A virtual career fair will only be as successful as the quality of the candidates who attend. Nowadays, however, time is more precious than ever, so enticing busy professionals to attend a virtual job fair is challenging, no matter how beneficial it may be to them. To find event success, recruiters need to promote their virtual career fairs on the channels where candidates spend time.
Here’s a detailed overview of the 10 best channels to reach candidates and increase attendance at your virtual career fair.
#1 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Search Advertising
At some point during the job search process, a candidate will likely type in a keyword phrase into Google, hit the Search button, and start clicking through a number of links. Surveys have shown that individuals spend about 10 seconds on search pages and in many cases never funnel past the first few search results.1
So appearing on the top of the first search page is key to your virtual career fair promotion strategy. It places information about your virtual job fair in front of those looking for open positions.
This option typically relies on a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising model, which is effective for a couple of reasons. First, you’ll only pay if someone clicks on your ad, meaning the candidate is actively looking for a virtual job fair. Second, you can control your budget in a very precise way — down to the dollar — enabling you to know exactly how much you’ll spend on a campaign.
As you set up your search ads, follow best practices to increase attendance at your virtual career fair. Avoid bidding on keywords that are too broad, as you don’t want your ads reaching the wrong audience. For example, if you’re targeting electrical engineers:
“virtual career fair engineers”
“virtual career fair electrical engineers”
Next, run your ads for a short period and then review what’s working and what isn’t, adjusting them to reach your target audience.
#2 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Sourcing
Sourcing through phone calls is an often untapped marketing channel and one that’s easy to add to your virtual career fair promotion strategy. Good news! Live Recruit has a sourcing team you can immediately access.
Phone interactions offer:
- An easy way to build a connection with candidates and sell them on your employer brand
- An opportunity to promote a virtual job fair while collecting candidate feedback. You can find out what candidates are looking for from your event and how they view your company
- An untapped method for reaching candidates. Because competitors are not utilizing this marketing channel, you’ll have little to no competition while directly engaging with candidates
#3 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Job Board Advertising
The rationale for job board advertising is similar to search: go where the candidates are. They’re looking for jobs, so they’re likely a good fit for a virtual career fair. Some popular sites to help promote a virtual hiring event include Indeed, Dice, Monster, Nexxt, and Zip Recruiter. With the power of job board sites, it’s not surprising that global revenue from online jobs advertising rose by 15% and reached $22 billion in 2019, according to Staffing Industry Analysts.2
Programmatic job advertising is particularly effective. This technique lets you automate the process of posting roles on job boards, allowing you to reach millions of candidates when and where they’re looking for opportunities. The best part? You only pay for applications that you receive from your job ad.
#4 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Display Advertising
Display ads, often called banner ads (because of the long, narrow shape they often take at the top of pages), allow you to reach passive candidates — not just candidates who are actively looking for a role. Using these types of online ads allows you to:
- Build employer brand awareness
- Track which potential candidates are engaging
- Cost-efficiently attract candidates
The results? More candidates attending your events at a lower cost.
When designing your creatives, make sure to use images that are easy to see, in focus, and in full color. Blurry, skewed, or washed out images won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Additionally, keep in mind that there are over 40 display ad formats on the Google network. Include as many as you can in the mix to increase impressions, ensure more candidates view your ads, and see which ones work, enabling you to re-strategize as you go.
Keep in mind that display ads work best using programmatic advertising, a bidding process that occurs as ad space is bought and sold in real time. This method lets you cost-efficiently attract candidates, optimize your promotion efforts, and reach your ideal audience. Live Recruit’s programmatic team will determine which bid factors are improving performance on your campaigns — for example, timing, device type, and ad placement — and then make adjustments accordingly. What does this mean for you? Better ROI on your spend.
#5 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Automated Reminders
No matter how well one sets up their to-do list nowadays, distractions come fast and furious. Automated reminders push virtual career fair event information in front of potential participants. They prod them to register for an event and remind them regularly before the event, so they don’t miss it, increasing attendance at your virtual career fair.
Not sure how to set up these reminders? Not to worry. We’ve got you! When you create a virtual hiring event on Live Recruit, the platform generates automated text, email, and calendar reminders for candidates.
#6 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Paid Social Media
The power of social media is evident in its size; in July 2021, there were 4.48 billion social media users worldwide.3 These sites have become some of the world’s primary content delivery mechanisms, as well as advertising platforms.
Paid social media delivers virtual career fair promotion advertisements or sponsored messages to social users based on their profiles, contact information, and common characteristics. The costs for running ads on social media depend on the network and the pay model you choose. For example, PPC triggers a small charge each time a user clicks on a virtual career fair ad.
As you create your campaigns, keep in mind that social media is a mobile-first experience, so build your ads to look engaging and attractive on a small screen. For example, use bright visuals for static banners to help them stand out. Finally, keep your video ads short, making sure they don’t last more than 15 seconds.
