The legal industry is more competitive than ever. Fortunately, small firms and individual lawyers do not need to spend large amounts of money on marketing to stand out in a crowded playing field. While referrals and traditional marketing methods such as advertising are still successful, content marketing has become an extremely effective way for lawyers to reach target audiences. By developing and distributing quality content that brings value to a target audience, lawyers and law firms can quickly raise awareness and increase their credibility.
And when a firm continually develops compelling content, it reinforces its expertise and builds trust with prospects. This trust not only attracts clients but also retains clients.
One great thing about content marketing is that it can start today without spending a dime!
STEPS TO SUCCESS
Step 1: Take Inventory
o Determine who will be in charge of each component of the strategy. Who will be generating the content? Who will be publishing the content on digital platforms? Do you or the firm need to hire an outside consultant to write content or handle the firm’s content development and publishing on the firm blog and/or social media platforms?
o What resources/materials content is already available? (past articles, presentations, memos).
Step 2: Collect and Create Content
If your firm already has recent and relevant articles and presentations, you can start with this content. Since content marketing needs to be an ongoing effort to be most effective, new content always needs to be in the works. To think of ideas for new content, these questions can help:
- What are your clients asking about? What do they want to know?
- What are some trending topics?
- Current events?
- Changes to the law?
Another important question: What type of content does your target audience prefer?
Do articles, infographics, presentations, videos or podcasts work best to reach your targets?
Step 3: Develop a Firm Blog
There are many different blogging platforms available; some are free and others are not. In selecting the firm’s blog platform, PerformLaw recommends either WordPress or Lexblog. WordPress is a well-known platform targeted to nearly all industries, while Lexblog is specifically designed for lawyers.
Wordpress is a free and fairly easy platform to learn how to use. The firm pays for a domain and web hosting and implements all content into the Wordpress platform.
For those firms needing a little more guidance and support, LexBlog is a self-publishing platform that helps lawyers build a strong online identity with custom-designed blogs. LexBlog will help the firm with the design and setup of the blog and also give exposure to the firm’s blog through LXBN, the largest network of professional blogs. This exposure can greatly help in getting visitors to the blog. Costs for using this platform range from $99-$299/ month. Learn more at www.lexblog.com.
If developing an entire blog is not something you can give the needed time to, then consider putting your time into the various social media platforms discussed below.
Step 4: Promote content on various social media platforms
A lawyer or a firm can quickly increase their visibility and credibility in target markets through social media. We recommend law firms develop a presence on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Determine which platform your targeted audience is most active and start putting content and developing a profile on that platform. We have seen promising results from promoting content on LinkedIn, in particular. PerformLaw offers help and training to lawyers on developing an effective LinkedIn profile.
Step 5: Promote Content Through Email Marketing
With all the great content being created, firms need to make sure people see it. A simple email template can be created through either Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. These email platforms allow firms to upload client contact lists and to format emails in a professional manner that all contacts can view. The goal of the e-newsletter will be to drive people to the firm blog and website.
These steps, while basic, are critical to building a strong content marketing strategy. Ideally, a law firm can manage the process on this level in–house. However, if your firm’s in-house capabilities are not sufficient to manage these steps, many outsourced providers can assist your firm with a more robust solution. Contact PerformLaw if you would like more information. And view our previous blog articles on law firm marketing strategy for more information on modern marketing in law firms.
Wherever you are with your marketing efforts, PerformLaw can help you to develop and implement a plan that is effective and makes the most use of your busy time.