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4 Quick Takeaways from a Recent Report on User Behavior in Digital Advertisements

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We often joke at the Haley Marketing Group that social media changes by the month, week or even by the day. (Seriously, if you login to your favorite social media application, you probably notice something different by the week.)

That is a challenge but it’s also exciting. New features become available. With new features, we can connect with social media users in different fashions and different capacities.

Recently, Merkle released its Digital Marketing Report for Q2 2018 and there were a number of awesome takeaways about the changing behavior of social media users with advertisements – in the past year and in the past quarter. Some of the 30 takeaways deal with e-commerce, but a lot of them are applicable to all digital marketing and to the staffing industry.

Why is this important? These trends tell us where people are spending their time. We need to go where people are spending their time and take advantage of that attention.

Instagram and YouTube Are Growing Faster Than Other Platforms

Website visitors from YouTube increased by 300 percent in Q2 2018 when compared to last year and Instagram was at 236 percent – both enormous numbers. We often forget (guilty as charged) about YouTube as a social media platform, but it is the second-biggest search engine in the world. YouTube has enormous value to showcase employer branding and build your company image. It also attracts across wide demographics as a Pew Study from earlier in 2018 had YouTube as the most visited social platform.

If I had to choose a “hot” social media application, it would be Instagram. Yes, it’s been around since 2010 and was acquired by Facebook about 18 months after in April 2012, but engagement and usage of Instagram feels very popular right now. (That same Pew study showed 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds use Instagram.)

Use Instagram to build your company brand. Showcase top employees. Highlight birthdays. Take pictures at the company picnic. The younger demographic wants to work at a “cool” employer. Instagram is the perfect social media application to do just that. (Don’t take your jobs and post them on Instagram – people aren’t going to Instagram to fill out a job application.)

That DOESN’T Mean Ignore Facebook

Click-thru-rates on Facebook ads increased by 44 percent in the past year. (click-thru-rate, or CTR, is taking the number of impressions of your ads and dividing it by the number of clicks)

The report explains this could be a direct increase from fewer updates from publishers and brands appearing in the Facebook Newsfeed due to the update in January 2018.

What does that mean for your staffing agency? Keep posting on Facebook but also take your best content and put advertising behind it. If more people are clicking on the ads, then we need to go where people are clicking.

Mobile First or Mobile Only?

This stat was absolutely shocking to me: 92 percent of all clicks from Facebook ads came from a mobile device. 92 percent!

This might be the most important takeaway of the entire report for the staffing industry. Why? We have to think about every step of the recruiting process for job seekers. If they are spending all of their time on mobile devices, that is extremely important.

If your job seeker comes across your job posting on Facebook, what are they experiencing when they get to your job board? Is everything mobile friendly? Is it quick to fill out? Do you require a resume? (Who has a resume on their mobile device?)

People Are Also Searching on Google on Their Phones

It’s not just Facebook that is driving a lot of traffic from mobile devices. The final takeaway is that mobile devices produced 55 percent of organic search visits.

When people are searching on Google, they are conducting those searches on their mobile devices and want an immediate answer. For your staffing agency, what shows up in Google search results for your company? Is it enticing copy that will get people to click? Does it answer their question? Will your content answer their question?

We conduct Google searches with a specific intent in mind. We want instant results. How does your content and website answer that question?

How Do We Keep Up?

Yes, it’s tough. But there are some tried-and-true strategies that work.

  • Produce good content – that will always drive engagement. Job postings, blog content, infographics, videos, etc. Create the content your audience wants, not what you want.
  • Go where people are spending their time – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google.
  • Think mobile – the amount of time we spend on mobile devices isn’t decreasing. Every part of your recruitment marketing needs to be mobile optimized.

Create a plan for your online marketing with those three principles in mind. Monitor the latest changes and behavior patterns of users. It’s not going to slow down, and if we don’t look around every once in awhile, it’s going to pass us by.


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