Lawyers, in the main, don’t like to be seen to be ‘selling’. Historically, many have relied on prospective clients knocking on their door and bringing work to them without having to make any real efforts in terms of business development.
However, increasing competition, the recession and the changes brought by the Legal Services Act have changed things dramatically. There is increased pressure on lawyers to get to grips with sales and marketing – something that often doesn’t sit comfortably with the profession.
That’s why we think implementing a content marketing strategy is the perfect way for law firms to attract new clients without ‘selling’. And in this post, we'll get to the bottom of how those in the legal sector can best utilise this exciting new technique.
New business without selling
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is defined as:
"A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action."
Content marketing is all about creating and sharing valuable information of specific value and benefit to those businesses or individuals you wish to attract as customers.
Placing an ad in your regional business magazine, sending direct mail or picking up the phone to pitch a prospect is called ‘disruptive’ marketing.
People don’t want to be ‘disrupted’ or interrupted. The average person sees hundreds of seller-originated ads every day. They don’t trust them and most often don’t take notice of them at all. They ignore poster advertising, they want TV on demand so they don’t need to watch the ads, they are well-informed individuals or businesses who know what they are looking for and are highly adept at doing their research online.
Your prospects aren’t interested in what you think YOU are good at or how many services you offer. They want to know how much you can help them. They want to find the information they need, online, at the precise moment they want to receive it – not when you decide to interrupt them with it.
What are the benefits of producing high quality content?
Law firms generally produce a plethora of content – from traditional press releases, white papers and business briefings, to legal updates and even podcasts or webinars.
However, much of this is not used to maximum effect online or is too generic to solve specific client issues. And this means that the customers you are looking to attract can’t find you, even when they are looking for a solution that you could provide.
- Great content that offers solutions to your prospects’ problems helps to create loyalty and buy-in from prospects and clients alike
- Relevant, valuable information, which is offered ‘free’ - without any pressure tactics - will build good-will and put you front-of-mind when a prospect is in the decision-making zone
- Your prospects will feel ‘closer’ to you if they look forward to receiving your content, rather than being ‘interrupted’ by it.
Why high quality content should be the backbone of your marketing strategy
- Social Media: Without quality content, you don’t have a social media strategy. Use your social media platforms to publish and promote your content to these audiences and look to share interesting third party information that your audiences will also be interested (remember the 80/20 rule: 80% relevant, rich content, 20% about what solutions you can bring to the table)
- PR: Successful PR strategies communicate the issues your customers care about – they shouldn’t just promote your firm’s success
- SEO: search engines tend to reward high quality, rich and relevant content, that is consistently posted, which means you are more likely to be found for prospect searching for your services
- Inbound marketing: Great content flanked by calls to action (CTA’s) - i.e. directions to read more, download, get in touch or buy - will drive inbound traffic and links, without you having to pick the phone up and pitch your offer
- Web Traffic: An integrated approach using all the above to promote your unique, targeted, content, will naturally lead to the right kind of visitors – qualified leads - to your website.
Content marketing should not be an afterthought. It should be the key plank of your entire communications/new business development strategy. Google’s recent algorithm changes have had a major impact on how your business, your services and your offer is ranked online. If you get your content right, and publish it in the places your prospects ‘hang out’ online, they will find you when they are looking for the solution you can give them. If your competitors’ content marketing strategy is much better than yours - or if you don’t have one at all - it's likely they will find them first.
We would love to hear your thoughts or experiences to-date on how your firm is generating and managing its content. Please leave us a comment or get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
And if you’d like to find out how to create great content that will delight your prospects and clients – and drive new business, download our new e-book on Content Marketing for Professional Services Firms now: