If you haven't already incorporated content marketing into your marketing efforts, now is the time to start. You might also be implementing content marketing but not doing it right. Remember, it's not just about churning out blog post after blog post or creating videos for the sake of it. The key to success with content marketing is to focus on quality over quantity. Your content should be informative, engaging, valuable, and aimed at helping potential clients understand the issues they are facing.
There's no doubt that content marketing works and any law firm's content marketing success depends largely on following some best practices. This guide will:
- Explain what content marketing is for law firms;
- Discuss why content marketing is important for law firms;
- Give an 11-step guide to law firm content marketing.
And speaking of valuable content, we have one for you. In the latest episode of the Grow Law Firm podcast, our insightful host, Sasha Berson, sits down with the renowned Jay Ruane to discuss scaling your law firm with content marketing.
What Is Content Marketing for Law Firms?
Content marketing for law firms involves strategically offering relevant content to targeted audiences with the goal of generating interest in your law firm or legal practice. There are many different content ideas that can be used in content marketing for attorneys, such as blog posts, videos, landing pages, infographics, press releases, and legal service pages. However, it's not just about creating and distributing content. It's also about having the right systems in place to support your content marketing efforts.
Having a systemized approach to your law firm's operations can help you scale your business and provide better customer service. By implementing systems for repetitive tasks, you can free up your team's time to focus on more important things, like providing excellent legal services and building relationships with your clients. Systems can also help you streamline your workflows, improve efficiency, and reduce errors.
Incorporating business systems within your law firm can also help you better manage your content marketing efforts. For example, you can use project management tools to coordinate your content creation, distribution, and tracking. You can also use analytics tools to measure the performance of your content and make data-driven decisions to optimize your content marketing strategy.
Why Is Content Marketing for Law Firms Important?
Law firms that invest in content marketing experience not only better engagement but also a higher return on investment. When compared to traditional advertising, content marketing generates 3 times more leads and is 62% cheaper. For law firms, content marketing is important for several reasons:
- Increased website traffic: Well-written, high-quality content can help improve a law firm's search engine optimization (SEO). When people search for legal information or services, search engines use complex algorithms to find the most relevant and trustworthy content to show in the search results. So, if you create quality content on your law firm's website, it can improve its search engine ranking, which can lead to greater visibility for the law firm.
- Increased brand awareness: High-quality content that is informative and engaging is more likely to reach a wider audience beyond the law firm's website, increasing its exposure. This content can showcase the law firm’s expertise, values, or unique offerings. They can also be shared by the firm itself, clients, or colleagues across various channels, such as social media, third-party publications, and the firm's website. As people read, engage, and share the content, they become more aware of the law firm's brand, leading to increased brand recognition.
- Increased trust: One of the key factors that push a client to hire a law firm is trust. Informative content can help law firms establish themselves as reliable sources of legal information. Visitors to the firm's website will see that the law firm has deep knowledge of the law and is committed to helping clients. This builds trust with potential clients, making them more likely to engage the law firm for legal services.
- Increased conversions: The goal of any law firm's marketing effort is to increase conversions, and content marketing can help law firms achieve this. When you present solutions to common legal issues and share success stories, you can persuade potential clients to take action. Engaging and persuasive content can encourage visitors to reach out to the law firm for legal advice or to initiate a consultation.
An 11 Step Guide to Law Firm Content Marketing
1. Create Your Law Firm Content Marketing Funnel
When prospective clients engage with your law firm, they go through the three stages of the buying process. These are awareness, consideration, and conversion, and they align with the legal content marketing funnel.
A large portion of content marketing for law firms is built around the awareness stage. You are creating legal marketing content to create awareness for your law firm and ensure you are on the minds of potential clients.
That early-stage content helps you earn trust and create a sense of authority. When clients are ready to move on to the other stages, they are likely to keep your law firm in mind.
The descriptions below work well with the visual of a law practice marketing funnel:
- Top of Funnel: "TOFU" content is intended to focus on creating awareness. For prospective clients, the buyer's journey begins here. People consuming content at this stage may have never heard of your law firm. So in addition to educating and informing, you also need to establish your legal expertise.
