Online content is a smart and effective way for law firms to showcase their expertise and reach potential clients. This goes beyond the standard posts on social media. By experimenting with different mediums, content marketing strategies, lead magnets, and more, you can use content to bring a range of benefits to your firm.
Many times the content process is oversimplified as “Create, Publish, Share,” which leaves many business owners wondering why their awesome content generates nothing but crickets. The truth is, effective content for law firm business and growth is all about creating the right content for the right audience at the right time. A truly effective content process should go as follows: Research, Create, Promote, Convert and Measure.
Here are the 12 content marketing strategies you can use to generate more traffic and leads for your law firm.
1. Identify and research your target audience
If your answer to the question “Who is your target audience?” is “Anyone with a legal issue,” then you don’t know your target audience very well at all. Instead, you have a very vague idea of who you serve and why they’re looking to connect, work with or hire a law firm like yours. Knowing your target audience from the inside out is key to creating content that resonates with them. Without audience research, you’re likely to create content that misses the mark completely.
Once you have identified your target audience, you may ask the following questions to learn what resonates with them: What is the most important legal issue you are facing at the moment? What resources have you looked into to help you solve this issue? What is your #1 goal in overcoming your legal issue? What characteristics are you looking for in a law firm/lawyer? What methods have you used to find law firms/lawyers? Your audience’s answers to these questions will help you determine what topics to cover, and what keywords to target in your content, among others. Audience research informs your entire content strategy so you don’t want to skip this step.
2. Conduct SEO keyword research
While market research gives you a glance into what your audience is struggling with and what they are looking for, keyword research tells you exactly what terms they use to find law firms like yours on Google. Using keyword research tools you can gain valuable data about the keywords your audience is using, the competition level of these keywords, and how often they are being searched. Make a list of keywords you might want to target on your site, and then determine whether they are a good match for webpages, blog articles, or other content assets.
3. Scope out the competition
This tactic involves spying on your competitors’ content strategies to inform your own content efforts. Remember, though, that your competitors may have different target audiences, so the insights gained from your market research should be at the front of your mind. To learn more about their strategies review their webpages – what do they have on the page that is missing from yours?; Scan through your competitor’s blog for interesting article topic ideas. Use SEO tools to search your competitor’s domain and see what keywords they are ranking for. Then you can add these keywords to your own content plan to build out new web pages and blog articles.
There’s a lot to be learned by seeing what your competitors are doing with their content. Don’t copy what your competitors are doing exactly, but use their strategies as inspiration for your own content. Your goal is to go above and beyond what your competitors are already doing.
4. Align content with your brand narrative
Your brand narrative consists of your company’s values, mission statement, brand story, approach to client support, and other characteristics that make your law firm unique. All of your content should be aligned with your brand narrative to cultivate brand authority and trust.
Your law firm can create a brand narrative as an internal document that your team can refer to whenever someone creates a new piece of content. In this document, be sure to answer: who is our target audience? what services do we provide? what makes us stand out from our competitors? what is our approach to working with clients? what is our brand story/foundation? what is our brand voice and tone? what is the goal (or goals) of our content?
Answers to these questions will help ensure that your content aligns with your company’s values and works to speak to the unique needs of your target audience. That way, existing and potential clients will come to trust your brand and know that they’ll always get the same signature experience when working with you.
5. Build out your content funnel
A content funnel consists of a top, middle and bottom that moves users from the Awareness Stage to the Consideration Stage to the Decision Stage (respectively) of their journey.
At the top of the funnel is informative content that addresses a topic at a high level. This includes your blog articles and guides that serve to draw in a wider audience that has broad questions about a particular legal topic. At the middle of the funnel is content that speaks to users who are already “problem aware” and searching for a solution. They are likely comparing different law firm options, so they will want to see case studies, testimonials, in-depth guides, and service pages. And finally at the bottom of the funnel is the content that ultimately converts passive website visitors into new clients.
Do you have content that aligns with every stage of the buyer’s journey? If not, potential leads might be falling through the cracks.
Read also: The “nexus” for making career advancements as a young lawyer
6. Experiment with content types
Legal content doesn’t have to mean strictly writing blog articles. In fact, it’s best to experiment with different content types to keep users engaged and see what works best with your audience. Some examples of content types to use in your content strategy are interviews, ebooks, videos, webinars, podcasts, resource guides, newsletters, and live videos.
7. Create a blogging schedule
Publishing high-quality content is more important than churning out tons of blog posts per month, but it’s still recommended that you establish a blogging schedule so you’re able to stay consistent. You can use project management tools like Asana to schedule your post assignments or simply use something like Google Calendar or Google Sheets to organize your topics. Set a reminder for yourself for every step of the content marketing process: Research, Create, Promote, Convert, and Measure.
8. Contribute guest posts and interviews
Guest posting is a great way to attract authority-boosting backlinks to your website, which in turn can help you rank higher in Google search results. One way to land guest posting opportunities is to reach out to websites directly, asking if they accept guest articles. Most will do so for free, and many will allow you to link back to your site. You can also land interviews and guest post spots through networking online or at in-person events. Just be sure to only work with reputable websites with decent domain authority.
9. Build out linkable content assets
Another way to attract links is to build out content assets. These are pieces of content that provide something unique and/or highly valuable, so other site owners are itching to link to them. Examples include exclusive interviews, webinars and infographics. You can attract links to these assets organically or by reaching out to publishers directly, asking them to check out your content and consider referencing it on their own websites.
10. Optimize key (service) landing pages
Landing pages, as we discussed earlier, most often serve as bottom-of-the-funnel content that converts visitors into leads. With this in mind, your landing pages must be optimised to the nines. To drive traffic to your content, keyword research and on-page SEO are vital and for conversions, your landing page copy should appeal to your target audience, hit on the perks of working with your firm, and include a compelling invitation to contact you. Finally, it must have a user-friendly design to make your page easy to navigate and interact with.
11. Establish a distribution and promotion strategy
Every effective content plan needs a distribution strategy as well. This covers where, how, and how often you plan on sharing your content. Content-sharing tools like Buffer help you automate some of this process by sharing your content to various social media channels. You might also have to make manual efforts to repurpose your content and share it with other platforms. A few places to share your content are newspapers, magazines, and social media platforms.
12. Measure content marketing results
A recent case study revealed that over 40% of law firms do not track their leads at all. Posting your content is one thing, but you will need an effective means for measuring the results of your content to see if your efforts are working. After all, the goal of your content is not just to generate views but to land a solid ROI on your marketing efforts.
Google Analytics can track website traffic, the source of your traffic, your website bounce rate, goal completions, and more to see how your web content is performing. At the same time, most social media platforms have their own tools for measuring clicks, likes, engagement, and more. This is the only way to truly know whether your content is working to generate more traffic and leads for your firm.
The above law firm content tactics serve to help you come up with an effective content strategy. Over time, your content will improve, and you’re likely to see an even greater ROI from your content marketing efforts.
Sourced from Search Engine Journal