What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing, in a law firm’s context, is a strategic marketing approach involving the creation and distribution of such online materials as blogs, videos, and social media posts. The online material must not explicitly promote the brand, but must instead simulate interest in the law firm’s services.
What are the Benefits of Law Firm Content Marketing?
Content marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing methods today. The fact that prominent organizations like Microsoft, P&G, John Deere, and Cisco Systems are using content marketing is proof that it works. Below are a few benefits:
1. Brand Awareness
Content marketing helps build brand awareness in an industry where marketing one’s services is highly restricted and where law firms are offering legal services that are almost identical. Content marketing that is properly implemented helps you stand out from the crowd. It helps to position your law firm as an expert in its niche and it starts conversations with prospective clients on a scale not possible with traditional networking practices. As Bryan Rhoads, Intel’s head of global strategy puts it in a recent blog, “Today’s web is an endless 24/7 cycle fed by content and social actions. In this cycle, brands are realizing that content is currency and social actions are the transactions in this marketplace for eyeballs and attention.”
2. Targeted Traffic
You can create targeted content aimed at supporting individual departments with their business development objectives. As an example, if the immigration department at your law firm is not doing so well, you could create highly relevant content on immigration and then publish the content on platforms that you know are used by the target audience (such as those wishing to sponsor a spouse, those wishing to immigrate to the country, and so on).
3. Improved Client Engagement and Trust
Content marketing is important in improving client engagement and in building trust. With consistent useful content, potential clients will feel like they know you and will trust you. With buyer personas (client profiles) that are well considered, you will be able to create content that will interest, engage, and be useful to the target audience.
4. Lead Generation
According to a HubSpot study that covered over 13,500 customers, there is a clear link between content marketing, lead generation, and website traffic. The stats showed that companies with 16 monthly blogs and more got 3.5 and 4.5 times more traffic and more leads respectively compared to those with 0 to 4 monthly blogs. A recent BtoB online survey that covered 440 B2B marketing professionals found that 51% of respondents cited thought lead generation was the most significant takeaway from content marketing.
5. Thought Leadership
It is very difficult to come up with advertising that prospective clients will not regard as being “self-serving”. Such advertising is quickly dismissed. By contrast, quality content imparts the same message, but in a way that brings your firm out as a thought leader that can add value to the life of the prospective client. The content needs not be in “lawyer-speak”, but should be conversational and empathetic, showing that you have a real understanding of the problems and issues faced by the target audience, and offering a possible solution that prospective clients should consider. If asked to choose between a specialist who is talking about what he can do or one who is helpful, engaging, and empathetic, most prospective clients will choose the latter.
6. Cost Benefits
You will save money with content marketing compared to traditional marketing methods because content creation is free of charge, as is posting it. According to Search Engine Journal’s Eric Siu, a lead generated through content marketing costs approximately $143 whereas one generated through traditional outbound methods costs approximately $373. More importantly, organic leads have a 14.6% conversion rate, compared to outbound leads such as print advertising and direct mail that only have a 1.7% conversion rate.
There have been very disruptive Google algorithm changes in the past (Google Panda, Penguin and EMD (Exact Match Domain), but one thing that has remained constant is that content and context are still king. Publishing unique, helpful content on your website or elsewhere will help improve the ranking of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs). The increased visibility can only lead to more traffic and consequently greater conversion rates.
8. Social Media
Social media channels allow you to reach thousands of prospective clients. Your social media marketing (SMM) campaign will only succeed if there is consistent quality content to be shared. The more useful the content is, the more loyal and stronger your social media connections.
How to Make Law Firm Content Marketing Work for You
Create different types of content since each type of content has a different reach, target clientele, and effect. Content your law firm content marketing campaign can’t do without include:
- Blogs: Blogs are easy to write, they are effective in passing the message across, and they are manageable. You should have a blogging strategy and you should be consistent in the posting.
- Case studies: Create case studies of landmark, precedence-setting cases that you have been involved in. This is a subtle way of highlighting cases in an industry where you don’t get many opportunities to advertise your big wins. You should, however, be sensitive about client-lawyer privilege.
- Static practice area Web pages: You should create content for every practice area to be placed on the “practice area” section of your website. You should be very specific on practice area Web page content because this is where most visitors will come to see if your services match what they are looking for.