- Middle of Funnel: "MOFU" content is more specific. Here, legal content will address more specific questions that are posed by your prospects. In this stage, you are likely to interact with potential clients directly. Prospects at this stage are trying to determine whether your law firm can help them. Law firm content marketing in the middle of the funnel should be designed to nurture leads and mix educational and promotional information. There are fewer clients at this stage than at the top of the funnel.
- Bottom of Funnel: The smallest number of prospective clients will reach this "BOFU" stage. This content will work to convince clients that your solutions are best for them. For example, you might share explainer content on how your legal services work. Here, you are working on convincing clients to hire your law firm.
Your law firm's content marketing strategy should include plans to engage your target audience in each of these three phases.
2. Understand Your Law Firm's Potential Client
Content marketing for lawyers should help law firms connect with clients. However, before you can create content that connects, you have to understand your target audience. The best way to do this is to develop client personas that represent people who are most likely to use your services and then write valuable content that meets their needs.
A persona is a detailed representation of a client. Your lawyer content marketing strategy may work best if you develop a persona or several personas for each practice area. Make sure to include the following information:
- Family structure
Once you have accurate and detailed personas in place, you will be able to use them to select the most relevant topics and conduct keyword research.
3. Use an Author Who Builds Trust
Trust is everything; however, trust is built with consistency. A piece of content that comes from a trustworthy source is more likely to be well-received and generate leads than one that doesn't. One of the most effective ways to build trust with your audience is to ensure that you have a credible author attached to your content. This could be a senior partner at your law firm or someone experienced in the legal industry. The key is to choose someone who has a track record and expertise with credentials and portfolios to back it up.
While AI-generated content has been making headlines lately, it's important to consider whether this approach is truly beneficial for law firm content marketing. Chatbots like GPT or Jasper may be able to generate content quickly and efficiently, but they lack the nuanced understanding of legal issues that a human author brings. If your aim is to build trust with your audience, it's best to stick to human authors who can provide expert insight and advice, or at the least have someone update that AI content to sound more human.
4. Conduct Keyword Research for the Best SEO Results
Keyword research involves identifying the most relevant and valuable keywords for a particular topic or niche and optimizing content around these keywords to improve search engine rankings and attract more organic search traffic.
Before conducting keyword research, it's important to have a good understanding of the topic or niche that the content will be focused on. This will help you identify important keywords and topics that will be most relevant to your audience.
Once you have a list of potential topics, you can begin to search for keywords and phrases that are relevant to those topics. There are many keyword research tools available online that can assist in the process. These tools typically allow you to enter a keyword or topic and generate a list of related keywords, along with data on search volume, competition, and other metrics. Some popular keyword research tools include Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz.
You need to keep some things in mind when researching keywords to add to your content.
- Remember that keyword stuffing (overloading your content with too many keywords) is never a good idea. Google's algorithms can easily detect when content is trying to artificially manipulate the search results.
- Focus on long-tail keywords—longer and more specific keyword phrases—since they are often less competitive but more valuable to target. For example, instead of targeting a broad keyword like "lawyer", targeting long-tail keywords like "best personal injury law firm in Chicago" may be more effective in reaching a specific audience with a higher intent to convert.
Keyword research is an ongoing process, and it's important to refine and adapt your strategy based on data and feedback. Regularly reviewing and analyzing metrics like search volume and traffic will help refine the keyword research strategy.
5. How to Find Topics for Your Online Blog
The next step in content marketing for law firms is identifying content topics that answer the questions and match the search intent behind the keywords you have defined. You don't want to simply include the keywords — you want to build useful content around them.
As you think about topics and content, consider your target audience. What are their needs when they search for a specific keyword phrase or ask a question? Answer that inquiry with your content, and make sure you use language they can understand, not complex legal jargon.
For example, if someone searches for workplace injuries in PA, you could write about their rights under PA law if they get injured at work and advise them that they have the right to speak to an attorney before they sign anything.
Competitive analysis is also important in this phase of law firm content marketing. Look at your competitors' content. What are they doing a good job at covering? Where are there gaps that you can fill in with your own relevant content?
