While content marketing has traditionally taken a back seat in law firm strategy, it is no longer a topic that can be ignored. Content has become an essential facet of a well-rounded marketing strategy, and there is no shortage of vehicles that lawyers can employ to share their ideas with the outside world. Our job as marketers is to help lawyers to understand this.
Following is a list a list of ways we can help lawyers to position themselves as true thought leaders by getting on board with content marketing.
- Craft a strategic content marketing plan. First things first, if you do not have a clear, well-defined content marketing plan in place, it is imperative that you take the time to outline your objectives. Why type of information will be presented? Who is the desired audience? How will you go about implementing your strategy? How will you measure your success? These are some key questions that should be addressed at the outset.
- Diversify your platforms. In order to maximize exposure and impact, encourage lawyers to utilize a variety of communications vehicles, including practice group-tailored newsletters, legal alerts, blogs, podcasts, webinars and social media. Align content with the desired audience and choose the most appropriate channel. Oftentimes, it can be beneficial to repurpose content in multiple formats: as a newsletter, then as a blog post that is also promoted via social media.
- Differentiate by being timely and thoughtful. For content to really stand out and get noticed, it needs to provide a unique value-add. Clients do not simply want to read a report on a new regulation; they want to know how the regulation will impact their business. Be sure to report on key legal developments in a timely manner while providing takeaways that speak to your niche.
- Involve lawyers on all levels and interface regularly. Content marketing is for everyone. While it is great to involve partners who have established themselves as leaders in their spaces, it can also be valuable to enlist junior-level lawyers to help them build thought leadership experience. Do not forget to have regular check-ins with your content creators to ensure goals are being met.
- Share data and KPIs. Lawyers need to know that their content is impactful. Regularly tracking and sharing readership metrics, such as open rates and top read articles, can be motivating and can also shed light on which topics are garnering the most interest. As you notice patterns and trends, be proactive and make informed recommendations to your lawyers. This will ensure that they are getting the most mileage out of their content and will position you as a trusted advisor.
- Perform competitive intelligence and regularly revisit strategy. Content marketing is constantly evolving, so do not get stuck on one approach. Check out what others are doing, both within the industry and on a broader scale. Present new ideas to your lawyers and do not be afraid to take risks – it is the only way you will discover how to make your content soar.
Effective content marketing can raise a lawyer’s profile and credibility, ultimately driving business and profitability. By formulating a realistic plan and conducting frequent “health checks” along the way, you can get lawyers on board with (and excited about) content marketing!
By Rahini Shankar, Marketing Coordinator, Communications at McDermott, Will & Emery for the May/June 2016 Issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.