Whether your firm has already implemented content marketing within your legal marketing strategy or has yet to be convinced of the benefits, you’re bound to have questions. This guide addresses some of the most common legal content marketing questions asked by attorneys today, so you can get the answers you’ve been looking for.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategy focused on crafting and distributing valuable content in order to attract and maintain an audience, and eventually convert audience members into paying clients. Contrary to what you might have heard, legal content marketing doesn’t consist of just blog articles. It also includes white papers, email newsletters, guides, infographics, videos, and e-books, just to mention a few.
Why should my law firm invest in content marketing?
Inbound marketing—marketing that draws visitors in—can be much more effective than outbound marketing tactics (aka interruption marketing) like cold calling.
First, inbound marketing strategies like legal content marketing and social media marketing can be far less expensive than outbound marketing; maintaining a blog costs almost nothing compared to running print or TV ads. Secondly, they can better engage your audiences by earning their trust and providing valuable information that readers actually want, as opposed to aggressively “selling” your services in a way that can turn off potential clients.
Overall, content marketing can:
- Cost less than traditional outbound marketing
- Better engage potential clients
- Increase traffic to your law firm’s website and improve SEO
- Keep current and past clients engaged (and therefore, more likely to become repeat clients or refer your firm to others)
- Promote your brand
- Connect with the right audiences to build warm leads
- Result in high ROI
Okay, I’m sold on content marketing. But should I focus only on that?
Legal content marketing is incredibly important but it shouldn’t be your sole marketing strategy. Rather, it should act as a part of your firm’s comprehensive inbound marketing approach that includes additional elements such as:
- Technical SEO: The SEO to-dos that don’t involve content, like optimizing your page setup for search engine spiders
- Enticing offers or promotions on your website can gather tons of leads
- Social monitoring: Paying attention to what your audience members are saying, what appeals to them, how to best interact with them, and where your law firm is being mentioned on the internet
- Referral marketing
Content marketing ties well into these elements. For instance, you could offer a well-written Bankruptcy Guide or Personal Injury 101 e-book to offer on your website and gather email leads.
Note: The strategies above all fall under inbound marketing. However, you don’t have to completely cut out outbound tactics in favor of inbound ones if you find that an outbound strategy works well for your firm, such as repeatedly running a well-received print ad in a local magazine. Simply balance your outbound marketing with inbound marketing efforts to see the greatest ROI.
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What topics should I write about?
Instead of getting caught up in trying to think of hot new topics, approach the issue in a different way. Ask “What would readers find the most valuable?”
- Is there one specific topic that your clients find particularly confusing or difficult?
- Are there a few questions that you hear over and over again?
- What are your potential clients’ greatest problems?
- What are your potential clients’ biggest obstacles to consulting your firm? For example, a driver slapped with a DUI may not know that they could fight their field sobriety test results. A blog post about this could help readers realize that fact and reach out to you for help.
Don’t put your law firm in the spotlight. Write content that centers on your audience’s biggest problems and questions—you’ll see much better results.
There’s so much content out there that I’m having trouble getting through the noise. How can I make my law firm’s content stand out?
Quality + consistency + promotion = great legal content marketing.
If one of your readers finds a white paper or blog well-written and informative, they’ll not only consider it personally valuable but also share it to their networks as well. That’s the simple secret to making something go viral. Invest time into crafting well-written, high-quality content on a regular basis and people will notice.
Create and distribute material as often as you can (keeping in mind that quality should take priority; it’s better to create two fantastic pieces a month than four mediocre ones that just repeat what everyone else in your niche is saying). You can use a content management plan to stay on track and ensure that you’re spreading content across all avenues, such as scheduling a blog post to go out every week, one white paper a month, and an email newsletter every other week.
After creating content, be sure to let the world know that it’s there. Share on social media and Medium, incentivize email list sign-ups so people can receive material via email, and enable people to receive your content on their RSS feeds. Also, don’t forget to advertise the content on areas of your website aside from the blog page, like the “Recent Blog Posts” section of the James Publishing and Attorney Marketing website.
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