How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy for a Law Firm
There are many avenues through which law firms can attract clients, but it’s no secret that the internet is one of the most powerful lead generation tools to date.
Law firms of all sizes use the internet to market their services, follow up with clients, and publish thought-provoking content.
With the help of the internet, law firms can now market themselves across a variety of channels. This is where content marketing comes in to assist firms in creating the right content for the right audience at the right time.
How can you use content marketing to grow your law firm? Read on for tips on how to create an effective, client-attracting content plan.
Why Content Marketing Matters for Law Firms
Content marketing is a type of law firm internet marketing strategy that involves creating and distributing informative, audience-focused content online with the goal of attracting website visitors and, hopefully, new clients. It can take on a variety of forms and serve a variety of objectives, but the main purpose is to help law firms draw in new clients online.
In fact, studies show that 65% of law firms spend the majority of their marketing dollars online, which indicates that today’s law firms see the value in and are taking advantage of online marketing.
A content marketing strategy can assist law firms in reaching more customers through valuable, relevant, and engaging content.
10 Steps to Creating a Law Firm Content Strategy
Legal content gets a bad rap for being “boring”, but it doesn’t have to be.
In fact, your clients are searching for information and this puts you in a great position to create content that helps them navigate the legal process with ease.
Below, we’ve outlined 10 steps to uncovering smart content ideas, distributing your content, and using content to attract new clients.
1. Identify Your Main Objective
Content can serve a variety of purposes – from attracting website visitors to increasing engagement on social media to growing your email list.
Before creating content, you should consider what your primary objective is so you’re prepared to create content that helps you accomplish this goal. Different types of content work to generate different results, so it’s worth identifying your main objective(s) from the very beginning.
With your content, are you trying to:
Attract website visitors?
Grow your email list?
Increase social media engagement?
Increase your law firm’s authority online?
Run a PR campaign?
Improve your search engine optimization (SEO)?
Turn visitors into leads?
These are just a few of the many objectives you may have for your content. Consider these before creating your content marketing strategy so you’re sure to create the right kind of content to achieve your goals.
2. Research Keywords for SEO
If one of your objectives is to improve your law firm’s SEO, then you will want to research searchable keywords to use in your content.
This involves identifying keywords your target audience is searching for to find law firms like yours, or otherwise find information about the type of legal services you offer.
To do this, you can use keyword research tools like SEMRush.com or Ahrefs.com to find keywords to you on your web pages or in your blog posts.
Here’s how to do keyword research for your blog articles:
Use keyword research tools to search for any terms you can think of that might describe the services you offer or some questions your target audience may have.
Look at the search volume and competition score of these keywords to see if they are worth targeting on your site. The sweet spot is keywords that have high traffic volume but low competition.
Use the “Related Keywords” function to find relevant keywords you might not have thought of during your original search.
Make a list of the keywords you think make the most sense for your site and write out some potential blog post titles that relate to these keywords. For example, “how to file for divorce” could become “How to File for Divorce - X Steps” or “How to File for Divorce - Avoid Stress & Animosity”.
Use your target keyword (for each post) throughout your content, paying special attention to your post’s title tag, meta description, and H1 and H2 headings.
3. Spy on Your Competitors’ Content
Sometimes you’ll find yourself a bit stumped on what content topics to tackle on your website. This is when it’s a good idea to scope out your competitors’ content strategies to see what keywords they are targeting and what content they’re posting on social media.
You can use the same keyword research tools as above (SEMRush and Ahrefs) to search for your competitors’ domain names and see what keywords they are ranking for. This can be a great way to find keywords you should be targeting on your own site.
Not all content needs to serve an SEO purpose, however. If you see your competitors posting thought-provoking content on their blogs or social media channels, this can give you some ideas for content you can create to increase engagement, improve your firm’s authority, and even attract clients to your website.
4. Ask Your Audience
The legal niche is highly competitive, which often makes it difficult to come up with content ideas that haven’t been tackled before. It’s a smart idea to ask your audience what topics they’re interested in and what questions they have about the services you offer and the legal process in general.