- Static city Web pages: If you practice in more than one city (or different parts of a city), consider having city Web pages. These pages are not only helpful to clients, but they also tell search engines to associate your business with the different cities.
- Press releases: Whenever you have a change in the organization, a new service, an event, or any other major event, consider writing a press release and releasing it to major news outlets.
- Social media content: Other than sharing blogs and other content on social media, you could also create content specifically for social media. These include tweets, Facebook comments, and Instagram posts. Interact with visitors once they respond to your posts.
- Visual content: Many law firms only focus on written content. You should, however, consider diversifying with visual content like photos, Infographics, YouTube videos, and animated tutorials to increase your reach.
- Other types of content: You can increase your reach even further with other types of content such as client-oriented white papers, podcasts, digital brochures, and e-books.
2. Be Local
Most law firms have a local clientele and you should, therefore, focus on the local target audience, local events, local interests, and local everything else. Note that even when visitors are searching for a law firm in your city from outside town, they will still specify the city in the keyword phrase they type in. Going local is particularly important in today’s world where people depend on Google Maps for directions. Google and other search engines also reward local, specialized content.
3. Define Your Target Audience
You should only write to a target audience. If you do not, your content will not be engaging enough for those you are targeting, and the ones who were not interested in the first place will still not be interested. Some of the things you should consider when writing are your target clients’ pain points, their education level, what they are looking for online, whether they are inherently skeptical of lawyers or they trust them, and their motivation when picking between law firms.
4. Have a Consistent Unique Selling Proposition
You should have a consistent Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This is the law firm’s core message that sets it apart from the competition. Having a USP makes writing content easier since you will know the tone that should be maintained for all content. Consistency helps build trust.
5. Create Quality Content
It is not enough that your content ‘reads’ well – it should be well written. Readers will associate poor grammar, plagiarized content, and otherwise poor content with disorganization and lack of credibility of the law firm. The content should be original (no plagiarized or duplicate content), easy to read, well organized, and free of grammatical and spelling mistakes. The content should be eye-catching as this is what will attract interest in the first place. Keyword optimization is good for SEO, but do not use too many keywords since Google looks down upon keyword stuffing and it makes content not so easy to read. Also you should remember that long form content brings additional value.
6. Use Analytics
Use analytics to collect and measure data on how your content is doing. This allows you to make a change if such change is necessary. There are several analytics software programs in the market that you can use.
7. Include a CTA
Avoid the common problem of writing great content but forgetting to tell prospective clients what to do next or where to find you. You should include a CTA (call-to-action) at the end of each piece of content. Examples include “visit our website for more information” and “call us today for a free assessment.”
8. Discuss News and Current Events
As regards producing timely content, lawyers are lucky because of the many built-in news hooks like new laws and regulations and major court rulings that are ripe for their comments. You can post opinion pieces on lawyer websites and their iterations on your own website. Writing on topical issues increases reach through likes and shares.
9. Engage your Employees to Generate and Share Content
You could run an employee advocacy program where employees can generate content (such as blog posts and opinion pieces) and share content on their social media outlets and offline. Offer incentives to ensure everyone buys in.
Let a digital marketing and SEO Agency handle your Content Marketing
Content marketing is not rocket science, but you should leave it to a professional because this allows you to concentrate on running your law firm. A pro will have all the right strategies and monitoring tools.
Which types of content you need on a law firm website?
Content marketing is an extremely important aspect of any SEO strategy. Most people will refer to the content on your website before they decide to do any business with you. With great content marketing, any business can constantly generate new leads because they can easily be found by users who are searching for their products or services on the web. Let's begin by exploring why you should consider investing in content marketing for your law firm website.
Why is content marketing so important?
To start with, every successful brand needs to provide a wealth of valuable and relevant content online that helps connect with their audience. For your law firm, great content can help in building its reputation. As every business online is working to build trust with their leads and customers, content that is engaging, educational, and valuable can set you apart and establish a positive brand reputation. The more value you provide with your content, the more your customers and leads get to see your law firm as a leader in the industry.
In addition, content marketing is key when it comes to generating more website conversions. Content influences your conversions because it allows you to connect with your target audience, build trust and relationships which enable users to make an informed decision. Converting doesn't necessarily mean making an online purchase. It could be getting more information, reaching out to your team, or simply making your users take whatever action you want them to take when they get to your law firm website.
