Clayton Dodds, Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer
Content marketing has changed the way that law firms attract potential clients. The goal of publishing interesting content as a marketing tool is subject-matter association: a potential client will turn to the firm’s content resource when presented with an issue. Law firms are increasingly publishing industry newsletters, client alerts, publications, and blogs to broadcast their expertise.
The Bay Area Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) recently hosted a panel discussion about how law firms can maximize their content efforts. Moderated by Dave Bruns, the Director of Client Services at Farella Braun + Martel and the 2016 inductee into the LMA Hall of Fame, the panel included Melita Jampol, the Director of Communications at Fenwick & West, and Jake Heller, the Founder & CEO of Casetext.
The panelists identified technology as a top priority for content marketing, both in producing and discovering content. Project management tools like Slack facilitates the content production process, while content aggregators and search engine optimization (SEO) tools make content more discoverable by the target audience.
Technology also helps firms produce more relevant content. Tools like Optimizely allow marketers to A/B test headlines or topics, so that marketing teams can make data-driven decisions about what to say, how to say it, and where to publish — all optimized for a specific audience.
The panel identified that visuals play an increasing role in how content is consumed.
Articles attract more views and clicks — about 2-3 times more — just by having an image, while videos help consumers process information. Firms should have resource libraries of visual assets, and should design images that are easily reused and repurposed. Social media amplifies the distribution of content in a way that reaches clients every day, but in a way that isn’t necessarily transactional.
To make content more discoverable, marketers should build a multi-media campaign around a concept or idea — and put advertising dollars behind it. But the success of the content often depends on matching the channel with the type of content. Some content is “evergreen”, meaning it has a lasting impact, as opposed to “hot” topics — which provides lots of reader interest but loses relevance after a short amount of time.
The best content marketing initiatives use data to optimize the subject, medium, and distribution of the content, so that the right audience is getting the right content at the right time.
About the author:
Clayton Dodds is the director of marketing at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer and the co-chair of the Communications Committee for the Legal Marketing Association Bay Area Chapter. He writes and speaks on topics such as online marketing, law firm operations, analytics, and technology, and can be reached at email@example.com.