Making a Case for Content Marketing
Attract new clients and establish yourself as an expert with quality content creation
Everyone with even an iota of business experience has at least an inkling that the internet is a powerful tool for building a brand, advertising services, and attracting new clients. However, the world wide web is vast and can be more complicated from a business standpoint than it may appear to someone with casual social media and site surfing experience.
Developing an effective strategy for creating relevant content is essential to online success. Maximize your investment of time, money, and energy online by learning more about content marketing and how to put it to work for your law practice.
Although attorneys were traditionally slow to adopt the idea of establishing an online presence, due to either a concern about the perceived informality of the medium or just a lack of understanding the relevance to their industry, the American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Survey shows that lawyers have adapted and evolved quickly to find their place on the internet. Law practices across the country are taking advantage of this valuable opportunity, with 71% of large law firms (100 to 500 or more attorneys) maintaining a blog.
Blogging is a popular tool for improving search engine optimization and positioning oneself as an expert in their field. A blog provides a platform for sharing useful information, developing a trustworthy and authoritative voice, and building a connection with a potential audience – all key facets to an effective marketing strategy.
While content marketing is a type of advertising, it’s different from your typical sales approach. The goal of content marketing is to attract, engage, and convert readers into customers by developing a professional relationship they can appreciate, and it should be designed to add value and provide an incentive to your audience to read and share what you’ve posted.
You’re not selling your services to them outright, you’re delivering information that makes the audience realize that you’re a trusted source. People appreciate education over advertising. So, what are the steps to effective content creation?
- Identify your audience: Who is your target market? What are the needs of your clients? Develop a profile of the ideal client, including age, educational background, income bracket, and services needed and tailor content that would likely catch the interest of that invented persona.
- Understand their needs: What services would your typical client need? What kinds of questions would they be looking for answers to? Take some time to think of the questions you are frequently asked in consults, and of the advice you find yourself giving often. Make a list of a range of subjects related to your specific field.
- Develop your voice: What kind of image are you hoping to project? What tone best represents you? Even if you won’t be writing the content yourself, have an idea of how your online presence should sound. Formal, academic, relatable, wise, approachable, casual or some combination of the above?
- Make a list of topics: Keeping your intended audience, area of expertise, and range of subjects in mind, brainstorm about possible post topics. Don’t be conservative in your initial attempt, just write down everything that comes to mind because it may eventually spark another idea. Make this an ongoing effort – dedicate a notebook or Word document to listing potential subjects so that you can refer back to it and refine your thoughts.
- Create an editorial calendar: Once you’ve decided how often you plan on posting and what medium you’ll utilize to distribute your message (words, video, infographics, podcasts, or a combination of those on social media and/or your website), make a calendar of content topics. This is an important part of your posting strategy, as it will help keep you organized and motivated to continue. Use online analytics to determine which subject areas get the most traction via page views or social media interaction to help you further develop your future posting plans.
Good content creation involves a lot of trial and error. Even the most well thought out online strategy may surprise you once you’re deep diving into the performance of each post. Have a plan, be prepared, and be willing to abandon ideas or adapt your approach based on results.
Above all else, remember your original intention: to help people. If you center your content around the idea of helping others, you’ll eventually develop an engaged and invested audience who will seek you out for additional counsel.
Looking for more legal industry and marketing tips? Check out the Boss Reporting Blog to better serve your business.