Content marketing for attorneys and law firms is the cornerstone of their digital marketing strategy. The digital world is noisy. By successfully implementing a content marketing strategy and plan for attorneys and law firms, you will rise above the noise.
What is content marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Valuable and relevant content for your clients. Content that will help your clients. Information that will help solve a problem or answer a question. If you are a tax attorney, content that informs your clients of changes in the tax laws that affect them. An entertainment attorney can discuss how to protect creative works and what can and cannot be protected. An estate and trust attorney can provide guidance on the must-have elements of an estate plan.
Each of the above clients have extremely different problems and questions. Know what is plaguing your clients. Provide solutions, cautionary warnings, and answers.
How can you capture the attention of your target audience?
By focusing on your clients’ needs. You do not need everyone to consume your content, just your target audience. Understand your clients’ worries, obstacles, fears, problems, desires, hopes, and dreams better than they do. Provide solutions to their problems and pathways for achieving their dreams.
Examples of law firms with successful content marketing
One international law firm with a successful content marketing strategy is Cooley, LLP. Their standalone website, CooleyGo, provides start-up entrepreneurs free, valuable content that addresses the challenges the entrepreneurs face. CooleyGo even has a document generator wizard, providing entrepreneurs with the basic documentation needed for a business startup.
Why would a law firm provide such valuable information for free? Once the entrepreneurs’ businesses are launched, who do you think those entrepreneurs will hire for legal advice?
Jackson Lewis, a large law firm specializing in employment and labor law, has a multifaceted content plan of written articles and blog posts, videos, and a podcast, all of which provide up-to-date information regarding the quickly changing employment landscape.
Content marketing is not just for large law firms. Solo and small law firms are implementing successful content marketing strategies. The real estate law firm of Wilson Hamilton in Northern Georgia has a vast video library to answer common real estate questions and explain real estate terms.
Each of these law firms caters to completely different clients and each has found a way to provide needed and valuable information for their clients and potential clients. These law firms have demonstrated their expertise and become a trusted source in their practice areas.
8 Steps of the Content Marketing Strategy and Plan for Attorneys and Law Firms
The content marketing strategy and plan for attorneys and law firms will work hand in glove with digital marketing, social media marketing, and SEO strategies. Your content will help you reach your ideal clients and will benefit them directly.
1. Define your goals
What do you want to achieve with your content marketing? Do you want to generate traffic? Demonstrate your expertise in your area of law? Find highly qualified potential clients? Build your professional network? Your goals will influence your content plan.
2. Conduct an audit of existing content
If you are just starting out, are just having your website built, and have not created any content, you can skip this step for your first content marketing strategy plan. Every content marketing strategy plan thereafter will include this step. A content marketing strategy plan is not a one-and-done effort. Your content marketing strategy plan is always a work-in-progress and evolves as you gain more information.
What are the titles and descriptions, the length, inbound links and backlinks, and social shares of your content? What are the keywords for each piece of content and search ranking? What keywords are your competitors ranking for? What questions are your clients and potential clients asking which you have not addressed? What content was successful? What needs to be updated? What could be repurposed?
3. Know the target audience for your content
Who are your clients and potential clients and what do you want them to do with your content? What problems are you solving for them? What are the demographics of your clients? What keeps your clients awake at night? What dreams and desires can you help them achieve? Do you want to expand your client base? What results do your clients want?
4. Types of content to create and best content platforms
What types of content do your clients and potential clients consume? What types of content would you like to create? There are numerous types of content: blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, social media, curated content, sharing timely news items, white papers, case studies, and ebooks.
What are the best channels or platforms to share your content? What channels do your clients use? What types of content are best suited for which platform?
Your goals and target audience will determine the best content for your law firm.
Your content marketing strategy should be channel-specific. For example, the blog content on your website could include text, images, infographics, video, and more. Your LinkedIn content plan could include original content and discussing curated content. Your target audience might best be served from a podcast or YouTube channel.
5. Determine available resources
What personnel, digital tools, equipment, and resources do you have at your disposal? Who is or will be responsible for creating and distributing your content? What is or will be your content workflow, including content scheduling? Will everything be in-house or will some be outsourced? Will your content be created in-house with the assistance of specialists such as videographers and video editors, podcast editors, or graphic designers? What software and equipment will be needed?
6. Make your editorial calendar
What will ensure that your content creation machine works smoothly and your digital marketing, SEO strategy, and social media marketing all mesh together? An editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is more than just a simple calendar. Project and task management tools are an essential part of an editorial calendar. A content calendar is a component. An editorial calendar is for strategic, big picture, framework planning. The content calendar handles the execution of the specific content to be published.
7. Create and publish content
Guided by the editorial calendar, it is time to create content! All types of content creation share a number of steps (such as picking a topic for the content) and each has aspects and equipment specific to that type (such as good lighting and sound are necessary for video production).
An example of a content workflow for blog post creation could look like this:
- Have a topic and outline approved
- Research the topic and keywords, then write the post
- Create images
- Send the post to an editor who will make any necessary changes
- Have the post uploaded on the law firm’s website
- Distribute and Market
8. Measure results
Track and measure the results of content to make sure that you are hitting your goal. Review Google Analytics to understand visitors’ behavior and verify SEO results regularly. Measure engagement by social sharing activity and comments and mentions.
Your content is the heart and soul of your marketing plan. Schedule a deep dive of your result regularly and adjust your content marketing plan as indicated by the results.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Content is the heart and soul of your marketing. By annually or quarterly working through the 8 steps above, you will have a solid content marketing plan. With your plan in place, you are on your way to marketing success!
If you would like to discuss how Pyne Digital can help you with your legal assistant requirements, and your content marketing, social media marketing, SEO strategy, and overall digital marketing strategy, contact Pyne Digital and/or schedule a free discovery call by clicking the link below.