by Pete Sullivan, lexperitus Founder and President
No profession appreciates the power of language and understands the value of time better than a lawyer. It’s no surprise, then, that the legal industry is absolutely “killing it” when it comes to embedding content as a key component in their marketing and business development strategy.
Content Marketing, defined
Content marketing is a strategic approach to your firm’s on-line marketing. It means combining the art of storytelling with the science of building your firm’s reputation with the intent of bringing new prospects to the top of your sales funnel.
Did you know that more than 70% of all buying decisions are made before a prospect ever contacts a supplier?
Consumers of legal services use the Internet to search for answers to their questions. In fact, did you know that more than 70% of all buying decisions are made before a prospect ever contacts a supplier? The same is true in the legal profession. This is where a well-structured and well-populated website can have significant impact.
When your website provides relevant, engaging content that addresses clients’ issues, your firm establishes itself as a thought leader and practice area expert in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Lawyers and Law Firms Embrace Content Marketing—
- Quality Content Attracts Quality Clients
Content marketing is different from other forms of marketing. Its power and effectiveness come from its ability to interact with consumers. The constant barrage of billboards and banner ads, on the other hand, quickly becomes the noise customers avoid instead of the knowledge they embrace.
Consumers come to the internet with legal questions in search of answers. When your targeted content educates, informs, and provides details about what they should do next, you’ve met their question precisely where clients are in their purchase cycle.
In other words, your content is attracting quality clients who have already developed a sense of trust in you before you’ve even met.
- Content Eliminates Barriers to Entry
Not long ago, only the big firms with vast resources could promote themselves and market their achievements. Now, money is no longer a barrier to entry. Firms of all sizes can compete for clients on an equal footing.
But just because you have an online presence doesn’t mean clients will start beating down your door. Quality clients are smart clients. They (and Google) know the difference between fresh, relevant, engaging insights and shameless attempts to cram a string of legal jargon into their posts hoping to improve their results list placement. In fact, both Google and your audience will ignore, perhaps even “punish,” any such attempts.
The key is to understand your client persona: who they are, the challenges they face, and the kind of guidance they need from you. By putting yourself in their situation, you’re able to differentiate yourself by the depth of your awareness and understanding of their challenges.
- Content Reveals Your Expertise…
When you directly address the unique legal questions of your target audience, you’re not only demonstrating a solid grasp of the issues; you’re also extending a helping hand – perhaps even a lifeline – to let them know you stand ready with the legal guidance they need.
The knowledge and information you impart distinguishes you as an authority within your specialized practice area, and the expertise you reveal through content quickly transforms into thought leadership across the industry.
Establishing thought leadership through content development is one of the best ways to raise your profile. Lawyers best demonstrate their knowledge, skill, and experience by discussing consequential court rulings, pending and recently enacted legislation, and hot topics in the news and popular media.
- …and Your Personality
As the old saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
As we discussed in Boost Your Bio, Build Your Brand, content is extremely effective in revealing your personality, describing your work style, and offering examples of experience handling matters similar to those your target audience is facing.
Attorneys and clients don’t have to become “best friends” as they work together, but they do need to develop a mutual level of comfort and trust with one another. After all, clients often share the most private details of their personal and business lives with their lawyer.
Tell your story to position yourself as someone who understands their challenges and stands ready to help them. They’ll quickly pick up on your approachable style and trustworthiness.
- Content Is Always “On the Job”
Good content never sleeps. Clients with vexing legal questions don’t either.
Your high-quality content performs “double duty” by meeting clients wherever they are in their purchase cycle – and whenever they decide to go shopping for legal services – allowing you to remain “top of mind” with your target audience.
Now that we’ve explained why content development is a such powerful marketing tool, in our next Summertime Marketing Project post, we’ll discuss how to pull it all together. The biggest “how,” of course, is to create content with your target audience in mind, first and foremost. Stay tuned for simple, straightforward examples to use content to tell your story, in your words, as only you can.
Pete Sullivan is the founder and president of lexperitus. He is a marketing communications writer and a legal industry blogger with nearly three decades of legal publishing experience. In his roles as editor, content developer, and project manager, Pete developed the efficient Content Through Conversation process to help busy professionals create cutting-edge content that reveals their expertise and elevates their brand.