Content marketing has become an essential arrow in a legal marketers’ quiver. Content marketing is the modern way to get new leads, drive traffic to your digital presence, and nurture client relationships. However, creating high-quality content isn’t easy. Doing so requires significant effort, time, subject matter expertise, and knowledge of content marketing best practices. That’s why many firms hire a consultant to help. Here’s what you need to know about hiring a content marketing consultant for law firms.
What is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategy designed to create a strong long-term relationship with your consumer base by providing them high-quality content that they can associate within their everyday lives.” Content marketing is focused on your clients’ (and future clients’) needs and wants. Effective content is available when people are researching and provides valuable insights that make them more likely to choose your firm or be loyal to your brand. In a landscape full of marketing noise, content that provides clear and valuable information will set your firm apart.
Why Hire a Content Marketing Consultant?
If you aren’t dedicated to content marketing, then learning the process and making sure your bases are covered is certain to take a toll on your time – time that could be spent on other business activities. Many firms bring on a consultant to help with both strategy and implementation. An effective content marketing consultant for law firms can do the following:
- Draw from previous experience to provide advice and warn you of pitfalls that can happen during the content creation process
- Research to discover the unique needs of your audience
- Create a thorough plan for executing content creation that takes research into account
- Set goals and share metrics for measuring success
There are many compelling reasons to hire a content marketing consultant. In addition to staff not having the specific expertise or bandwidth, firms also tend to hire a consultant when:
- They don’t know how to differentiate their brand. It can be difficult to view your firm and services objectively. An outside resource can help you to evaluate what makes your firm unique and craft a story that resonates. Consultants know how to perform market research that will inform your strategy.
- There is not enough time to create high-quality content. When it comes to content marketing, quality is key. Material should be relatable, engaging, and worth the time of your audience. Consultants can help you to decide which factors to focus on and which channels are most appropriate.
- More innovative ideas are needed. Getting outside help can allow you to generate more leads and conversions. A consultant can bring new ideas and implement results-driven changes that your staff may not think of.
- Audience personas have never been identified. Defining client personas is a crucial part of creating effective content. If you haven’t properly mapped out your target audience, then it will be difficult to create content that is actually valuable. A buyer persona is highly detailed and is based on demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information. A content marketing consultant can help you to do this and then develop content to reach various personas.
- They aren’t sure where to post or promote content. There are so many platforms available for digital marketers. It can be overwhelming and challenging to know where to begin. A content marketing consultant can help you to customize content and make sure it gets the most attention from your audience.
Find a Content Marketing Consultant that Meets Your Goals
Once you determine that a consultant can help you to create or execute a content strategy, it’s time to begin your search. To get the results you want, you’ll need to choose a consultant that is a good fit for your firm. Here are some tips to make the process smoother:
1. Get Very Clear About Your Requirements
Before you search for a resource, you need clarity on what your firm needs from this person. What are the goals you want to achieve through content, and what are the gaps in your current process? Defining requirements upfront helps you to find someone who specializes in that area, and also lets the consultant know if they might be a good fit.
2. Decide Which Platform You’ll Use to Hire
How do you plan to find a consultant? Look for a channel that’s reliable, well-known, and shows reviews. Find a marketplace that aligns with your ideal scenario. Narrow down your search to a few platforms and then start to short-list candidates.
3. Conduct an Interview and Hire
No matter which platform you choose, you’ll want to hold at least a short interview. Ask questions that help you to evaluate if individuals are a natural match for your firm. Focus on their attitude as well as past projects that are similar to your needs. Be aware of red flags and trust your gut. Once you’ve found someone that you’re excited about, hire them formally through the platform where you found them.
4. Onboard the Consultant
We suggest beginning with a short meeting to clarify requirements, how you will communicate moving forward, and the consultant’s availability. If you’re not ready to jump into large-scale strategy, start with a small project and work your way up. Make sure they know what kind of work and deliverables you’re expecting. Set up future times to talk so that you can stay on the same page. You want to be able to discuss current work, give feedback, share ideas, etc. It’s also helpful to ask for materials such as project roadmaps or milestones and how they will track and report results.
Content marketing can become very complex and is a discipline all its own. Effective content requires a combination of time, energy, and knowledge. That’s why many firms find the most ROI from hiring a content marketing consultant. If you choose to go this route, follow the 4 steps we shared to find the best fit for your firm. Still unsure where to look for a quality content consultant? We offer content marketing services to our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.