Scott Stevens talks us through defining a content strategy for your law firm, with a focus on displaying your expertise and building trust.
Guest post by Scott Stevens
We’ve had the pleasure of working with several legal businesses with their marketing over the years. During this time I’ve come to realize that there are a few challenges in content marketing that are unique to the industry. And they’re seemingly quite common (at least in my experience).
With that in mind, I am going to share a few pro tips that come from firsthand experience that will hopefully help your legal practice with effective content marketing in the future. Let’s get started.
First, you should begin by looking at the type of clients you want. These days many businesses are casting a wide net to appeal to as many potential clients as possible. Even so, having a target audience in mind will help inform your content writing strategy. For instance, law firms that specialize in immigration law should focus on their specialty whether that’s issuing immigration appeals, obtaining visas for businesses, helping refugees gain asylum, or any other specialty. Potential clients want to know you’re well versed in your field and honing in your specialty speaks to that.
The narrower you define your audience the better. Take Healthcare for example. Sure, it’s a niche but it is a broad niche that can range from hospitals, doctors, assisted living facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and even more. With such a broad field it becomes nearly impossible to create valuable and insightful content. Instead, be more specific like ‘general counsel for health systems that earn over $80 million in revenue.’ That is a well-defined client persona that you can target with well-crafted content.
A lot of firms make the mistake of focusing too heavily on what the law is. Instead, you should focus your efforts on displaying your successful reported cases, published articles, and any other accomplishments your firm has. All of these achievements will help your firm stand out from the pack and build trust and credibility with potential clients.
Lawyers have to be adept at writing in order to do their jobs. The classic mistake is thinking those skills immediately translate to copywriting. Legal writing often contains a lot of technical terms, methodical explanations, and passive voice. Copywriting, however, needs to be easy to read, engage with people emotionally, and then drive them to take action.
It can be hard to switch your brain from “legal mode” to “creative mode”, and just because you can write awesome legalise, it doesn't mean you’re going to create captivating copy. It can often make sense (creatively and economically) to hire a freelance writer to create content for you - just be sure to review it for accuracy before publishing.
There are four main types of purpose that content often falls into. These are the attraction, reaction, technical, and recycle types.
For attraction content, its focus is to reach a new audience. This content should be unique and SEO optimized with a focus on describing the law and promoting your business. Attraction content is the most standard type of content marketing most firms engage in. When creating this content try to avoid bullet-point lists and instead use long-form prose. This is because search engines value in-depth authoritative content over lists. Attraction content is easy to produce and is an essential part of gaining new business.
Reaction content is based on reacting to an external event. So, for a firm specializing in divorce, it could be a blog post about a recent celebrity divorce. This content is designed to stimulate a reaction from your potential audience. It is rarely evergreen though and is best used on blogs and social media platforms. The value of this type of content is that it offers you an opportunity to offer new insight into the current event and intrigue potential clients.
Technical content is where you post your detailed legal guides and display your process step by step. This is where technical terminology should be encouraged as it will help you show up in more long-tail searches.
Recycle content is when you re-purpose old content with a fresh coat of paint. This could be anything from old journal articles, whitepapers, PDF’s or old landing pages. The value of recycling content is that it can help you publish a large amount of content very quickly. This is valuable as it offers a solid base to start from if you’re just beginning a content marketing campaign.
With the right content marketing strategy, you’ll be able to increase the credibility of your firm's reputation, attract new business, and improve relationships with pre-existing clients. Creating valuable content with a focus and target audience in mind will enable you to outperform your competitors and massively boost profits.
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