Billboards, print advertisements, and TV commercials have certainly had their time to shine as the go-to marketing methods for law firms. In this digital day and age, though, there’s nothing like a high-quality digital marketing strategy when it comes to ranking higher in search engines and attracting prospective clients.
As a lawyer, you’ve got the experience needed to provide high-quality legal services to your clients—but that information doesn’t mean much if it’s not being seen by the right audience. Or if it’s not being written in a way that shows exactly why you’re the right lawyer for someone.
Could your law firm’s online presence use some TLC? We’re here to help. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about law firm content marketing and how to bring in leads.
What is content marketing for law firms?
Content marketing refers to creating and sharing information with the goal of attracting new business. Content marketing for law firms refers to—you guessed it—the creation of content specifically designed to attract prospective clients to your legal services.
An effective content marketing strategy is about more than popping a few blogs up on your website. It’s about showcasing your firm’s knowledge and unique differentiators, gaining your audience’s trust, and establishing strong client relationships—all of which can be done before you even have your first conversation.
Whether you’re working on blog articles or social media posts or a downloadable, every piece of content your law firm publishes should do the following:
- Address the legal needs and pain points of your prospective clients
- Offer solutions to those needs and pain points
- Bring the prospective client one step closer to signing with your firm through tangible calls to action (CTAs)
Of course, it’s not just about what information you share. It’s also about how you share that information.
Without an effective marketing strategy, all of that time and effort you put into creating a piece of content could leave you stuck on page 5 of the Google search results—and, let’s be real, how many of your leads are clicking past page one?
Why content marketing is important for law firms
Content marketing is a great way to share who you are, what you do, and why you’re the right choice for your potential clients. Here are the top three ways content marketing helps your law firm.
1. Addressing the needs of prospective clients.
People turn to the internet for help all the time—with content marketing, you can put yourself in the right place at the right time for leads. With a content marketing strategy that involves sharing tangible, practical information, you can establish a good rapport from the get-go.
Content marketing scenario:
Let’s say you’re a divorce lawyer based in New Jersey. If someone googles how to calculate alimony in New Jersey, your blog article could pop up as a top result. If you answer their question—and establish some trust along the way—you’ve started the process of turning that lead into a client.
2. Establishing trust with prospective clients.
Seeking out legal services is complicated enough, especially since it often involves stressful, messy, life-altering events. With a content marketing strategy that involves clear and accessible information, you can reassure prospective clients that your firm is dedicated to minimizing that stress/mess—not adding to it.
Content marketing scenario:
Let’s say you’re a personal injury lawyer based in Pennsylvania, and someone who recently got into a construction site accident is looking for compensation for their pain and suffering. Chances are, they want two things:
- Clear answers to their questions
- Legal counsel that’s looking out for them
If your content is straightforward and helpful, it’s much more likely to attract that person who’s already overwhelmed.
3. Connecting you with the right clients.
No one wants to spend hours of time and energy on a dead end. With a content marketing strategy that clearly states your values and the scope of your legal services, you can attract the ideal client from the start and spend less time on intakes or leads that aren’t a good fit.
Content marketing scenario:
It’s important to keep your content within your niche. If you’re an estate planning lawyer, for example, you shouldn’t build your content strategy around family law topics.
You can, of course, address cross-over issues. Your clients are multifaceted individuals, after all. If you’re building out your monthly content calendar, you could create several blogs around how your estate plan can account for blended families or tips for updating your beneficiaries following a divorce. It’s all about context!
Types of content marketing for law firms
When it comes to creating a content marketing plan, there are several compelling types of content to choose from. While each has a specific purpose, they share the same overarching goals: to drive traffic to your site, spread brand awareness, and connect with prospective clients.
Some of our favorite types of content marketing for lawyers include:
Website copywriting for law firms refers to written content—complete with substantive keyword research—created with the goal of attracting new leads to your law firm’s website. This can include blog posts, guest articles, landing pages, practice pages, and, of course, your website’s homepage.
Effective website copywriting should give visitors an immediate sense of who you are as a firm:
- Your values and values as a law firm
- Your practice areas and what legal services you offer
- What differentiates you from other law firms
- How working with you will benefit them
Don’t forget to speak to your audience’s pain points and use well-placed CTAs to get those website visitors one step closer to converting from readers to clients.
Email marketing campaigns continue to be an effective form of content marketing, particularly when it comes to newsletters and automations.
Automations are a great start when it comes to building and maintaining client relationships. Let’s say a prospective client clicks the “subscribe” or “learn more” button on your website to sign up for newsletters and/or gain more information about your legal services. With email automation, you can send a friendly welcome or follow-up email in a matter of minutes—without pressing pause on any of the tasks on your to-do list.
Let’s face it. Everyone is on one social media platform or another these days—including your prospective clients. Posting on social media may seem relatively simple, but effective social media marketing requires a solid strategy that leverages a combination of organic and paid social.
Organic social, or free social media posting, is typically designed to engage and educate existing followers, gradually gaining traction and trust over time as you get more likes and shares.
Paid social, on the other hand, involves the use of paid advertising to strategically place your social media posts in front of the right audience for a wider reach.
Remember that you don’t need to post on every single social media platform. Your target audience doesn’t use each one, after all. This is where doing some research to identify your ideal target audience can be helpful. Do you cater to a younger audience of entrepreneurs? Make sure your strategy includes LinkedIn! Focus heavily on estate planning for retirees? Facebook should be part of your social lineup.
