How to Begin a Content Marketing Program Part 1

QUESTION: I want to start on content marketing.  I am keen to use new ways to establish myself as an expert in my field of recruitment.  I am not sure how to get started.  Can you give me a bit of a roadmap, steps 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. in regards to how to get something like this off the ground.  In terms of content I am thinking fortnightly, [for you Americans that means every couple weeks], client emails relating to recruitment insights, current hiring trends, winning best talent, etc.  Thanks so much Mike.  – Caroline, Australia

ANSWER: When you do a content marketing campaign it is really kind of a brand building exercise.  Realize that this is a medium to long-term business development strategy.  I have seen people put out a great article and in the very first week get two or three calls and searches.  That is the exception and not the rule.  The primary strategy with content marketing is long-term nurturing.  The only reason I am telling you that is so if you put out emails and you do not get a response in the first couple issues, you are not disappointed.  It is all part of the process.

What you call your email is important. Never call it a newsletter, no one cares about your news.  Call it a hiring tip sheet or you can tie it into your niche.  So if you are plastics for example, Great Tips on Talent Acquisition in the Plastics Industry.

Keep the articles between 300 to 500 words because you are not going to read as much in an email as you are, for example, if you pick up a magazine. You want the articles to be all encompassing in the attraction of talent.  You can get into management issues.  You can get into leadership issues.  You can get into issues of leading people and the differences between different generations in the workforce.  Talk about how to hire the right way, how to make an offer so that it is accepted by their talent.

I have had people question me – Why would we teach them all our secrets?  Because I know they are not going to implement them.  I give away a ton of free stuff on my free calls and in my articles.  The more stuff I give away, the more people join my programs because I do not put it out there in a step-by-step curriculum. Each step is shared randomly, yet each one on its own has tremendous value.  Otherwise people without not keep coming to the call or reading my articles.

Sending an email every every two weeks is fine, but I would not do it any less than that.  You could even send three emails a month.  Those who send out one per month or even every quarter, have the old traditional newsletter with two articles and three updates.  It is way too long and it does not get read, and it is forgotten.

I have done a ton of research on my own stuff and from other people that do a ton of marketing via email, and here is what they have learned.  Optimal frequency is about three times a month.  Even though I have done the research, I talk to recruiters who, with all due respect, know nothing about email marketing as I did not either when I started – “I feel that is too much.”  I always say – “based on?”  It is how they feel.  Here is what happens.  When you send out email almost every week, probably one in four or five is going to get read.  That is on a good day.  What is going to happen though is they are going to see your name three times a month.  I try to send one email out almost every week.  My open rates are around 15% to 18%.  That means 1 in 5, 1 in 6, or 1 in 7 get opened.  I know I have some fans that open almost all of them and then we have people that never open them for the most part, but the name Mike Gionta is coming through.  The name Mike Gionta is coming through.  When somebody is ready for help to grow their business I am a little bit more top of mind.  Same thing.