Beware of Companies Selling You “Impressions” to Fill Your Jobs

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Developmental disabilities providers are desperate to find Direct Support Professionals to help those under their care. Sellers of radio or TV ads, billboards, and website banner ads all tout the same thing—plenty of eyeballs (or impressions).

If more people see your job posting for caregivers, the more applicants you should get, right? That may sound good, but it’s not that easy.

Let’s look at some of these “high-traffic” options.

Radio or TV ads

Radio and TV ads are expensive and hit or miss in reaching your ideal audience. With DVRs and streaming services, we fast-forward past the commercials. Radio now has to compete with smartphones and commercial-free satellite radio. The most-listened-to ads occur during the morning and afternoon commute times. Ad costs are usually much higher for these times. You also have to deal with “which channels/stations” will reach my ideal candidates.

Billboards

One of our DD clients was approached by a billboard seller who talked about how many cars drive by their digital billboards daily. These billboards rotate ads regularly—meaning your potential employee has to:

  1. see your ad at the precise instant it’s displayed
  2. be genuinely interested in a position from the limited info on a billboard
  3. can memorize or write down the info (without getting into a fender bender)

Internet Banner Ads

Online newspapers and other media channels are pushing these heavily. They’ll talk about their audience of “thousands” of daily visitors and may even suggest that those ads will be seen elsewhere (more about that in a future post).

The challenge with newspaper sites is declining readership, particularly among the age groups most target for DSPs. There may not be any geographic limit either (I still read the sports pages from where I lived five years ago).

What Do All of These Options Have in Common?

You end up paying for “impressions” or views of ads without knowing if they even reach your ideal DSP candidate. An impression may be recorded even if no one can see the ad without scrolling! All tend to be expensive, and there will be pressure to lock you into an annual contract.

We have no preferred advertising media for DD providers. If you’re succeeding with one of these high-impression media channels, fantastic (and please let us know). We have little faith in those options, but if you’re considering one, here’s our suggestion.

Questions to Ask the Sales Reps

  • How are you helping us reach a specific audience(s)? We’re not trying to hire 100,000 people. We need to fill X job openings.
  • What’s the average click-thru rate? How many of those clicks are intentional? (FYI, on phones, 50-70% of banner ad clicks are accidental.)
  • How long is the contract?
  • Can I cancel the contract if we don’t see the results we want?
  • Will we have a monthly meeting or phone conversation with you to discuss adjustments?
  • What happens when we stop advertising?
  • What do you mean when you say you’ll “optimize” the ads?

In Closing

We know you’re anxious to get more caregivers and probably need to explore advertising options you haven’t used before. But do not be sold by promises of “your ad will be seen by 100,000 or more people each month.” Those views come at a high cost without any guarantee that you’ll attract great DSPs.


Blitz Media Design helps DD nonprofits save money and get their time back by attracting and retaining more DSPs with simple web tools and process consulting.

Written by Craig de Fasselle

May 18th, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Posted in DD,Nonprofit

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