Who doesn’t love a freebie?
Walk your leads toward becoming a client with downloadables—e-books, guides, webinars, or sign-ups for a free consultation, for example—that they can access directly from your website. By providing these free assets, you’re essentially giving the reader a sample of your law firm’s value.
The benefits go both ways. These downloadables, or lead magnets, become available to prospective clients in exchange for their contact information, making them part of your email list—and one step closer to seeking out your legal services.
Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, making them an effective form of content marketing for law firms.
Through the creation of high-quality, engaging podcasts, you can enhance your audience reach, demonstrate your expertise, and build your law firm’s credibility—all the while maintaining audience relationships, promoting your legal services, and generating new leads.
How to create a content marketing plan that brings in leads
Before putting pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard—there are a few crucial steps that any effective digital marketing strategy must undergo.
Five essential elements of your content marketing strategy include:
Before you start creating your pieces of content, you need to conduct plenty of research—this is essential when it comes to shaping your content marketing strategy.
You’ll need to research the following:
Before you create your content, you need to know who you’re creating it for.
- Who are your potential clients?
- Do they come from certain age groups, careers, or economic backgrounds?
- What are their topics of interest and pain points?
- How do they consume media online?
You’ll want to create content that speaks directly to your target audience, addressing their specific needs and offering tangible solutions.
To optimize your content for search engines, identify the keywords your prospective clients use when searching online (target keywords), and how many people are searching for those keywords (keyword volume). Working with the right keywords helps you address the right questions, but also makes your content more findable by search engines.
If this seems complex, know that there are many tools out there to help you. Keyword research tools like SEMrush, AnswerThePublic, and Ahrefs help you pinpoint the right words to target. (And when in doubt, contact a law firm marketing agency to help you navigate and strategize!)
Scope out the competition by investigating competing law firms’ content marketing strategies. Are they ranking for relevant keywords, or using unique lead magnets? Check out their blog and website, too, gathering ideas for potential blog topics and site pages.
Note that the goal is not to copy your competitors. Rather, it’s to gain inspiration and get an idea of what they’re doing—so you can do it better.
2. Content creation
Once you’ve done your research, you can begin creating content. From content calendars to drafting, revisions, and final proofing, your law firm’s content should stay true to your brand narrative—your firm’s values, mission statement, target audiences, services and practice areas, and more.
Some quick tips for creating compelling content include:
Keep it super simple
Chances are, your target audience doesn’t consist of lawyers. To appeal to prospective clients, swap out the legal jargon for clear, simple language that’s digestible to a general audience. As we say in marketing, the more concise, the better!
Be specific and actionable
Your readers are looking for specific answers to their legal questions, so it’s important to provide them with easy to understand, tangible information. Instead of telling them to follow bicycle safety laws in their state, for example, lay out exactly what those laws are and what they mean for your client in everyday terms. Your reader should feel like they have information that they can put to use, not legal facts that will just take up brain space.
Make it skimmable
When prospective clients come across your content, there’s a good chance they’re looking for an answer to a particular question. Make it easy to find the information they’re looking for by:
- Breaking up walls of text with bullet points and lists
- Using clear headers
- Implementing white space so it’s easy to scan
Keep your content evergreen
Avoid using relative time references such as “last week” or “next year.” If the time is important to the content piece, give specific dates instead (i.e. “On September 2, 2022”). Be sure to update your content every so often to make sure it’s not outdated.
Don’t hit “PUBLISH” before thoroughly reviewing content. If you’re producing your content in-house, ask another attorney to double-check your legal talking points. You’ll also want to thoroughly edit your content. Key things to look for include:
- Are there any typos?
- Does the writing style reflect your brand?
- Do internal and external links work correctly?
- Is the content relevant and meaningful for your audience?
- Did you include a call to action?
A reusable editorial checklist can help you consistently apply the same standards to each piece.
Compliance regulations vary depending on the state, so it’s important to have a marketing team that’s trained in what can and can’t be said in advertising. From the first draft to the final QA and eventually online publication, you’ll want to make sure you’re not letting anything slip through the cracks in your content. After all, a seemingly minor copywriting slip can quickly turn into an ethics violation.
4. Publication and distribution
Once a piece of content goes through an extensive review and approval process, it’s ready to be shared with the public—including your prospective clients. Share your new content to your website, any socials associated with your firm, and email lists for as wide of a reach as possible.
If you’re opting for paid social media advertising, this is the time to boost those posts.
After sharing your content, you’ll need to analyze its performance—this is the only way to truly know whether your content marketing strategy is working.
Analyze metrics including:
- New clients signed
- Search engine rankings
- Organic website traffic
- Lead magnet downloads
- Views, shares, and clicks
With that data, you can then target areas that need improvement. Over time, your content will improve, and you’ll see a greater ROI.
Promote your legal services with FocusWorks
Long story short: creating and implementing an effective content marketing strategy takes a lot of time and effort. You’re a busy law firm, and we understand that it’s not ideal to spend valuable time writing blogs or social media posts—especially when that time can’t be put toward your billable hours.
That’s where our marketing team can help. Check out this handy calculator to find out how much you could save by outsourcing your content.
Not only do we have the time to dedicate to promoting your legal services (it’s literally what we do), but we also have the expertise. If you want to see a return on your investment, you’ll need marketing content that’s carefully designed to show up in search engine results, attract readers, and convert them into clients.
Ready to get started? Let’s talk.