Before we dive into our content marketing tips for lawyers, let’s take a look at what content marketing is and how it can help establish your law firm’s online presence.
Google defines content marketing as, “a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, photos, and other media.”
What you’re doing is building a relationship with people by using excellent, targeted content to bring them through the process of ‘know, like, and trust,’ until they are ready to buy from you.
Why content marketing? Here are some stats to think about:
“The average company that blogs generates 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages.”
“Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog.”
– both from IMPACT.
Goals of Law Firm Content Marketing
Great content marketing is designed to not only generate leads and sales, but to establish your expertise and build your authority in the eyes of potential customers. The right content will create the right first impression, even for people who haven’t heard of your law firm before. With a good mix of tailored content aimed directly at the people who are likely to need your services, you can build your brand and your reputation, and become a trusted resource online.
A clear content marketing strategy can drive traffic to your site, provide answers people are searching for and encourage them to interact with you, clearly differentiate your business from your competitors, and make you the go-to place on the web for your type of law.
- More engagement on your social media and blog posts.
- Lower bounce rates on your site as people stick around to read more great content.
- With a good mix of content types, your business will appear higher in the search engines and in a variety of different places, including on Google image and video search.
- You’ll generate more leads and they’ll be higher quality, more ready to buy, and more loyal when they do.
- Your content will increase trust in your law firm and you’ll find your conversion rates increase.
- Top-quality, informative content can position you as a thought leader and your business as a leader in your industry.
- You won’t need to spend as much on paid ads as your content marketing strategy starts to bring in results.
Content is the number one ranking factor on Google, so no business can afford to ignore it. And customers love it. They much prefer to choose to read a blog post that answers a question they have than to have an intrusive ad flashing in their face. In fact, 47% of prospective customers will look at 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a business, so the more content you create, the higher the chances are you’ll attract your ideal customers.
However, it is important to create the right sort of content that’s designed to reach the people who want to engage your services.
We’ll come onto that next when we talk about your content strategy and get into those all-important content marketing tips for lawyers to get your law firm buzzing with new leads and inquiries.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Law Firm
When discussing content marketing, we always talk about the 6 pillars of a successful content marketing strategy. What are they?
2. Content Types
4. Writing Style
Let’s get the tips started and dig into what each of the pillars means and how you can use them to build your content strategy.
Before you can put any kind of content strategy together, you need to know who you are aiming all your content at. After all, the main goal of your content marketing is to reach more people who may be your ideal clients.
How do you do that? Well, try not to make assumptions. If you do that and you’re wrong, it could jeopardize your entire content strategy.
The best way is to create what’s known as a buyer persona, where you research the demographics of your ideal clients, analyze clientinteractions and the results, and look at where you can find them online. How old are they? What sort of language do they use? What level of education do they have? What goals do they have? What questions do they have? What are their existing pain points/struggles they’re seeking to eliminate?
Think about what matters the most to your clients and how your business is uniquely positioned to help them.
Hubspot has an excellent article on buyer personas talking you through what you’ll need to know and what questions to ask, and they also provide a free template to get you started.
2. Content Types
Once you know your audience, you’ll more easily be able to choose the right content types for them. With solid buyer personas, you’ll know whether they prefer to watch, read, or listen, and then you can shape your content to fit.
Even so, it’s best to do a mix of different content types to give variety, to suit the topic you’re presenting, and to ensure you come up in as many places in the search engines as possible.
Written content could include:
- Blog posts
- Ad copy
- Website landing pages
- Case studies
- Slide decks
- A read-aloud version of your blog posts
It’s also really important to have what’s known as user-generated content:
“90% of people say user-generated content (UGC) is more impactful than promotional emails or search results.” – TurnTo.
UGC can be reviews, customer stories, testimonials, and questions from your audience that you then provide the answers to.
It’s important to think about messaging and delivering different types of content, as people are ready to receive different messages from you at different points in their buying journey.
Before people buy, they’re going to need content that raises awareness of you and your services to educate them and engage their curiosity. You want to show them you know what you’re talking about and let them see that your business has the answers they need.
They’ll also want content that encourages consideration, that compares you favorably to the competition, and lifts your business above the rest. And finally, they need good calls to action (CTAs) that make them act, whether by signing up to your newsletter, getting in touch, or booking an appointment.
After they’ve bought, they need content that ensures they don’t suffer from buyers’ regret and that continues to give them an excellent impression of your brand values. Brand loyalty content is also important to continue to build your relationship with them, and to inspire them to recommend you, write a review and promote your brand.
4. Writing Style
This is such an important thing to get right. Again, we go back to your buyer personas and the language they use.
You need to speak to your clients using the way they speak and the phrases they use, keeping in mind all the time who you are writing to. “Hey bro, what’s on your mind?” might not be your best blog post opener, for a genteel, elderly female audience, or for your reputation.
It’s also particularly important not to blind them with legalese. You might know perfectly well what amicus curiae and service of process are, but will your potential clients? Plain English, straightforward, easy to read language is always your best bet unless, of course, you happen to sell services to other lawyers, in which case, you can go nuts with the entire contents of Black’s Law Dictionary, if you want to.
