Content marketing tips for law firms
Just over 90 per cent of B2B organisations are using content marketing, with 86 per cent of B2C companies doing the same, according to Point Visible. So whether your law firm caters to business people or your everyday Joe, if you don’t have a content marketing strategy, you’re lagging behind.
At Castleford, we’ve helped a lot of law firms appear in search engine results, find more clients and engage with people on social media. And we’ve found that, while every firm is different, there are some key content marketing ideas that apply to everyone in the legal space.
Take a look at these tips to see what they can do for your business:
Tip 1: Go in with a plan
Strategy is key to content marketing: It sets the playing field and tells you where the goal posts are. Every good strategy starts with three core questions:
- Who is your target audience? Content marketing is the art of providing value to people you’ve never met, but they have to be the right people to be worth your money. To determine your target audience, you must determine who your ‘ideal’ client is. CEOs, mums and dads, someone in between? What are their pain points, their likes and dislikes? Write this all down – this will form the base for all your future content.
- What do you want to achieve? This is the next step. What do you want those people to do once they’re on your content? Fill out a form, give you a ring, or just keep you at the back of their minds for when they next need advice? Agree a primary objective, and a secondary objective if there’s more than one desired outcome.
- Who will create the content? Is it you, a mix of partners, or a dedicated writer? Someone needs to write blog posts, update social media and monitor analytics data (more on this in Tip 6), and their activity should be carefully scheduled to keep content regular.
Bonus tip: If you use a dedicated in-house writer or a third-party team, encourage them to conduct interviews with the legal experts in your firm. Not only will this help the personal brand of the interviewee, but it injects their personality into the content and gives it more authority.
— Castleford (@castlefordmedia) October 3, 2017
Tip 2: Don’t scrimp on your website
Search engine optimisation (SEO) and user experience (UX) are vital to a good content marketing strategy. SEO is all about ensuring your site is easy to find in Google, and UX makes each page easier to navigate and more enjoyable to read for a user.
Law firm websites should be clear of clutter, look modern, and work well on both mobile and desktop. Deloitte research states that 88 per cent of Australians own a smartphone – that’s a massive market that you can’t ignore.
Quick rules for a good website
- Make sure every page has a dedicated, clear purpose.
- Develop a content marketing strategy and stick to it.
- Ensure each page hyperlinks to other pages, as this is good for SEO and user navigation.
- Minimise page load speeds (two to three seconds max). Use this tool to check.
- Keep each page visually consistent with the overall look and feel.
- Ensure your site passes the five-second test – that is, a user can identify what the site is about and what they will gain from reading it in just five seconds. This is UX 101.
“You need a blog to do well at SEO!”
“You won’t get traffic without content!”
“When was your website built, the stone age?!”
We walk you through the basics of how to do #contentmarketing for #SEO
— Castleford (@castlefordmedia) November 28, 2017
Tip 3: Set yourself up as a thought leader
“Thought leadership” might seem buzzwordy, but in law it’s highly important. After all, you’re asking readers who have never heard of your business to trust that your team can look after their sensitive needs.
What does thought leadership achieve for law firms?
You’ll be perceived as the experts in your field, and your whitepapers, blog posts, podcasts or whatever else you publish will become a go-to database of advice for potential customers. You’ll stick in people’s minds for when they need help, which can also build word-of-mouth references.
How do you achieve thought leadership?
Ensure that each piece of content you produce and promote on social media presents very clear, very well-researched value to the audience. If you’re creating content that uniquely targets your customers’ needs, identifies their FAQs and provides an answer, you’ll be building a strong reputation.
Tip 4: Produce a variety of content types
It’s easy to fall into the rut of only ever writing short blog posts, but that’s going to get boring really fast – both for your users and for you. Keep things interesting by experimenting with different mediums.
So what options are available to you?
- Blog posts: Great for FAQs, interviews, and general evergreen or news-driven content. E.g. “Protecting your IP: Tips from John Doe”.
- Whitepapers/e-books: Ideal for tackling bigger, more important evergreen subjects. Like detailed guides, or thought leadership on customer pain points. E.g. “A guide to the Australian divorce process”.
- Infographics and short videos: Visually rich ways to break down complicated topics that would be otherwise overwhelming or boring to read about. E.g. “When do personal comments become defamation? [INFOGRAPHIC]”.
- Podcasts or live videos: A unique way to discuss law over a period of time (a series of episodes), i.e. how it’s changing, and how it affects your customers. E.g. “Expert discussions – interviews with fellow lawyers on global cases.”
- Slideshares: Similar to infographics and short videos – ideal for breaking down complicated topics. Slideshares can typically handle subjects that would be too big for an infographic, but are still too unwieldy to write about in a blog post. E.g. “50 things to know about estate planning.”
No matter what you publish, remember this: Quality, over quantity. Google values quality, and so do users. You don’t need to publish something new everyday, so long as what you do publish is of a very high standard, and presents real value to a user.
— Castleford (@castlefordmedia) January 26, 2018
Tip 5: Leverage paid opportunities
There are two main types of paid advertising to consider for your law firm’s marketing efforts: Google AdWords and social media paid ads (particularly on Facebook and LinkedIn).
To summarise, paying for an ad on one of these platforms places your name in front of far more users than you would find organically. Ads don’t have to be expensive, but they can expand your customer reach dramatically on key campaigns – for example, a whitepaper you’ve created to generate leads.
How to use paid ads for legal content
It depends on your objective. You could alternate between:
- Promoting your general services: Promoting key landing pages can build awareness of your services and area of law.
- Promoting a specific problem: If you specialise in a unique aspect of law, promoting it individually could catch the attention of those users who are experiencing that difficulty. For example, are you experienced with custody cases? Focus on that.
- Promoting content: If you write an important, valuable piece of content (like a whitepaper), promotions will drive more readers to the piece. This is great for general brand awareness, but if you put that whitepaper behind a download form, users have to input their name and email address before downloading it – you can then follow up by emailing and asking if they need your help.
Tip 6: Always check your data
Keep an eye on social media data and ensure you’ve set up Google Analytics for your website. This will help you answer some critical questions:
- Where are users coming from, and how many are visiting your site?
- Are these users staying and reading your content, or “bouncing” off and leaving?
- Are users clicking where you hope they will (e.g. contact forms)?
- Are any of your social media channels not driving results?
- Did your recent promotional campaign drive results?
All of these answers are easy to find, and can help you tune the next phase of your content marketing strategy so that it outperforms the previous one.
Learn more about using data in our recent article, “What Google Analytics Can Tell You About Your Content Marketing Success.”