Making the switch to virtual career fairs is a huge decision many association leaders have to make – especially for associations who have yet to host one or aren’t aware of the best marketing strategies to use to effectively communicate the benefits of a virtual career fair that will help improve attendance.
In order to improve virtual event attendance, you’ll want to have a strong, well-developed marketing plan in place to make sure you are reaching the appropriate audiences and communicating the benefits of attending the career fair in an effective and clear manner.
Here are 5 marketing strategies to use that will help you increase your attendance rates at your virtual career fairs.
- Create Graphics for Your Website
- Promote in Association Newsletters
- Advertise on Social Media
- Share Within Your Online Communities
- Send Targeted Email Invitations
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Create Graphics for Your Website
Your website is one your most valuable marketing assets and is an effective marketing channel to promote your events. Along with your homepage, your career center is one of the two of the most visited pages, so utilizing that space to promote your virtual career fair is a great way to drive more registrations and attendance.
If you have rotating banners on your homepage, adding one for your virtual career fair that will take them directly to the registration page when a website visitor clicks on the banner can be a great way to drive registrations. This helps streamline your registration process and makes it as simple as possible for visitors to engage with your marketing materials. You can also include smaller banners on the sides and footer of your website to stay consistent and give visitors more ways to find the event page.
Consider adding banners to your career center page as your career center and virtual career fair will be working together. There are several places you can display banners on your career center – job seeker dashboard, employer dashboard, footer, career center homepage and on the sides where widgets would appear. Advertising your virtual career fair on your career center will drive large amounts of traffic to your events page that will ultimately lead to more registrations. Especially when you promote your event on both sites, more visitors will search around your career center for open opportunities and create job seeker or employer profiles, which will lead to more career center engagement as well.
Promote Your Career Fair in Association Newsletters
If your association sends out weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly newsletters, include advertisements for your upcoming virtual career fair. Your members already know this newsletter contains the most important information about your association and the industry you serve, making this a great channel for marketing all of your events.
Just like on your website, include an eye-catching graphic that will make your members want to click on the image to find out more about your virtual career fair. Make sure to include direct calls to action that prompt members to register, the date(s) and time of the event, how they can access the virtual career fair, and any other important information they will need to know.
After getting sponsor and exhibitor signups for your virtual career fair, you can include the specific employers that will be exhibiting during the event. Direct members to check out their profiles and the job board for positions they are trying to fill, and ask them to update their resume and job seeker profiles so employers can easily reach out to them in advance for interviews. This will help promote your career fair to members that haven’t registered and give them a hint of what to expect during the event.
Advertise on Social Media
Social media allows you to reach a larger audience in a short period of time – especially if you allow non-members to participate in your career fair. Just like you would promote your career center, create graphics with consistent branding to promote the career fair with a link that takes them to the events page to easily register. Depending on how much time you have available to promote on social media, create a plan or a calendar to keep track of how often you should post about it (generally 2-3 times a week), when to post about it, which channels you are posting on and the kind of messaging you are using in your ads.
Another approach to social media advertising is to create an event page on LinkedIn or Facebook that members and other job seekers in your industry can easily view, find where to go to register and read all the important information about your career fair. Using this approach also allows for more exposure since members can share the event on their profile and tag their peers in the comments section to let them know about it.
Share Within Your Online Community
Your association’s online community is a centralized location for all your members to interact with one another and with your association, which makes it the perfect place to promote a virtual career fair. Since your members within the community are consistently engaging with content posted in the platform, promoting your career fair from within will help draw more attention to it and increase registration numbers.
What also makes an online community an effective marketing tool is that once a post is shared, your members can create conversations about the career fair, ask each other questions, and even speak with staff members to get more details about your virtual career fair. Not only does this method increase registrations, but also strengthens your member community, member retention and overall satisfaction of your membership experience.
Send Targeted Email Invitations
One of the most effective ways to grab the attention of all your registered job seekers and registered employers from your career center is by sending out targeted emails inviting them to attend your virtual career fair. This method is very effective because it is sent directly to their inboxes and creates a more personalized interaction.
In order to maximize your emails reach, make sure to create catchy subject lines that make the receiver want to open your email and learn more about what your career fair has to offer. For example, if you are running a discount on employer packages, mention that in the subject line to create a sense of urgency so they act immediately on the offer.
Within the body of your email, be sure to note the date and time, who will be attending (members, job seekers, hiring employers, etc.), how they can access the virtual career fair (desktop, mobile or both), and where they can go to register for the event. As a quick tip, use calls to action like “Register Today!” hyperlinked to the career fairs landing page so views can easily access the page and quickly register. For an employer targeted email, direct them to your package options page or include a phone number for them to call so they can learn more about your event and easily purchase their employer spot.
Defining and planning your virtual career fair marketing strategy will help your association figure out which methods are most effective in reaching your goals and target audiences, and determine how to improve for future events. All of these strategies can be accomplished with a small budget and don’t require months of preparation for them to be successful, making it easy for associations to quickly pivot to virtual career fairs and continuously improve attendance rates simultaneously.
Ready to make the switch to virtual career fairs? See how Web Scribble’s virtual Career Fairs software can help your association improve attendance and backfill missing non-dues revenue by scheduling a demo today!Posted September 10, 2020, modified September 21, 2020