6. Create Valuable Content for Your Law Firm
Keep in mind that the goal of all this is to provide value and not just throw keywords around. You want to keep people reading and clicking. You want to give them answers and information that they need.
— Videos on Law
Law firms don't use attorney videos as a part of their content marketing strategy as much as they should.
Video is one of the most engaging forms of content and has many potential applications. Law firms can produce video testimonials from satisfied clients, for example. Firms can also use video to explain the services they offer, answer questions about legal processes, and profile attorneys.
Content marketing for law firms tends to center around legal blog posts. These are ideal for sharing insights and advice. Because you publish these to your law firm's website, there is no cost or limit to how much you can write or the topics you can cover to attract potential clients.
Think of the pillar and cluster model. Pillars are large pieces of content that provide comprehensive answers to a client's question. Clusters are the little spinoff topics that you might find within that larger topic. When you create content, everything is interconnected, making links that keep visitors on your site, happily reading and clicking.
One thing to keep in mind is that longer content tends to perform better in search. So don't hesitate to include longer, more detailed posts in your law firm content marketing.
Guest posts are another form of blogging that you can use in law firm content marketing. In this case, you will be writing blog posts or articles for other websites or publications.
To do this, you must identify sites where you believe your legal insights will be useful and then reach out to the owners of those sites. Guest blogging can help you reach more potential clients and build web links back to your law firm's website.
— Service Pages on Your Website
Service pages can be used as part of content marketing for law firms. However, adjustments often need to be made for this to happen. Service pages that are shorter and more promotional won't be very useful for your content marketing strategy.
Longer service pages that provide detailed information and answer questions will rank higher and attract more traffic. Think about creating service pages that function more like blog posts for law firm content marketing.
Legal podcasting is emerging as a valid form of content marketing for law firms. Prospective clients can listen to podcasts where and when it suits them. This flexibility makes podcasting a great medium for sharing information without being intrusive.
Currently, not many law firms in the United States have podcasts. This approach can be an effective content marketing strategy if you want to stand out from your competitors.
In content marketing for law firms, infographics are visual tools that are used to communicate legal information to your target audience. Infographics allow law firms to share expertise in a way the average person can understand.
— Lists of Useful Links
People who need services from a law firm may also need to connect with other resources. For example, someone going through a divorce may need financial or housing advice.
When you provide links to professional and community services, you may not be directly promoting your firm. However, this assistance can increase trust and help you build better relationships with your prospects.
— Downloadable Guides
Content marketing for law firms should include long-form downloadable guides and other content. This detailed, in-depth information is especially useful for bottom-of-funnel customers.
Additionally, you can gate this content to collect lead information. This approach is a great technique for bridging law firm content marketing with email campaigns.
7. SEO Optimization
You need top-quality content for your law firm content marketing strategy. You also want to make sure that you have used all the right SEO techniques to ensure that Google and other search engines can index and rank your content for the right keywords.
While keywords are an important part of content marketing for law firms, there is much more to SEO optimization. The practice also includes using meta titles and descriptions, ensuring correct internal linking, properly forming URLs, and the use of alt-texts.
It is also important to refresh and update your content regularly with new information and relevant keywords to ensure that your website remains highly visible and competitive in search engine rankings.
— Keyword Optimization
Optimization involves using keywords in the most effective way to get the best results from search engines. Some tools, including SpyFu and Surfer SEO, can help you optimize keywords when creating content.
Metadata are descriptions you use in web content to explain to Google what the content is about. Inserting a good meta title can help you noticeably boost your search rankings. Meta descriptions tell people why a piece of content might be interesting for them.
Your URL also impacts SEO. It should be short and contain relevant keywords. Long and cryptic URLs tend not to rank very high.
— Alt Text
Alt texts are captions that you use to describe the images in your content. Google can't see your visuals, so you have to tell the search engine crawlers what they are. Also, if an image doesn't load, the user will see the alt text instead. Alt texts increase accessibility by providing image descriptions to the visually impaired.
Formatting involves the length and overall layout of your content. Good formatting makes content easier to read, especially for people who skim for the information they need. A well-formatted page will earn more clicks, increased conversions, and fewer bounces. All of these things can increase SEO.
