Content marketing is more than just a buzzword. The problem is, you probably hear about it so much that it seems like anyone can crank out content. Don’t let that perception make you think content is easy to create, though. There is definitely a science to compelling content creation, and it’s more important than ever to get your law firm’s content marketing strategy right. In that light, we’re going to look at 9 of the biggest content marketing struggles law firms face – and some tips to overcome them so that you can develop and share your best content.
9 Content Marketing Challenges Law Firms Face & 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 creation. That’s ok sometimes, because no one knows your firm better than you do. The problem is that spending time on things like blogs can take away from other work. The only real solution to this factor is to accept that you will need to invest resources somewhere – either time to create content yourself, or money to have someone else do it. Only you can determine which resource you can part with, but the biggest mistake is to not create content at all.
2. More competition
No matter your area of expertise, there will be others who have insights to share. Additionally, your audience’s attention span is more limited than ever. That means content producers are essentially in an arms race. The important thing here is to produce excellent, valuable content, and consistently promote it. Keep your standards very high for whatever content you put out. Also, look to create content across multiple mediums aside from a blog such as podcasts or webinars.
3. Meeting quality standards
Across many facets, the need to “Always be Publishing” is lowering quality standards. You are likely to find posts that are too self-promotional, full of errors, or poorly written. That means there is opportunity to create what people really want to read – useful, insightful, and well-written pieces. In other words, rather than reiterating the news, dissect an issue and provide your opinion and insight into future implications.
4. Paid promotion is becoming more popular
“Organic” social media promotion will always have its place, but trends are showing a shift toward paid promotion. In fact, we found that 37% of Am Law 200 firms are using paid LinkedIn (The 2020 Social Law Firm Index). LinkedIn and Facebook offer a range of increasingly sophisticated ways to segment audiences and reach the right people, for a price. Unfortunately there’s no real way around this, other than learning the best strategy for maximizing your exposure at your budget.
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 lead to results. That’s not a flaw in content marketing itself, but rather in expectations. All stakeholders should be comfortable with this fact. The best way to measure your success is to set realistic traffic and engagement targets and review them periodically.
6. Setting an ambitious (but realistic) publishing sequence
Hubspot suggests that larger firms should publish once per day, and 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. 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.
7. Having too narrow or too broad of a focus
Many content marketers zero in on too narrow of a niche, or try to appeal to too many people. Focus too broadly and it will be hard to make a name for yourself, and if you narrow your focus too much it will be hard to expand your audience. 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. Staying in your comfort zone
Humans are creatures of habit and inclined to stick with what works. Once you see something resonate with your audience, it’s tempting to keep returning to that well. The problem is that strategy just creates noise and will lose the interest of your audience after a while. Look to other strategies that are already working to get new ideas. Consider additional content types and topics that complement other campaigns, or find popular subjects that don’t necessarily pertain to your niche, and find a connection to write about.
9. Law firms are challenged to measure content marketing ROI
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. It’s important to approach measuring ROI intentionally and with discipline – learn more about how to accurately track and report on ROI here.
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 content marketing hurdles law firms face. Make sure to subscribe to our blog for more strategies to help you ramp up your content marketing efforts.