How To Drive Your Firm To Digital Marketing Success in 2018

Editor’s Note:  Thank you all for following along with our annual 12 Days of Social & Digital Media, and to our contributors for their thoughtful articles.  Our final post is written by our outgoing 2017 Social & Digital Media Co-Chair, Karen Cariello. We want to thank Karen for her contributions and leadership, and all the great work she has done for the SIG this year. It has been a privilege to serve with her. Karen wraps up our series with her thoughts on driving digital success.  Now let's get ready to take a leap into 2018!


“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road can take you there.”

I hope you have all enjoyed reading the great, thought provoking posts in our Leap Into 2018 series. After reading them all, it’s clear that those of us tasked with overseeing digital and social media have more options than ever to improve results for our firms. So as the New Year dawns, where exactly should we leap first? And how do we gain confidence to leap, and not just stick our toes in the water?

Those of you who know me know that I’m big on having a plan before embarking on an undertaking. So in thinking about leaping with confidence, I couldn’t help but think of the above “quote”, which is frequently attributed to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. But it turns out this quote didn’t actually appear in the book. Here’s the passage that gave genesis to the quote:

(Alice): “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

As you no doubt saw in our series, there are a myriad of directions and approaches that one could take to improve results for a firm’s digital and social media. All of them will no doubt bring improvement if you but work with them long enough.

Yet none of us want to implement something and see negligible results. All of us want to leap with confidence, knowing that we’ll be moving the needle in a meaningful way for our firms. So where exactly should we start? Precisely which way should we go from here?

As Stefanie said in our first post, start by assessing what kept you from doing more this year. Or as Gina Rubel challenged us in her post, conduct a post mortem review to learn from your mistakes. For many of us, post mortems can be challenging, as so much of what we do is ongoing in nature vs. being a discrete project. Try thinking of this past year as your completed project. What were your triumphs? Where did the wheels come off? There’s a lot to learn from reviewing what was and wasn’t accomplished before deciding what to do next.

From here, it would be a really, really, really good idea to create a content strategy. Why? Because - paraphrasing the Cat - it doesn’t much matter what you do if you don’t know where you want to go. At the end of 2018, are you going to be happy with just going SOMEWHERE? Don’t you really want to arrive at your definition of SUCCESS? Adrian Lurssen and Susan Kostal offer well-crafted advice on the simplicity of creating a strategy, as well as the necessity of having one. And for those of you with blogs/thinking about blogs, check out Paula Williamson’s thoughts on the importance of developing a strategy before embarking on a blog initiative.

Matteo Bava’s piece on getting more out of video also touches on this. He talked about the importance of going beyond just posting a piece by thinking through your distribution plan. As he said “It’s not enough to just post it online…(it needs to be) part of a larger marketing effort, such as a campaign, a series, a microsite, or a social media plan.”

It’s not rocket science. If you follow their advice, you’ll find it isn’t even that hard.

Several of our posts touched on new technologies. And, no doubt, many of you are looking at a few for possible implementation in 2018. The benefit of conducting a post mortem and developing a strategy is that you’ll have a sharper idea of what’s best for your firm at this precise time.

For my money, it would also be worthwhile to give thought to your target client’s journey through your digital footprint. As they move through your platform, does their experience and the content they’re seeing become more tailored to their needs? You may find tremendous opportunities for leaping here – as shared in these pieces on market automationmobile and  geo-tagging technologies, and even CRM capture.

On behalf of my co-chair, Stefanie Knapp, it has been a privilege to assist you all this past year. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you found most helpful in this series, as well as what we didn’t cover but should have. And wherever your path takes you in 2018, best wishes for your continued success in leaping. 

2017 12 Days Bio Cariello.png

ABOUT  Karen Cariello

Karen Cariello was the 2017 co-chair of LMA’s Social and Digital Media SIG in 2017. A pioneer in b2b internet marketing, she has worked with law firms and b2b clients to align their business development objectives with their digital media presence for over 20 years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two rescue dogs. 

Coming in January!

LMA’S Digital & Social Media SIG is launching a benchmarking initiative. It’s designed to give legal marketers comparable data to enable them to assess the effectiveness of their programs and strategies. We encourage all firms to participate in order to make this as useful as possible. Details coming soon!

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