90 percent of business-to-consumer (B2C) companies and 93 percent of business-to-business (B2B) companies use content in their marketing mix, according to a Marketing Profs/Content Marketing Institute study.
We can extrapolate that to law firms providing services to corporations (B2B) and boutique “consumer” firms helping to solve the legal problems of individuals (B2C). Bottom line is, whether you’re big law or a solo or small firm, you need to have a content marketing strategy – or you’re missing out big time.
What is law firm content marketing? Let’s break it down.
“Content is essentially everything your customer or prospect touches or interacts with.” So write Ann Handley, in Everybody Writes, the terrific new book on creating content in the digital landscape. This includes all of your online properties: website, blog, social, newsletter, e-books, white papers, infographics, case studies, webinars, video, podcasts, and so on. These are your content assets.
The assets, however, are meaningless without strategy. Law firm content marketing is the strategy or practice of creating useful, relevant content–instead of pitching your services–to establish thought leadership, inform and engage with clients, and be top of mind with prospects, influencers, and referral sources – ultimately to drive business.
You’ll first need to identify your unique clients and prospects and their problems and craft a content strategy aimed at helping them find solutions. Put yourself in their shoes. Let it guide your content strategy. In other words, write with empathy.
Blogging: The center of your content strategy
As I’ve mentioned in previous pieces, a content strategy starts with your blog. It’s your publishing platform on the web to inform and educate clients, prospects, and referral sources, and in the process, build your brand. Just as importantly, each piece of content can be repurposed to other assets – whether it be a compilation of posts into a white paper or e-book, fodder for infographics, links for your newsletter, or other tactics. See: COPE-ing Strategy for Law Firm Content: Create Once Publish Everywhere.
If you’re on the fence about blogging, consider these statistics:
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t and B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those that don’t.
- 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results and keywords in blogs drive traffic from search engines
- Companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website compared to those who don’t.
Other unique law firm content to throw into the mix include:
- Attorney bios, each of which can be a microsite.
- CLE materials, including PowerPoint slides and video recordings.
- Reimagine and repurpose Client Memos.
- Address the problems and issues General Counsels and companies face in the industries you serve.
Critical benefit: Staying top of mind
“There’s nothing more frustrating than learning that a prospect or client who knows you well has hired someone else for work that’s in your sweet spot.”
In You’re known, but will you be remembered at the critical time? the author shares personal stories of friends missing out on major projects because he forgot about them at the time he needed help. This is a problem for lawyers as many potential clients generally need legal help only a handful of times in their lifetime.
How could his friends have gotten the business? By creating content and a strategy to keep their services top of mind – like blogging, email newsletters, LinkedIn posts, etc.
In a nutshell, law firm content marketing is the strategy of creating copy for a range of digital assets that provides use to your clients and prospects, builds trust and influence, and drives business.