Content marketing is of course, the “new black,” with a litany of authors and speakers advocating that amid your marketing strategy, if you do nothing else, create content.
Whilst that is true to an extent, we’ve noticed a number of firms jump on the bandwagon, but in their haste, make some fundamental mistakes.
They create content for lawyers and not clients. In other words, whilst a lawyer in the practice may be stimulated by the latest Supreme Court decision, it may be a stretch to think that your existing or potential clients share the same view.
They have no content strategy. To put it another way, great content is always client-centric. We encourage firms at the outset in forming their content strategy to start with a persona. A persona is an example of your quintessential client that you name, describe who they are and when it’s time to write your next blog, do your next video, or podcast or periscope, you ask, “will this matter to this person, will they understand what I’m saying etc
They do content badly and it hurts their brand. It’s well evidenced that in the legal industry, client acquisition is often predicated on a person’s trust in you, as their potential lawyer. Increasingly, from an online perspective, we see significant traffic all across a firm’s online touch-points, as potential clients seek to learn more about the firm and specific members of the practice. Be very cautious when it comes to content creation, particularly video. Sure, periscope may be a trending consumer mobile app, but in the case of your law firm, do you sacrifice the quality of the video, the audio and the message in the haste to “be different,” “be innovative,” or “be creative.” If it is the case that your firm’s value propositions are based on these characteristics, then at least acquire a lapel microphone and a tripod
They don’t understand the platform. For example, in the case of periscope, the app is for live broadcasts, of which you can obviously record and later upload to YouTube. But if it’s the case that your law firm considers it unlikely that you’re going to secure a good audience each Wednesday at 10.30am to watch your presentation, then cut to the chase and cut all your future videos harnessing better technology. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use your iPhone, but if you do, invest in a Rode Lapel Microphone, a couple of lights, a tripod and the app MoviePro. The grand spend will likely be in the vicinity of $300 and your quality will be enhanced on all fronts significantly
They set up an expectation that they will ultimately fail to deliver on. We see it time and time again, a firm will announce to their email list, or their online audience that they can expect content from the firm weekly and after week 12 or before, the content dries up or the firm is failing to see traction
They step too far out of their comfort zone. Let’s face it, invariably lawyers are somewhat risk-adverse. In the litany of videos and podcasts we’ve done with law firms, there are those who cut it and those who don’t. It’s an editing nightmare to try and make it work for someone who clearly is uncomfortable. Don’t make the medium fit the lawyer, but rather the lawyer fit the medium.
We applaud any firm that has a commitment to content, but just by observing a few things, you can considerably improve both your message and delivery, whilst keeping your firm’s brand in-tact.