Content is king. We’ve been hearing it for years. But what, exactly, is content marketing and how does your law firm “buy in” and create a content marketing strategy that meets your goals, builds your brand, attracts new clients, and grows revenue?
What is content marketing for law firms?
Content marketing is a well thought out strategy to attract, engage, and ultimately convert your target audience into new clients through content that your firm creates and publishes. Content marketing is about connecting with your ideal client without selling. You no longer push or pitch information about your law firm and its services. It’s about delivering valuable information, knowledge, news, and relevant insights to raise your firm’s profile and help prospective clients make a better, informed decision when choosing a law firm.
It’s important to remember that over 80% of people seeking legal advice use the internet first to find answers. This is where your marketing begins and can prove invaluable. Consistently publishing engaging, relevant, and valuable content that helps your target audience solve their most pressing problems and concerns, attracts potential clients like a magnet and builds trust and credibility.
How does your law firm develop a successful content marketing strategy?
1. Document your content marketing strategy: Creating an effective content marketing strategy begins with defining your goals. To make sure everyone in the firm is on board with the same objectives, start off by answering the following questions.
- Who is our target audience and best potential clients?
- What are the deliverables that will be most valuable to this audience?
- What is the desired outcome and marketing goals we wish to meet?
The answers to these three questions will serve as a guide and will keep everyone in the firm on track, using a single voice, to meet the firm’s objectives. An effective content marketing strategy will define and document your key objectives, target audience, content topics and types of content to be created, your publishing schedule, the content promotion plan, and most importantly, the metrics you’ll use to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Without a solid strategy in place that clearly defines your marketing goals, you’re unlikely to know if the content created is effective and delivering value (new clients) to your law firm.
2. Build out your buyer personas: A buyer persona is a composite sketch of a type of client and will help you visualize your ideal clients’ pain points, needs, and how your law firm can help them. Each fully realized persona will help you create content to engage a potential client with the appropriate information that they’re seeking. To get started, think about your firm’s ideal clients and answer the following questions. Your goal is to flesh out a strong understanding of who each persona is and their content needs and preferences. Once you’ve developed that understanding your firm can effectively create the right kinds of content and publish it in the places that each of your personas is looking for information.
- Demographic information…how old is your target audience, what salary range, married or single, where do they live, own or rent, what hobbies do they participate in, etc.?
- Where do they get their information and who influences your ideal clients’ content consumption?
- What legal topics are they interested in reading and learning about?
- How often are they looking online for relevant information?
- What are these potential clients’ challenges and pain points?
- What kind of legal help do they need?
- What latest trends or news will affect your target audience?
- What content formats interest them…blogs, videos, eBooks, infographics, etc.?
- What platforms do they use to get online information…Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, forums, legal sites, etc.?
3. Keep it simple and lead but don’t sell: Your goal is to publish engaging, relevant information that your target audiences will find valuable. Write in a friendly manner and remember, your potential clients probably didn’t go to law school, so don’t throw a legal term paper at them. Lose the jargon and “industry speak” and write with your ideal clients in mind. You don’t want to talk “at” them. You want to begin a dialogue that builds trust and credibility. The very best legal content takes a complex topic and simplifies it so that it engages. Your goal is to balance a professional tone with approachable content. Use humor and examples to help get your points across as you explain a complex issue.
Even though it’s very tempting to promote your law firm and its services in your content, that’s not what content marketing is all about. Your goal is attracting new clients with relevant and valuable information that speaks to their current needs, not pitching or pushing your services at them. Once you understand your personas, it will be easy to address their issues with actionable content…things like checklists, an infographic, or additional downloadable content. Your goal is to be a trusted resource. When you offer meaningful content that speaks to your prospective clients, the advertising will take care of itself through the expertise and knowledge that you share with them.
4. Measure, analyze, tweak, and repeat: How successful is your content marketing strategy? As you’ll remember, the first thing we talked about was setting goals and measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns. It’s important to analyze and track your metrics on a regular basis so that you can identify what’s working well, where you’re succeeding, and areas that need improvement. Your metrics should include items such as:
- The number of page views
- Where your visitors are coming from
- Website visits
- What devices your visitors use (desktop, mobile, tablet)
- Social shares, likes, and retweets
- New clients
A smart content marketing strategy is an absolute necessity for reaching new law firm clients. By improving the visibility of your law firm in the search engine results, you can increase traffic, generate more leads, and convert more visitors into paying clients. Statistics show that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and advertising and generates about 3 times as many leads. (DemandMetric) Conversion rates are nearly 6 times higher for law firms using content marketing than other forms of advertising. (Aberdeen).
Located in McLean, Virginia, just minutes from Washington, DC, Bethesda, MD, and all of Northern Virginia (NoVA) we have been helping law firms and attorneys locally, and across the U.S., leverage digital marketing since 2003. Our mission is to help our clients generate leads and grow their revenue and brand awareness with strategies that integrate outstanding websites, valuable content, a strong social media presence, and state of the art advertising and promotion.
With industry veterans possessing over 30 years of experience in translating technology into business tools, we have the background to guide your law firm through the process of building traffic, sites and sales through all your web properties.
For more in-depth information about content marketing, law firm websites, and inbound marketing, download our latest eBook: The Essential Guide to Digital Marketing for Law Firms. Or, contact WSIWebMark at 703.286.7107. We’re here to help you with all your legal marketing challenges.