You can do this by posting a question like “What questions do you have about X?” on social media, by sending out an anonymous survey, or by sending out a campaign to your email subscribers. Then you can turn these questions/topics into blog posts and/or create a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website.
5. Establish a Content Schedule
When it comes to content marketing, quality comes first but consistency makes the difference. Your law firm’s content marketing strategy is made more effective when you are publishing, posting, and marketing your content on a regular basis.
In the beginning, you may want to start slow so you can keep up with a regular posting schedule. Even if you’re only posting two times per month, this is better than skipping months at a time. Later on, you might consider hiring help (like a blog writer) to create more content on a consistent basis.
Project management tools like Asana and Monday.com can help you stay on schedule, organize your content details, and ensure that you’re distributing your content across multiple channels.
6. Write with “EAT” in Mind
EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) is a concept in SEO that applies to creating content that’s written with users and search engines in mind. It’s used to guide brands in creating content that provides value to readers and includes relevant, accurate information users can trust.
By contrast, many brands simply write with Google in mind – chocking their content full of keywords and hoping for the best. Instead, you should focus first on providing content that helps your audience learn, accomplish their goals, and find the best law firm for their needs.
SEO powerhouse Moz published an in-depth guide on how to write for EAT so you can create content that both Google and users want.
7. Create a Content Distribution Plan
You’ve planned your topics, written your content, and have hit “publish”... now what?
After creating your content, you’ll want to have a plan for distributing your content across platforms to get as many eyes on it as possible. This can be done manually or through the use of content distribution tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.
Here are a few places you can share your content to generate more traffic, engagement, and views:
Instagram posts or stories
Repurpose as YouTube video
SMS (text message marketing)
HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
Google My Business posts
Guest posting on third-party sites
8. Focus on Lead Generation
If one of your objectives is to generate more leads for your law firm, then you will want to give your readers various opportunities to contact you (i.e. “convert”).
When publishing and sharing your content, consider what action(s) you want users to take. Do you want them to download an ebook? Give you a call? Fill out a form? Whatever it is, make this clear so you can generate as many leads as possible.
Here are a few ways to generate leads from your content:
Include contact forms on the service pages of your website.
Add downloadables like ebooks and infographics to your blog posts so users have to provide their email addresses.
Include calls-to-action on your social media posts to encourage followers to contact you.
Add your phone number to your web pages to make it easy for prospects to reach you.
Promote your email newsletters to collect more email addresses.
Create “lead magnet” content users would be interested in. Make is so they have to provide their contact information before downloading this content.
9. Follow Up with Prospects
What use is a lead if you don’t follow up with them? Unfortunately, this is a mistake a lot of law firms make (as shown in Hennessey Digital’s law firm intake study) and it can really cost them potential clients. Don’t forget to follow up with your leads!
When you collect information from prospects (whether it’s via email, social media, your contact forms, or by phone), you should record this information and outline a process for follow-up. This can involve having an automated email campaign or having someone on your team following up with the prospect directly.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools can help you keep your lead information organized, check follow-up status, send client documents, and much more. Use these to ensure that you’re following up with every lead and aren’t missing out on new client opportunities.
10. Create Linkable Assets
A linkable asset is a type of content that works to attract backlinks to your website. Links from high-quality sites can improve your own site’s SEO, increasing your rankings and drawing in new website visitors.
There are many types of linkable assets you can create. These range from ebooks to guest articles to interviews to webinars and beyond. We’ve provided 8 ways to attract backlinks so you can improve your website’s SEO and generate even more traffic.
The great news is that your content can serve many purposes at once. For instance, you can publish an SEO-friendly blog post that generates traffic, attracts backlinks, drums up engagement on social media, AND converts readers into clients. The more you can “kill two birds with one stone” with your content, the better!
Law Firm Content Marketing Made Simple
By now you see that content marketing for your law firm doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With the right planning, tools, schedule, and writing know-how, you can create amazing content that moves your law firm forward.
Create content that gets your audience buzzing and itching to work with you. The more content you create, the more your skills will improve and the better you’ll be at using content to turn passive visitors into new clients.