One of the toughest lessons for lawyers to learn is that their blogs — which they may find interesting — ultimately do not resonate with their target audience. That is why the value of data in the context of content marketing cannot be overstated. Through data-driven analysis, you can identify your prospect’s trending topics and channel-specific preferences. When you let your audience’s behaviors and preferences drive your blog topics, you’ll drive more interest (and traffic) to your blogs, elevate your thought leadership position, and potentially convert more clients. A proper data-driven approach to choosing blog topics can help firms avoid wasting resources by trying to connect with the wrong audiences in the wrong places. Incorporate the following data-driven tactics to determine your law firm’s blog topics and you’ll propel your blog to the next level.
1. Use your own metrics to see which topics work
Look through your law firm’s email database or CRM system to determine what your clients read on your email newsletters and on your website. How do you know what “works”? You might track clicks to website, page views, subscribers gained, or leads generated. Decide what’s most important and most closely aligned with your overall firm goals, and monitor statistics that mirror those items.
Data pulled from Google Analytics (GA) can also inform your blog strategy. For example, if you’re a personal injury lawyer you might have blog posts about how to avoid certain types of injuries or you might have posts that discuss the process of legal claims. Use GA to determine which type of posts are receiving the most traffic. You should analyze your content to look for different patterns – which topics are of the most interest, what length or format keeps visitors on the page longer?
2. Keep a pulse on your competitors
In many cases, firms similar to yours will have an audience like your own. What kind of content are they publishing? How much engagement are they getting? This will provide you with ideas and help you to identify gaps and opportunities with your content.
You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to analyze your competition’s most shared posts. Remember to always offer your own unique perspectives on any topic you might want to explore.
3. Peek into your audience’s online conversations
Many times, your clients or prospects will participate in online discussions that can give you clues to new topics. Join legal Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups, and then look at the questions being posed there. Is there one that is getting a lot of traction? That’s a good indicator that it’s a topic of interest to your law firm’s target audience.
You can also look for relevant discussion boards online where people might be asking for legal advice. Quora is another good forum for this purpose.
4. Take advantage of Google’s “People Also Ask” box
If there’s a few tried and true topics that you know perform well, consider expanding on those ideas by Googling the phrase and then reviewing the resulting “People Also Ask” box. These queries show demand for topics that are related to one you know gets traction. For example, we Googled “Legal Fees for DUI” and the “People Also Ask” box returned “How much do DUI lawyers cost?”, and “Should I get a lawyer for my First DUI?”.
5. Talk to your target audience
What better way to know what your prospects want to read about than to simply ask them? Your content should educate or solve your prospects clients – so ask them what their top concerns are and find out what keeps them up at night. If there is a specific client you’re trying to reach, set up informational interviews with some prospects and ask them what’s important to them and what they are interested in learning more about. Another way to garner feedback is to develop a short but direct survey and send it to your email database.
Your content marketing efforts should blend both creativity and data. Rather than relying on intuition, let your audience’s behaviors and preferences drive your blog topics. This way, you can avoid the risk of publishing irrelevant content and improve your ROI. Incorporate these data-driven tactics determine your law firm’s blog topics in order to craft an effective blogging strategy that has a true impact on your audience.
For a comprehensive guide on crafting a content strategy, tips on measuring the effectiveness of your content distribution and plenty more, download our eBook: The Law Firm Guide to Content Marketing.