Content marketing is a catch-all phrase for multiple activities. Content is the information a law firm puts online in some way, shape, or form. Some of the most frequently used content marketing options for law firms are:
- Web page content. Usually, this consists of a home page, an “About Us” page (this may be a singular page or may contain links to subpages that introduce each lawyer who works for the firm), a “Practice Areas” page (which may also link out to subpages for every practice area to explain the basics and why the firm is the best choice for the reader), a “Contact Us” page, and a “Blog” or “News” page. For best results, all of the pages should be SEO optimized. We’ll discuss that soon. (Already our categories are inter-relating!)
- Blog posts. Blog posts are used to answer basic questions about the practices areas of the firm. For example, if a personal injury firm wanted to blog as a law firm marketing tactic, they might write about what the reader should do if they’re in an accident, how to protect the legal rights of the victim, the legal components of a slip and fall, and maybe even summarize local or state news to explain some of the legal concepts associated with accidents. Blogs are a great way to showcase expertise to the reader.
- Articles. Writing articles related to legal concepts for any website is also content marketing. Generally, the law firm (or the lawyer) is given a by-line and allowed to place links either in their by-line or within the article itself. It’s a fantastic way to create brand awareness (name recognition for the lawyer or the firm).
Note that the terms ‘Blogs’ and ‘Articles,’ while different, are often used interchangeably.
- Answering questions asked on Quora, Avvo, or other sites. With these sites, law firms can answer real life questions. While it may quite not seem like content marketing, it is. Quora and Avvo create user accounts. People can read the answers posted, look at the user account, and even follow the website link back to the law firm’s home page.
- Social media. That’s right – posting on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites is a form of content marketing.
- Digital downloads. Also sometimes called “lead magnets,” digital downloads are ebooks, whitepapers, charts and similar kinds of “premium” content that you publish on your website.Think free guides that a law firm could use to get people to sign up for their mailing list. Think about the most commonly asked questions during a consultation. It’s a great point to start. The law firm gets bonus points for freely sharing some information (and also stopping misinformation from someone’s best friend’s uncle’s brother’s neighbor’s husband’s manager once said nine years ago at a gathering. Or what they find on Google.)The key with digital downloads is that visitors must provide their email address to download your content, which helps build your database for email marketing.
- Email marketing. Yes, everything you send out to your mailing list counts as content marketing.
Content marketing generally takes two forms: evergreen content and content that may not be relevant for long. Evergreen content is content that a law firm can continue to share no matter what. It’s content based on topics that rarely change. This very article is a form of evergreen content. While some of the best practices might change on how to do these things mentioned, the basic information doesn’t change. Content marketing, for instance, may include some new things (such as videos and podcasts), but it still has the same original idea behind it.
Content that loses its relevancy is usually called “time sensitive” content. No, it doesn’t need to be removed from the firm’s blog. It just needs to be rewritten and updated. SEO is actually an example of something that is time sensitive. It has the same basic concepts, but as far as how it actually gets done to produce the results you want (and to please the Google Gods), those things change on a very regular basis.