Company: Virtual Job Candy
Marketing Strategist: Lisa Peyton from TMMPDX.COM
Campaign Duration: 6 months, June 2008 – December 31, 2008
Results: 20X increase in web traffic and overall increase in site registrations.
Virtual Job Candy is an online full-service job board for virtual world employers. Virtual world developers such as Kaneva, Vivaty and The Electric Sheep Company were looking to immediately recruit top talent, hoping to draw applications from a highly skilled and in demand workforce. Virtual Job Candy (VJC) needed to fulfill the needs of these employers by locating the right kind of candidate.
The new VJC website was looking to attract job seekers and employers working in the virtual world industry. They needed a way to get the word out when new jobs were posted and to entice new users to register on their website. VJC also wanted to connect with the community on their terms and provide virtual services in a 3D environment utilizing updated tools like virtual interviews and career training.
Due to the technical savvy of the target audience, Social Media and viral marketing was an obvious choice. We knew that employers and candidates alike would be taking part in various online communities and 3D virtual worlds across the web. The plan was twofold: 1) Push job postings and virtual world employer services out to these communities to be consumed by interested users and 2) Attract targeted users to the website by publishing virtual world news and job postings to a blog.
The VJC Blog
The website was built with a WordPress template allowing for search engine optimization and easy content management. The Virtual Jobs Blog was used to publish virtual world news, virtual world jobs, and VJC Press Releases. Each post was referenced dynamically on the VJC home page providing fresh content for returning users.
(Virtual Job Candy Blog front and center in Social Media Marketing Strategy.)
The website’s primary conversion – getting registered users – was placed prominently on the blog’s sidebar along with an RSS feed of the newly posted jobs. Users were encouraged to comment on all of the news items posted and apply for any job she/he might be qualified for.
The blog was optimized to allow search engines such as Google to find and rank every post. After completing keyword research, a short list of relevant phrases were targeted and incorporated into blog posts when appropriate. Terms such as ‘Virtual World Jobs,’ ‘Virtual World Staffing,’ and ‘Virtual Jobs’ were used in both the blog categories and posts in hopes of being listed in the search results for those phrases.
Social Networking Platform- Second Life
Because VJC was offering 3D virtual world services, marketing to those already involved with 3D worlds was an obvious choice. It would be imperative to creatively provide valuable information in order to engage those already participating in virtual worlds. Second Life was the platform of choice as it is currently the largest social networking virtual world with millions of registered users.
The Second Life build consisted of a main reception area with kiosks providing links to the latest job listings and registration information. It also included several interactive interview ‘rooms’ and meeting spaces allowing for employers and candidates to meet virtually. The interview rooms included unconventional areas such as larger than life flower petals and standard office spaces complete with desks and chairs.
(The Second Life VJC build included a main reception area resembling a gingerbread house.)
(More traditional VJC interview room atop the Second Life VJC location.)
(One of VJC’s interview ‘rooms’ included seats atop an oversized flower.)
(Avatar Avarie Parker models VJC virtual T-shirt in Second Life.)
Promoting our Second Life location was a relatively easy task as the virtual world community is inherently playful and naturally curious. We created virtual T-shirts and gave them away in the VJC reception area. We were also featured on a Second Life TV station; SLCN TV. Press play below to view the story by SLCN’s reporter Cybergrrl Oh.
After the initial website launch, it was determined that the campaign needed to be further targeted to tech-savvy job seekers. Twitter was just beginning to take off and its users were known to be highly-skilled creative types, programmers, and technology professionals: just the community VJC was looking for.
(VJC ramped up its campaign by posting all job openings and news items in Twitter.)
We used Twitterfeed to automatically post all of our blog items to our Twitter account. Once the community discovered VJC was posting high-paying jobs all over the country, followers jumped on board and traffic to the VJC website doubled.
Google Analytics was installed with the initial website build, allowing for accurate measurement of traffic data. We were able to track the traffic arriving from Twitter, Google and other search engines. Due to technical limitations, it wasn’t possible to track users who were linking to the site via Second Life. We added a survey element to our registration process asking users how they heard of VJC and relied on that data to determine the number of registrations completed by Second Life users.
- During the 6 month campaign overall, web traffic increased by more than 20 times or 2000%.
- Search engine referrals more than doubled, going from less than 25% in June to over 60% in December.
- Referral traffic from sources other than search engines increased by more than 1000%, with Twitter consistently ranking among those sites sending the most traffic.
- The number of pages indexed by Google, MSN and Yahoo increased by more than 50 times, going from 2 pages in June to over 100 in December.
- The number of pages indexed on the first page of search results for the campaign’s targeted keywords increased from zero in June to over 30 in December.
- By the completion of the campaign, VJC ranked within the top 5 organic listings in Google, MSN and Yahoo for the following keywords: Virtual Job, Virtual Job Board, Post Virtual Jobs, Search Virtual Jobs, Virtual World Careers, Virtual World Jobs and Virtual World Staffing.
- Conversions or user registrations increased by approximately 300% when comparing June and December.
- The vast majority of registered job seekers were being sent from Twitter, Second Life and Google based on our registration survey.
- Revenue from employers posting virtual jobs increased by approximately 100% when comparing June, July and August to November, December and January.
The Virtual Job Candy campaign was a successful test of how effective a blog strategy can be when combined with the power of social media networks like Twitter and Second Life. We were able to increase revenue while at the same time engaging in a powerful dialogue with clients. We were able to tap into the virtual world community by meeting them where they already were and providing valuable information they could access on their own terms.