Content marketing is a powerful way to get more new, qualified cases for your firm. High-quality content will introduce you and your services to a variety of potential clients. And sending the right message will drive them to you when they’re ready for a lawyer’s help.
Content marketing creates 3x as many leads as outbound marketing efforts while costing much less.
With a good strategy, you can use content to draw in new clients to grow your bottom line.
Here's what you need to know about creating an effective content marketing campaign for your law firm.
Content Marketing is More Than Blog Posts
Content marketing involves creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content. Then you distribute that content in a marketing channel to attract the right people to your firm.
Too many people, including lawyers, confuse search engine optimization (SEO) with content marketing.
It's true that SEO and blog posts are modes of content marketing, but there are other tactics that are just as useful.
Content marketing also includes things like:
With any of these, you produce content designed to attract and capture the attention of target readers or viewers. For attorneys, those targets are your potential clients.
If you focus only on SEO and blog posts with content creation, you're only doing one type of content marketing. That’s fine if that’s all your law firm’s market strategy calls for. But some law firms' strategies involve content distribution across multiple channels to reach the right audience.
Does Content Marketing Work for Lawyers?
Yes. Content marketing works for lawyers.
The problem is that poorly planned or inconsistent content marketing falls flat. Too many lawyers switch up their marketing efforts before they take hold. Or they work with marketers who don’t understand law firm marketing, strategy, or both.
But content marketing brings home results when you take a strategic approach and stay consistent.
Just ask our clients.
Like Stewart J. Guss. His client value tripled when he invested in long-term marketing. Or Dolman Law Group, whose caseload grew by 400% through consistent SEO efforts.
Content marketing only works when it's aligned with your law firm’s marketing strategy. Most lawyers need to work with an expert to create the right content for the types of clients that matter to them.
Leveraging expertise from an outside party allows you to focus your time, energy, and skills on serving clients. Meanwhile, you benefit from a hands-off marketing machine that drives ideal clients your way.
Use the concepts below as your guide to building a content marketing engine that works.
Start with a Clear Strategy
All good marketing starts with a clear strategy. If you don't have a real marketing strategy, you won't have an effective content marketing campaign.
Without a good strategy, most law firms just attempt a variety of marketing tactics at once and then get frustrated when the results don't pan out.
This aimless content marketing approach wastes time and money. It's also hard to track results, so you wind up thinking that nothing worked.
A solid law firm marketing strategy accomplishes a few things. It:
- Defines your target audience (your prospective clients)
- Sets clear objectives for what you want to achieve
- Explains your law firm's unique value proposition within your messaging
- Defines what channels and tactics you'll use to execute the strategy
With a foundation like that, you point your firm toward success in reaching your ideal clients.
Know the Channels and Tactics Available to You
Within your strategy, use experience and data to guide decisions about marketing channels and tactics. You have many to choose from, but you need to match these channels and tactics with your target clients and where they spend time.
Here are some of the main channels to consider when developing a content marketing strategy:
Most lawyers do not need to focus on every single channel and tactic when they start marketing. And a channel’s effectiveness depends on your practice area.
For example, some types of law firms don't benefit from email campaigns.
Ideal clients for a personal injury firm don't need long-term nurturing before a consultation. And most don’t want to receive marketing material from lawyers in their inboxes. But people who need estate planning and want to educate themselves about options before talking to a lawyer would benefit from an authoritative newsletter.
Mixing and matching the channels you use is a good idea once you’ve mastered one.
For example, a business lawyer with a solid blog could add social media to the mix. Branching out into creating great content for potential clients on LinkedIn is a logical next step for them.
Align Tactics with Strategy, Not the Other Way Around
The channels that work best for you are the ones that align with your marketing strategy. And your strategy is not one size fits all.
Choosing a tactic first and then trying to reverse engineer the strategy around it is a recipe for disaster.
TikTok might seem like "the hot new thing" some other firm is succeeding with, but that doesn't mean it will work with your practice areas or your firm.
Instead of backward engineering, choose channels and tactics that match up with your overall marketing strategy. TikTok might be the best channel ever for you. But without comparing it to the strategy you set out, you’ll have a hard time getting the most out of it.
Use your strategy as a guide to pick your tactics.
Ask yourself how effective you think each particular tactic will be based on what you know about your ideal clients.
If you don't feel confident that a channel is worth your time and energy to invest in, leave it off. At the end of the day, you need tactics you can consistently and effectively execute.
And there’s one often overlooked point about aligning tactics with your strategy.
Any marketing channel you select should align with your personal skills and comfort level. If you don't want the hassle of filming and editing video, or you're simply not comfortable on camera, don't pick YouTube. You'll likely end up with a product you're not happy with or look for any excuse to avoid filming.
Selecting a channel where it’s obvious you’re uncomfortable kills your content marketing before it even starts.
Create Content Your Audience Cares About
One thing holds true for every channel in your marketing strategy. You need to create content that your ideal clients want and need.
There are 2 key factors to keep in mind to reach the right people with valuable content:
- The tone and language in your content must meet clients where they're at
- The form and style of your content must match what works for the platform
Meeting clients where they're at is all about speaking their language and empathizing with their position.
Avoid legal jargon and complex concepts that leave your audience with more questions. Provide helpful information in a non-condescending manner, perhaps even hinting that it's common to have this question.
Try to make your clients the hero.
So many law firms position themselves as the hero of the story. But you’ll see better results when you act as their guide. Your support and expertise helps them become the hero of their own story. Testimonials and case studies work really well for this purpose.
