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Potential clients are savvy these days. They know when they are being pitched and marketed to, and often overlook online ads and promotions. Prospective clients also take full advantage of this information age, where they can search for answers to their legal questions online and learn about lawyers and law firms well before they decide they need an attorney or reach out for legal advice.
Because your potential clients are spending time online looking for answers to legal questions, your law firm should be there with the answers. Showcasing your expertise and answering their questions gives you a shot at being the law firm they reach out to when they decide to hire a lawyer.
This is where content marketing comes in and why it is critical to your firm’s success.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is free online content that is useful and engaging to your target audience, which could include your ideal client and referral sources. It can have several different goals. However, in order to be effective, your content marketing must meet at least one – though preferably all – of the following goals:
- Establish expertise in your practice areas
- Increase your law firm’s brand awareness
- Establish thought leadership
- Generate leads and clients
- Utilize referral sources
The content will reflect your law firm’s brand, practice areas, target audience, ideal clients, and the like. The platforms and avenues for your content marketing may vary depending upon where your target audience can be found online. A content marketing strategy for a law firm can include one or more of the following platforms:
- law firm blog,
- social media posts,
- articles posted to various legal industry websites and blogs,
- videos, and
- other online platforms, such as Reddit.
All the content is shared in order to establish your law firm and lawyers as leaders in their fields and to build trust with your potential clients. Clients want to hire not only competent and knowledgeable lawyers, but also lawyers they feel can be trusted. Most importantly, though, your content should provide information and resources that are useful to your target audience.
What’s the Difference between Content Marketing and Traditional Advertising?
Traditional advertising is generally used to promote your services or your brand. Content marketing provides this benefit, but that is not the primary focus of the content. Rather helpful and engaging content is shared to attract clients who need your service and identify with your brand. You are giving away content for free so that you can get new clients.
Content marketing surpasses all other forms of legal marketing, including traditional advertising, in terms of its return on investment. It gives a law firm an unmatched opportunity to generate leads with very little relative expense. This digital marketing strategy is growing in popularity and effectiveness.
Why Is Content Marketing for Law Firms Important?
Content marketing is one of the best ways to generate leads, which is what law firms want their marketing to do for them. Even if your practice is one that relies heavily upon networking, word of mouth, and referral sources, you need content marketing. It has a much wider reach than any other marketing or advertising. More importantly, when your content marketing uses effective SEO, it provides organic search traffic to your website. This increased traffic and SEO will help your website rank higher in Google search results.
Sure, you could pay for a Google ad that ensures your page will rank at the top of the list, but often people scroll right past those entries because they are marked as an AD. Plus, Google ads cost money, whereas content marketing is free. So, you can get your website in the top search rankings without spending money for an ad.
Once your law firm website is in the top search rankings, it will benefit the people who are searching for the free content marketing you have to offer, turning them into leads. But that’s not the only benefit. Often, after receiving information about a law firm from a friend or colleague, a prospective client will research your specific firm online before deciding whether to call you. If your firm website shows lots of expertise, thought leadership, and helpful information, you are more likely to get a call from the potential client.
How to Start Law Firm Content Marketing: Your Website
Your website is the foundation for your content marketing. Why? Because your website will be the place to which all your other content points. In other words, when you post on social media and link back to a longer blog post, that blog content will be on your website. When you highlight one of your attorneys for a recent win or accolade, you can link to her profile on your website. When people follow you on your Instagram account, they will find your website through the link in your firm’s Instagram bio. And when someone from your firm writes a guest post for another blog or industry website, they will include a link to your firm website in their author bio.
In sum, all roads lead back to your website, so make sure your website is worthy. It must be excellent quality and contain the right elements to be a good foundation for your content marketing. A quality law firm website contains at least four critical elements:
- educate your ideal client,
- promote your services,
- build trust, and
- effectively utilize search engine optimization (SEO) so clients can find you.
You must ensure your website is easy for your target audience to navigate. It is a good idea to hire a third-party to assess and design, or redesign, your website, including conducting an SEO audit, to ensure it is of the caliber you need.
Ultimately, your goal is to use content marketing to get prospective clients to your website. The conversion from prospective to actual client happens once they land on your website. Without a great website, you won’t be able to “close the deal” or get new clients through your content marketing.
How to Create the Right Content for Your Ideal Client
THe content you create and share must be quality, but it must also be the “right” content for your target audience that they will find helpful. And, they must be able to find it. Here’s how to create the right content for your ideal client.
Define your ideal client
In order to create content that reaches and attracts people that need your services, you must determine your ideal client. Your “ideal client” is your target audience for your content marketing efforts. Before you start creating your content to post online, you want to be clear about who you are trying to attract. Developing a specific “buyer persona” for your ideal client is a great way to do this. For creating a buyer persona, you want to know the following, among other things:
- Their location
- Their biggest pain points
- Their values
- Their financial situation
- What they need help with
- What problems they need you to solve
- The social media platforms they use
- The websites they visit
The more clear and specific you are in creating the buyer persona for your firm’s ideal client, the more effective your content will be.
Develop a context for your content
Now that you know who you are trying to reach, you must focus on helping your ideal client see themselves utilizing your services. One of the best ways to contextualize effectively is with storytelling. Provide examples (complying with attorney-client privilege and ethics rules) so that prospective clients can envision how you work with people, what you offer, how you are expert in your field, and the like.
Determine where to post your content and optimize it for those platforms
After you define your buyer persona, you will know what social media platforms your target audience uses and which websites they frequent for information and educational resources. Craft your content for those platforms using best practices for each platform, considering the preferred character count, image size, and number of posts per day or week for each platform.
For your firm’s blog, rely upon your research in creating your buyer persona to craft content that will be valuable to your target audience. In addition to the content itself, you will want to use SEO best practices and format your content for Google so that it can be easily found. Also, optimize your content for mobile devices as most people view content on their phones. For example, vary your content between text and images, which should be all the same size in a post.
Post on other blogs
There are at least two benefits for posting your content on another blog. If the blog is a well-read blog in your target audience’s industry, you will become known as an expert in your field by showcasing your legal knowledge in areas that your ideal client needs assistance.
Perhaps more importantly, though, is that posting content on other blogs will provide backlinks to your law firm website. These backlinks boost your website’s authority in the eyes of Google, which allows your site to rank higher in search rankings.
It can be easy to secure an opportunity to write on another blog. Curators of these blogs are always seeking quality content. If you can demonstrate that you have good and helpful content that is well-written, other blogs will likely welcome your writing.
Content marketing can produce measurable results for your law firm. It can generate leads that become new clients, build trust in your target audience, and increase your visibility in your industry.
How LawQuil Can Help
There are many important content marketing strategies for small law firms, and numerous ways to effectively apply those strategies to grow your business. If your busy schedule makes writing quality content difficult, invest in outsourcing the kind of material that will attract and engage visitors on social media. Contact Law Quill to handle your content marketing for you!
We are here to help and welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your content marketing! Schedule a free visit with us, via phone or zoom, at your convenience on our calendar. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.