Content marketing is more than just a buzzword. With the term thrown around so much, you might be under the impression that anyone can crank out content. But that’s absolutely not the case. Law firm content marketing is just as much a science as it is an art, and it’s more important than ever to get your law firm’s content marketing strategy right.
To ensure you develop and share only the best possible content, we’re going to look at eight of the biggest content marketing struggles law firms face, as well as some practical tips for overcoming those obstacles.
15 Law Firm Content Marketing Challenges & How to Overcome Them
1. Lack of Resources
Content is one thing; quality content is another.
Many small law firms don’t have the funds available to outsource content. While that might be fine some of the time, taking on blogging and other forms of content creation efforts yourself could very well prevent you from completing other equally important tasks.
If you really want your content marketing efforts to take off, you’ll need to invest resources somewhere – either your own time or the money to outsource content creation to someone else. You’re the only person who can determine which of those resources to spare. The biggest mistake would be to not create content at all.
Solutions: Try repurposing older content, for example, editing and republishing an old blog, turning older blogs into an eBook, or turning a Q&A session into a video series. You can also try leveraging AI to help with content ideas or the creation process.
2. More Competition
No matter your area of expertise, there will always be others who have insights to share. It also doesn’t help that your audience’s attention span is more limited than ever. Both factors make content production something of an arms race.
To win that race, you must produce excellent, valuable content and consistently promote it to the right target audience. That means maintaining high standards and making every effort to create content across multiple mediums in addition to your regular blog, such as podcasts or webinars.
Solutions: In order to stand out against your competitors, try leveraging new and exciting content formats often like videos, podcasts and webinars. If you have text heavy content offers like blogs or eBooks, incorporate graphics or video to make them more interesting. Conduct competitor research frequently to identify gaps and opportunities.
3. Meeting Quality Standards
In just about every industry, the need to “Always be Publishing” is lowering content quality standards. Spend some time on the web, and you’re likely to find posts that are too self-promotional, full of errors, or poorly written. This declining quality gives you a real opportunity to provide your audience with the valuable – useful, insightful, and well-written – content they want and need.
But to make the most of that opportunity, you’ll have to do more than merely regurgitate news or current developments in your niche. When you’re writing a blog post or creating other content, dissect the issue for your audience, then provide your opinion and insight into future implications.
Solutions: Your content creation strategy shouldn’t be a one and done process. Leverage tools like Grammarly to ensure your grammar and spelling is correct, outsource a copyeditor to read your work, or proofread and edit yourself by taking time away from the piece and coming back to it with a fresh set of eyes.
4. Getting Your Content in Front of the Right Audience
“Organic” social media promotion will always have its place, but with the digital landscape growing more competitive by the day, even high-quality content might not find its audience. That’s one of the major reasons trends are showing a significant shift toward paid promotion.
If you want to get your content in front of the widest possible audience, you may not be able to avoid paid ads. Fortunately, LinkedIn and Facebook offer a range of increasingly sophisticated ways to segment audiences and reach the right people, for a price.
Solutions: Unfortunately, there’s no real way around this, other than learning. Do some research to determine the best strategy for maximizing your exposure at your budget. Consider creating audience personas to better understand your target audience and what channels they use most.
5. Unrealistic Content Marketing Expectations
It’s important to know that content marketing can take a while to be effective. Even the best, highest quality content can take months, or even years, to produce results.
That’s not a flaw in content marketing itself, but rather in expectations. All stakeholders should be comfortable with this fact.
Solutions: The best way to measure your success is to set realistic traffic and engagement targets and review them periodically. Determine and measure key performance indicators and calculate ROI semi-annually to ensure any stakeholders that targets are being met. See this blog on measuring and improving ROI to help with that.
6. Setting a Realistic Publishing Sequence
Hubspot suggests that larger firms publish once per day, while smaller outfits can experience success posting one to four times a month. The problem is, as we covered in point #1, that’s not always an achievable schedule.
Solutions: If you hope to publish more frequently, you’ll need to devote more resources. If you can’t do that, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to publish one truly excellent post per week than five mediocre ones. Again, consider repurposing older content to help you meet your schedule and check out this blog for advice on how to blog when you don’t have time. Whatever you do, make sure to set a schedule in your calendar for creation and publishing and stick to it.
