“Content marketing” is a buzzword in 2015. It’s a simple concept. It means creating content (blog entries, videos, reports, webinars, etc.) that is valuable and relevant to your target market. And it means using that content to engage your market and ultimately convert them into clients.
“Make your marketing so useful people would pay you for it.” – Jay Baer
This differs from a more traditional approach to advertising and sales because you’re not just screaming at your audience to purchase from you. Instead, you’re educating them and helping them to decide for themselves whether your legal services are a good fit for their needs.
Content marketing works because the internet has changed the legal marketplace. Consumers have more choice than they ever did. In thirty seconds, a potential client for your firm can use Google to view a long list of nearby attorneys in your practice area. Standing out from the crowd requires more than just including your phone number on a legal directory. It’s important to engage your audience, to educate them, and to demonstrate your expertise in the process.
Below are three “types” of content that work well for this purpose. You can feature this content on your website, on social media, through email marketing which is a very efficient way to promote your business (here’s a Guide to Email Marketing), and everywhere else that you engage with your audience.
Giving your audience specific guidance which helps them solve a problem or plot a course of action is very valuable. It positions you and your firm as an expert on the subject, and it should dovetail perfectly into your services. For instance, a divorce attorney could create a report entitled “Preparing for Divorce: Five Steps to Help You Begin”. This is information that will be useful to the individual, and it positions you as an expert resource on divorce. You could even use this report to streamline your intake process by including information on “What to do before you hire your attorney.” If you can get their email address in exchange for their download of the report, you can continue to market to them until they’re ready to make a hire.
News and Analysis
Every client wants to feel secure that their lawyer is on the cutting edge in their industry. One way to demonstrate this is to monitor news that impacts your market and share it on social media, on your website, and via email. Highlight important developments and break down their implications to your target market. As an IRS tax defense attorney, for example, you could share information regarding audit strategy, changes to the tax code, latest IRS tactics, and so forth. Position yourself as both a source of news and as an expert that can break down the news and explain why it matters to your target clients.
Answers and Resources
Most people who are in the marketplace for a lawyer are full of questions. In fact, they may be searching directly for the answer to a specific question, not even knowing whether or not they ultimately intend to hire a lawyer. Give them the answers they are looking for! Include an FAQ section on your website. Answer questions on legal directories such as Avvo. Write blog entries in which you focus on specific questions. (Like this one). Shoot videos and use them to answer common questions that potential clients have. (Here’s an example). In addition, provide tips and resources whenever possible – links to government resources, industry information, and so on.
Content marketing is a powerful and a profitable strategy for law firm growth when it’s done right. The key variable, as suggested by the quote at the top of this article, is that the content you create must provide real value to potential customers and clients for your firm.
Take a few moments to brainstorm right now.
What are the common challenges that your clientele are facing? What are the common questions that they have? What resources do they need to be connected with?
Most importantly for the future of your law firm marketing… how can you create content that answers those questions?