It’s as vital as ever to curate your online content. What are the best ways to guarantee quality content?
It has become a fact of life that a good content marketing strategy is needed if you want to establish a reputable online presence. Whether it’s feeding the search engine algorithms, creating landing pages for social media campaigns to point to, or even just making your website look ‘lived in’ and not stagnant, good-quality content is crucial.
You only have to look at the largest law firms to see the editorial teams in action. From SEO landing pages to blogs and breaking news to landmark legal rulings to email newsletters, a comprehensive content marketing strategy enables outreach and brings in inbound traffic on a scale few other methods can achieve.
But by applying some content marketing strategy best practices, you can avoid the scatter gun technique of generating content for content’s sake – and whether your budget is big or small, you can make sure you optimise your output to steal a march on your competition.
Never forget the first principles. Know what you are producing, why, and who it’s for. If you are creating a web page, think about the page layout you are working within, how to structure your content for improved readability, how to support it with attractive images, and how it links into the overall hierarchy of your website.
Know your audience. Whether that’s a hypothetical reader persona, or real-world demographic data, write for a human audience first and foremost, with concessions to SEO (search engine optimisation) made only if they do not significantly damage the quality of your content.
Once you’ve got the basics covered, then you can adopt some of the following examples of law firm content marketing best practices, to elevate your output and maximise your ROI.
1. Align with your business goals
Marketing is largely a lead generation tool. However, it can also achieve other positive outcomes, such as repeat custom, larger fees per client, increased public awareness of your firm and more positive perception of your brand.
Whatever you want your content marketing to achieve, make sure it is aligned with your overall business goals. This can actually make it easier, as you can generate new content to support specific departments or focus on specific locations if you have multiple offices, and so on.
2. Shine that spotlight
Don’t be afraid to create content with a narrowly defined target. While broad-brush content can generate more search traffic, the more clearly targeted content will often receive the most engaged visitors.
Again you could use location-specific content to achieve this, as well as articles that focus on particular disciplines (e.g. family law or conveyancing) or even on specific lawyers who work for you and have a positive reputation in your area.
3. Support your claims
Don’t expect readers to take your word for it – if you’re claiming to be the best law firm in your region, demonstrate it with real-world data or anecdotal evidence. Quotes from trustworthy third parties can help to do this, as can independently judged industry awards.
You’re not only showing your readers why they can trust your content, you’re also showing them why they can trust your firm in general. That adds significant value to your brand, especially in a field like law where trust is paramount.
4. Be positive
A positive tone of voice can really help content to achieve its objectives. In a profession such as law, where clients may be coming to you for help with a difficult situation, a positive voice helps to frame your firm as a friend and confidante, giving a human face to your legal team.
You can support this further with good-quality headshots of your solicitors and secretaries. Make sure these are correctly lit, in good focus, and try to avoid shrinking images too much. While smaller images will load faster (especially on mobile devices), you want to make sure you get maximum value from your professional portraits of your staff.
5. Publish everywhere
Once you’ve generated a valuable piece of content, use it across all of your platforms. That means ensuring you promote your blogs and web pages across any social networks where you are active, and in your email newsletter if you have one.
If you plan to publish the same article in multiple places online, consider whether it’s worth rewording it, so that Google (and the other search engines) don’t detect it as ‘duplicate content’. An alternative is to use ‘canonical’ meta tags to point to the original, authoritative version of the page – your content marketing agency can help you with any of this.
Revise and Revisit
Once you publish content, make sure you track its performance so you can see what works. Website analytics platforms are a good way to do this for the content on your own site, and a good marketing agency can help track ROI across online content campaigns that include third-party sites like social networks.
Measurable marketing is a must if you want to quantify the ROI from your activities, whether that’s online content marketing or any other medium. By keeping to the first principles and best practice outlined above, you give yourself a great headstart towards producing the best possible content, on day one and every day that follows.