Content marketing has been aggressively adopted in nearly every industry as a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness and develop new clientele. As is often the case with the legal industry, however, many firms have been hesitant to hop on board the content marketing train.
It’s no surprise that many law firms have been slow to adopt it – after all, it wasn’t until around 40 years ago that law firms were allowed to advertise at all.
“While legal content marketing does present its share of challenges, these challenges are nothing that can’t be addressed by a team of professional legal content writers who understand the law and the ethical issues that can arise,” said David Arato, JD, of Lexicon Legal Content, a content agency for law firms.
For this reason, more and more firms have been turning to content marketing as a cost-effective way to connect with new clients and grow their businesses.
1. Good Content Can Establish You as a Leader in Your Area of Practice
Content marketing involves the publication of informative blogs, practice area pages, white papers, and other formats of content that are valuable to your potential clients. For this reason, a consistent and professionally managed campaign can establish your firm as an authority in your area of practice, whether that’s personal injury, criminal defense, medical malpractice, consumer protection, bankruptcy, family law, business law, or anything else. A useful article on this subject Infographic Design Tips Every Marketer Should Know
As an attorney who has focused on a particular area of law, the public (and other lawyers) look to you as an expert in your field – even if your state bar prohibits you from explicitly calling yourself an “expert.” In this way, high-quality, compelling, and informative content can help bring in new clients and referral sources.
2. Carefully Created Content Can Increase Your Rankings in the SERPs
Google has made it clear that it rewards websites that are regularly updated with fresh content in the search engine results pages (SERPs). As a result, engaging in on-site content marketing can have a positive impact on your site’s SEO and ranking for the keywords your potential clients are searching for.
There are several tools you can use to determine keywords and keyword phrases you can target, including AnswerThePublic, Ahrefs, Google Ads, and Keyword Tool. Once you’ve identified some keywords you’d like to target, generate content incorporating those keywords – but be sure the keywords are integrated as natural language.
Google’s algorithm is getting smarter every day, and the company has explicitly identified “keyword stuffing” to be in violation of its quality guidelines.
3. Content Can Create Connections with Potential Clients
When people are looking for a lawyer, they typically have an issue that needs to be resolved. In fact, in some cases, legal consumers are in crisis and are dealing with some of the most stressful and difficult situations they will ever face.
Create content that directly answers the questions that your clients may be asking and that addresses their specific needs. It’s critical to remember that legal content marketing is not about talking to other lawyers or judges; it’s about connecting with the people who are looking to you for help.
Take mental inventory of the questions you have heard over and over in your law practice and generate content that answers those questions directly. Not only is this a good practice for search engine optimization (SEO), it also can create an instant connection with the people who are looking for the services you offer.
While the possibilities are endless, some examples of questions you may want to answer in the content you create include:
- Do I need a lawyer for a first DUI?
- Will my husband get the kids?
- Is bankruptcy right for me?
- Can I sue after a car accident?
4. Sharable Content Can Expand Your Reach
Creating a beautiful website, blogging, adding videos, and setting up professional social media accounts are all well and good, but it’s critical that you get people to visit your site and call your firm. Otherwise, you may as well have the best-looking billboard along the loneliest stretch of highway in the country.
Engaging in SEO, adding content, using PPC, and engaging on social media are all great ways of getting traffic to your site, but where content marketing really shines is when you get your network to share your content for you – for free! If you create compelling, shareable content that people find useful, there’s a good chance that they will share it with their connections, putting your firm’s brand in front of thousands of potential clients.
Now That You Understand the Benefits of Content Marketing for Law Firms, How Do You Get Started?
The information above should make it fairly clear that any law practice can benefit tremendously from a comprehensive content marketing campaign. Creating and implementing such a campaign can present significant challenges, particularly if you are an attorney who is busy practicing law.
Fortunately, there are legal content professionals out there who are qualified to help your firm get started and start reaping the benefits immediately. Here are seven content marketing tips for law firms to help you get started:
- Take time to really figure out what your clients want and what they are worried about. Doing this will make sure your content marketing efforts are targeting the right people.
- Focus on creating content that provides value to your potential clients.
- Document your strategy. Make lists of the keywords you are targeting, potential content titles/topics, and a publishing calendar.
- Commit to publishing quality content on a regular basis, and focus on creating evergreen content that will continue to drive traffic to your site over time.
- Do not limit yourself to a particular content format. While blogging is certainly an easy way to get started, remember to consider creating white-papers, additional practice area pages, and videos. In addition, be aware of the fact that you can repurpose existing content across various formats – for example, a well-performing blog post can provide material for an infographic, video, or another additional piece of content.
- Be certain to publish all of the content you create on your website and your social media accounts.
- Set realistic expectations as to how much time you can spend on content creation. Many lawyers quickly realize that outsourcing their content marketing makes sense, especially considering the long-term return on their initial investment.
Now that you’re aware of how content marketing can benefit law firms and how to get started, don’t delay! As an attorney, you’re in a great position to share what you know, educate the public, and grow your law practice.