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Posted by Nick Salloway on 19 September 2016

Our top 6 recommendations to help law firms develop effective content

As you're reading this post it's likely that you have an interest in digital marketing from a legal sector perspective - and hopefully through reading some of the content we've produced recently it will be evident that we're taking steps to become a useful and valuable online digital marketing resource for legal firms.

We most definitely strive to 'practice what we preach' in terms of our own approach to inbound marketing and our own digital content strategy, and we’re fully focused on becoming a ‘go to’ resource for informed digitally related content for legal firms.

Not being ones to rest on our laurels, we continually seek ways to improve our digital marketing approach, and our content creation strategy in particular.

To paraphrase Jim Collins, we’re constantly trying to move from “Good to Great” in our digital marketing efforts, and we encourage you to do likewise.  Collins famously suggested that “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline”.

And the same is true with regard to your digital content strategy; you need to make a conscious decision about the quality and usefulness of the output you generate for your target audience, and be disciplined about ensuring it is distributed precisely where your ideal prospect is most likely to consume it.

How a law firm can become a 'go to' online resource

So how do marketing professionals in law firms take that leap from good to great - and exactly which choices and disciplines should you undertake to ensure your firm becomes a 'go to' online resource for both your clients and prospects alike?

Well firstly let's recap the reasons as to why investing in a content strategy is so crucial for law firms. The benefits include:

  • Raising brand awareness and credibility
  • Being seen as a ‘thought-leader’ within your area or sector
  • Improving client engagement and building trust
  • Encouraging positive advocacy for your firm, by your clients
  • Growing specific departments
  • Generating increased levels - and quality of leads
  • Attracting more of the ‘right’ clients

So clearly, there is considerable value to be gained from putting time and resources into developing an effective content strategy. But how do you ensure you're taking the right approach, and investing your valuable time and budget into generating the maximum impact? 

Our top 6 recommendations for creating effective content

In this blog we're going to outline our 6 top recommendations for the best ways to develop effective content which will position your law firm as a 'go to' online resource.

1. Create ‘original’ content

Or at least make sure your content has an original twist. Of course the legal principles are the same, but how can you stand out online if you simply restate those principles?

As a very current example, AvvoStories just published a legal blog entitled “Virtual Pokémon game has real world legal consequences”. The article discusses many serious legal issues, including trespass, negligence, and even accidental death as a consequence of players using Nintendo’s ‘Pokémon Go’ game. Different, hugely topical, and, as a result highly memorable.

2. Don’t sell

People hate to be sold to, but most love to buy. Traditional marketing methods try to persuade, cajole, or convince, none of which creates a warm and positive feeling in the recipient’s mind.

Great content marketing allows the target audience to arrive at their own conclusion, firstly by sharing awareness of an issue they feel they may have, then offering possible answers as to how that issue might be overcome, and finally, helping them to feel comfortable that your firm is the best one to look after their needs now and in the future.

3. Know your customer, their issues, and their concerns

It may seem obvious but if you don’t or can’t identify (with great accuracy), who your firm wishes to engage with and why, what problems you can solve for them, and how they are likely to be feeling as their experience develops, your content could simply be meaningless.

Great content is written;

  • for ‘someone’ not anyone
  • about issues that will get your audience talking to their family and friends about
  • from empathetic experience

4. Know where your audience seeks advice when worried

As a general rule, prospective clients requiring legal services are highly emotionally charged. These emotions could range from being terrified, excited, or confused depending on what is happening in their life and which services they think they require.

They are also unlikely to be a paralegal, solicitor, or barrister. So where do they get quality information and advice regarding their individual situation? Searching the internet is likely to be up there, legal websites may also feature; social media platforms, forums, news and information sites, and many, many more are all possible candidates.

As a legal marketer your job is to understand which of these channels your target audience would likely choose and why, then ensure content is effectively promoted in those places.

5. Try to avoid confusing legal jargon

Legal topics can be complex and often highly technical, but most prospective clients don’t want to hear about detailed case law, technical precedent, or lengthy arguments.

Great content should be informative, reassuring, interesting, empathetic, relevant and understandable to the target audience - and you need to always remember that it’s about THEM and never about YOU.

Your content should create the impression that your firm has ‘walked-in-their-shoes’, rather than attempt to show competence by teaching them how to make a pair of shoes. More information on this topic can be found in one of our recent blog posts.

6. Wash, rinse, refine

Your content strategy will be a key component of your digital marketing strategy, and data gathered from your web analytics, and other sources will provide you with crucial information to help guide the future content you create.

The beauty of the transparency of the results of digital marketing is that you will be able to understand exactly how your content strategy is performing, and how it can be continually refined and optimised. 

By regularly checking which type of content and distribution channels are producing results, and which aren't, then you then you will be able to understand exactly how your content strategy is performing, and how it can be continually refined and optimised. 

Next steps

Moving from ‘Good to Great’ is never easy, it’s never simple, but it’s always worth the effort.

If you're prepared to make the conscious choices and apply the required discipline to your inbound marketing strategy, then you will be rewarded with closer engagement with both clients and prospective clients - all of which will result in significant business growth for your firm. 

To keep updated on more of our digital marketing blogs for the legal sector simply subscribe and you'll get all of our future posts delivered straight to your inbox.

And if you need any help getting your inbound marketing strategy up and running then please do get in touch - we would love to share our experience and expertise with you.

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