Content marketing, in its most simple explanation, brings to mind the saying “beating a dead horse.” You just share content until you run out of places to put it, right? Fortunately, there is a bit more to it than that. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing begins with strong messaging, which can be in the form of writing, video, or even an infographics. With a clear, focused messaging, content marketing allows you to reach your clients with less work for your attorneys, because they really should be billing. As subject matter experts, we can generally trust our attorneys to develop strong messaging that matters to clients. As legal marketers, it is our job to understand the nuances of different platforms and fit their messages to these platforms, maximizing the reach of attorney content and amplifying our firm’s share of voice in its areas of expertise.
Tips for Getting More Mileage Out of Your Content:
- Understand the news cycle. Be aware of what is going on in your area of expertise and create content that reflects the important issues for your firm. Use the momentum behind the hot issues to increase your visibility, add your voice to a story, and demonstrate your knowledge. Part of knowing the news cycle is also knowing when to stop posting on an issue, so your attorneys don’t arrive late to the party with stale news.
- Make it snackable and scannable. As people are constantly bombarded with information (often on their phones), content needs to be easy to read and to the point. No matter the platform, make your content user-friendly with bullet points, links, and key takeaways at the beginning of the piece. Give them a reason to keep reading.
- Know Your Platforms. On Twitter, use hashtags to help catalogue your tweets and connect to larger issues such as #CFPB, #FIFA or #lmadc. Use LinkedIn groups to share your content with interested audiences. Social media’s emphasis on sharing and engagement presents nearly limitless opportunities for exposure.
- Get Visual. Even the driest client alert has potential to clickable with graphics. Use color-coding or a timeline to present legislative updates, a pro/con list to present arguments for or against a proposed rule, or nicely branded PDF to present information.
- Get Personal. Once you exhaust your firm’s blog, newsletter subscribers, and social media platforms, remember your most valuable capital: your attorneys. Encourage them to share content on their own social media platforms.
- Go offline. Use ideas presented in client alerts, articles, blogs, and other messaging into speaking presentations, webinars, or even client training events.
One Client Alert, Seven Lives
- Client alert is written by an attorney and emailed to subscribers.
- Client alert is summarized and posted to blog, with a link to the full alert so interested parties can read more.
- Client alert is shared on firm social media accounts, using platform-appropriate character limits and tagging tools.
- Attorneys use personal email and social media accounts to share client alert, adding their own commentary.
- Client alert is used as the foundation for short blog posts, such as “5 Lessons Learned for ABC Settlement,” of “How to Prepare for XYZ Regulators/New Rule.”
- Excerpts from client alert are used to create new social media posts, which link back to the full content of the client alert.
- Client alert is the basis for a speaking presentation on topic X.
Results of Good Content Marketing:
- Share of Voice. By sharing quality content that is seemingly “everywhere,” your firm becomes the leading resource for X messaging.
- Increased Earned Media. Reporters will begin coming to you for your expertise on X issue, since you are constantly speaking and writing on
- Thought leadership. By producing quality information, your firm/attorneys become trusted experts in X area.
By Ashley Stockwell, Communications Coordinator at BuckleySandler LLP for the May/June 2015 Issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.