Our team was blown away by all the insights we picked up at the 2019 Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland. It was encouraging to be among “our people,” but also to hear that more and more legal marketers are looking to content marketing to help them stand out from their competitors.
On the last day of #CMWorld, we attended a special Legal Marketing Forum with a small, focused group to learn the latest industry strategies in content marketing. Here are five key takeaways from this session that included legal marketers from small firms to large, enterprise firms with many offices, along with consultants. The conversation was valuable, and we encourage all of you to consider attending the forum at next year’s conference!
Legal marketers know this, but the pressure to differentiate firms is at an all-time high. General Counsel in corporations are looking for experts that can help answer their questions quickly and efficiently.
Two-thirds of their decision-making process is made before they ever call a law firm. They are taking to the Internet to do their research and answer their questions. If your attorneys aren’t showing up, you’ve missed the opportunity.
Expertise is the No. 1 reason General Counsel turns to outside counsel – so as legal marketers we have to figure out how to differentiate our attorneys. We have to teach our attorneys how to write for that “Invisible Two-Thirds” where General Counsel are searching for help.
In-house counsel really want (and need) practical advice. They are asking specific questions like how do I prepare for a data breach? What is the best practice for securing files? I received a subpoena, so what do I do now? FBI agents just showed up; do I let them in?
Make sure the content you distribute (via your website, LinkedIn, Facebook, email, etc.) speaks to the questions General Counsel are asking.
Host a content strategy session with your attorneys where you walk them through their clients’ needs. Get them to tell you what their clients are feeling and the questions they are asking about before they ever come through the doors of the firm.
This is a great way to generate content ideas that speak specifically to the daily concerns in-house counsel face.
Think about turning these content ideas into vlogs vs. a typical blog post (or do both!). Video is very engaging – we all know that. Yeah, videos of cats and babies are popular, but so are videos of ALL kinds. It’s often much easier for your clients to digest complicated issues in video form. It also gives them a great opportunity to connect with your attorneys when they actually see and hear from them.
Don’t forget the importance of your attorney bios on the website. This is often where the sale is made. These bios need to scream expertise and spell out exactly what that attorney does best. An example of this would be that Attorney Joe Blow has an encyclopedic knowledge of hazardous waste regulatory law throughout all 50 states and abroad, or Attorney Sally Sue represents 23 of the 25 largest life insurance companies in the U.S. Don’t just leave the bio at a list of credentials; actually spell out for your prospect how an attorney’s expertise can help them.
Bounce rates for your website matter. Take a look and see where you are these days and focus on getting your bounce rate below 50%. As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is excellent. 41 to 55 percent is roughly average. 56 to 70 percent is higher than average. Anything more than 70 percent is disappointing to say the least. And how to course-correct if you are above 50 percent? Focus on creating content that is valuable and ensure that you have links and buttons that easily get them to other parts of your website that keep them engaged with your firm.