Wondering whether content marketing can help generate leads and clients for your law firm? Looking for advice on how to get started?
You know – I don’t think you’re on this page by accident.
My guess – Perhaps you’ve seen other law firms using content to connect with target clients. Or you’ve heard colleagues praising this digital marketing channel, and sharing their successes with content.
And now, you want to know how they do it, and how you could create a legal content marketing strategy as well, right?
Well, in that case, you’re in the right place.
Below you’ll find a complete guide to content marketing for law firms. You’ll find out why you need to use content in the first place, discover the most common elements of a typical content strategy, and I’ll also share with you some tips for getting started.
But let’s start at the very beginning.
Personally, I love how the Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing.
The company calls it:
“[…] a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
I love the definition because in just one (albeit a bit longish) sentence it explains everything there is to understand about this particular digital marketing channel:
(An example of a call to action on a law firm’s blog.)
First of all, content forms an integral part of another law marketing strategy – SEO.
The two are closely intertwined, actually. Here’s how.
There is a common misconception regarding content and SEO—Many companies, lawyers, and other professional firms believe that only commercial pages can drive qualified traffic.
Don’t get me wrong, they can, of course. But there is also a problem with focusing on “money” pages only in your strategy.
You see – there are only so many practice areas your firm specializes in, after all. As a result, there is also a limit of how many “money” pages – product or service pages – you could create.
Content, on the other hand, allows you to rank more pages on topics that your target clients would care about.
The right content, targeting relevant keywords your potential clients use to find legal information online, will position your firm as an expert in a particular practice area.
First of all, potential clients will remember your content, possibly come back for more.
Also, because you’ve provided value through your content, those people will be more likely to click on your other content, when they search for information in Google.
Needless to say, such exposure will result in greater trust in your business. And when those people will be ready to talk to a lawyer, your firm will be on top of their minds.
Good content attracts links organically.
This means that you don’t have to actively build links to those pages but can rely on website owners referencing your advice on their pages.
Of course, you can also be more aggressive and acquire other links to that content. But even that is going to be easier to do since your website will have pages to support the link-building campaign.
I get asked this question a lot.
Law firms like yours come to my agency, looking for help with their content strategy or content creation. Naturally, those lawyers want to know what results they should aim for with the strategy.
I always answer with three goals a law firm should target with their content marketing:
So, let’s talk about how to achieve it all…
Launching a content strategy involves several steps:
Let’s look at all steps of this process in detail.
Remember, your goal is to a.) attract the best clients to your firm, and b.) inquire with your firm, or sign up to your mailing list, for instance.
But that can happen only if you fully understand those people. And I’m not talking about who they are, or their demographic capabilities.
You also need to understand them in relation to your core practice areas.
So, as the first step, you must identify your core buyer personas for each practice area your firm offers. Here are some questions that will help you identify their needs better:
The next step – Learning how those people you’ve identified in the previous step research information online.
There are two goals for conducting this research:
At Envoca, we use three main ways to conduct this research:
Finally, we map those keywords to different stages of the buying journey and define which keywords would work for different funnel stages.
This is by far, the largest part of the process. It’s also one of the most critical stages.
Think about it, research is what starts the project and develops a plan. But it’s the execution that makes or breaks the strategy.
And when it comes to content marketing, the execution is in writing and optimizing great, expert-level content.
What do I mean by expert-level? Well, in simple terms, expert content means content created by a subject-matter expert, rather than somebody with general knowledge on the topic.
As a result, such content:
The biggest attention in content marketing is on ensuring that the content can rank higher in the search results.
We’ve discussed how content and SEO work together already.
But SEO isn’t the only way to distribute the content.
Depending on the other marketing campaigns you run, you might have an opportunity to reach your audience on social media as well.
Many law firms build a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and use those channels to tell their audience about any new content they’ve published.
Many firms also turn to paid content promotion strategies. Advertising your content on Facebook, Google, and other platforms is often a great way to attract initial traffic until your SEO strategy begins to work.
Remember, getting more traffic is only part of what you’re trying to achieve with content. The other objective is to convert those visitors into leads and inquiries.
When developing a content strategy, you also need to decide how you’re going to be generating leads with content.
The three most common strategies for law firms include:
Important to remember – All these three strategies work together. When launching a content strategy, you should implement all of them to connect with visitors at every stage of the funnel.
This way, you can cast the widest net, so to speak, and build a steady organic growth engine for your law firm.
I admit that I sometimes have to explain the necessity of this step to clients. Because it’s true, it seems like if you’ve done all the steps above well, everything should be working fine from the start.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Particularly, when you’re launching the first strategy, a lot of the work you do – both planning and execution – is based on just generic data, without context. It’s only when the strategy’s been running for some time, and you’ve collected data about how visitors respond to your content, you can see everything in the context of your target audience.
That’s why measuring and analyzing the strategy’s performance is so critical. Even reviewing traffic stats in Google Analytics or Google Search Console can help you understand what’s working and what’s not.
Then, you can use that data to simply double down on the best strategies to improve the content’s performance further.