As you may have noticed, we’re in the early stages of a presidential election here in the States. And over the coming months, many other races will begin heating up as well.

Politics and candidates aside, have you thought about how this activity could affect your recruitment marketing efforts?

All community colleges should start thinking about this, as these campaigns will absolutely affect you, and here’s how: 

All of these candidates, campaigns, PACs, etc., are going to be spending a record amount of money on advertising. In fact, right now in late 2019, spending by leading presidential candidates is already blowing away spending at the same points in past campaigns. 

No matter where or how you advertise and market your recruitment efforts, Facebook, YouTube, television, etc., no matter what mediums you use, there is going to be increased demand for those ad spots, without an appropriate increase in supply. 

You’re going to be fighting President Trump, Democratic primary contenders and the eventual nominee, PACs, and the warchests of many other races. I don’t know what your recruitment budget is, but I feel confident in saying that it is dwarfed by the massive amounts these groups are going to be spending. 

All of these groups are going to be spending billions to reach many of the same eyeballs that you’re trying to reach to promote your opportunities. A simple understanding of economics and “supply and demand” tells us that this is going to result in higher media costs. 

Plus, not only will costs be higher, but there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to achieve the same amount of impressions and visibility that you typically enjoy. 

So what can you do to prepare?

While there is nothing you can do to reduce the amounts that platforms like Facebook charge you, you can maximize your budget by following these two tactics:

  1. Fall, your main recruitment season of the year, is going to coincide with the home stretch of political campaigns. Get ahead of the higher costs and decreased reach by planning now. Consider starting your recruitment marketing campaigns a bit earlier than normal. 
  2. Invest in quality content. We always talk about featuring great content for your prospective applicants, such as video interviews, success stories, etc., but most recruitment campaigns still lack these crucial elements. Investing in this content will make your recruitment campaigns more effective, which can help offset the upcoming higher ad costs. Plus, you’ll create more opportunities to remain top of mind amid the constant noise. 

This is a complex topic, but I want you thinking about it now instead of being blindsided by higher costs and lower availability in a few months.

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