Legal content tipsContent marketing is an essential tool for today’s legal practices. As a strategic tool for recruitment, retention and profile-building, it’s hard to beat. Yet while competition is fiercer than ever, marketing works a little differently for legal firms than for other businesses.

When you work in law, the importance of maintaining credibility means the scope for marketing messages is more restricted. It’s a challenge to attract people’s interest without resorting to content that ultimately undermines your brand by seeming flippant, cartoonish or shallow. On the other hand, if your content is too tight-laced you will fail to attract readers in the first place. What’s the solution?

1. Use topical subjects

Setting your own agenda and getting content to be widely read takes a lot of effort. While this is worth it for the most crucial content, at other times you can harness the power of an already popular topic to boost readership of your content.

For example, if a new law or landmark ruling is attracting comment, enter the debate by linking to your own piece with a relevant hashtag. You could even consider making a video to use on YouTube or Facebook, if this would suit your audience. Use Google Alerts or a hashtag tracking programme to take the hard work out of spotting trending topics.

2. Scrap the filler posts

You have a marketing calendar to fill: social media posts, your blog, that guest column you write for an industry magazine… How can you keep coming up with fresh and engaging content? It’s tough to the point of being impossible, especially if you have other work to manage alongside.

The answer is to focus on quality rather than quantity, without reducing frequency. Make better use of one lengthy, in-depth blog post. Pull out pieces for shorter social media posts, infographics or PDF guides. Interviews and case studies on your subject add extra depth.

This process can help to clarify your key messaging, showing what your firm thinks is truly important for clients and associates to understand in the current moment.

3. Know your audience

Your content must offer value to people who are or might become your clients. It might be tempting to comment on legal developments simply because they are remarkable or interesting, but if it is not relevant to your target audience, the content will miss its mark.

Rather than picking a headline from the Law Gazette and writing a commentary, focus on industry-specific thought leadership that will help your clients to better understand the legal framework which applies to their business.

4. Address your client

When lawyers put pen to paper to write about law, there is a weight of habit flowing through the ink; the flourishes and formalities of legal discourse find their way into the content.

This might be suitable in some contexts, but for the most part people reading a legal blog want something quick and informative, rather than a dense screed that needs close attention. Use simple sentences and an engaging tone to ensure you do not lose people before the end of the first sentence.