Have you ever found yourself scratching your head over whether your content marketing is actually working?

Every law firm in the country wants to be strong digitally. There are a number of places you can choose to focus your content efforts – SEO, pay-per-click, social media. Regardless of your delivery platform, without a solid content strategy, things can quickly go off track. On The Rankings Podcast this week, we spoke with the pioneering Digital Project Manager Brett Harned from TeamGantt about just that.

Brett spends his days educating organizations on their project management. He’s, quite literally, written the book on it! We asked Brett to break down the project management approach for a content project. Here’s the view at 50,000ft:

1) Know Your Audience

Identify your typical customer – current or desired – and tailor your content accordingly.

The first, and arguably most important step, to your content strategy is defining your audience. Skip this and your project is doomed before it even starts! Knowing who you’re trying to reach informs the message that you’re putting out there. You should have a good idea ahead of time what’s going to land.

To define your audience, investigate these key areas:

Your current client base

  • What are the demographics of your current client base?
  • Why do they choose you?

It’s likely that other members of a similar demographic will gravitate towards your firm for the same reasons.

Your competition

  • Who are they targeting?
  • Who are their current clients?

Assess what they’re doing to reach out to your preferred client base, and identify any market niches that they’re overlooking.

Define your desired client base

What does your ideal new lead look like? Create an avatar of your ideal client that considers demographics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income level
  • Educational level
  • Marital status
  • Occupation

You’ll also want to define their traits and characteristics:

  • Personality
  • Attitudes and values
  • Interests/hobbies
  • Lifestyle

2) Set Your Goals

Once you’ve established who your target client is, you’ll need to set goals. Goals are vital to help you:

  • Develop a content delivery action plan
  • Keep your progression aligned and on target
  • Measure success at the end of your project

Brett Harned says:

“Having goals is for every initiative or project is really important because once you get into it, about 75 new ideas pop up, and probably 90% of them won’t stick to your goal. So having that goal will help you to stay on track.”

Setting goals for your content strategy is clearly a very individual process that depends on you as a firm and on your target market. Goals should always include an element of measurability, so you’ll need to create some KPIs too. Here are a few examples to get those creative juices flowing:

  • Increase monthly organic search traffic by 10%
  • Double the number of newsletter sign-ups within 3 months
  • Increase landing page conversion from 1% to 3% within 6 months
  • Improve ranking for your chosen keyword from page 5 to page 2 of Google within 2 months

3) Implementation, AKA: Go Time!

This is where the action happens! The type of content you choose to put out will be crystal clear, thanks to your firm goals and metrics and established target.

Choosing content type and platform

Let’s say your target client is a 50-something, married, male truck driver from St. Louis who loves the NHL (go, Blues!). If you’re planning on publishing a series of truck-related blogs to improve your organic search traffic, then you’re not going to advertise them via TikTok.

You know what kind of content your customer consumes, now go where they go.

Keeping track of content

Whether you’re writing articles yourself, you’ve hired a legal content company, video production business, or an SEO crack-team is working on your site, it’s key that you log every action you take. Keeping a database of each piece of content will allow you to draw conclusions from your analytic data.

4) Analysis & Insight

This last step is often overlooked but it’s crucial! Once your content is out and circulating, you can start collecting data insights into your progress. Refer back to your original goals and KPIs so you know what to keep track of.

Continuous Improvement

It’s important to remember that content is not set it stone. If your how-to video series isn’t having any effect on your landing page conversion – switch it up! You’ll want to find a new type of content or delivery to replace a dead end. On the flip side, you should amplify and iterate the content that is working well for your goals.

Want to get into the nitty-gritty of project management?

If that’s given you a taste of project planning then you should definitely check out some of Brett Harned’s content. You’ll find him on Youtube with his Coffee with Brett series or speaking on his regular podcast Time Limit. Or better yet, grab a copy of his acclaimed book Project Management For Humans: Helping People Get Things Done.