When it comes to legal marketing, content isn’t just king—it’s the whole kingdom. Articles, videos, social media posts, photography, and your website all have the power to engage people and motivate them to seek you out. But churning out content for content’s sake is a waste of time and energy. Sure, leads may pour in, but are they the kind of leads you want? A thoughtful and cohesive content strategy is a firm’s secret sustainable marketing weapon to build the credibility and visibility that ultimately supports sellability.
The key to pulling in qualified leads is to be intentional with your messaging. Analyze. Strategize. Think about what compelling content would look like for your target audience, and then deliver that content like no one else can. For example, a trial attorney who is feeling the pain of weeding through too many unqualified leads could start investing in educational content that helps prospective clients understand more about the severity of cases they take on and how laws work in their state specific to that type of case. When every piece you put out reflects your firm’s expertise, personality, professionalism, and commitment, you will draw in leads more aligned with your client profile.
Here’s where to start.
Audit Your Content
The first step in improving the performance of your content is to evaluate your current content. Look at your analytics to see what content is pulling in leads now. What’s the quality of those leads? Are they truly client material, or are you wasting precious time following up with people without real business potential? Read your content with fresh eyes, and objectively assess its quality, timeliness, and relevance to the audience you want to attract.
This exercise can help you gain perspective that enables you to narrow your focus. Let’s say you’re a divorce attorney, and you wrote a blog titled “Divorce in America” that generated a lot of leads. How many of those people were actually on the brink of hiring a divorce attorney? Probably not nearly as many as would have read the blog “5 Steps to Take Before Discussing Divorce with Your Spouse.” That is how you find better qualified leads with content.
Focus on “MarkEDing®”
As you contemplate what content you should be sharing, think about this: What do people usually ask you about? Maybe it’s What should I do if I’m in an accident? How can I protect my business in a divorce? or When does it make sense to file for bankruptcy? Think about what your clients want to know, and then give them the information they need. Teach, don’t preach!
When your marketing messages are based on educating your audience (I coined the term “markEDing” to describe this), you make a deeper connection that leaves them feeling empowered. It also leaves them with a positive impression of your firm. By sharing valuable insights, you have demonstrated that you respect your audience’s information needs and are a reliable, forthright resource.
Write for SEO
Search engine optimization can be an outstanding tool for connecting potential clients to your content. And no, this isn’t a pitch for you to hire a full-time SEO firm. The key to visibility is not just architecture and code; it’s about having content—frequent content with SEO practices that will take your marketing efforts to the next level. Knowing how to carefully craft your blog post titles, metadata, video titles, and descriptions, image file names, etc. can elevate your content’s appearance in searches.
Align Your Content with Your Personality
Authenticity is essential to making an impact with your content. This means that every communication you share should feel consistent with your firm’s personality or with the individual personalities of the lawyers on your team. Your marketing support team should understand the nature of not only your firm’s business but also its personality, and the team should have the ability to bring that to life in the most relevant way.
For example, one law firm partner we worked with was so warm and genuine that clients have stayed in touch with him for decades because of the relationships he built. We knew we had to get him on video and film testimonials from some of the clients who adored him. As people look to see who they will be working with, hearing that person and getting a feel of who they are can make a huge difference. On the flip side, if someone hates being on camera, you should find a different way to communicate their personality and professionalism—something that is authentic to the person and the firm.
Assign Content Creation to the Right Partner
Just because we all can write doesn’t mean we all should. For most, it’s best to focus on what you do best and have others do the rest. Any message that comes out of your organization should be well-crafted, grammatically sound, and reflective of your underlying communications strategy. It’s great for partners and associates to share their expertise and insights, but that doesn’t mean they need to be the ones putting pen to paper.
Delegate the writing and creative direction to someone with the right skill set and a deep understanding of your communications strategy. If you don’t have an internal creative team, a digital marketing agency can lift this burden. They can recommend topics with high readership potential, interview the appropriate subject matter experts, and create compelling content for your targeted marketing channels.
Turn One Message into Many
If creating content seems like a daunting task, remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every message. One substantial piece can be edited or repurposed into multiple messages. For example:
- One video can be chopped up into several short clips for social media.
- A blog can be excerpted to form many social media posts.
- One media hit—a podcast interview, TV appearance, magazine article, etc.—can be repurposed for your website and social media, your quarterly newsletter, a sales sheet, and other communication channels.
Lead the Way
Taking a strategic approach with these pointers in mind can support your objective of generating more high-quality leads. It can also help you solidify your leadership stance among the crowded field of legal professionals.