When people hear the term “content marketing,” they immediately think of blogging. For most busy lawyers, the prospect of fitting blogging into an already packed schedule is daunting: How many topics can possibly fill a 1,000-word blog post? How can you keep your content interesting before the well runs dry? And, above all, how are you supposed to make time to keep up with your online presence when you already have a full plate?
Although blogging is indeed a highly effective content marketing method, it’s not the only one. In fact, the concept of content marketing long predates blogs. Today, it takes on a sundry of shapes and forms.
What is so beneficial about content marketing is that it allows ample room for creativity and innovation. At the heart of content marketing is telling a compelling story; the medium you choose in which to do this means little. What matters most is the content that fills the pages, the impact it has on your customers, and the relationships it ultimately cultivates.
The Content Marketing Institute defines the practice as follows:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
According to a 2014 Forbes article, content marketing is designed to aid a consumer or customer’s four-step purchasing process:
The customer becomes aware of a problem or need.
The customer researches the problem to 1) become educated about it, and 2) to learn about possible resolutions.
The customer compares competing products and/or services to choose the best fit.
The customer makes his decision and closes the deal.
Content marketing leverages the first two steps of the process: spreading awareness and providing fodder for a customer’s research.
Viewing content marketing through this lens, it becomes clear that blogging is not the only way to add value to your online audience. There are numerous ways to create engaging content that they will read, process, and share.
To help you get started, here are four creative ways to produce valuable content for your current and prospective client base.
1. Social Media Feeds
Most website platforms include plugins that link to your social media accounts, so that visitors to your site can track your recent activity: photos, posts, events you attended, and more. The benefit of this approach is that you can share a variety of topics, from substantive legal information to updates in firm life and culture.
2. Email Newsletters
Many attorneys use email newsletters to share firm updates and legal information to current and prospective clients. Services like Mailchimp are free up to a certain number of subscribers. In particular, Mailchimp allows you to segment your subscriber list so that you can direct certain types of content to specific individuals.
Several of these services also allow you to set up “drip” campaigns, whereby you establish a sequence of emails for new subscribers providing updates, information, or free guides. This is often called a “nurture sequence” and is an effective way to cultivate relationships with your list subscribers.
3. Free Guides
Downloadable guides can be extremely useful to your current and prospective clients. One of my colleagues runs a personal injury firm and devised a free guide for victims of car accidents. The guide includes information regarding insurance, what to do immediately after getting into an accident, and resources for finding help. This type of model works for a variety of practice areas.
Basic guides provide a service to your client base by empowering them with the right information, so they know where to start when it comes to researching their legal issues. The added benefit is that they think of you first when they are ready to engage counsel.
4. White Papers and E-books
Like free guides, e-books share basic information on a variety of topics, but provide more in-depth analysis. For instance, a personal injury attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents may publish an e-book on motorcycle law in his jurisdiction, or an attorney who serves startup companies and entrepreneurs may author a resource that describes the different types of legal entities. Additionally, writing e-books on non-legal topics, like wellness, is an innovative way to set yourself apart, showing that you are concerned with the well-being of your colleagues and clients.
Podcasting is a new and popular way to share information. It is a very flexible medium, allowing various types of content, from personal stories to updates, influencer Q and As, or a roundup of listener FAQs. Podcasts can also serve as an alternative revenue stream, as you can partner with brands to advertise on your show.
These creative content marketing methods will attract visitors to your website, build a bank of content that will increase your website’s search engine optimization, set you up as a trustworthy source, and most importantly, provide value to your audience. If you would like to determine what type of content would work best for your firm, you are welcome to reach out to me. Best of luck!
Alexandra Davis is a professional writer, former litigation attorney, and the founder of Davis Legal Media, a company that provides quality custom content for law firm and small business websites. You can learn more about her at davislegalmedia.com.
https://ncbarblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Blog-Header-1-1030x530.png00SmallFirmandTechhttps://ncbarblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Blog-Header-1-1030x530.pngSmallFirmandTech2018-11-06 22:30:252018-11-06 22:30:25Five Content Marketing Methods That Go Beyond Blogging