Recently, I was driving to Delaware and noticed a billboard on the side of the road.
Let’s talk about recruiting employees with billboards…
The cost of a billboard can vary dramatically based on how long you’re running it, the geographic location of your billboard, and the location of specifically where you’re running it within a particular geographic area. High traffic areas obviously cost more.
From some cursory research on the subject, we found pricing from $2,000 – $25,000 for 4 weeks of a billboard.
For the sake of this article, let’s just average everything to $5,000 for a billboard for 4 weeks.
When considering a spend of $5,000 for 4 weeks, a business must consider the alternatives, before committing to a particular strategy.
In the case of using billboards for recruiting, it’s worth examining the value of this strategy against other options, and also thinking about how to most effectively deploy this strategy should you choose to go this route.
Let’s consider the best case scenario
Let’s say that you are hiring a large number of workers for a highly attractive job with a low barrier to entry. That means, lots of people would want this job and it would be easy to get. Assuming you could rent a billboard in a high traffic area, where a high concentration of job seekers might pass by, you might be able to justify such your investment in exchange for the substantial number of impressions.
If you were presented with this dream scenario, you would still need to compare it against other options. For the sake of this argument, let’s look at one single alternative: Facebook Ads, specifically Page Post Engagement Ads
Key Considerations (Billboards)
- A billboard is among the least targeted forms of impression based advertising. Unless the billboard is placed directly on the pathway to a singular location, the population passing by can be considered random.
- A billboard is often viewed while someone is driving, though there are exceptions. This means that the viewer of the advertisement, cannot easily write down a phone number, web address, hashtag or other information.
- The impressions generated by a billboard are at best, loosely estimated.
Key Considerations (Facebook Ads)
- Facebook Ads are highly targeted, giving businesses the ability to serve ads to people based on demographics, location, interests, and much more.
- Facebook Ads are often viewed by people sitting at their desktop computer or on their mobile phones. Ads, posts, and links can all be easily saved within Facebook or using third party applications and bookmarking services.
- Facebook Ads are highly measurable and can even be used to track conversion rates and cost per result.
In both cases, you would be able to serve a large number of people an advertisement. In both cases, using this specific Facebook ad unit, you’d be measuring success with an impression based model. In the case of the billboard you would be estimating the number of impressions, but there is no way to know who actually looked at the billboard, and who was intently focused on the road, or distracted in some other way. By contrast, Facebook would tell you exactly the number of people who the ad was served to (reach), how many times it was served among all of those people (impressions), how many people clicked or who watched the video (and by what time and percentage, 3 sec, 10 sec, 25%, 50%, 75%, 95%, or 100%)
Additionally, the Facebook Ad could be served to 25-35 year old men, who like the Philadelphia Flyers, have a college degree, and live within 10 miles of the job you’re advertising. The billboard was served to “anyone that drove past exit 28 on i-95 in November.”
Which one sounds like the better option to find who you’re looking for?
So, we should never use billboards, right?
Well, not so fast. Billboards still exist, and there’s a reason why I didn’t feel the need to explain to you, the reader, what a billboard is. The fact is, billboard visibility can still be a useful tool in the arsenal.
So, if you’re going to use billboards, for recruiting or anything else, here are some thing to keep in mind.
Key Considerations for using Billboards effectively
If you’re going to use a billboard in 2017 or beyond, for God’s sake take it to the next level because otherwise, you’re just wasting money.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
- Make it easy to remember
- Point it somewhere you can independently measure and connect
- Don’t stop the conversation at the billboard
Make it easy to remember
People going by billboards aren’t driving around looking for billboards. They are not tuned in to that mindset. So unlike on the internet, where people’s attention is tuned to information and entertainment gathering, billboards are a fleeting impression. It’s essential to capture their attention with something short, sweet, and memorable.
For recruiting I’d suggest”
Work in Construction?
BuilderPHL.com | 800-BUILDPH
The key is that is has to be something you can read in 3 seconds and remember.
Measure and Connect
You need to independently track the effectiveness of your billboard. Don’t just drive people to your website homepage or put your main phone number, because all you are doing is losing the impact of the billboard into the general inbox. Find a way to track it such as setting up a unique phone number or a unique landing page. On that unique landing page, make it easy to get in touch with you, or at least easy to capture information from the website visitor.
Continue the conversation
When you drive people to a landing page, you’ll want to capture information from the visitor so that you can continue to engage them. This means capturing email addresses so you can launch a drip campaign, or getting people to send you a Facebook message or Tweet so that you can initiate a conversation. You’ll also want to have retargeting codes on the site, so that those that don’t convert, can be retargeted with social and search ads. Once the pixel is added you’ll also then be able to create lookalike audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so that you can serve ads to people similar to those that visited the landing page from the billboard.
Bottom Line: Should you use Billboards to Recruit Employees?
That’s a great question, let me see if I can answer it…
Oh my god no, please do not!
The truth is, unless you have a stack of cash just laying around, or you have one of the few target job candidates that does not use the internet, a billboard for recruiting is your way of saying that you do not care about your budget, or being targeted in your search.
A much better approach is this:
Use video to tell the story of your company, and use social ads to get in fron of would-be candidates to give them a glimpse into your culture.
Create a landing page that provides tons of information about what it’s like to work at the company, what the benefits are, and why someone should want to work there.
Make it easy for people to apply and reduce the barriers to starting a dialogue by offering email addresses or instant chats.
Then utilize the various online advertising options to put your content and available positions in front of the EXACT right people and drive them to your landing page.
Continually measure the results of your ad campaigns to see what content and messaging drives the best applicants and what targeting produces the lowest cost per acquisition.
Continually, refine the copy and content on the landing page to gradually increase the conversion rate of page visitors vs applications submitted.
Yeah…I think that sounds like a better approach. But, if you must use a billboard to recruit, please use the tips listed above.