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What is a Law Firm Content Marketing Strategy?

Andrew Adams

Last night, Joe punched a man at a bar. This morning, Joe was charged with assault. Now, Joe is using Google to answer some questions: What is self-defense? Is it ok to hit someone to defend someone else? What happens if the person I hit was drunk and lost their balance? What is the possible sentence for assault?

If you have a good law firm content marketing strategy, Joe's questions will lead him to your criminal law practice... and to hire you as his criminal defense attorney. Through content marketing, Joe went from a potential client to an established matter.

A law firm content marketing strategy involves writing, posting, and sharing articles, blogs, client alerts, videos, infographics, white papers, case studies, reports... anything that shows a law firm's or lawyer's knowledge about relevant legal topics. Executed well, a law firm's content marketing strategy brings people to a law firm's website or encourages them to interact with the firm's social media. At the same time, an effective content marketing strategy promotes individual attorneys, practices, and law firms as leading authorities on an area of law. All of this supports legal marketing campaigns and branding strategies and keeps attorneys and law firms at the top of people's minds - especially former clients and professional acquaintances, both of whom are fantastic referral sources.

A content marketing strategy is one piece of a law firm marketing strategy and relies on identifying the same information:

  • The product, practice, service, individual, etc. to be promoted
  • The target audience
  • Answers to relevant questions
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Effective messaging

As we previously discussed in How to Improve Your Firm's Digital Content and Generate Leads, content marketing is a meaningful and increasingly popular strategy to create website traffic and attention. It requires tactics such as tailoring content based on locations, producing content the target audience will want to see and find useful, and producing a variety of content types, including blogs, video, etc.

Content marketing strategies, though, need more than just great content. Writing content that no one sees is like throwing a party and no one shows up - it's disappointing and all the effort was pointless. With strategy and planning comes success.

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Four Content Marketing Strategy Tips for Success

Set Goals: What does legal content marketing success mean to your law firm? Decide if the goal is to grow website visitors, build social media followings, or increase marketing email open or click-through rates. Maybe the goal is to establish a certain number of potential client leads per month or to gain a specific news publication's attention. Whatever the goal is, have something to work toward and adjust the law firm content marketing as needed to meet it.

Conduct an Analytics Audit: Reviewing the law firm website's analytics can help determine what practice areas, topics, and individuals are generating the most interest. This baseline is important to either grow an area that needs more attention or capitalize on one that is already seeing successful engagement. This Google analytics review can also show where more Search Engine Optimization could increase website visitors through boosts in online search rankings.

Establish an Editorial Calendar: While some of the content will be based on new legal developments, recent trends, or even breaking news, it is good to create a list of "evergreen" topics that are relevant to the target audience. Assign those topics as needed with deadlines and put them on an editorial calendar. This keeps the legal content flowing and limits gaps in publishing. Whether the law firm content is being written by attorneys, an in-house marketing team, or an outside ghostwriting service, setting clear deadlines and holding to them is critical to the process.

Distribution Plan: Simply posting a video on the website and sharing it on social media misses many opportunities. To decide how and where to distribute content marketing pieces, think about the goals and the target audience. A little research can help in deciding if the audience is most likely to be people who use certain social media platforms, read specific trade publications, or prefer videos over articles. It is also helpful to understand the basics of digital marketing and search engine optimization to help your legal content have a farther reach.

All four of these tips work together to create an effective marketing strategy. It's important to note that a content marketing strategy is scalable - what might work for one practice area may not for another. It bears remembering, too, that informative, relevant, and helpful content has a shelf life beyond the 24 hours past its posting. Like Joe the alleged assailant, potential clients are always looking for legal content and advice.