A few weeks ago, a survey was released that took a look at the state of legal marketing in the U.S. The researchers interviewed in-house counsel from law firms across the nation and asked them a simple question — Are you suffering from information overload? A whopping 96 percent say that not only were they drowning in too much content but it was a huge problem in the legal industry.
What does this mean, information overload? Let’s take a look at your law firm’s digital marketing — how many blogs, social media posts, and pages are you putting up on a monthly basis? Would you say there’s a page a day and plus a bunch of blog posts? Or are you posting on social every hour? Yeah, that would be considered information overload. It’s when you have so much information that a client can easily get lost in the mess and aren’t sure where exactly your law firm stands.
And don’t put it all on the lawyer’s shoulders — many legal marketers are the cause. According to those law firm marketers surveyed, although many were aware of the problem, 81 percent said they will produce more content this year than last. In fact, 98 percent says their content budgets have either remained the same or increased from 2016.
Hey, I get it. Content is king as everyone is fond of saying. But having too much content can not only overwhelm but it can hurt as well. Especially if you’re just throwing content out there and hoping something sticks.
According to the survey, only 26 percent of law firm marketers have a documented content strategy in place for their lawyers, which is an increase over 2015 but still a dismally low number. Oh but don’t worry, legal marketers, you’re not alone. According to Content Marketing Institute, only 37 percent of B2B organizations have a documented strategy.
Ok, so we don’t do it and B2B marketers don’t do it, so why bother, right? Well, let me give you a scenario to show you why you should bother:
The tax law attorneys at the X Law Firm is in need of some new clients. It’s pretty slow right now — tax season is over and the phones aren’t ringing. It was decided the best way of getting new clients is to increase their social media efforts. So they began posting five times a day across all social channels about anything that has to do with the legal industry. They post articles from Law360, they put up blog posts that talk about random legal matters, they add pages to their site about various tax codes and IRS matters, they take it to the max. But a few months go by and only a handful of clients. What’s up with that?
Just adding content to add content is not going to have your clients knocking on your door. You need to strategize and plan, just like you would do before a big case. Without a plan in place, you’re just spitting into the wind.
How does one come up with a strategy? Glad you asked. All you have to do is answer a few questions:
- Who is your target audience? Going back to our tax lawyers, they want new clients. But what kind of clients are they looking for? Is it someone who is having an issue with the IRS? Or is it a business with a huge tax problem? You got to know the target audience before writing a single syllable.
- How are you delivering this content? Let’s say the X Law Firm wants to target businesses. So do a little research. For example, Facebook may be a little too casual for a business owner, so LinkedIn may be a better choice to post your content.
- How will you present the content? Not only is the delivery important but how you’re presenting it is key. A corporate executive probably responds better to professionally written blog than a social media meme.
- How often will you send out the content? Again, this will take a little researching. Take a look at your analytics. If you’re posting five posts a day on Facebook and only one or two of the posts are attracting attention, step it back a little. If you’re getting some engagement, maybe add another post or two.
- Is your content engaging? This is probably the most important piece of the puzzle. If your carefully crafted content isn’t getting the attention it deserves, then you may have to go back to the drawing board and rethink your strategy.
- Are you telling a good story with some of your content pieces? You should be. Everybody loves a good story. Something they can relate to.
And of course, if you need help, then you need a content expert.