Many law firms think that just by publishing blogs on their website they’re ‘doing content marketing’. However, in 2019 law firm content marketing is more than just blog writing.
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.”
Why should you care about creating blogs, checklists, or videos for your law firm website? Because when done right, content marketing generates 3x as many leads as outbound marketing efforts and costs 62% less. That’s right. Content marketing can increase your lead quantity and quality.
Not only will content improve your lead generation efforts, it will also positively impact your legal SEO performance.
So, how do you go about planning a content strategy for your law firm? Below we’re sharing our tips for creating a content marketing plan that will deliver results and grow your legal practice. (These are the same tips we use internally when working with clients, too!)
Creating Your Law Firm’s Content Marketing Strategy
It all starts with a plan. Before you start publishing content you have to plan out your approach. This involves things like goal setting, understanding your audience, and creating your content mix.
Define Your Goals & KPIs
Why are you investing in content marketing for your law firm? And how are you going to measure success? The answers to these two questions will help define the goals and KPIs (key performance indicators) you’ll track to see if / how well your content is performing.
For example: If your law firm’s goal is to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to track the traffic, pageviews, time on site, and bounce rate on your legal website.
Ultimately, you want to tie your KPIs to your overall goal so you have a way to measure the success of your efforts.
Also, remember that all goals should be SMART:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-bound
Applying the SMART methodology when creating goals gives you concrete targets to achieve over a certain length of time. HubSpot does a great job explaining SMART goals if you want to learn more.
Understanding Your Law Firm’s Audience
Who are your law firm’s ideal clients? Your legal services aren’t for everyone so it’s important to know exactly who is going to be looking for and reading the content you produce.
After all, your law firm’s content should educate, engage, and speak the language of your audience. This is how you’ll grow your brand awareness, thought leadership, and generate more leads for your firm.
To ensure your legal content is written for your audience, ask yourself the following:
- What challenges do your clients face?
- What do they care about?
- What are their goals?
You might find that you have several different answers to these questions, thus meaning you have different client types. And that’s totally normal! Most companies have several target audiences, even within a specific niche, that could be a good fit for their product/service.
Another helpful tool for writing content is buyer personas. Buyer personas already have detailed insights on your ideal clients, including their challenges, goals, and demographic data. If you don’t have buyer personas for your law firm, you can use HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool to easily create personas for your various types of clients.
Creating Your Content Mix
Now that you know who should be reading your content, you can start identifying the types of content you want to produce.
Sometimes your buyer personas will influence content types. For example: You find that one of your buyer personas listens to podcasts and audiobooks more than they read blogs. This might indicate that your law firm’s content should be audio-friendly so that your audience can listen on the go.
What different types of content are there? Let’s take a look:
Emails & newsletters
Presentation / Slidedeck
There are so many content types out there. And the great thing is you can mix and match to see what gets you the most engagement. CoSchedule has a great list of 113 content types you can use to get ideas for your law firm’s content marketing strategy, too.
Pro tip: On each blog you publish, try to create 3-4 other types of content to help you promote it to your audience. For example, pull out quotes from the article to create images you can share on social media or create a short video to include in your article if you’re writing a how-to.
Once you create your content, you have to get it in front of your audience. And just like there are many types of content, there are also many places to publish content.
One of the best places to publish is on your ‘owned’ channels. ‘Owned’ channels are places where you have complete control over what you publish and the frequency, like your website, legal blog, and social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
In addition to owned channels, you’ll also want to reach out to industry-specific publications, journals, and websites to get your content published on these properties, too. This helps you get in front of your target audience, grow your thought leadership and brand awareness, and boost your law firm SEO rankings.
Create Your Editorial Calendar
Once you know your target audience, your content mix, and how you’re going to distribute your new content, you need a way to organize everything. You need an editorial calendar.
Editorial calendars (sometimes called content calendars) help you visualize all your content for the coming month, quarter, and/or year. They can also be categorized by campaign to ensure you have top-of-funnel (TOFU), middle-of-funnel (MOFU), and bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) content to generate legal leads.
Creating your law firm content marketing strategy will take some research and time, but the results from a well-thought-out editorial calendar are worth the investment. Here are some additional resources to help you research, create, and distribute your content to reach your goals: