Marketing success is increasingly linked to the quality of your law firm content. It’s how you demonstrate expertise, build your brand, and create relationships with clients, prospects and influencers. Where should you house your content? You want to be where your potential audience is, but with increasingly lean staff and ever expanding formats, channels, and platforms, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be if you adopt a “create once, publish everywhere” (COPE) strategy of repurposing content.
Create once, publish everywhere (COPE)
Popularized by National Public Radio (NPR), the philosophy of creating once and publishing everywhere, or COPE, enables content creators at law firms to create useful information that clients and prospects increasingly look for without burdening lean teams strapped for time.
Use a content editorial calendar
Before you start writing, devise a content strategy. An editorial calendar serves as a guidepost and keeps you on track with your content roadmap. Asana or Trello are useful tools for a team of writers, but a simple Google Calendar works just fine. In Google Calendar, click on “My calendars,” choose “Create new calendar” and name it “Content Calendar.” A great benefit of doing this is getting into the habit of calendaring your tasks. To-Do list meets Google Calendar.
Content formats, platforms, and channels
Content formats are limited only by your imagination and bandwidth. In 10 Content Marketing Strategies for Legal Vendors, we identified some of the formats and platforms listed below. Many of the strategies can be applied to law firms. However, our focus for this post is to show how each are linked so that you only have to write once and then repurpose. Your blog is your content home base so we’ll start with that.
Blogs – This is the epicenter of your COPE content strategy. It can be attached to your website or live on a separate domain. This is where your editorial calendar comes in especially handy. The platform you should use for this is WordPress. It’s optimized for blogging right out of the box and provides an intuitive content management system that handles both websites and blogs.
Infographics – Some of your blog posts, particularly listicles, such as top 10 posts, can be repurposed into a graphical representation. Pictures get shared more often and gives readers a super quick view of what you’re trying to convey. You’ll need some design help with this. Infographic designers on Upwork charge from less than $10/hour to more than $60 to fit your budget.
Ebooks and White Papers – A collection of your blog posts and infographics can now be compiled into a white paper or Ebook. You can also do the reverse. Dig in and write an Ebook, then each chapter becomes a blog post with a call to action for the Ebook. Gate these premium information pieces to gather email addresses for your newsletter. Again, Upwork or other online freelance marketplaces offer affordable Ebook editing, formatting, and design options.
Webinars – Did a certain blog post blow up with lots of traffic, feedback, and conversations? Expand into a webinar. This could be quarterly or twice a year. Some companies do this monthly but for law firms, a quarterly webinar is fine. A wrap-up of the webinar including video and slides then becomes another blog post.
Videos – After some post production work, add your webinar to a video resource page on your website. You can further break the recording into bite-sized bits for visitors to your website looking to solve a specific problem. Vimeo is a great platform to host your videos and easily embed on your site.
Slides – Slideshare is an underutilized platform. You spent a lot of time creating beautiful slides chock full of useful information for your webinar or in-person presentation. Don’t limit that effort to a one-time engagement. Give your slides an extra shelf life online on Slideshare. Embed and expand each slide in a blog post.
Podcasts – Podcasts are all the rage. A 20-40 minute recording weekly or even monthly is all it takes. Each episode then becomes a blog post. You can create a page on your site for the podcasts or simply add a “podcast” category or tag to each post so visitors can easily get a list of all podcast episodes on your site.
Email Newsletters – Your weekly or monthly newsletter keeps clients, prospects, and referral sources top of mind. You’ve already created useful content to share. Note that your gated Ebooks, white papers, and webinars also serve to grow your list of email contacts for the newsletter. This is very important for keeping your firm on the minds of potential clients since they may not need your help at the moment, but may down the road.
Forms database – Build a page on your site with links to helpful forms. Often, that’s how potential clients find you. Give a tutorial on how to fill out the form in a 2-minute video or script and put in a blog post.
Press release – This is still a potent tool. Not only do you get the distribution might of PRWeb or BusinessWire behind your bit of news, but it proves links back to your site and you can create a blog post announcement with a link to the full press release. See: Eight Ways to Up Your Press Release Game.
Client memos or client alerts – These are short pieces in response to court cases or regulatory changes that affect your clients. Every law firm does this. Repurpose, with some editing, as information pieces on your blog. If it was important to a current client, it certainly is to potential clients.
Guest writing – Write a blog post for another publication. The byline will include a link back to your site. And, you can create a summary of the post on your own blog with a link to the full text. Win-win.
Social Media – Share everywhere. ‘Nuff said.
There you have it. Create content once, with your blog as control center, repurpose to other formats, and publish everywhere.
Updated and republished May 25, 2018.