Why Market via Content?
Content marketing is becoming more and more important (seriously, Google it, I’m not making this up). Content marketing leads to increased site traffic through both search engines and referrals. Increase site traffic means more conversions. Potential clients come to your website because you proved your value, so they are more likely to click. Another added benefit of your content marketing efforts is that you will set yourself apart as an industry expert, which leads to other intangibles like speaking engagements, notoriety, and overall staying abreast of the law.
The catch: content marketing isn’t easy. It actually takes awhile. You shouldn’t expect instant results; it could be months or years before the content starts to produce regular results. In fact, most firms give up before it can take effect. You must regularly produce educational materials. Just have faith in the system.
When investing in content marketing there are three main points to consider:
- Content Strategy – You need evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that can be reused and does not expire. Your strategy should be to focus on your key practice area and become the resource on the topic.
- Publishing Plan – You need a set plan for a year, quarter, monthly and weekly articles. You need at least one yearly research project, four quarterly pieces to bolster your central topic, monthly articles that are planned out and weekly posts as needed.
- Technology – You need not just a blog. You need a LAW HUB. A blog is simply a running list of ideas, whereas a LAW HUB guides the user into relevant articles and education materials.
Need to Define
As we mentioned, an effective content strategy isn’t easy. If you’re truly committed you’ll take the time to do your homework and establish:
- Your Audience – Who do you want to target? Who is your current audience? What changes need to be made to get back on track?
- Popular Issues and Topics – What do you want to write about? What is popular right now? Get on Google and find out.
- How To Best Share Information – How does your audience want to receive the information (blog, forum, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Newsletters, Direct Contact . . . Print?).
Tactics for Content
We’ve broken down the process into manageable chunks:
- Early Stage
- Blog Posts
- Practice Area Content
- Tools, Calculators
- White Papers
- Decision Stage
- Case Studies
- Demo Videos
- Data Sheets
- Product / Feature Descriptions
- Conversion Stage
- Sales Process that is Trustworthy, Transparent and Easy
- Support and Help Documents
- Same-Hour Response Time
- Email Newsletters
- Offers and Improvements
Once you have the data to begin your adventure into content marketing you should set-up a winning team. Your winning team should include:
- Content Champion (aka your Publisher) – This person will set the tone, topics and schedule for the team. They need to beg, borrow, and plead with the team to produce content. This person can also edit all of the copy too (but you may need an editor too).
- Writers – This is your core team. You need everyone involved. Get everyone excited and see the benefits (more clients, better success for the firm, more salary for them, etc.) Try not to make this a requirement of their job, instead make a game of this and offer incentives (carrot vs. the stick).
- Technology – You need a good content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily post content. You also need to be on social media channels to syndicate all your content.
How to Create Content
Your team should create content. We personally have a weekly team meeting called our “Cool” meeting. It is called that because everything we send in to review is well…cool. The key is that everyone should participate. Your team is constantly reading articles, writing and they should simply send a quick email to a set email account that collects all ideas. Everyone can discuss, assign who will write and come up with a master plan.
Other firms and teams have stored local files where they drop in ideas or use online pin boards, notes, Google Docs. The method doesn’t matter – just make sure you have one central location to collect ideas and have regular meetings to evaluate their potential.
You can also try to gather content by:
- Reviewing competitors websites to see what is working for them (and ranking high).
- Brainstorming sessions. Once you have a killer idea, conduct a brainstorming sessions whereby every comes up with topics for articles on the subject.
- Checking out Google Trends, which allows you to see what is popular and evaluate ideas.
- Refraining from hitting enter! Google autosuggest allows you to see topic ideas. Test it out by simply typing in a few words to the Goggle search bar. Google will suggest searches that are really great topics to write on (finish your sentence for you).
Check out these other helpful resource:
- The LAW HUB: A New Content Strategy, Plan and Platform for Law Firms
- Slideshow: A New Approach to Content Strategy for Law Firms
- The Problem with Law Firm Websites (and How to Fix It)
- How to Transform Your Current Website into a LAW HUB
- How to Get Your Law Firm to Blog