More importantly, great content that is well optimized on your law firm website will help you to improve search engine optimization. Research shows that pages that post blog content more consistently are indexed a lot more by search engines than those pages that don't. The more optimized content you publish on your site, the more pages search engines must crawl and index. This means that your law firm website has a higher chance of not only getting more traffic but also ranking for more keywords. With more valuable content on your law firm website, you give your users a lot more reasons to stick around. This improves metrics such as the time spent on site and bounce rate which can positively impact your SEO rankings.
With that said, investing in the right content is critical not only for your user experience but also to gain better online exposure which means higher rankings, more traffic, and leads.
The 5 types of content your law firm website needs
After establishing that optimized content is a necessity, the next step is to determine the types of content that can be utilized for your law firm website.
Are you wondering which types of content you should invest in if you're just starting out with your law firm content marketing? We're here to help. We'll guide on 5 critical content types for every law firm website.
1. Core Page Content
Every website has what's considered its core pages where content must be professionally written, well thought, and properly optimized for search engines. The goal of these core website pages is not only to provide relevant information about your law firm but also to attract more visitors from search and convert them into leads. Core pages include:
- Home page
- About us page
- Individual biography page for all partners
- Contact us page
- Location page
- Main practice areas page/all services page
- Individual practice area page/ each service page
- Reviews or testimonials page
Below are a few tips to optimize the content on your core pages:
- Optimize content on your home page with keywords for commercial intent. Commercial intent keywords are those that people type on the search engine when they are looking to buy a product or a service. A commercial intent keyword can include your practice area (such as family law), primary location (such as Toronto), and law firm's name.
- Target your law firm's name and primary location on the 'about us' page
- Ensure service pages not only explain the services you provide but also sells them using 'Why us' points and other terms
- Target specific locations such as cities or neighbourhoods on your location pages. You can target broad commercial intent keywords as well as your law firm's name on these pages.
- Add quotes on your testimonial pages and target not only your law firm's name but also your primary location and specific service areas.
- Include your law firm's awards and achievements on the about us page
- Choose at least one commercial intent keyword phrase that you can incorporate in the page's title and throughout the text. You can also use this keyword in the page's main image filename.
- Ensure that content on these core pages make your website visitors want to contact your law firm for more information by calling, submitting their information, or chatting with an online agent.
2. Blog Content
One of the common SEO mistakes many people make when blogging is using the same commercial intent keywords on their blog posts. Your blog should be optimized for informational intent keywords. Unlike commercial intent keywords which attract visitors who are looking for a particular product or service on search engines, information intent keywords attract web users who just want to learn about something. At this point, you are targeting website visitors who aren't ready to buy yet but are just looking for more information. That's why it's never a good strategy to try and sell outrightly on your blog posts. Focus on educating your users and helping them learn something new. They may want to buy later but at this moment, they just want to learn.
It's easy to attract website visitors with an informational intent by targeting certain keywords. For instance, someone who may want to hire a family lawyer may search for 'how does divorce work in Toronto' or 'how is separation different from divorce'. They have shown an informational intent that could lead to a conversion in the future. Your blog posts should be created to cater to the needs of this audience.
Blogging doesn't have to be a huge undertaking. Here are a few tips that can make blogging easy and effective for your law firm website:
- Have everyone at your law firm share some questions they get asked regularly about your practice. Create blog posts to answer those questions.
- Use an SEO tool to optimize your blog post titles using a good keyword phrase
- Research on questions asked on popular law firm review pages online and use them for content inspiration
- Make a minimum of 600 words per blog post and include at least one image per page
- Choose one keyword phrase and use it in the blog post's title, image filename, and within the copy
- Convert your videos and podcasts into blog content by simply adding a transcription of the audio portion as text in the blog
3. Promotional Content
There are different ways to promote your law firm online. Social media and email marketing are some of the most common and beneficial platforms for law firm websites when used properly. The content you post on both platforms must be well thought for it to work. You need to clearly articulate your goals and then determine what type of content will help you to achieve them.
a) For social media posts
First, remember that timing is everything when it comes to social media posting. Understand when your target audience is online and ready to see and interact with your content. The content on your caption shouldn't just be links to your blog post or where users can find more information. Add some native content on each caption to go with your link. The post itself should provide value even before users click on the link.
