Legal practices of all kinds invest time and money in developing a strong brand. But how often do key values find their way into content marketing such as news and blog pages?
Having a blog on your website is a great idea to boost your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and tell clients about your practice. Often the blog is initially overseen by the marketing team, with care given to the variety and tone of the articles, ensuring they are on-brand.
Over time, however, time pressures often mean blogs are increasingly delegated to more junior case handlers. Although they understand your firm’s brand values, juniors are often keen to impress with their grasp of complex case law and they do not want to look foolish by writing too simplistically.
Unless care is taken, a blog started so your firm can talk to clients becomes a place where Paralegals and Trainees talk to Partners. Not only that, but it could become something that actually turns clients off your brand by making law seem daunting and complicated.
Let’s look at some ways this can be avoided.
1. Create a blog brief
Think about what you want your blog to achieve and the key messaging you are trying to get across. This will be closely linked to your client demographics. Who will read your blog and what are they looking for? Which devices will they use to access your content?
You know your clients better than anyone else, so put that knowledge to good use. Are they unfamiliar with legal services and looking for someone approachable and reassuring? Are they business owners who want to see what you know about their sector? If you are unsure, why not try testing some content or asking clients to give feedback on what they would like from you?
2. Multimedia content
Blogs are not just about writing. You can upload images, video and infographics to bring content alive and make it more engaging for your audience. If this sounds a bit like dumbing down, think again – some of the most successful legal firms are packaging their content this way.
Perhaps you could offer an infographic about how a particular piece of new legislation works, or film a senior partner giving a brief opinion about developments in a niche area. Including visual content has been shown to substantially increase the amount of time visitors spend looking at blog posts, so the effort is well worth it.
3. Don’t forget analytics
One of the main reason why blog quality can decrease over time is that firms lose sight of its value. Using a tool such as Google Analytics can help you track the benefit to your firm and find out what works and what doesn’t work.
If one blog post attracts 1,000 views and another has only 10, that gives you valuable information about what interests your clients. Will daily blog posts bring people to your site more than one longer piece each week? Are they more interested in your recent successes, or legal changes in their industry? Analytics tools will show you what content works and what does not.
There is no way around it: to create a really active, engaging blog takes careful thought and committing resource, whether this is internal or external. Yet the investment in a client-focused, branded blog can bring substantial benefits. How could it improve your legal firm’s brand?
A graduate of the University of Oxford, Polly also has an MA and two legal qualifications (GDL and LPC). Polly was a Paralegal for almost three years, handling both Claimant and Defendant Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Claims. A skilled and experienced writer, Polly has over five years’ marketing experience in copywriting and PR.Ben Hollom
August 19, 2015