The legal field often gets a bad rap for being, well, boring. Particularly when it comes to marketing.
Many digital marketers cower at the thought of tackling such a competitive niche and often shy away from any project that has the label “legal” tacked in front of it.
Not only is there the connotation of marketing for law firms being boring, there can be quite a bit of work involved to help your clients rise above their competitors.
Such can be the case with content marketing for legal as well.
If I had a nickel for every generic “What to do if you get a DUI” post peddled my way, then I would be a rich man. I’d also have a lot of guest posts to publish.
Fortunately, content marketing for the legal niche doesn’t have to be boring.
In fact, it shouldn’t be.
If you are mystified by the process of obtaining quality links, networking opportunities, leads and more for your clients through content marketing, then it’s time to rethink “boring” and find brilliant, creative content ideas to up-level your strategy.
Rethinking Content Marketing for a ‘Boring’ Niche
Content marketing presents loads of opportunities to think outside the box.
While many aspects of digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) can be highly technical, web content allows you the space to get creative and speak to your audience on a deeper level.
Unfortunately, this is a missed opportunity for many marketers who aim to focus on the technical gains of content marketing.
In other words, they miss the full picture, which is that the content is meant to reach and resonate with your client’s audience.
The ultimate goal?
Help your client make more money.
The stereotype that marketing for a “boring” niche often becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Marketers expect “boring”, so they produce “boring”.
This doesn’t serve your business or your clients well.
Now is the time for marketers and SEO pros to shift their perspective when it comes to content marketing for legal, and open their eyes to the many opportunities that creative content can bring for their clients.
Legal Content Marketing for Relational (and Technical) Gains
If you go into content marketing only thinking about the technical benefits, then you are only seeing one piece of the puzzle.
High-quality, creative, authentic and conversion-friendly content not only opens the door to links and rankings but can serve your clients in many other (arguably, more important ways).
Effective content marketing can:
- Position your client as an authority in their niche.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Generate leads.
- Drive traffic and circulation.
- Encourage partnerships with other brands.
- Secure speaking engagements and networking opportunities.
- Drive free publicity.
- Improve their social media presence.
- Identify a new market.
Being cognizant of these possibilities (and many others) frames content marketing in a new, relational way.
Moving Beyond the Usual KPIs
Content marketing isn’t solely about gaming the algorithm. It’s about forming new relationships (being that professional, technical, or otherwise) for your clients.
That could mean creating content that:
- Speaks directly to your client’s audience, increasing brand loyalty.
- Secures them a spot at a prominent speaking event.
- Opens up a new market for them in a typically crowded niche.
Focusing on KPIs will only get you so far.
Think outside the usual framework of content marketing, and you will tap into the creativity that shapes content that is built for relational and technical gains.
3 Ways to Get Creative with Your Legal Content Marketing
No more boring blog posts.
There are much more creative ways to drive brand awareness, generate links, and land more opportunities for your legal clients.
Below are three innovative strategies to create authentic and conversion-happy content for law firms and the like.
1. Appeal to Each Step of the Customer Journey
Know your audience.
Rather than casting a wide net when it comes to creating content, it is best to create pieces that relate to each step of the customer journey.
The customer journey consists of the Discovery, Nurture, Purchase and Retention phases. The kind of messaging and approach you use in your content will differ for each.
Ideally, you will be creating content that resonates with your clients’ audience every step of the way
Otherwise known as the “information gathering” phase, potential customers in this phase are noticing what is grabbing their attention and are actively looking for more information.
This can be an opportunity to create interesting, thought-provoking, or emotional content.
This content should meet the user’s intent and make them take notice.
For example, if your client practices family law, you may want to create content like, “3 Ways to Tell that Your Partner is Considering a Divorce”, or “To Adopt or Not to Adopt: 3 Families Share Their Stories”.
These examples are eye-catching, niche-related but don’t overwhelm the reader with information.
In other words, it lets them know that you understand their struggles and can speak their language.
Then, this content can be circulated in ads, on social media, or in forums online to get it in front of the right people.
People in the Nurture phase are those that have already interacted with your client’s brand in some way, but may not be ready to buy.
Perhaps it’s not the right time, the budget isn’t there, or they need more information.
This reveals more opportunities for engagement.
This is a good time to conduct market research to figure out what your client’s audience struggles with most and what are the deciding factors in them choosing to buy.
Often times, you will have access to these people via an email list or lead generation tool. You may choose to run a remarketing ad or an email campaign.
Create content that nurtures their feelings of relatability with the brand.
Address their fears around cost, trustworthiness, expertise, etc., in content that meets them where they are at.
Your leads are just about ready to buy, so how do you get them there?
It may take a bit of coaxing.
This is often where marketers lay on the charm – and by charm, I mean sales tactics.
In actuality, you should be providing more in-depth information that is primarily brand neutral. Testimonials, case studies and the like can be that added push to make people feel that your client’s brand is the best fit for them.
You may want to circulate content that differentiates your client from their competitors. You can do this through strategic guest posting on:
- Well-positioned blog posts on other sites.
- Facebook groups.
- Other places where potential clients may be interacting with the brand.
It’s also important that your client is available for receiving questions at this time. Providing the appropriate contact information can make a huge difference. Customer service matters!
So your legal client has closed a new client – now what?
In the legal field, it may seem like once a lawyer/client relationship ends, it’s all over. However, there’s always a chance that this client may need help with legal issues in the future – or could refer a friend or relative their way.
Ideally, these contacts should be available via an email list or CMS for follow-up contact. That way, you can send content that maintains brand awareness and loyalty.
One option is to send an email once the engagement has ended.
This can be to thank them for their business, ask for a review and prompt them to follow your client on social media. Then, you can run a continuous email campaign of legal tips, events, promotions and more.
2. Create Timely, ‘Human’ Content
We’ve all seen the #trending and “clickbait” articles on social media.
As annoying as they may seem, there is a lesson to be learned that can be applied to content marketing.
Users like content that is engaging, inspires emotion, is controversial or otherwise drives some kind of feeling or reaction.
Staying on Top of the Trends
The best way to get content in front of the right eyes is by creating content that is timely and human.
Is there a current event that’s making its rounds on social media? Offer a lawyer’s perspective of the issue.
Celebrities going through a divorce? Outline the top 10 benefits of having a “prenup”.
By creating content that’s timely or up with current trends, you can be more confident about fast circulation and shareability.
Content that has a human element will ensure that it will resonate with the audience and inspire them to engage.
The right piece of content will get them to click, think, share and give your client a call.
3. Sharing Applied vs. Passive Knowledge
The way users engage with content is constantly changing.
More and more, people are looking to content that entertains them, gets them thinking, or makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The legal niche is especially guilty of creating Passive content that informs their audience about a topic. While this can be good for SEO, it’s not particularly good for conversions.
Creating content based on Applied knowledge is different. It:
For instance, a blog post titled “3 Things that Happen When You Get a DUI” serves to inform.
However, a better piece of content for inspiring users to convert may be, “Got a DUI? Here’s What You Need to Know”.
This content may outline what the user now has to do to work through having a DUI, hiring an attorney, and even overcoming the embarrassment of being hit with a DUI.
The Power is in Their Hands
This kind of content is great for honing in on a particular audience, rather than simply meeting the search queries of those looking for more information about DUIs.
There is also potential to incorporate interesting tools, charts, and infographics to increase engagement.
What’s important here is to not hit the audience over the head with information.
Offering applicable knowledge gives them autonomy and puts the freedom of choice in their hands. They will trust you as the expert because you are offering valuable information, but won’t feel pressured by a hard sell.
Featured Image: Shutterstock, modified by author, September 2018
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