For instance, instead of writing “Check out my new post — what it means to be legally separated in Toronto''
A better caption would be: “Wondering if you are legally separated? The court looks at several factors to determine whether you are legally separated. They include:
- Whether you occupy the same bedrooms
- Whether you have sexual relations
- The degree of communication between you and your spouse
We've covered this and a lot more in the link below. Click to find out more”
This type of native content not only provides value right from the start but also gives people a post that they can share and retweet. Your content should typically include an image/video, hashtags, and a link.
Remember to adapt social media posts to each social channel. For instance, Twitter users are looking for the latest news so it could be the best platform to share any recent changes in your practice area whereas, on Facebook, you can get a little more personal by sharing your experiences as a law firm and showcasing your team. A good idea would be to post about your law firm's staff and make the audience connect with you more.
b) For email marketing
Think of your email as a way of building a list of potential future clients. If you're planning on using email marketing, use the following tips to engage your subscribers:
- Send a snippet of your blog post as a teaser for your email marketing campaign
- Plan weekly newsletters that share information in your related area of law such as new changes, what's happening in the community, or market.
- Provide educational content for your email subscribers that answers questions or concepts which are covered in blog posts
- You can create an email series that covers a particular area of law and send it out consistently
No matter the strategy you choose for your email marketing, always remain consistent. Avoid the following mistakes that are likely to kill your email conversions:
5 email content mistakes to avoid:
- Not making your call to action clear: We've seen this too often, emails that don't have a call to action so users can't figure out what you want them to do or those that have multiple CTAs so the users end up taking no action at all. If you want your users to go straight from the email to your service page or blog post, make the call to action clear and give users an opportunity to interact with it.
- Content that doesn't meet the reader's expectation: This could be in several ways such as emailing daily instead of weekly as promised or not covering the content you promised to offer when they subscribed. Don't go too far off the topic or email too frequently or your subscribers will leave faster than they got in.
- Emails that look amateurish and unprofessional: There are just too many people sending emails which makes users sceptical. Take time to create professional emails that keep your subscribers feeling safe. This could mean avoiding spelling and grammatical errors, stock images, and attachments that put your users off.
- Using a salesy tone: Email subjects can look so similar when you scroll through the inbox. Avoid language that is sales-heavy and sounds cheesy.
- Talking about you instead of them: Make your emails more personal. Talk about your target audience and not about you. Focus on the value you can provide to your reader. Forget about how great your service is and focus on the benefits they can reap from it.
4. Landing page content
Your website landing pages are a critical tool to incorporate into your content marketing strategy. Using effective landing pages, you can make your paid campaign more efficient and convert more website visitors into leads and more leads into customers. A landing page can be built into your website and deindexed to avoid duplicate content. You may also use tools such as Lead Pages and Click Funnels to set up effective landing pages.
A good landing page design should help gather relevant information about your user in a simple and quick manner. We'll go over a few tips to make your law firm website landing pages effective and get more conversions from your paid marketing:
Tips to make your law firm landing pages more effective:
- Always ensure that the ad and landing page headlines match. If you send visitors to a landing page that has different information from what they saw before they clicked, you'll confuse them. It will lead to a high bounce rate immediately. Give users a smoother transition by ensuring there's consistent information before and after they click on your landing page.
- Provide adequate information on the landing page. For law firms, most of the services offered have some level of complexity so it makes sense to provide more information that helps overcome consumer anxiety and allows them to take the next step.
- Incorporate a copy that uses emotions on your landing page. This will help improve the conversion rate because visitors can relate to you.
- Address questions and concerns that your prospects often have on the landing page. For your law firm, reassuring your website visitors that you've handled similar cases before and how they turned out can help alleviate worry and build trust which makes them more likely to convert.
- Always communicate value on your landing page copy. Website visitors must see how your law firm services will help them. You can use bullet points to make the value propositions shorter and more precise.
- Lastly, ask for a minimum amount of information. Long registration forms usually lower your landing page conversion rate so ask for just what you need to keep the conversion rates high.
To ultimately get the most results on your law firm website, consider the finer details when optimizing your content on different pages and platforms. Keep your language professional, clear, and concise. Your users will love it and search engines will reward you for it. Most importantly, optimize content correctly and use the right metadata to get the most SEO benefits.