In the digital age, law firms are doubling down on more content-led marketing strategies. And there is no shortage of ways in which law firms can use this new cornucopia of opportunities to support their wider business development objectives.
Content should not be produced for the sake of it. As more law firms’ communications departments embrace digital and content to gain an advantage over their competitors, the legal marketplace online is becoming a crowded environment, and law firms need to create a clear strategy to rise above the noise. Content and digital marketing offer an incredibly efficient means of informing and educating your prospects, all the while building a relationship with them. Create evergreen content that continues to engage your audiences and you have just as effective a way of consolidating your reputation as through a strong media profile.
New opportunities often spell widespread change. The cultural habits of younger, savvier generations mean there’ll be an ever-increasing number of eyes on screens among crucial decision makers in years to come. The growth of digital and content does not just signify an opportunity too good to be missed, but also a wider trend requiring a real, long-term strategy.
Here are some proven methods for law firms to grow their profiles via digital and content marketing.
Engage your prospective clients by creating content that works backwards from your clients’ pain points
Part of what makes the legal online marketplace seem so noisy is that a great deal of online content is not all that interesting. But learning the tricks of persuasion can help your content truly stand out.
Most potential clients will go to your website before they decide whether to instruct your firm. If you create content that makes your prospective clients feel you understand them, you’ll be far more likely to earn their engagement. For example, clients expect lawyers to be able to advise them but if you can demonstrate through the content you produce that you really know the industry and sector in which your client operates, then you are creating an ‘engagement advantage’ over competitors who simply focus on the law.
Tailor a full suite of blog posts around those enacting the buying decision and their problems (and your content) will be far more valuable to them. Law firms are particularly well disposed to creating such valuable content for their potential buyers.
Cement your firm’s status and stay highly ranked in Google
SEO-friendly, regular and relevant content helps your firm stay at the top of Google rankings. When a new potential client searches the legal service they require, it’s only natural that the order in which firms appear in the result will influence the way your firm is perceived. Tailor your website around the key word searches of potential clients in their preliminary research stages and they’ll be more likely to hold you in high regard when making their final decision.
But make sure your content is written for humans, not search engines. Big tech companies like Google constantly update their algorithms according to relevant content. If your content isn’t accurate or just isn’t good, people won’t read through, and your Google ranking will be negatively impacted.
Having an SEO strategy so that you rank highly in search results will harden your reputation.
Use analytics to measure engagement
If you owned a shop and all your visitors were plainly not interested in the products you were selling, you’d know something must change. Much the same principle applies to your website, the content of which must be engaging to your visitors.
It must also be interesting to the right people and for the right reasons; it must ultimately lay the seeds for a future instruction, or to attract the right talent to your firm by describing what makes you stand out. Analytics tools, the plethora that there are available online, help you measure your web traffic in intelligent ways. Going beyond vanity metrics, like number of views, analytics tools help you see who is viewing your website and how far through your content they’re clicking (or tapping).
If you know who’s interested in your services and why, you know if your key messages are hammering home. And if content for particular practice areas is not performing well, then you know you need to improve that content.
Use social media to build relationships and help people understand you
Social media in a business context is ultimately about presence and building both active and passive relationships. Ultimately, having a Twitter and a LinkedIn account for your firm helps you humanise your brand and stay visible. It’s also a key method of distributing your content and generating leads. For instance, posting links to your blog posts on social media will raise awareness of that blog post and encourage visitors to explore the rest of your website (and hence further understand your firm).
Different social media channels have different functions, too, and law firms are increasingly looking to the likes of Instagram to build presences among younger demographics as a means to assist the recruitment of top talent.
Make use of video and other media
With all this talk of cutting through the noise, law firms are beginning to use video. According to Google, 80% of people switch between online search and video when researching purchases online. Here there are real opportunities to leverage attention online.
Other new media also offer efficient ways of expanding your profile through an online presence. For instance, podcasts are an effective tool enabling you to create and distribute interesting audio content your prospects can listen to at a time convenient for them – for example, when commuting.
What does this all mean? When it comes to raising your profile, content is becoming an increasingly effective avenue through which to do so. This is particularly true for law firms who are essentially selling their expertise. But, crucially, there are no shortcuts to leveraging digital and content – each in their own way must be meticulously worked out as part of a wider marketing, business development and PR strategy. And here lay a plethora of opportunities for law firms to rise above the noise.