Help wanted ads in print newspapers feel like a relic of the past, but there’s still money to be made from publishing ads for job opportunities. Digital publishers are finding that by launching local job boards, they can position themselves as authorities in their markets and also generate new streams of sustainable revenue.
Niche publishers, including city and regional magazines, can’t expect to compete with digital behemoths like Monster.com, Careerbuilder, and Indeed in terms of size or scale, but they can usually compete when they keep a sharp focus on the specific markets they serve.
Consider the health publisher who launches a job board that exclusively posts available positions for physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals. Or, the city magazine that launches a local job board with listings from area businesses.
The more targeted publishers can get when they launch local job boards, the higher the ROI they should expect. This is especially true for digital publishers serving niche markets, like legal professionals or the restaurant industry.
Mediabistro, the digital publisher with resources for media professionals, has managed to turn job listings into a virtual empire. Launched in 1999 as a gathering place for media professionals in New York City, Mediabistro found instant success with its job listings. The website was acquired by WebMediaBrands for more than $20 million in 2007, and its popular jobs board is still going strong with more than 1,700 current listings for opportunities in the marketing, advertising, publishing, sales, PR, digital media, television, and design industries. Job seekers use Mediabistro’s local job board for free, however employers are expected to pay to place their listings on the site. Posting an open position on Mediabistro’s local job board starts at $297 per month.
Because digital publishing is a competitive field, niche publishers are finding that launching local job boards can help them stand out from competitors and solidify their positions as go-to resources within the markets they serve.
If you’re still on the fence about whether launching a local job board would be a smart move for your digital publication, here are three more things to consider:
1. Local job boards generate revenue for publishers.
The primary reason why digital publishers decide to launch job boards is for the monetization opportunities. Larger publishers can charge a premium for businesses to post listings on their directories, but even smaller publishers should expect to generate a profit from their job boards.
We’ve discussed strategies for generating revenue through online directories in previous blog posts, but regardless of how much you decide to charge businesses to include their listings on your local job board — whether it’s $297 per month, like Mediabistro, or completely free — make sure to create add-on opportunities for monetization. For example, the publisher of a city magazine might allow businesses to post job openings for free, but charge $20 per month for enhanced listings with highlighted text or premium website placements. With add-on opportunities, publishers can generate significant revenue without making their job boards feel inaccessible for small businesses and individual job seekers.
2. Job boards drive traffic to the publication.
Any popular online directory, including a job board, will drive search engine traffic. Savvy digital publishers are finding ways to convert visitors who arrive from Google or Bing into regular readers of their publications. This is typically done through retargeting, email marketing, or on-site display ads designed to promote the publication.
Publishers should also encourage visitors to “like” their social media accounts or sign up via email to receive immediate notifications when new job listings are posted. Then, with each update, the publisher can include links to relevant website content that the subscriber might enjoy. Using local job boards to drive search engine traffic will help boost both display advertising and subscription rates.
3. Job boards build authority for digital publishers.
Print publishers who’ve recently gone digital often struggle to make headway in the competitive online environment. Having an online job board gives these publishers a leg up on the competition. People interested in the publisher’s industry or niche have no choice but to come back to the publisher’s job board to see which positions have been listed each day or week. And, as we’ve discussed before, this strategy is even more effective when it’s coupled with an aggressive email marketing campaign. Having a well-trafficked job board can also help the publisher build authority with Google, and it may provide a launching pad for additional monetization tactics, like online courses and reader subscription programs.