For any law firm looking to build awareness, authority, and influence online (in other words, all law firms), we believe that content marketing is the most effective marketing tactic. Content marketing involves sharing free content to users in order to drive traffic to and engagement with your firm’s website and brand. Content can take many forms, from written articles, to interactive videos, to informative podcasts—all created with a strategic purpose and specific goals in mind.
Want to be a visible, well-recognized thought leader? You need to compete in the marketplace of ideas and publish your content in places where clients are searching.
To help aid you in this effort, earlier this year we set out to gather data from a wide range of law firms pertaining to how they are using content marketing to bolster business development. We’re happy to report that the results of our “2019 Law Firm Content Marketing Survey” are in!
The results of this survey will help all of us who are interested in marketing legal services to better understand what’s working, and what’s not, when it comes to law firm content marketing. You can view the full survey results below, and we’ve also analyzed and distilled the data down into some key insights and actionable advice that will help you to improve your own content marketing efforts.
One key finding from our survey was that over 90% of law firms will either invest the same amount of resources or increase their overall content marketing investment in the coming year. Obviously, as judged by how they’re allocating their resources, law firms are experiencing success from their content marketing efforts. With smart planning and execution, you can too.
Effectiveness of a Content Marketing Plan
Having a content marketing plan in place won’t guarantee that you’ll achieve success, but those that do tend to out-perform. Our research highlights three distinct factors that will positively or negatively impact the effectiveness of a law firm’s content marketing plan.
1) Having A Documented Strategy in Place
Content marketing plans take on many shapes and forms. What might work for one firm might not work for another. But one thing is clear from the survey results: if you have a documented strategy in place your content marketing plan will produce better results.
According to our survey, law firms with a written, documented strategy in place rated the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts 45% higher than firms with an undocumented strategy in place, and 66% higher than firms with no content marketing strategy.
2) Make a Commitment to Your Content Marketing Plan
In our experience working with law firms to increase the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts, one of the biggest problems we see is a lack of consistency. Content marketing is the long game. Results will happen but not all at once. Accordingly, it was not surprising that law firms who indicated that they had a strong commitment to stay the course and consistently execute their content marketing plan were more than twice as likely to see positive results from their efforts.
3) Set Goals
Measuring the success of content marketing is not always easy. That’s why it’s important to establish goals and metrics for success in a content marketing plan. Without clear benchmarks in mind, law firms end up engaging in the same old tactics with no ability to adjust and adapt their strategy. Some of the common areas in which law firms set goals and measure success include:
Increase in client leads/lead quality
Increase in social media followers
Outside publishing opportunities
According to our survey results, having clear goals correlates to success when it comes to content marketing. Law firm with clear goals in place are 58% more likely to generate positive results from their content marketing.
The Most Commonly Used Platforms for Promoting Content
Many law firms overlook the fact that “content marketing” is a two-step process. You must create great “content,” but you must also “market” your content. You know that age-old question about the tree that falls in the forest? The same principle applies with your law firm content marketing.
Not only must you have a solid plan in place to create content, but it’s also essential that you document and execute a strategy to promote your content if you want it to make an impact.
Our survey results found that the most commonly used tools to share and promote content include social media, email marketing, newsletters, and webinars. 94% of all law firms indicated that LinkedIn is the most important and effective social media platform for promoting content.
The Biggest Content Marketing Challenge Facing Law Firms
According to the survey results, the biggest content marketing challenge that law firms face is getting attorneys to produce content. 75% of all law firms indicated that they struggle to get their attorneys to consistently write new content. Additional challenges include reaching the right audience and measuring content effectiveness.
How to Use These Insights for your Content Marketing Plan
While every law firm’s approach to content marketing is different, there are some clear takeaways from survey results that apply across all circumstances. First and foremost, it’s clear from the data that law firms who rate the effectiveness of their content marketing most highly:
Have a documented strategy in place
Set clear goals
Stay committed to their plan
Engaging in effective law firm content marketing is one of the few ways to avoid the “race to the bottom” in which many lawyers and law firms will be forced to participate in the coming year. If you’re merely one of many, then there’s little chance you’ll differentiate yourself from the pack and sidestep the RFP and rate-cut cattle call.
When legal work is perceived as a commodity—and an increasing amount of it is these days—then the lowest cost provider wins. But when it really matters, price is an afterthought and a successful outcome is all that matters.
Assuming you want to position your law firm above and beyond your competitors in the legal marketplace, and be in the running for premium work, then expressing and establishing thought leadership through content marketing is a means to your end, and it offers the best return for your marketing investment.
But it’s not easy to stand out. Achieving success through law firm content marketing requires hard work and a strategic approach.
Interested in learning more about our agency helps law firms improve the effectiveness of their content marketing? Contact Jay Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-432-0287 to set up a free consultation. We specialize in content marketing strategy, content creation, and the design of graphics to help make your content marketing stand out. To dive deeper into what it takes to plan and execute a successful content marketing initiative, check out our comprehensive guide: The Ultimate Guide to Law firm Content Marketing.
We work with professional services firms to develop content marketing strategies, create visual storytelling assets, and build brands and websites that lead to new business.
If you’re interested in increasing the returns on your marketing investments, contact me to set up a free consultation to discuss how we can work together to define clear goals, create a specific plan of action, and implement marketing tactics that will help your firm grow.