Is Your Legal Firm Riding the Wave of Content Marketing Success?

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SEPTEMBER 2017

Find Out from Our Iris Content Industry Report

 The legal industry is large and diverse. In 2017, there were over 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, according to the American Bar Association, and the legal industry covers many fields. Content marketing has become a major focus for criminal, divorce, civil litigation, business litigation, bankruptcy, employment, environmental, and medical malpractice law, just to name a few. The tens of thousands of law firms in the nation must find a way to be competitive. Traditional advertising, and even a website alone, are not enough. Nowadays, upwards of 70 percent of Internet users learn about businesses through articles, according to the Custom Content Council. That’s where content marketing in the legal industry comes in. Legal blogging is a thriving activity and is a practical way to keep information relevant and up to date. In its 2014 Digital and Content Marketing Survey, Greentarget found that 25 percent of law firms were dedicated to a content strategy, while 30 to 50 percent of firms were planning to start one. Its 2015 survey found 98 percent of firms were actively engaged in content marketing, while 87 percent expected to produce more content than the year before. In fact, many firms are investing more in content than other forms of marketing and advertising.

In 2017, content is becoming no less significant. U.S. marketers overall spent over $10 billion in content marketing last year, Forrester reported.

Legal Content that Works

Speaking the reader’s language is one of the biggest problems content creators face. Too much legal language will throw an average person off, so you need to explain pertinent legal concepts in a way the general public can understand. Phrasing things as they’d appear in a legal brief won’t work in a blog. A more casual tone will engage the reader, but can still provide well-researched information on legal matters. Adopting a journalistic style of writing and solving problems rather than advertising the firm are useful tactics. If a person needs legal advice or assistance, they can reach out via the website, email, or phone number provided.

The content created by your firm should:

  • Provide people with solutions that can resolve legal matters, or get them on the right track.
  • Include comments on current events, such as new laws or Supreme Court rulings, to be relevant.
  • Integrate photos, short videos, and other multimedia elements to stand out.

The elements of your legal content strategy and where you post, can impact the success of a campaign. First, you need to know who your target audience is. What kinds of legal services do they need? What are the challenges often faced in obtaining quality representation and resolving an issue there? Then figure out the type of content that will most engage that audience. If people in that demographic are educated and intellectual, a thorough article may be best. Other audiences may benefit more from visual content (videos, infographics) and details explained in layman’s terms.

Legal content can go many places. A firm’s website is a start, where a dedicated blog or newsletter can serve as your content marketing strategy. Social media is another place to consider. Regardless of where you post, use keywords and key phrases appropriately, so your content and business can be found on search engines, and the effort pays off.

The Power of LinkedIn

Facebook and Twitter are effective even in the legal industry. LinkedIn is even better. Digital marketers estimate 60 percent of lawyers use this social network during any given week. Despite restrictions on advertising, lawyers can publish legal articles as much as they like.

Providing useful information, however, doesn’t equate to providing legal advice; attorneys must make that clear in case a reader doesn’t reach the desired outcome through the insights given. A person in that situation may be inclined to claim malpractice. This is one pitfall to content marketing in the legal industry that stands out. What works for one person may not for another, but content is content – the attorney-client relationship begins with an actual business interaction.

Nonetheless, LinkedIn is a valuable resource to showcase a lawyer’s specialty, articles, and links to professional websites, speaking engagements, and other resources. Content from within their firm and outside it can be incorporated as well. New business is attainable by appearing skilled and knowledgeable to a broad audience.

Content Influencers in the Legal Industry

So many law firms have caught on to content marketing. A selection of examples below show those who have seen success:

  • Baker & McKenzie, a real estate and business law firm, maintains a blog that covers company news and relevant topics such as blockchains and global IPOs.
  • Goodwin Proctor blogs on a wide range of topics, from new SEC regulations to intellectual property rights.
  • Grant Bettencourt, a criminal defense attorney based in California, keeps an up-to-date blog with information on immigration cases, felony convictions, and DUI matters. People looking for answers to questions on these issues can search Google to locate these blog posts.

Overcoming Industry-Specific Challenges

There are still many legal professionals who don’t believe Google is the place to look for legal information and service. Sure, many obtain recommendations through colleagues and friends. But SEO can be useful if done right, in segments from accident or malpractice law to more business-specific ones such as patent law. While attorneys tend to be more open about networking, content marketing is an effective practice if one invests the time. An organized approach to creating an editorial calendar and finding and utilizing the best distribution channels also helps.

Creating relevant blog pieces is one thing. It is just as important to measure the outcome of a marketing strategy. Track key performance indicators such as webinar sign ups, event registrations, and newsletter sign-ups to determine if readers are reacting as expected. A helpful tip is to have a consistent tone and style. You can attain this by leveraging the help of an in-house subject matter expert, or a service that specializes in content marketing for the legal industry. Developing and implementing a strategy (with a solid plan in mind) can boost the visibility and reputation of any legal professional or firm.

Are you working in the legal industry? Did you like what you read? You can find out a lot more, plus a few essential tips on how you can increase your firm’s visibility with content from the Iris Content report.

Over the next few days, Iris Content will offer each industry its own specific report in a short blog and for readers who are also interested in growing up with us, a series of larger state of the industry reports will be available for all relevant industries that have an online presence. If you are interested in trends in content marketing and what your specific industry should publish to stay relevant and improve ROI, come back for more professional reports from our team of expert writers. Contact our Chief Content Officer for the full report and a complimentary blog or web page written by our content professionals.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

Contact Annie for more news about the content marketing world.

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