When people commit to spending their hard-earned dollars, they go through a process. This is true of even the most basic consumer goods, but the process tends to be more complex when choosing a law firm. What is referred to as the “buyer’s journey” helps individuals become more informed and prepared to select a lawyer. It’s important to understand the buyer’s journey – and where your prospects fall within it – so that you can properly tailor messaging to the right audience at the right time. Creating content that helps people along their buyer’s journey is a smart move for any law firm – and here is how you can do it.
The 3 Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
In most cases, the buyer’s journey has three phases: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
- Awareness Stage: In the awareness stage, prospects are aware of their pain or their challenge (but perhaps not sure what to do about it).
- Consideration Stage: In the consideration stage, they become “solution aware” – or, they understand what will help them solve their problem (in our case, a lawyer). Note that the consideration stage is sometimes referred to as the evaluation stage.
- Decision Stage: In the decision stage, people realize they need a lawyer and have researched their options, and are now narrowing down their shortlist.
It’s a legal marketer’s job to attract and engage people across each phase of the buyer’s journey. To do so successfully, It’s essential to understand how your law firm’s audience relates to these stages since the content that will resonate best will differ greatly at each phase.
Why Creating Content for Each Stage is Important
One of the most important principles of content marketing is knowing your target audience. Every content marketer should work to develop a deep understanding of their target audience’s needs, wants, desires, demographics, and challenges.
However, the needs and wants of your target audience will vary largely depending on what stages of the buyer’s journey they are in. A prospect who is aware of their challenges but is not sure what path they’ll take to solve those problems will be looking for much different information than someone who is ready to make a purchasing decision.
Let’s say a prospect is ready to get divorced, has been looking at different divorce attorneys, understands what kind of attorney they want to work with and is ready to make a buying decision. This person would be rather unfazed by a blog titled ‘How to Know It’s Time to File for Divorce,’ but a case study detailing how your attorneys have helped clients may push them to make a buying decision.
What Kind of Content Should a Law Firm Produce in the Awareness Stage?
At this point, your future client is trying to solve problems and get answers. They’re looking for top-level educational content that will direct them to a solution. The goal here is to create content that is easily discovered and consumed. Remember that right now, the lead value of these individuals is low – but the hope is that they will find your content helpful and interesting, and stick around long enough to be nurtured.
Blogs or checklists are perfect for the awareness stage because they can effectively explain topics to your audience. They’re high-level, educational, and easy to create. Another medium to convey awareness-level content is explainer videos that discuss topics and trends in your practice areas which are helpful to educate clients and prospects. Social media posts that are educational in nature also are helpful during this stage.
What Kind of Content Should a Law Firm Create for the Consideration Stage?
The middle of the funnel is where you need to start demonstrating your expertise in a practice area or subject matter. At this point, prospective clients are already aware of their problems and are evaluating possible solutions. It’s not enough to just state credentials in your attorney bio. People are evaluating you for experience, skills, and knowledge.
One of the best types of content for this stage is a case study. You can create general case studies if you don’t want to name clients, but still demonstrate your level of experience. Webinars, white papers, and e-Books are other opportunities to establish yourself as an expert in a way that’s more in-depth than blog posts or checklists. There’s a lot you can do with this type of content afterward as well.
What Kind of Content Should a Law Firm Create for the Decision Stage?
This stage is where you close the deal. Your audience is aware that they need an attorney, and likely has a few choices narrowed down. Now is your chance to prove that you’re the best option for alleviating their issues. Here your focus is on creating content that will put their mind at ease, so they’ll feel confident that choosing your firm is their best bet. Consider things that will make it easier for them to sign a contract.
This is often the more difficult part of the stage for legal services. However, you can provide foot-in-the-door services that will give prospects a trial sampling of your offerings. For example, audit tools or free consultations allow prospects to try out your services risk-free while helping your law firm build trust.
Though every law firm is unique, it’s safe to assume that your clients generally follow this buyer’s journey when making the decision of which lawyer or law firm to work with. The better you’re able to map your law firm content items to phases of the buyer’s journey, the more likely your messaging is to resonate with your audience. The more your messaging resonates, the more likely you are to engage a lead and turn them into a client.
Are you lacking the time and resources to put together content for each phase of the buyer’s journey? We’ve got the largest cadre of legal writers and journalists in the industry, helping to take your idea and write the content as if you had the time to write it yourself. Let our experienced content professionals help you tell your story. Contact us today for a consultation.