For your writing style, as well as considering your audience, you should also consider your brand voice and how you want your business to sound in your content. Will you write conversationally, like our blog, or more formally? Will you use first person (you and yours) or a more distancing third person? How do you want people to feel when they think about your company, and what sort of language and tone will convey that in your content?
If your website is poorly designed, your content might have been written by John Steinbeck himself, but your readers still won’t engage with it.
Clashing colors, too many fonts, and hardly any white space can have people clicking away from your website before they get to read a word.
Content that is visually appealing, clear, clean, and professionally designed can grab your potential customers’ attention immediately and help them focus in on the action you want them to take. It can literally guide your customers through your sales funnel and help them to make a decision to buy.
Look at your website design to make sure it provides strong branding, a good user experience, with clear calls to action, and a clear path to follow. Check your content and include lots of white space, with bullet points, plenty of keyworded headers, and images to break it up and make it easy to read.
When posting away from your website, it’s important to be consistent with design here too. Use the same colors and fonts as much as possible, and create well-branded, consistent images to go with your posts. Sites like Canva and Visme can help with the creation of beautiful graphics to accompany your posts.
Wherever you post, think about how to grab your readers’ attention quickly and how to make sure they continue reading. Check that you have a clear, easy-to-spot call to action.
Back to your buyer personas again. Where do your ideal customers hang out online? If you’re business to business, for example, chances are LinkedIn is a good place to post. While you should post as widely as possible, it’s best to focus mainly on the sites where your customers are.
You could blog on your website, but you could also use Wix, blog on Medium, and post on LinkedIn.
Your business really must appear on Google My Business. It’s free and provided by Google themselves, with the opportunity to post, provide special offers, and engage with your customers directly. You should also consider other directories, such as Bing, NextDoor, Yelp, Yahoo, BBB, and Angi.
The main social media platforms to post on are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
How to Build a Law Firm Content Calendar
Why have a content calendar at all? Well, one of the very worst things is staring at a blank page and not knowing what to write. It slows you down and can lower your confidence, and it may even cause you to give up and think you’ll just skip posting this time. The problem with that is that before you know it, months might have gone by, you haven’t posted at all, and your blog has been taken over by tumbleweed.
Far better to plan out in advance what you’re going to write about and then you can more easily write your next blog post, and the next. You’ll write faster and you’ll save time.
Another advantage of a well-planned content calendar is that you can work ahead. If you’re in the flow of writing and you have time, why not get ahead and write another blog post or two so you’re not trying to do them when you’re slammed for time? That little tip also works if you still want that nice two-week break in Cabo and you don’t want your posting schedule to suffer while you’re away – get it written ahead and scheduled and all you need to think about is your toes in the sand and what your next cocktail is going to be.
The five steps to a well-planned content calendar are:
1. Understand your clients
2. Determine your platforms and frequency
3. Identify content themes
4. Brainstorm topics
5. Create your calendar
We’ve talked about the first two in our section about content strategy. You need to know who your customers are before you can focus your content creation to give them what they want, and you need to know where they spend time on the internet so you can post where they will see it. You also need to plan how often you will post on each platform, including sending your newsletter, so you don’t overdo it on one platform, while neglecting another. Be consistent, but realistic. Will you really blog every day? Can you keep that up, or is twice a month more likely? Whatever you do, it’s always more important to focus on quality, not quantity.
Moving onto content themes, you want a good mix of different types of content and a balance between promotional posts and good, solid informational posts. Think about what content types to use, as we talked about earlier, and incorporate seasonal posts, offers, and promotions. You’ll probably want to post about company news, such as new members of staff, awards, promotions, and cases won. You can also spotlight your customers as long as they’re comfortable with that.
Next, brainstorm your topics. Look at your competitors’ blogs and social media to get ideas and pick up new keywords and phrases. Then get the team together and throw ideas around. At this point, no idea is too ridiculous. Don’t eliminate any of them at first as they may spark other ideas later. Write down as many ideas as you can think of in around 10 minutes, then check your ideas against your content themes and knock off any that don’t fit.
Finally, bring everything together on your calendar app. Start planning in your topics and where you’re going to post. Try to do around 3 months at a time as things may change over the longer term, especially as you start getting data in on what is working and what isn’t with your new content strategy. You may find some topics resonate more than others and you want to focus more on those, but there’s no way of knowing until you get some content out there and see what happens.
Fuel Your Online Presence with an All-In-One Platform
Some of the biggest things that stop law firms from having a great online presence are lack of time, lack of experience, limited budget, and not knowing what to write about.
Hopefully, we’ve shown you some ways to make your content marketing smoother and easier and make it a part of what you do.
We can also help with our small business marketing software. Using our platform, you can manage posting to Google My Business, sending emails, planning, and managing your content, including images, posting to multiple platforms, keeping track of your client information, and so much more.
It really is an all-in-one marketing intelligence platform to manage all aspects of your digital footprint.
If you’d like to book a demo and see how other law firms are enjoying a 385% ROI with our platform, and how you can save a lot of time on your content marketing, you can book via our website.