Team profiles, testimonials, blogs, email newsletters and other online content have become core marketing tools for professional services businesses such as law firms — and the best practitioners are reaping the rewards.
In this guide, we explain why content can be a powerful persuader and how to devise a content strategy that delivers real results.
Why content matters
If someone wants to know about your firm, the first thing they’ll do is visit your website. So the content on your site has to work incredibly hard. It has to be compelling, clear, up to date and informative. It must answer all their questions. And ultimately, it must reassure, convince and impress them — so they choose you over your competitors.
The good news is that good quality online content can achieve all this and more. Guides, blogs, newsletters, testimonials — even the about us page — all this content, done well, can convince would-be clients that your firm is the best of the bunch.
In addition, content can work even harder — extending your influence and bringing in new business.
For instance, blogs and other valuable content from your website can be shared on social media — giving you something credible to talk about in social spaces and also driving more traffic to your site.
Google rewards those that post fresh content regularly — so by posting new content regularly, you can improve your search ranking position. You can also reach out to your target audience by sending an email newsletter.
Above all, by publishing useful content and sharing your expertise widely, you can increase your visibility and boost the reputation of your firm as well as the standing of individual lawyers.
Key types of content marketing for law firms
Creating effective personal profiles is the quickest win of all. Here is a key fact: research consistently shows that lawyers are perceived by the public as “intimidating” and “unapproachable”. This explains why personal profiles tend to be by far the most read pages of any law firm’s website. People want to deal with lawyers who are easy to get along with. (In contrast, when choosing between two law firms that offer the same type of legal service, legal expertise tends to be taken for granted.) So first impressions are vitally important. Create personal profiles on your website — with good photos — that portray your team as both approachable and skilled.
Sharing positive feedback from delighted clients is the second quick win. Testimonials provide the evidence that people are looking for when choosing a law firm. These testimonials should demonstrate clients will receive fast, friendly, hassle-free service from your team. Law firms are often criticised for not keeping clients informed, so make sure your testimonials deal with this and other common issues. Gather client feedback and make testimonials a prominent feature across your entire website.
Well-written blogs can grab attention; they entertain as well as inform; importantly, they can further reveal the personality of your firm and its people; and they encourage website visitors to come back time and again. A regular blog also shows that your firm is switched on and engaged in the issues of the day. Most law firms can’t be bothered to write a blog — what impression does that give?
Guides, white papers and books
Sharing your expertise widely can be daunting, but being generous with your knowledge online can pay real dividends. When prospective clients find in-depth advice from you in the form of guides, white papers or even a book, they know they are in the right place. This kind of content positions you as the leading authority in your field.
The great thing about a newsletter is that it gets into people’s inboxes and reminds them of all the help and support that your firm offers. A regular email newsletter can strengthen your relationships with clients and prospects — provided you are sending something of real value. Create compelling content that is genuinely useful and that addresses the needs of your target audience. Also, use the newsletter to flag up your latest blogs and posts on social media.
Videos and podcasts
Video and audio have the power to grab attention and engage visitors. For law firms, short videos can be an effective way to show that you are people that your clients can do business with — providing a personal touch and conveying complex information in an accessible way.
The ten golden rules of content writing
- Use a direct and friendly tone of voice. Put the emphasis on what your clients need and how you can help them. If you use the word “you” frequently, your web copy will engage your audience.
- Write about the subjects that interest your audience by focusing on issues that often come up or responding to new developments.
- Write often — draw up a schedule so that you maintain regular content creation habits.
- Make your words easy to read by breaking them up with sub-headings and bullet points. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short.
- Grab attention by giving your content a compelling heading.
- Keep your writing simple — avoid jargon and acronyms and explain any special words or terms that cannot be avoided.
- Use appealing images — such as photos and illustrations — that will bring your words alive. Publish good photos of staff members to help put faces to names.
- Research the best keywords and phrases to attract visitors to your website and use them on your content and when you build new web pages.
- Share your knowledge and be seen to be helpful on social media, for instance — your generosity will be rewarded over time.
- Measure your content — use Google Analytics to find out which content is most popular on your website. Also use testing tools to analyse response to your email newsletters.