Which industry is absolutely crushing content marketing? Bet you'll be surprised to learn the legal industry is coming out on top. Legal firms are a surprising rapid adopter of content marketing, reports Contently. They're bringing a well-thought out strategy to the game and hiring in-house talent or outsourcing their needs to ensure quality content that's timely, compelling and relevant.
Major firms like Baker & McKenzie and Goodwin Proctor are blogging about intellectual property right concerns, data privacy, new SEC regulations and other trending legal topics. Covington has 12 different blogs dedicated to everything from government contracts to tech media and privacy, reflecting the firm's different practices. Consumer-facing firms are getting in the content marketing game, too. For example, California-based Criminal Defense Attorney Grant Bettencourt blogs regularly about topics ranging from DUI records to immigration cases. Philadelphia-based injury lawyer Joel J. Kofsky blogs about hot topics like smartphones and distracted driving and drone privacy concerns.
"A smart content strategy is an absolute must for reaching new clients," says California-based Criminal Defense Attorney Grant Bettencourt who has his own practice. "When people have a legal question or are worried about the fallout from an old DUI, immigration case, or felony conviction, they turn to Google for information. This is where content marketing can really prove invaluable. When legal practices publish engaging content that answers these questions, practices can raise their own profile and further establish themselves as a local leader on these hot issues."
"The best legal content marketing speaks to an educated audience without drowning in complex legalese that only alienates the reader," says Philadelphia-based injury lawyer Joel J. Kofsky. "For example, personal injury law can be pretty complicated. I don't try to explain the intricacies of personal injury law in a 350-word blog post: I focus on the one or two concerns most pressing to the audience and build from there."
Your takeaway: You don't have to "dumb down" content, but remember a blog is not a college term paper, either. Aim to balance a professional tone with approachable content. Use examples whenever possible to explain a complex problem. Add a touch of levity or humor, as appropriate.
Consider the blog "D&O Diary" from attorney and prolific blogger Kevin LaCroix. LaCroix's built his reputation as a serious thought leader in the world of professional liability law, providing his insights on everything from Affordable Care Act implementation to insider trading. The popular legal site "Above the Law" even named LaCroix's blogs one of the "12 best legal blogs for 2014". For an attorney blogging on his own rather than writing for a major law firm's blog, that recognition is a pretty big deal. It's a distinction LaCroix earned thanks to his willingness to focus on thought leadership rather than advertising services.
Your takeaway: Conduct market intelligence research to understand what topics are most important for your customers. Create content that addresses these concerns with action-oriented solutions, be that a best practice checklist or even a short how-to video, rather than pushing your own products and services.
Even without a major Supreme Court ruling or regulation announcement to cover, you can still find current events to "newsjack" in your content. Small businesses can piggy-back off major holidays or events like the Super Bowl or Valentine's Day, lead with a nod to the weather (like the recent winter storm 'Jonas'), or even tie in with a major celebrity event, like the Oscars.
Major law firms have some serious cash to invest in advertising; that's why it's even more noteworthy that they're choosing to invest this money in content marketing rather than print or TV ads. Don't have the marketing budget of a corporate law firm? Be sure you're getting the biggest bang for your buck by adopting these smart content marketing strategies and keeping tabs on your expected return via a marketing ROI calculator.