By Amy Williams
For most of my career, when someone has asked me what I do for a living I have told them, “Law firm marketing.” This is usually followed by, “Really? I didn’t know that law firms had marketers.” When a further inquiry is made about my current marketing role, I tell them more specifically that I am a content marketing strategist. The questions usually stop there because, I assume, most people just don’t have a solid understanding of the need for or scope of content marketing for law firms. The truth is, content marketing has been around longer than most may think.
One of the earliest forms of a successful content marketing strategy can be traced back to the year 1900. The Michelin brothers figured out a way to sell more car tires in Paris by publishing the Michelin Guide (a form of content marketing) as a way to get their customers to travel outside of Paris and into the countryside in their cars. This guide of the best French countryside restaurants and attractions helped increase the need for cars, and car tires. The Michelin Guide, now in its 117th year, is still a trusted, valuable, relevant and consistent source to motorists worldwide: and a relevant, credible source of online content marketing for Michelin.
Creating Trust & Awareness for Lawyers Through Content Marketing
A smart law firm content marketing strategy is imperative for reaching new clients and building trust and awareness for your attorneys and practice areas. Content marketing includes videos, blogs, press releases, images, infographics, presentations, audiocasts, social media posts and more. Before you hit the publish button, however, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this content valuable? Valuable content from a lawyer or law firm is useful to your audience if it is relevant, timely and can be referenced on an ongoing basis. For example, if you have several clients asking you the same question, write about it and highlight your legal expertise around this topic.
- Is this content relevant? Relevant content is informative, engaging and useful to your target audience. It helps them solve a problem
- Is the content timely? As marketers, one challenge is to create content that is continually relevant, yet timely. Timeliness means paying attention to current industry events as it relates to your law firm’s market sectors and creating content that adds original value to engage your audience
- Is this content consistent? Although consistency can be difficult to do on a large scale, the content you send from your law offices should have a similar voice, style and tone. This is important for building your brand because if your content isn’t consistent, it can confuse your clients and detract from maintaining a consistent, uniform and trustworthy brand.
Create a Conversation Starter Through Content Marketing
The desired outcome of a law firm’s content marketing strategy is to create conversations. One way to connect with clients is through attorney website bios. Attorney bios do not need to be boring and recently law firms have launched new sites that include more informal headshots and bios with fun questions about favorite books and first pets. By connecting attorneys to their background, interests and outcomes of their work through their bios, clients have insight not only into their expertise, but their personalities as well. Great for both conversation starters and content marketing.