Why content is still king for law firms
Andy Cullwick offers key insights into content marketing
Content marketing may sound like a modern concept, but its origins date back hundreds of years.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of America, is credited as being one of its earliest instigators when he published Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1732 as a way of promoting his own printing press.
Over time, it has evolved with the emergence of different mediums and platforms, with tools such as SEO and data analytics providing people with alternative means of reaching and reading their audience.
But while it may not have been given its name until more recently, content marketing remains as important as ever. A recent study by HubSpot revealing 82 per cent of companies use it as part of their marketing strategy.
For law firms, there has never been a more important time to invest in content marketing. As Adam Elgar put it: “It is no longer enough to tell potential clients how good you are – you need to show it too.”
Know your audience
Content marketing can place you as a thought leader in your field – as long as you’re speaking to the right people. Think about who your potential client is, what information they might be looking for and which platforms they are likely to use to find it.
That includes making it easily accessible and mobile-friendly, as more than half the content we consume these days is via our phones.
Research what content on each particular platform looks like. From long-form LinkedIn to short-form Twitter, one size doesn’t fit all.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also playing an increasingly important role in helping organisations understand their audience better, with technology now able to read and analyse data and identify patterns in consumer behaviour.
New platforms are popping up all the time and while it’s worth testing out new ways of communicating with consumers, it’s wise to take a step back and look at where your audience is first.
Not everything will be a good fit, but that’s OK.
Quality over quantity
Consumers are more discerning these days. None of us want to read a sales pitch, whereas if content is informative and engaging it’s likely we’ll stick with it and – more importantly – remember it when we need that product or service in the future.
Ads aren’t enough anymore; you have to be prepared to give some of your knowledge away for free.
Content also shouldn’t be created just to cover off certain keywords. That strategy may have worked once, but Google’s algorithm has since changed and now places greater emphasis on the value that content gives to the reader instead.
Firms should regularly review, not just their overall marketing strategy and individual campaigns, but each piece of content to see what worked well and what didn’t.
Popular pieces of content may also be able to be repurposed for different platforms. For example, let’s say you create an infographic featuring various statistics. You could break the stats down and turn each one into a separate social media post. You could also create a case study for each statistic if you have clients who fit the bill.
In a world increasingly dominated by technology, empathy can be the thing that sets you apart. Often, when people contact a lawyer, it’s at a deeply traumatic time in their lives and they want to speak to someone who understands what they’re going through.
For law firms, that could mean sharing stories from former clients (while being mindful of client confidentiality) who have been through a similar experience to them, or even those of the lawyers themselves. Seeing who you are, what you do and what motivates you may help potential clients build a picture of you and whether you’re someone they would feel comfortable dealing with. Don’t be afraid to show your human side.
An increasing number of clients these days are likely to have been online and done their homework before getting in contact so making a good first impression – albeit a virtual one – is more important than ever. Your competitors are only one click away.
Andy Cullwick is head of marketing at First4Lawyers jointhepanel.first4lawyers.com