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On Advertising is the only ad agency in the country that has a specialty in first responder recruiting.  We’re proud of the work we’ve done helping cities, counties, and states keep their citizens safe and secure by recruiting 911 operators, police officers, correctional officers, sheriff’s officers, and many other positions.

When engaged in law enforcement recruiting we prefer to take a comprehensive approach to media buying when the budget allows.  This means we like to find exciting candidates for our clients with TV commercials, billboards, radio ads, organic and paid social media, digital display ads, and more.  In this article, we’d like to share with you some of our thoughts about how to be effective with digital ads.

One of the most exciting things digital advertising offers is advanced targeting.  In the case of Facebook, we have lots of data about users that is collected by the platform as users complete their profile, like pages, share posts, and browse the internet.  Here are some of our targeting strategies:

  • The first thing we like to target is age.  Some positions tend to be more attractive to recent graduates while others are targeted at industry veterans.  Age is an easy way to reduce waste and make sure that the people who see the ad are inclined to be interested in the position.
  • Another thing we do is target by gender.  The purpose of this targeting is not to exclude one gender or another, but rather to show customized creative designed to resonate more strongly with each gender.  For example, women are more likely to apply for a police officer position if a woman is pictured in the recruitment ad.
  • Another thing we target by is location.  Many of the jobs we recruit for are attractive to people who already live in the area, while others may entice people to move from far away locales.
  • We can also target by educational attainment.  Some positions require a degree or even an advanced degree, while others are open to people with only a high school diploma or GED.
  • Lastly, we target new recruits based on their interests.  This can get very creative.  We can target people based on the TV shows they like, the celebrities they follow, and other pages they have liked.  In the case of law enforcement positions, we are able to target people who have shown an interest in pages or content that shares law enforcement news and support of the law enforcement community.   These people have a high likelihood of being aspiring officers or existing officers who may be interested in moving departments.

Digital display advertising is very similar to Facebook advertising, but the ads live on news sites, blogs, and other content rather than on Facebook.  Also, instead of targeting people based on their self-described profile data and page likes, data is determined by the users browsing habits.  In addition to age group and gender, digital display advertising offers the following strategies:

  • Targeting people by the kind of content they are reading allows us to give people a recruitment message when they are most likely to be thinking about a job in the field.  This is much more effective than messaging people when they are trying to look at pictures of their friends.
  • Targeting people by their content browsing history allows us to seek candidates who haven’t just said that they’re interested in the field, but show it by the kinds of articles and news they read online.
  • Many cities and states struggle to recruit a representative sample of minorities.  Demographic targeting allows us to intentionally seek out these audiences with creative that is specifically designed to resonate with their unique perspectives.

By combining these strategies in novel ways for each client, we’re able to achieve results that exceed all expectations.

As we target new hires we always consider equal opportunity employment law and make sure to never put our clients in danger of a violation.

If you’d like to find out more about our digital targeting capabilities or our first responder recruiting programs, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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