In 2013 eHarmony announced they would diversify and move into the online recruitment space.
In April 2016 eHarmony finally launched Elevated Careers. In dating terms if someone said they’d call and then phoned you 3 years later it’s probably not a great sign.
Elevated Careers pulls content from Simply Hired (an unfortunate partner to pick given the news?) to match against candidates searching for their perfect job. Best of luck to eHarmony, it can’t have been an easy development over 3 years and now there’s an even more significant challenge on their hands to gain an audience.
Growing and retaining traffic to your website is one of the most competitive and difficult tasks, even for established brands. This is highlighted by the number of companies you see diversify into areas such as online recruitment and struggle initially to convince their audience to consider them in this new space.
Of course, having an audience to begin with means you start with an advantage, but occasionally brands underestimate the work it takes to migrate an existing user base into a new proposition.
75% of job board traffic lands on specific pages around a job, search page or article.
Even popular job boards see a relatively low percentage of traffic landing on their home page, as audiences will only listen if you say something of relevance to them. Simply promoting that you have launched a job board won't give you a good response.
Audiences also tend to be fickle, a user may come and read an article of interest, but getting them to stay on the site requires work. Getting them to change their mindset from one thing, such as reading content, and do something else, such as look for a job or a date, requires even more work.
To effectively promote new or additional services your users need to be coaxed and educated about your offering. It's perfectly possible to do this and there are countless successful case studies.
Understanding what your audience will respond to will help. There are three areas to investigate which can be highly effective in this area.
1) Content Type:
Consider the way people consume information as not too dissimilar from the way they consume food. It is normal to only have a few main meals a day, but you might snack a lot between them.
Long form articles or academic papers are like the main meals of a day. These are chunky pieces of content that your audience will need time to digest. They might be at home on the sofa or at their desk during lunch, but it’s unlikely they’ll be doing this type of concentrated consumption all day.
Smaller headline output, such as tweets, are quicker transactional snacks that don’t need a lot of time to consider. People may view them on the way to work or glance at them between meetings. It happens more frequently and sometimes can be a hook to reading a full article later.
If you want to stretch the analogy further then Facebook and blog posts are somewhere in the middle – maybe like a slice of cake as they take a bit of time to read but aren’t a full meal.
The type of content you output is important as users may turn down a big meal if they don’t have time, or you’ll miss the opportunity to engage with them if you offer just a snack when they want much more. You can classify your content in three categories of heavy, medium and light.
Content campaigns can be broken down into these types. For example, a white paper designed for lead generation could be a heavy piece of content with a selection of timed lightweight headline stats around it.
There's no one right answer to the way content is marketed. A job alert might be effective as a lightweight tweet of title, location, company and salary, but equally it could be a sponsored content article around the company. Arguably you could apply that to job applications, but we'll discuss that approach in another post.
By understanding the content type and campaign objective you can decide upon the best medium to release your content to gain the highest response.
2) Release Timing:
The release time of content will impact the success of the campaign. In certain cases it can be useful to map out a user’s behaviour and routine in order to understand and coordinate what information they’d be willing to receive at different times of the month, week, day.
For example, an engineer working nights on an oilrig may be up at 10pm and working until 4am, then have a break to go online and catch up with life. It could be a great opportunity to send them the latest content at 3:30am so it’s ready for their wind down.
This is different to a project manager who’s checking Twitter briefly at 9:15am, after doing the school run in the morning, and looking for a new part time job.
The best time to entice users to create Job Alerts is early morning or evening.
The topic of good timing illustrates why benchmarking should only ever be used as a guide. Tuesday is the best day for job applications, but it doesn’t mean that Tuesday is the best day for your particular audience or industry.
How far you take this is up for discussion. You could go down the route of having a totally personalised timing for each individual, but this has it’s own set of disadvantages, or you decide an average ‘brand user’ and set your content output around that average.
3) Audience Interests:
This may seem an obvious point but many organisations are not yet focusing on individual's interests within a niche audience. Perhaps this is down to the fact brands are often viewed as ‘generalist’ or ‘niche’, but in reality both types will have an audience with a wide range of different interests.
It’s easy to demonstrate this in the online recruitment industry. You may have two accountants but their location preferences, contract type and salary expectations may be completely different. If you don’t communicate the correct information to them they will lose interest and eventually the trust that you provide a good service.
The average application rate for traffic from Job Alerts is 16% compared with 42% for targeted job mails.
Tailoring the output of interests might be as simple as changing the email subject in a newsletter to highlight particular areas of content, altering the jobs shown within an alert or offering different Twitter accounts to follow based around particular subsets of your categories.
In the education space understanding users can be an effective way of generating course leads. Your system might look at a user's existing qualifications or job titles to determine courses to send through to them.
Interestingly, as I write this LinkedIn are targeting me with a part time MBA offer, but my profile on here shows I've only recently completed an MBA. That's an example of a really bad user targeting - I'm certainly not going through that again!
Understanding the Audience Interests, Release Timing & Content Type in your marketing campaigns can help you run a really successful engagement campaign. These can be around recruitment, courses or content and used to help educate your community to begin to see your brand beyond the existing relationship.
According to SimilarWeb.com eHarmony received 7,900,000 million visits in April, while their recruitment offering received 75,000. I suspect these figures aren’t totally accurate but they are possibly indicative of the challenge faced in establishing the new job board in a competitive marketplace.
For eHarmony their jobseeker success will come down to understanding their audience and good marketing, not a million miles away from dating in that respect.
If you’d like to discuss your own audience and techniques of interacting with them then please get in touch.