The concept of law firm content marketing today goes far beyond what used to be considered comprehensive. After the case of Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 WS. 350 (1977), many law firms and attorneys began to ramp up marketing and advertising. Early forms of content marketing included Yellow Page ads, half-page and full-page newspaper ads, and ads in magazines. With the development of the internet new opportunities have been created, but with these new opportunities come new problems. Website owners are expected to be publishers today, how are you supposed to keep up?
Search engines are aggregators of information and content and they spend 24 hours a day crawling the internet looking for the most recent and accurate content. In order to compete in today’s content marketing landscape it is imperative to be a content creator. The problem for the vast majority of attorneys is that even if they are good writers, where do they find the time to write consistent quality content?
In this post, we are going to cover some of the problems and obstacles of content marketing as well as techniques and methods for success.
Due to a lack of budget or having someone in the office that can consistently write quality content, many law firms may try to take shortcuts. These shortcuts may include things like writing very short content under 500 words or using AI to write content. For the most part, content under 500 words is all but ignored by search engine spiders because this is the threshold of overseas outsourcers in many cases.
If you don’t have the budget then you may have to resort to things like repurposing older content and creating short video content. Ideally, you have a sufficient budget to outsource at least a couple of 1,000-word blogs per month. At Forward Lawyer Marketing, our law firm clients that consistently blog every month see continual ranking increases. Content marketing works.
Syndicating your content across the internet using your social media is a great idea and we have a team that does law firm social media marketing for our clients. That said, due to increasing competition in the legal field along with the need to reach specific demographics, paid social media promotion is likely needed. We utilize paid promotion on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to help increase the exposure of our clients’ content.
Writing regular blogs and creating short informative videos are excellent ways to establish authority and show potential clients that you know what you’re talking about. Always strive to offer something of value instead of coming across pushy and sales-focused. This is where data analysis helps tremendously. You can look at your Google Search Console data to see the issues visitors are most interested in and then create content for them.
One thing that makes it more and more difficult to market in the legal industry is increasing competition. Increased competition along with the short attention spans of internet visitors create a demand for creativity. Consumers today are much savvier than in the past. Potential clients for your law firm want to research and see how much you know, what kind of reviews you have, and examples of successful cases similar to theirs. It’s a good idea to keep tabs on what your competition is doing.
Now that we have covered a few of the pain points of content marketing let’s take a look at some strategies to help your content marketing be the best it can be. First and foremost your content must be high quality and legally accurate. Visitors to your law firm’s website are looking for accurate up-to-date information and are counting on you to provide it to them. Creating quality content is time-consuming and it takes a while to really start seeing consistent returns from it. Unless you have an enormous budget for paid advertising content marketing is a must.
Here are some tips to help you get the most from your content marketing strategy for your law firm.
Whether you are writing a blog, an email, or an ad your title or headline is crucial. If your headline isn’t catchy or attention-getting it isn’t going to get attention. Try to imagine who you are trying to reach and write a title that will answer a question or problem for them. You also want to be cognizant of character counts, you don’t want the title to be too long.
You should never write just for fluff. As a matter of fact, Google’s John Mueller just said as much recently. They also addresses the ChatGTP issue and indicated that AI-generated content would generally be considered poor quality. Think about the issues a potential client may be having or questions that they might have and write about that.
All of your content should serve a purpose and it should all be relative. By this, I mean if you are a personal injury lawyer don’t write posts on divorce or homicide. Again, make sure that it serves a purpose and provides useful information. Your Google Search Console data can give you a lot of info but we also use a tool called AHREFs that gives us invaluable data we use to create content for our clients.
Create content for multiple purposes. A blog post can be split up and posted as tweets, posts on LinkedIn, etc. A video can be split into shorter versions and posted on multiple platforms, transcribed and posted as a blog, and more. At Forward Lawyer Marketing, we have clients creating Facebook Live videos that are shared across multiple platforms and posted on YouTube. We then transcribe the videos and post them as blog posts with the videos embedded from YouTube. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s post on creating 64 pieces of content a day!
It can be easy to get caught in the trap of chasing perfection when writing, but it is unnecessary. What is important is getting the piece written accurately and getting it published. Once you start getting traffic and have some data you can update the piece or create an additional post linking to it. There’s a saying called “paralysis by analysis” that can keep one from being productive, don’t let it happen to you.
It is a mistake to only use a great piece of content once. If you have a great piece of content you’ve created that has had success reuse it! All you have to do is just change it up a little, maybe add some new images or a video and it’s like brand new.
Subscribe and follow competitive law firms in your field of expertise. You don’t want to copy exactly what they are doing but you can get ideas for content, posting frequency, etc. I recommend following their blogs, their YouTube channel, if they have one, and their social media accounts.
People like to get their content in different ways. Some people like to read, some like to watch videos. Make sure you are covering all the bases. Create short videos about issues that are a concern for potential clients. They don’t have to be perfect, the important thing is to show knowledge, authenticity, and sincerity.
Some of the best results you can get will come from third parties. In addition to working to get published in industry print magazines and journals, getting your content published on high-traffic authority websites linking back to yours can give you a huge boost that continues to grow. Google and other search engines recognize the value of these backlinks and will reward you with higher rankings.
Used the right way hashtags can help your content be found more and by the people you want it found by. To make sure you are using the best hashtags for a particular post use the information in the search bar that tells you how many posts a particular hashtag has. Don’t overdo it, only use a few in each post and place them at the bottom with space between them and the post as well as each other.
Some people are afraid of new things, don’t be one of them! Online there are constantly new websites and apps coming out and it’s worth paying attention to find the ones you can use. One of the relatively newer platforms that is not without controversy currently is TikTok. There are many law firms nationwide having tremendous success with the video-sharing platform. The U.S. government, particularly Conservatives, wants to ban the company from the United States so it is something to keep an eye on.
Lost of people are excited about the new artificial intelligence tools and many are embracing them but we think it’s not a good idea to put too much emphasis on them. The attraction of the AI tools like ChatGTP is the ease of content creation. The problem is that these tools aren’t creative like the human brain is, they are merely pulling information that already exists which can result in duplicate content. I would use it more for things like social media posts than blog posts to be on the safe side.
After reading this post, it should be evident that doing content marketing right is a lot of work and requires particular expertise. It makes a lot more sense to hire an agency that specializes in lawyer marketing and in content marketing for law firms in particular.
Forward Lawyer Marketing has been marketing for lawyers in a variety of practices across the United States since 2013. Contact Forward Lawyer Marketing today at (888) 590-9687 for a free site audit and initial consultation to discover if we would be a good fit to work together.