Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Trend Watch

U.S. unemployment rates fall as 2011 ends
This encouraging news for the increasing economic strength of our nation results in a positive outlook for selling the recruitment vertical in classified advertising.

The unemployment rate for the United States has continued to trend downward at the close of 2011. In December the rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest it’s been in nearly four years. Consequently, the number of unemployed person also decreased to 13.1 million U.S. citizens. The unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percent since August. The number of involuntary part-time workers (individuals who are working part-time because they were unable to find a full-time job) has decreased by 371,000 to 8.1 million in December. Furthermore, the long-term unemployed accounts for 42.5 percent of the unemployed. This encouraging news for the increasing economic strength of our nation results in a positive outlook for selling the recruitment vertical in classified advertising. 

There were 1.64 million jobs created from December 2010 to December 2011, which means that there is an increase in potential advertisers. Because of the recent upward shift in possible advertisers, it’s (finally) time to look back at some of the sales industry’s best practices when appealing to new marketers.

Attract advertisers to your print, online or mobile product using specific techniques for each. While appealing to advertisers has always been the primary goal of selling classifieds, appealing to the vertical-specific marketers may be more difficult to accomplish for recruitment than other verticals, like real estate, transportation, pets or garage sales.  

The first step to attracting new advertisers for any media facet is to identify who they are. Employment in the transportation and warehousing industries rose sharply by 50,000 in December, making these industries particularly attractive to target. Also direct your attention to retail, specifically general merchandise stores, clothing and accessories. Manufacturing employment expanded, increasing specifically in transportation equipment, fabricated metals and machinery. Another industry that has seen large gains throughout the year is the mining field, adding 89,000 jobs in the last year. Healthcare also continued to add jobs and employment in hospitals increased by 10,000. Employment in food services and drinking establishments added 230,000 jobs in the last year. And jobs in the professional and business services increased by 42,000 last year. Sporting goods, hobby and book stores all fell last month, so it may be beneficial to skip over those industries when deciding who to prospect.

Next, if you’re looking to enhance your online advertising presence in the recruitment vertical, find the best way to optimize your web page for search engines. SEO was a huge buzzword at industry conferences last year. While it’s important to establish in every vertical, because recruitment advertising has been lacking for a while now, this side of marketing is inevitably weak, so be sure to construct a well-devised optimization plan. Draw interest to the page by including articles relating to the job market both locally and nationally. Work with your editorial team and gather AP articles to make the section complete. Use headlines that are likely to show up on web searches and phrase them to answer industry questions.