Content that doesn’t match audience expectations for a platform will fall flat.
That’s why aligning your content for each platform you choose is critical. If you try to post something on TikTok the same way you would on LinkedIn, most people would ignore it.
Your personal style matters here, too. If you're not comfortable being funny, don't try to force it. You want your ideal clients to gain a good sense of who you are over any given platform.
You’re ready to start choosing the actual topics you want to cover once you have a grip on tone, language, form, and style.
Most lawyers will have a few ideas to get started with. But over time, many struggle to find more. There are 2 methods you can use to surface new topic ideas:
- Keyword research (for website content)
- Engaging with your audience
1. Keyword Research
Blogging is a powerful way for attorneys to educate and attract new clients. Up to 69% of web traffic comes from local and national organic searches. That’s a huge opportunity for lawyers to tap into.
And keyword research is an essential part of an effective law firm blogging campaign.
Keyword research helps you discover what your ideal clients search for online. It lets you see how people search for legal services and how they find other attorneys. This information will give you an idea of the topics you should write about.
There are plenty of different approaches to keyword research you can try.
For example, you might want to conduct keyword research based on seed terms you know your audience cares about already. Or you may try competitor keyword research to see what works for other firms like you.
Note: Effective keyword research relies on specialized SEO tools, such as Ahrefs or Semrush. These tools have massive keyword databases and cut down on research time compared to free tools.
Once you’ve done keyword research, you’ll have a list of content ideas to cover on your blog. Use those ideas to create differentiated content that answers your potential client’s questions.
2. Engaging with Your Audience
Content marketing success in social channels depends upon creating engaging content for your audience. Most people have a handful of legal topics to start with. Then they run out of steam after getting through their initial set of topics.
The best way to combat this is by listening to the questions your audience asks and engaging with them to discover new topics to cover.
If you're just starting with content marketing, make a list of the questions you get asked most frequently in your practice. Use this list to create your first pieces of content. You can also use common misconceptions as a place to start.
Use audience engagement on your posts as a launchpad for future materials.
Listen to your audience’s common questions, misconceptions, and pain points.
The curse of knowledge is strong with lawyers. It’s easy to forget what your clients don’t know about when you spend enough time in the law. Hearing their questions will present you with opportunities to break the legal industry down into understandable infotainment.
And you can use their questions and comments to fuel other marketing channels.
For example, a lawyer who uses social media and maintains a blog can use audience engagement to inform keyword research. That lawyer can use things their audience brings up as new ideas not just for social media platforms but for their blog, too.
Repurpose Ideas Instead of Duplicating Content Across Channels
If you're using more than one channel for your digital marketing, you have to adapt the content you share.
The same piece of content won’t perform the same way across different channels.
That's because viewers on different channels expect different things. While an in-depth video explaining a complex process might work well on YouTube, it's probably information overload for a TikTok scroller.
And porting your blog posts over to a social channel leads to lackluster results. The people who visit your blog and the people who read your social media posts have different goals.
Instead of duplicating your content, repurpose the idea.
When repurposing content, think about how you can generate interest in the topic or share a bite-sized piece of the bigger concept. For example, if you have a blog post going over a few key tips for gathering evidence at the scene of the accident, take the numbered headings and turn that into a catchy infographic for social media.
Content Marketing is a Long-Term Investment
Effective content marketing requires time and consistency. Immediate results are rare. So many law firms give up right when they start to get the snowball rolling, and it's key for you to give any campaign enough time.
If you try something for a few weeks and then declare it a total failure because you don't have any new cases or referral partners yet, you're quitting too soon.
You need time when it comes to picking up a following on social media. The more you post and the more your content engages your audience, the more likely it is that your target clients will see it.
Other content marketing efforts like SEO need time, too.
It will take time before you start to move up in the search engine results and see an increase in organic traffic to your law firm website. It's a huge (and common) mistake to put in 1 or 2 months of effort and then walk away.
Even though you might not see it right away, the cumulative effect of content marketing is worth it. You'll build trust, authority, and a loyal client base over time. With regular marketing efforts, you'll create a strong online presence for your law firm.
Track Your Performance
It's not enough to know what to do and to execute it. You need to track your results and use that real-time data to inform your future decisions.
This can also help in the early stages when you're not seeing results yet but can spot growth in things like views or engagement.
Track things like:
- Website traffic
- Web page views
- Number of ranking keywords
- Social media followers
- Number of cases coming from particular channels
In some cases, tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software or Google Analytics will automatically grab these metrics for you. Set aside time to review them and make adjustments as needed.
Seek Expertise When Needed
Most lawyers are far too busy to take on the heavy lifting of marketing on their own.
Your focus should be on serving clients and building referral partnerships, not trying to figure out the perfect target keyword for a blog article or adding the right hashtags to an Instagram post.
You can avoid burnout and poor performance by handing things over to a law firm marketing agency. This ensures consistency, quality, and results with your online presence and brand awareness.
Making the Most with Legal Content Marketing
Start with strategy to maximize your efforts and returns with content marketing. Use that strategy to guide your decisions on channels and tactics. Measure performance by tracking important data points.
When you find the right expert marketing partner to help with each of these aspects of a successful content marketing plan, you'll grow your practice without taking on any more work for yourself or your staff.
Let the renowned team at Rankings.io help you develop a customized marketing plan to attract and convert new clients. Contact us today to discover more.