know one bicep curl to you know a future lead that you get down the road. It's a combination of all of those efforts that is going to lead to success later on. That's a great analogy.

Spencer Tenney: 16:27

I like that. So let me pivot a little bit. Blight, let's talk about kind of. You know the evolution of your role as a podcaster. I'm curious like who have you found to be a great resource or source of inspiration? Other podcasters, any industry, who are some folks that you've that you can point to? This is where I grew by paying attention to what they were doing.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:54

So I think Gary Vaynerchuk is probably a given just because he talks about, you know, documenting and you know document don't create, so he's always been one that I look towards. As far as you know, what should, where should I be making moves and where should I be focused on? Other creators that really come to mind, I kind of like a lot of like the raunchy style podcast. So Flagrant 2 has a bunch of comedians on it. I like watching their show a lot. I would also say a lot of. There's a new businesswoman that I've been following. Her name is Cody Sanchez and I've been absolutely obsessed with her and her content and the way that you know she was a former Wall Street, you know advisor and she built up a bunch of companies you know, managing millions of dollars, but now she's transferred that into helping you know smaller business owners do the same thing, and so I found value in a lot of her content as of late and she's kind of been like a you know a new North Star for me. So I kind of switched it up. As far as the programming that I particularly enjoy, because I have a few go-tos in different industries, odd Lots is another one that's specifically for podcasts that comes from Bloomberg, a lot of the freight waves programming I watch a lot of them as well and then a lot of the growth of the independent podcaster just in supply chain and logistics is very dramatic over the last, really since 2020. I remember there was a list of the top 10 podcasts in supply chain and logistics and now there's more than 100 of those podcasts that are listed in that same category. So those are probably both industry in my industry and outside of my industry of shows that I watch and I kind of take inspiration from and kind of pick and choose of not only what they're saying but what they're doing, meaning if, like the Flagrant podcast, for example, they have they upload a full video, they do a full show that's like three hours long, but then they'll take that video and they'll splice it up into 10 to 15 minute long clips and for a lot of people they'll look at a three hour long show and they'll say, absolutely I'm not watching that. But then they watch a couple of the clips and then, because of how good the YouTube algorithm is, they'll end up watching the whole damn show After a little while, just because the algorithm is so good that they sat down. They were not anticipating watching that entire three hour show, because they watched all the clips back to back. You know, that's when they're going to go back and realize that they probably could have just saved a lot more time if they just hit play on that original episode.

Spencer Tenney: 19:37

Well, I think that's good stuff right there, and that's that's. That's a little psychology lesson for those watching as well. So let's talk about what's next, for everything is logistics, and what can we keep our eyes on? What are you working on next?

Blythe Brumleve: 19:51

So what I'm working on next is it sounds. It sounds a little like juvenile, but the first six months of this podcast, it was really one of those moments where it was almost like a startup. It really felt like a startup culture for me where it was OK, who's going to sponsor the podcast? How am I going to justify all of this time? Because it's not just creating content, it's the research involved, it's the editing, it's the distribution, it's the interview booking. It's a whole lot of things that you don't see before. You see, you know, a face on on a camera. So the first six months of the podcast has really been OK. Well, you know what kind of experts can I get on the show and who's going to sponsor. You know, figure out the logistics of that. And then now, with the last six, you know I really took the last few weeks while everybody's kind of traveling and you know everybody's out of kind of the office. I batch some episodes so I could take some, really you know, a few weeks that I could really sit down and think about what I want the next six months to look like. I'm a planner so I would plan, you know, the next four years if I could. But I know in the world of content you can really only plan about six months out. So I'm excited to now, you know, not just take experts on the show and find out about you know their bio and what they've done and how they came to work in the industry and you know what topics they care about but taking a topic that a lot of people care about and then finding that guess that can be that subject matter expert that can talk in depth about that particular topic. So I kind of see it in two ways. I see it as that format and then I have, you know, a set amount I've been doing this for, you know, a few years now that I have a set amount of recurring guess that can be those subject matter experts. So I don't have to kind of run into an issue of you know, is somebody going to freeze up as soon as they, you know, get on camera? Are they going to be able to offer something interesting? And not just, you know, read from you know a script the entire time. So it's figuring out what those nuances look like. And I know that that's probably a long way of saying of, yeah, we're refining some things, but it's more going to be topic driven. Going back to I used to work in a magazine where we would plan out, you know our issues, you know four months in advance, and we would have a central theme around one issue for the month and then we would build the topics around that. That's where I see the podcast going, where I have a central issue with a central topic and then that way I can fit in the subject matter expertise and also the news angles as well, because I think you need to have a multi-pronged approach when you're approaching you know content marketing just in general, so you can have that evergreen content and then also have that news content that you know will blend the audiences together.

Spencer Tenney: 22:38

Well, I think you got it down in Blight. So last question, a little bit of a wild card for you. Now you kind of teased our audience a little bit about some of this sports and entertainment knowledge. So I'm curious, we're coming in. We're at the halfway mark of the baseball season. We got football season right on the horizon. Favorite football player, nfl, favorite baseball player what are we looking at?

Blythe Brumleve: 23:04

Oh, I'm NFL all the way. I used to be such a big baseball fan but I, for whatever reason, covid changed a lot of my sports viewing habits and now I'm pretty much just all football so NFL. Anyone who is within arm's reach of me will know that I'm a Jaguars fan. I end every podcast with the Go Jags. I have an entire. If you were watching on video, I have an entire, just sort of display like owed to the Jaguars. In the background of my videos up above you can't see it, but is a giant Fred Taylor jersey that's game worn and signed. He's a former Jacksonville Jaguar running back. I used to cover the team so for for local sports radio. So I'm I'm a huge fan, born and raised season ticket holder. I go to every single game with my dad for more than 20 years, so I could name a legends Jaguar player. That is my absolute favorite. But present day I have to go with Trevor Lawrence because he's he, along with Doug Peterson. You know you got the anytime. You can have that head coach in Star quarterback combo and you can get that start quarterback on his rookie contract for this first few years and do something decent with the performance of the team, which we did have, you know, last year, made it to the playoffs. Anytime you can have that, that is a very it is very rare in the NFL to have that combo of the head coach and the young quarterback still on his rookie contract. So hopefully we can, you know, make some waves here in in this year and in the coming years of course.

Spencer Tenney: 24:33

And hopefully we'll see Trevor on the everything is logistics podcast very soon. I'm sure we would all enjoy that. That's going to do it for us in the hot site live. Appreciate you being here. We'll see you next time.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:49

I hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everythingislogisticscom. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate and that's digital dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus, freight marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digitaldispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags 7大历.

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.