7. Having Too Narrow or Too Broad of a Focus
Many content marketers zero in on a very narrow niche or try to appeal to too many people in a single piece of content. Too broad of a focus won’t do much to position you as a thought leader in your field, while one that’s too narrow won’t do much to expand your audience.
Solutions: We suggest starting with a broad category relevant to your law firm and then coming up with increasingly granular ideas for potentially applicable subcategories.
8. Measure Return on Investment
Not so long ago, it was nearly impossible to measure the ROI of your law firm’s content marketing efforts. Now, sophisticated analytics make this process much easier – but still far from fool-proof.
Solutions: It’s important to approach measuring ROI intentionally and with discipline. You can learn more about accurately tracking and reporting on ROI here. Try leveraging a free tool like Google Analytics to track and measure your performance.
Try these steps:
- Identify KPIs in line with your business development goals
- Identify the metrics that will help you tell this story
- Identify the sources of those metrics and build them into a dashboard on your analysis tool
- Weight each metric in relation to their importance in your ‘story’
- Analyze each metric for your KPIs on a periodic basis
9. Not Knowing Which Mediums to Use
Nowadays there are so many different mediums to choose from like podcasts, videos, webinars, blogs or eBooks.
Solutions: If you’re stuck on what to choose, try researching your audience’s demographics to see what is most popular with them. For example, while younger generations may enjoy short videos on TikTok, older generations may appreciate an eBook in a PDF format more.
10. Content is Not Getting Found
Just simply publishing content isn’t enough for it to get found. All too often, law firms are frustrated that they publish quality content but see no engagement or response.
Solutions: Promote your content across channels like social media and email. Include pop ups with content offers on your site. Link to fresh content in your firm’s email signature. And always make sure to optimize content for search engines.
11. Leveraging Newer Formats
Digital marketing is fast paced, and new content formats come out each year as preferences and best practices change. Many firms find themselves struggling to keep up. How do you record a podcast? What’s a TikTok?
Solutions: Subscribe or enroll in online marketing resources specifically for law firms. We share all the latest news and details on legal content marketing here on our blog for free or in our online courses. Seek out new learning resources constantly like webinars, blogs, or eBooks so you can stay up to date.
12. Proving Credibility
Why does your law firm want to create content? Probably so you can position its attorneys as thought leaders and experts in its areas of practice while moving leads down the funnel.
Solutions: The way to prove your credibility to your audience is by remaining educational in nature with your content. Your content shouldn’t be self promotional. Rather, it should always work to educate your target audience on a topic that they have many questions about and address their pain points. You can also develop credibility and trust by creating case studies, sharing online reviews, or providing testimonials.
13. Staying in Budget
With the constant need for new and exciting content, many legal marketers wonder how they can maintain a solid budget.
Solutions: Leverage free or cost effective tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Canva, Garageband, Infogram, Trello, or Descript. Also, consider using a free AI offering like ChatGPT or Grammarly to help with writing. And if you do choose to invest in a larger tool, try to use something like HubSpot that allows for a variety of features that’ll make the investment worth it.
14. Remaining Authentic
One of the biggest stressors with content is that law firms fear they won’t remain authentic and will seem too promotional. They worry creating content will take away from their human persona.
Solutions: Focus on creating a brand style guideline that includes tone of voice. Always write in an informal tone like you’re having casual conversations and stay away from legalise. Remember, focus on creating content that adds value and is educational and helpful, anything promotional should only take place with a simple CTA.
15. Content Management
You may be wondering how you can manage all this content and stay on top of your schedule. Sometimes management seems like the toughest aspect for legal marketers with busy schedules.
Solutions: Create a detailed content calendar at the beginning of each month that outlines what content will be posted each day, what content should be created each day, plans for ideation, and plans for promotion.
Though it may be increasingly difficult to produce quality content, it’s more important than ever to do so. Hopefully, this list gives you a few tactics for overcoming some of the common law firm content marketing hurdles.
If you’d like additional help developing and executing a content marketing strategy with the juice to achieve your business goals, get in touch with our team today.