According to the 2015 PwC Law Firms Survey, 80% of UK law firms see digital strategy as critical to their success, but only 23% have made any operational changes to access the digital opportunities available to them.
Legal marketing can sometimes be a strange pursuit. You want your firm to stand out in the marketplace, but there is a fear of taking a step that is too bold, making your brand appear brash or overly commercial. This could not only fail to attract new clients and scare away existing clients; it could make partners look foolish in comparison with their opposite numbers at competing firms.
This is why law firms are failing to implement effective digital marketing strategies, such as content marketing – no one wants to be the first to make a splash. The sector is like a line of changing cubicles beside an old-fashioned swimming pool, filled with cowering would-be swimmers.
No one wants to be the first to parade their bandy legs and – horror – risk being laughed at. Meanwhile, there is a whole pool of clients out there with no one swimming in it.
In reality, content marketing is part wisdom, part trial and error. You might make some mistakes to begin with, the ROI might not be impressive in the first year or so and, yes, some of your posts might not quite hit the mark.
Lawyers from other firms might find your efforts amusing, but they will be less entertained when you find the right formula and begin to enlarge your client base. All it takes is patience, resource and an in-depth understanding of the value proposition you offer to clients.
As the time for New Year’s resolutions is upon us, why not consider making your law firm bolder, brighter and better in 2016 by following these content marketing principles?
1. Make a plan
What do you want to achieve with content marketing? What are the brand values that you want to convey to potential clients? Think about how content marketing could help deliver your overall business strategy and objectives.
2. Who are you targeting?
You need to be clear about who you are talking to and what action you want them to take in response. Are you looking to develop a particular service, or meet a new need within the marketplace? Perhaps you are targeting a particular type of firm within a certain sector? Make sure you are specific about who you are trying to reach.
3. Your message
People respond to narrative. It is crucial to develop content that not only embodies your core brand values but also tells a story. This could be about how a particular client has been helped, how a key field of law is set to change, or the approach that helps your firm deliver unbeatable service.
4. Reaching people
What channels are you going to use to reach people? Perhaps you are going to produce a white paper series and adapt it into a series of webinars, blog articles and social media posts. Think about when you will publish content as well; how will it fit with your clients’ schedules? You might want to publish content in the lead-up to the publication of a major report, for example, or always time your daily content to emerge as clients check their phones on the daily commute.
5. Engaging with clients
This does not have to be some cringe worthy process of crawling through abusive comments on Facebook. You can engage through LinkedIn and Twitter for a slightly more refined tone, or simply by opening comments on your own site. White papers can also be a great way to facilitate discussion with existing clients – don’t forget to encourage them to forward pieces on to their friends and associates!
6. Measuring your success
Content marketing strategies will lose steam rapidly if you do not take the time to measure and assess your successes and mistakes. Set KPIs and determine what success will look like for your campaign. It’s the only way to know if the money you spend on content marketing is yielding results.
Do you need help planning a legal content marketing strategy? Why not get in touch with M2 Bespoke to see if we can help?Ben Hollom
December 21, 2015