How can the strategic use of digital content and social media improve your law firm’s marketing efforts?

Technology and social media have transformed the way businesses across diverse industries operate, and law firms are no exception to this trend. While in-person networking and word-of-mouth referrals may still play a vital role in the acquisition of new clients, content marketing is key for law firms aiming to significantly grow their clientbase.

Jim Matsoukas of Pierce Atwood, LLP, puts it this way: “Think about people being out and about, constantly going to events, socializing, networking, and circulating; you have to do that when you’re selling knowledge and professional services. To me, social media is the current version of that.”

Consider these essential elements when building out your law firm’s content and social media marketing efforts:

Design

As the business landscape becomes increasingly digital, the methods used to market your law firm must evolve in kind. Maintaining a sleek, well-designed site can help set your firm apart and draw the attention of today’s discerning digital consumer. Endeavoring to make your site design cleaner, more user-friendly, and easily navigable is key to improving your search rankings and growing your customer base.

Search Engine Optimization

According to Matsoukas, “SEO has a more direct connection to our sales process. It’s the #1 priority.” Being strategic about the language you use on your site and in ads, content initiatives, and branded articles can all play a part in boosting your SEO ranking.

Within the legal profession, appealing to common keyword searches can pose a particular challenge due to the fact that legal terms are often highly technical and therefore inaccessible to those unfamiliar with the profession. Focusing on using language that communicates your mission and services in ‘plain English’ can help potential clients more easily engage with your site, thereby also improving your organic search ratings.

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We’re all familiar with those quintessential ads, whether on billboards, subway cars, or in magazines, that cite an unenviable condition (Mesothelioma? 1-800-DIVORCE?) and point you towards a law firm that promises to get you the money you deserve for your suffering.

“I think those personal injury type practices are more likely to use paid click ads, and for good reason,” Matsoukas says. “Their economic model is different. They spend a lot of money bringing leads in, then filtering them and hoping that they hit the right lead and make a lot of money on a contingent basis with a good case. But overdoing it — by relying too heavily on advertisements or paid search — can tarnish a brand like ours. There has to be a balance.”

The numbers seem to indicate that a subtler form of engagement via social media may yield more consistent results: in a recent survey of over 100 law firms, more than half indicated that increased social media engagement enabled them to significantly grow their clientbase.

Personalized Content

According to Matsoukas, personalized content is “one of the best tools for establishing your authority and your thought leadership and making sure that you have content out there all the time that is being clicked on or looked at. It opens up conversations.”

When developing your content marketing strategy, it’s crucial to use the resources you have and sell to your strengths. Sometimes, this is easier said than done: “The biggest challenge we have with blogging is content generation,” said Matsoukas. “It becomes difficult for a lawyer trying to work on billable cases to be a consistent blogger.”

Indeed, this seems to be a central challenge of content marketing for law firms: 97% of all law firm websites lack any kind of personalized content. But for those who can build it into their routine, there is great opportunity. As consumers grow to expect content from businesses, any law firm that stays ahead of the curve will reap rewards in terms of business growth and customer loyalty.

While there’s no one formula for integrating content into your law firm’s overall marketing strategy, incorporating a mix of design, SEO, advertising, and personalized content will help set you apart from the competition. As Matsoukas advises, “make sure that you’re balanced and a little bit adventurous — in the right way, of course.”

This article originally appeared on Born2Invest.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer B2B content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into a sophisticated trade publication that builds influence and visibility in your market. Learn more about B2B content marketing here.

Author Remy Bernstein

As L&T’s COO, Remy directs all internal and client operations for L&T. Since joining the team in the the summer of 2014, Remy has overseen the precipitous growth of the company’s full-time staff and client base. He works directly with every member of the L&T team to implement and operationalize new processes, manage client accounts, and produce exemplary content every day. A graduate of Kenyon College, Remy previously worked in the editorial departments at Publishers Weekly and Standard & Poor’s. He specializes in content quality management and scalable business strategies, and relies on his extensive journalism background to supervise dozens of branded digital publications.

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