April 15, 2020
How to Do Client Research

Content marketing is like a recipe. It’s only successful when you include all of the necessary ingredients. Just like you can’t bake a delicious bread without flour, you can’t implement a fruitful content marketing plan without client research. Before you can effectively reach your target audience with blogs, videos and social media posts, you must first determine who they are, what they are looking for and what they need. This will allow you to create content that deeply resonates with your target audience and generates new business for your law firm. 

Why Client Research is Necessary

When it comes to conducting client research, think of yourself as a football coach getting ready for a pivotal game. You need to know everything there is to know about your opponent. From the type of offense and defense they run to the star players that headline their team, knowing the ins and outs of your rival is the only way to secure that big win.

For effective content marketing, client research is your law firm’s gameplan. Instead of offensive and defensive schemes, your goal is to study those individuals that make up your target audience, the services they want and where they are currently getting those services. With this information, your firm can produce content that is tailored to your audience and their needs. Without it, your content might as well just be a diary entry. 

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Client research is where you gain valuable insight into who your target audience is and how to reach them. Our team is experienced in developing the right strategies to effectively reach your target audience.

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Tools to Use in Client Research

To the uninitiated, client research may seem like a grueling and overwhelming task, but it’s actually easier than you think. The best way to gain a better understanding of your audience and the questions you need answered is by simply asking them, and there are a number of valuable tools to assist your firm in this process. 

  • SurveyMonkey – The world’s most popular online survey tool, SurveyMonkey gives your firm the ability to draft specific questions and send them directly to your audience through email, social media or on your website. 
  • Direct interviews – There’s a reason journalists have been conducting interviews for hundreds of years. When someone has information that you need, sometimes it’s best to ask them directly. Talk to your firm’s current clients whenever you can to gain a better understanding of their decision-making process and the obstacles they face. These can be done in person or in the comfort of your own home or office through Zoom or another video conferencing platform. 
  • Social listening – Chances are people are already talking about your industry on various social media channels, and you need to know what they are saying. Social listening is a two-part process that includes scanning various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) for any posts that include your firm, competitors and any other related keywords, then studying the results to determine a course of action. Hootsuite, Mention, HubSpot and Sprout Social are just a few of the services available to assist your firm in this practice.
  • Analyze website data – Your firm’s website is the hub for all of your content marketing efforts. It’s the location where you are driving your target audience, and the data on the back end will tell you what they are after. Where on your website are you seeing the most traffic? Where are people staying the longest? This information gives you a better understanding of the needs of your audience and how to reach them. 
  • Quora – Designed like a version of Reddit for professionals, Quora allows users to ask or answer questions on a wide range of different topics. Search the site for questions pertaining to your firm’s industry and your target audience, and you may see that others have already shared the information that you seek. 

Why Client Research is a Continuous Process

The answers you compile during client research will give you a better understanding of how to shape your content marketing efforts. Just like the football coach who studied film on his opponent to develop a strategy to win, your client research efforts will help you develop a strategy to effectively reach your target audience and their needs, but it doesn’t stop there. Over time, you’ll be able to assess the results of your content marketing efforts and whether or not you were able to successfully reach your audience. 

If your firm didn’t see an increase in website traffic, engagement and new business, it’s time to roll out another round of client research with new questions. If your firm did see positive results, give yourself a pat on the back and then prepare to roll out another round of client research with new questions. Understanding your audience and how to reach them isn’t a one-time act. Things change over time and client research should be done at least once a quarter to ensure that you are keeping up with any new ideas or priorities.


Our strategic 4-step process was specifically developed to help our law firm clients create a content marketing strategy that drives higher lead generation, while also equipping attorneys to sell their services. Learn more about how we can help your firm attract new clients and grow revenue with this SAME process here.

SAME process. UNIQUE results.

Mitchell Williams Law

Legal Content Marketing

We helped this growing mid-size law firm better position its attorneys as experts in key practice areas by delivering curated content.

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