Lawyers are prolific producers of content, but very few lawyers or firms actually have a real content marketing strategy. As a result, they get frustrated and feel like the whole concept of producing this stuff is just a waste of time. Once that perception seeps into your brain, the entire thing goes off the rails. Let's get it back on track.
The Keys to Content Marketing
Here are the pieces of an effective content marketing strategy:
- Have a strategy
- Execute the strategy
- Refine the strategy.
Sounds easy, right?
So why is it that most law firms don't do any of these things?
An Effective Content Marketing Strategy
A fully fledged content marketing strategy will allow you to see the big picture before you start to execute.
Having a strategy is also what distinguishes between “random acts of content” and “effective marketing campaign”.
Most firms find themselves very quickly doing the former.
Those who want to succeed with their strategy will embark on the latter. What' success look like? It looks like MORE CLIENTS.
It begins with a real understanding of what content marketing actually is. It's not just producing a tonne of content – in fact, the production of content is only a small piece of the puzzle.
A real strategic approach to content involves in depth consideration of:
- why you're doing it – what purpose does it have from a business perspective.
- who you're doing it for – untargeted meandering is likely to achieve precisely nothing
- a consideration of what's valuable and what's not – from both a content perspective and a production style perspective, and the willingness to STOP producing things that aren't valuable
- decisions about what media to create and where to put it
- whether or not your strategy needs refinement to achieve your goals
- how you're going to train your staff and yourself to execute better.
The biggest difference between lawyers that succeed in their content marketing efforts and those that don't? They execute.
They go all in.
They don't dip their toes in the water like this “hey let's try one of those Facebook ad thingos – but don't spend more than $10 on it because it might not work”.
Instead, they say “We're going hard on Video this year – I want to learn what works, I want to test it, and I want to build a body of valuable work for our people and build more trust with face to face interaction. If we need staff, get staff. If we need a budget, then tell me what you need and tell me why you need it. Let's GO!”.
I could have the best web marketing strategy in the world – subtle, well thought out and sophisticated – but I will lose to the 23 year old lawyer down the road who does a daily vlog on his phone if I don't execute my plan.
Here's the common sequence for lawyers when it comes to strategic planning:
- a huge meeting is organized at monumental cost (outlays and lost productivity)
- grand things are discussed, ideas are planted, and everyone feels positive
- if you're lucky, someone documents what was agreed upon and distributes it
- everybody goes back to work, checks their email – and nothing gets done.
I've seen it over and over again.
Your strategy is useless if you don't execute.
Beyond your personal execution though comes that of your team. What if you don't share your strategy, your tactics, your goals and your methods with your team? How can they help you if they don't know what you're trying to do and how you're trying to do it?
If you're lucky enough to have a team, get them to buy in. Teach them what they need to know. Help them execute. Over time, 2 or 3 people working in concert towards a goal will have a much larger impact than one person banging their head against the wall each day.
This is why you need to have a purpose. If you don't know what you wanted to achieve, then how you can decide if it's working?
Of course – not everything works first time.
Perhaps you just need to tweak. Headlines, images, copy style – these things take time and practice to develop, and you're going to have hits and misses.
See what works and what doesn't.
What actually moves you towards the purpose you decided on in your strategy? And what doesn't?
If tweaking and learning how to do it better isn't enough, then you need to be bold enough to decide what's not working and kill it.
If you're not doing these things and need a hand, then reach out for some help.
If you want to DIY it, then you should grab my Guide to Getting More Clients.
If you've got this covered already, then it's time to move on to find out how lawyers can use social media to better advantage.