Content is your website’s workhorse. It can motivate visitors to contact your business or quickly send them to your competition.
Creating “great content” is easier said than done. Everyone, ourselves included, would like every blog post, infographic, or video to be a home run. But that’s not how it works in reality.
Some do well. Some are duds. But we’re a digital marketing company. That’s our job – we make content, analyze, and improve it.
But what if you’ve just started your law firm and don’t have the budget for a company like us? Or maybe you’re a marketer tasked with maintaining an attorney’s blog?
Do you know where to start?
That’s what we’re going to answer. Here are some tips you can use to create content topics for your law firm’s blog.
There’s no “one size fits all” approach to topic generation. You can get ideas from questions your intake specialists have answered, question-based queries you’ve found in Google Search Console or Google Analytics.
You can also scour your site’s form submissions for topic ideas.
Regardless of where ideas come from, there’s no way you can remember all of them. Make a list in either a small notepad or a digital note taker like Google Keep. Jot down the general topic, why you thought it was interesting, and the original source if applicable.
You may not use all of them, and that’s fine. But at the very least, you’ll have some ideas to fall back on when you draw a blank in the future.
Traditional brainstorming works, too. If you have time, get together with other people in your firm to come up with ideas. They’ll bring different point of views to the table and suggest ideas you may not have thought of.
And if all else fails, there are multiple topic generators available online. This one from Hubspot spits out a few ideas for you.
Generators are helpful, no doubt, but they’re by no means perfect.
Once you have some topic ideas to work with, it’s on to the next step.
Format and Creation
Next: what is the best way to present the information you want to share? Blog post? Podcast? Infographic? Video? Text?
It’s your website. Your content. The format you chose is only limited by time and talent.
Speaking of talent, you’ll need to figure out who’s creating the piece. Perhaps you’ll take it on yourself, if you have the time, or you may delegate it to someone in the firm as a collateral duty.
If you don’t have the time or talent, there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing the work to a freelancer or a marketing company.
Cost might be a factor, so shop around to find the best combination of price and quality, but be careful. If you pay five bucks for a blog post, it’s going to read like a five-dollar blog post.
Know Your Audience
When creating content, try to understand the person that’s going to interact with it.
Yes, you can create personas, but that will require more time and resources than you probably have available. And if you’re starting with a new website, a persona will demand a lot of information that you won’t have yet.
Personas work by helping you identify your audience and create content they’ll act on. But personas seem to work better for companies selling a product or service to a specific audience.
But you don’t need personas to understand who your audience is.
As an injury law firm, you know that your audience is:
- An injured victim or their family member
- Stressed out about their current situation
- Looking for help
- Probably not a lawyer
The best advice is to keep it simple. If you’re writing a service page or blog post like you would a legal brief, you’ll lose a lot of people before delivering your pitch.
Keep your audience’s needs top of mind when writing content for them.
Content Needs a Goal
The content you’re working on needs a purpose. Do you want to generate cases? Do you want to improve interactions on your social properties? Or is it an informative piece, letting site visitors know about important changes in the law?
Your content should have one goal.
By limiting the content’s workload, it’s easier to see if the content was a success or needs adjusting. If it’s successful, you can make an educated guess as to why it was a success and replicate it for the next piece.
If it underperforms, figure out what went wrong and don’t make the same mistake. Or change the current content and see if you get better results. Take notes as you make these adjustments.
There isn’t one “right way” to create a piece of content. Companies like Hubspot and Moz offer helpful tips you can use to get the most out of your effort. But at the end of the day, trial and error works best for a specific audience.
If content generation is new to your law firm, there may be more failures ahead than successes. Don’t give up. It gets easier over time.
However you define successful content, free tools like Google Analytics, Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Facebook or Twitter Analytics make it easy to measure.
If your firm has a Facebook page or Twitter account, you won’t have to do anything but log in and monitor your posts.
Google Analytics, Search Console, and Bing’s Webmaster Tools need to be set up before you use them. All three are free, but someone will need to add a few snippets of code to the backend of your website.
The goal or purpose you gave to the content will determine what analytics data you review. For example, if you wanted a piece to do well on social media, you’d look at data from Facebook and Twitter.
Google Analytics and Search Console show if people spent a lot of time on the page or converted to leads. And Google’s Search Console and Bing’s Webmaster Tools would give you a rough idea of how the piece is performing in search results.
The data you find should inform the changes you make in new content, and it will ultimately drive your success.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Odds are your content won’t do as well as you’d hoped. That’s fine. Analyzing content gives you a chance to see what worked and what didn’t.
If you think something worked, replicated it on your next piece to see if you were right. Conversely, if you think something specific caused the content’s failure, make that change and see what happens.
Again, there’s no silver bullet to content creation. It’s a never-ending wheel of content ideation, creation, and publication with each piece (hopefully!) performing better than the last.
If you have questions about content marketing, don’t hesitate to call content professionals for help.
At Network Affiliates, we offer a range of content services that’ll work for your audience and budget while supporting a comprehensive media strategy.