#7 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Organic Social Media
In addition to paid advertising, don’t miss out on a free promotion opportunity. Organic social media takes advantage of the reach you already have to promote your virtual job fair. After all, 67% of active candidates use Facebook regularly.4
Posting on your social channels also shows that your brand is active, an important factor for candidates. In fact, 69% of active candidates are more likely to apply for a job at a company that manages its employer brand.5
In addition to posting regularly from your company account, create a virtual career fair event page on Facebook and then use the site’s promotion tools to increase attendance. Next, come up with a hashtag, making sure to include it when you post about the event. This will help generate buzz and increase the reach of your posts.
#8 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Direct Mail
Direct mail is one of the oldest forms of advertising and involves sending printed materials to candidates through USPS. One advantage of this channel is the dependability, as the materials will almost always reach potential candidates. Additionally, organizations have been using this promotional method for decades, so the best practices are tried and true. It’s no wonder the market is growing. In 2019, U.S. direct mail advertising providers generated a total revenue of $9.9 billion compared to $9.5 billion dollars the previous year.6
At the same time, direct mail likely isn’t a marketing channel that’s used by your competitors, so it’s an area where you can stand out and get noticed by candidates. In fact, 70% of consumers say direct mail feels more personal.7
Make sure any piece of mail you send has a clear CTA. You want job seekers to sign up for your virtual career fair, so everything from the copy to the design should serve that purpose. Additionally, personalize each letter using variable tags, such as the candidate’s first name and the recruiter they’ll meet with if they join the event.
#9 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Email Candidates in Your ATS
One of the quickest ways to promote your hiring event is to reach out to candidates who are already in your ATS. If they’ve applied to your company in the past, they’re already a captive audience. And even if they’re not currently looking for a role, they may know someone who is.
While writing individual emails isn’t possible, you can use your ATS to personalize some of the details, including each candidate’s name, field, and occupation.
#10 Best Way to Promote a Virtual Career Fair: Email Candidates in Your Region or Nationally
Today, more than 4 billion individuals worldwide rely on email to communicate, and the figure is expected to grow to more than 4.5 billion users in 2025.8 Additionally, the total worldwide email traffic, including both business and consumer emails, reached over 319 billion emails per day in 2021, and it’ll grow to over 376 billion emails a day by the end of 2025.9
Email marketing enables you to promote a virtual career event to both candidates in your region and around the country. The latter is particularly important if the jobs you’re hiring for are remote. Keep in mind that successful email campaigns depend on the data you have access to. After all, how can you reach candidates if you don’t have their email address? Fortunately, Live Recruit’s proprietary database will enable you to engage millions of candidates across the country.
When creating promotional emails, make sure the CTAs and important messaging are above the fold. CTAs below the fold won’t be seen by as many as 70% of those who receive the email.10 It’s also best practice to repeat your call-to-action at least twice. Finally, personalize the email by including a variable field with the candidate’s first name. “Hi Amy!” is far more effective than “Dear candidate,”.
Investing in Virtual Career Fair Promotion
Getting attention for online events is challenging because the internet creates so much noise. However, hitting three channels or more in a campaign leads to a 251% increase in engagement over using a single channel.11 The 10 channels above should be part of an omni-channel marketing approach, one where your employer brand engages with candidates on as many touchpoints as possible.
Finding a solution that reaches candidates through all possible channels is worth the investment. The Live Recruit team has 20+ years of event promotion experience and will help you build your virtual career fair and implement a comprehensive promotion strategy.
Considering adding virtual hiring events to your recruitment strategy? Get our FREE whitepaper, The Recruiter’s Complete Guide to Virtual Hiring Events.
- Wylie, A. (2022, January 12). How people read on the web. Wylie Communications, Inc.
- Staffing Industry Analysts (2019, July 4). Online Job Advertising: 2019 Market Update.
- Dean. B. (2021, Sept.1). Social Network Usage & Growth Statistics: How many People Use Social Media in 2021?.
- Chester, S. (2017, September 27). 8 Social Media Statistics you need to know if you’re in Recruitment. Talent Works International.
- Guttman (2021, Jan. 29). Estimated aggregate revenue of direct mail advertising companies in the United States from 2000 to 2019.
- Shepherd, M. (2020, December 16). 12 Direct Mail Statistics You Should Know in 2021 – Fundera Ledger. Fundera.
- How Many Email Users Are There in 2022. (2021, April 13). 99firms.
- Radicati Team (2021, April 26). Email Market 2021- 2025.
- Vaughan, P. (2022, January 5). 17 Email Marketing Best Practices That Actually Drive Results. HubSpot.
- Omnisend. (2020, June 15). Marketing Automation Statistics 2019.