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Content Marketing for Lawyers
We might live in a democracy, but the internet is a monarchy — and content is king.
That maxim is cliché, but it’s entirely true — content is the single most important factor in online marketing. It’s where you make your case to prospective clients. It’s where you build a relationship. It’s where you prove that you know your stuff.
It’s also where you convince Google and the other search engines that your authoritative site deserves to rank highly in users’ search results.
You’ll hear a lot of web marketers talk about content as an SEO tool. Traditional advertising groups, meanwhile, talk about it as a branding mechanism. But it simply isn’t enough for your content to be one or the other — it has to be both.
At Network Affiliates, we understand that concept is perception. We know what you need to say, how you need to say it, and the specific medium in which you need to say it.
There is real power in content marketing — it’s the power to drive traffic to your site and convert it to cases. Stated differently, it’s the power to build your business and make more money.
But to be successful, content marketing requires the strategic insight and comprehensive follow-up that we bring to all of our legal marketing services.
Content can neither create nor market itself. The power is in the people you trust to provide it.
Rules Are Rules: Legal Content Marketing Has to Be Different
Legal marketing has always had to play by different rules. We know that better than anyone. Network Affiliates was originally founded in response to the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision to allow attorneys to advertise. In fact, our agency was the very first to put law firms on television, and we’ve been pioneers in legal marketing ever since.
But even today, law firms have a lot more to consider, both in terms of the rules and how to best accomplish their goals.
That’s why we work exclusively with credentialed experts in legal content creation. We understand that while your site’s content needs to meet its SEO goals, it must also:
- Comply with the applicable state ethics rules
- Build positive relationships with clients
- Call visitors to action (e.g. “contact our firm today for a free consultation”)
- Reflect well on your firm and each of its professionals
- Accurately inform the public without accidentally doling out legal advice or establishing an unintended attorney-client relationship
- And more
We work diligently to produce exactly the kind of content that your firm needs to thrive online while also keeping you in your bar board’s very good graces.
What Do We Mean by Content?
It’s easy to think about “content marketing” as strictly a writing exercise. And by all means, written content can — and in most cases should — account for the bulk of your content marketing.
But there’s real value to be found in other kinds of content too, and the law firms that dare to venture beyond the written word see real results.
At Network Affiliates, we take a multi-platform approach to content marketing. In addition to the excellent quality of our written work (which we’ll address in greater detail below), we also look for creative ways to communicate your message in other forums, including:
- Interactive web elements
- PDF downloads
- And more
Ultimately, the whole concept of content marketing boils down to this: give your clients something something they can use and they’ll reward you for it by becoming loyal customers.
Lawyers have a prime opportunity here because you have information the public needs but can’t reliably get a hold on. Everyone knows that the web is full of questionable and misleading legal information.
When people need help, they’re looking for an authority they can turn to. Your law firm’s content marketing campaign can’t give them all the answers (that’s what your paid services are for), but you can give them enough to understand the basic framework for their situation — and that means the world to them. That’s why they’ll choose your firm first.
We’re here to establish you as the credible, helpful, reliable authority with the answer to all their questions… and we use a wide range of content to achieve that goal.
We Keep Law Firm Content Fresh
Human nature is drawn to the new and now. We all like new content. In most people’s minds, a legal webpage from 2016 is better than one from 2013, even if they say the same thing. Everyone wants the latest and greatest content with the click of a mouse.
Similarly, search engines like websites that are frequently updated and provide high-quality content on a regular basis.
Part of that is motivated by the engines’ own self-interest — the more content the web has, the more web users need those search engines. But Google & Co. are also interested in quickly connecting their users with the very best content creators, and they reasonably assume that upkeep is at least one strong indicator of quality.
The biggest trap that lawyers fall into is intending to pump out great content but then burying it at the bottom of their to-do lists.
At Network Affiliates, we can create, manage, schedule, and monitor your content so that it is always providing powerful performance for your firm.
We even “ping” Bing, Google, and all the others to let them know each time that we upload new content on your behalf.
If Content Is King, Quality is Queen
In the early days of the World Wide Web, you could make an impact with almost any content. If you were online in the late 1990s and early 2000s, you undoubtedly remember keyword-stuffed web pages that read like a computer wrote them. Those pages were successful for a while, but those days are long gone.
People and Google’s robots are basically in agreement these days. They like the same kind of content — informative, well written, grammatically accurate, clearly organized, substantive, and lengthy enough to say something worthwhile.
The same goes for non-written media — if your graphics look great, your videos are fun to watch, and your podcasts are engaging, then they’ll get more downloads. That, in turn, boosts your traffic and makes you much more likely to convert those leads into clients.
How We Use Different Kinds of Legal Content Marketing
In a perfect world, every piece of content would instantly convert every visitor into a longtime and recurring client. That customer, in turn, would link to your website and tweet about you a thousand times a day. But that’s not reality.
Smart content marketing means understanding the most appropriate goal for each piece of content you create. Naturally, a YouTube video and a blog article are going to reach different people, and to different effects. Both are worthwhile, but it’s imperative that your agency has a big-picture perspective as to how all those pieces fit together.
At Network Affiliates, we create all kinds of content for our clients — some of it traditional, some of it outside the box. Each and every piece is ultimately driven by your ROI, but in a way that doesn’t scream “ROI” to the consumer. That’s very important.
Below, we’ll explain a few of the content items that prove very effective for our law firm clients, as well as our general strategy for creating and promoting them.
White Papers and How-to Guides — These are long-form documents that are substantive and extremely helpful to your prospective clients. But they’re too substantial to exist on a web page. Instead, we offer them as free downloads for visitors to your site — the bait at the end of the proverbial hook. Visitors are much more likely to send you their information or sign up for a newsletter if you’re offering something valuable in return. This same strategy can work well with podcasts.
Press Releases — You might not think of your law firm as a breaking news forum, but you’d be surprised by just how much mileage you can get out of a press release campaign. Our team brainstorms to create compelling press release subjects that are highly relevant to your practice. By distributing them through third-party services, we’re then able to drive third-party traffic back to your site, which in turn boosts your search profile and associates your firm with relevant key terms.
E-Blasts — No one wants litter in an inbox. But studies find that users actually don’t mind e-blast campaigns as long as the information is useful. In fact, they look forward to opening them. Those are the emails we create, and they can build powerful bridges between you and your community.
Text-Based Website Content — Blogs and long-form web pages can perform double duty. They answer the user’s questions, and at the same time, they score you keyword mileage. Google and Bing are increasingly veering toward semantic-based search, which means that your text-based content needs keywords and synonyms or variations on that keyword to score well. The more text content we’re creating for your site, the more opportunities we have to associate your site with those variants, as well as long-tail keywords and conversational phrases that people are likely searching for. And as an added bonus, each new piece tells the search engines that your site is new and fresh.
Make Content the King of Your Firm’s Website. Call Network Affiliates Today.
We’d like to be a part of your law firm’s content revolution. But whatever you decide, we want to thank you for your time now by offering two FREE pieces of advice about legal content marketing:
- “Content is King” has been beaten into the ground for years now. While it is the truth, that old chestnut has ushered in a new era of “content overload” for your clients. That’s true on Google, Facebook, and almost everywhere else. You need a strategy that cuts right through all of that.
- With so much content, attorneys and law firms will have to step out of their comfort zone in order to stand out from the crowd. No one’s asking you to wear clown shoes, but the same old song and dance might not cut it anymore. We look for creative approaches in everything we do, from law firm TV commercials to white papers, podcasts, webpages, and beyond.
If you’d like to learn more about our law firm content marketing solutions, simply give us a call or contact us online. We’re here to make a difference.