The content on your website should be interconnected. This interconnectivity is what internal links or cross-links help you achieve as part of your law firm content marketing. For example, you can link to a service page from a blog post. If you do — that's a crosslink.
Backlinks are links to your pages from other websites. These attract more people to your website and increase your authority. Google uses backlinks as a ranking indicator.
Content marketing for lawyers relies on SEO tactics to ensure that target audiences can find the content they are searching for.
8. Use Google Featured Snippet for Your Law Firm Content
Google Featured Snippet is a box that appears at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) that displays a summary of the content that best answers the user's query. It includes a link to a web page with more information and usually contains the page title, a short description of the content, and the URL.
To make the most of this feature, create high-quality, informative content that contains answers to commonly asked legal questions. Give a clear and concise answer, in 2–3 sentences. Additionally, make sure to optimize your content for long-tail keywords, which are more specific and have less competition than broader keywords.
9. Promote and Monitor Your Attorney Content
Once you have created quality content and optimized it for SEO, you will need to help ensure it reaches an even wider audience. You can do this by promoting your content on multiple channels and monitoring how it performs. The steps detailed below will help you accomplish this goal.
Content marketing for attorneys also involves promoting the valuable content you create. Leveraging your law firm's social media presence is a cost-effective strategy to share content with your audience. You can also consider using paid search ads and promoted posts on social media platforms to reach an even broader audience.
It is important to remember that content promotion extends beyond just directing traffic to your home page. Search engines favor websites that receive traffic across all pages, including blog posts, service pages, and other website content. Additionally, maintaining a professional attorney LinkedIn profile is an effective way to share educational content and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
— Social Media
Law firm content marketing heavily relies on law firm social media profiles due to the widespread use of social media platforms and the active participation of users. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok offer ideal channels for sharing information and connecting with your target audience. Additionally, maintaining an attorney LinkedIn profile provides a platform for sharing educational content and building authority as a thought leader in your area of expertise.
To make your social media presence impactful, you also need to focus on stories and content that resonate with people on a personal level. Sharing success stories of how you have positively impacted the lives of your clients can evoke emotions and establish a connection with your audience. For instance, highlighting how your legal services enabled someone to secure a settlement or verdict, which in turn improved their quality of life, can leave a lasting impression.
Beyond legal content, incorporating social elements into your online presence can further strengthen your brand and foster familiarity with your audience. For example, regularly showcasing your involvement in charitable activities and inviting suggestions from your client base on which causes to support can create positive associations with your brand.
Content marketing for lawyers can be used as a tool to collect email addresses for drip campaigns. You can also use email to distribute newsletters with links to blog posts and other content. This approach will increase the number of people who are consuming your content.
- Internet Forums
There are many online forums that focus on legal topics. You can create a presence on these as a legal expert to increase your authority.
In some cases, you may be able to share links to your content if it is relevant. However, you want to follow forum rules to avoid being accused of spamming. If you are able to share your content on internet forums, this is a great way to earn backlinks to your law firm website.
If you are going to invest time and money in content marketing for lawyers, it's important to have ways to ensure that your efforts are working. To track and monitor your attorney content, start by defining your marketing objectives clearly. Ensure that you have defined metrics to measure your success, such as website traffic, leads generated, and conversions.
Once you have your marketing objectives defined, use tools like Google Analytics and other SEO tools to track metrics such as page views, click-through rates, bounce rates, and time on page. These metrics can help you identify which pieces of content are most successful and which need improvement.
Furthermore, track the performance of your content on social media channels, including engagement metrics like likes, shares, and comments. Social media analytics tools can help you identify which social channel is driving the most traffic to your website.
10. Repurposing Your Attorney Content
Repurposing content doesn't just fix performance and relevancy issues. You can also update content to give it a new look and attract new readers. This work also saves you time and money on content creation costs.
You should already be making sure your content remains relevant. But you can also repurpose older content, turning it into something new and fresh. This approach is a great way to use what you already have, save money, and keep visitors happy.
If you have a strong blog post, consider turning it into a script for a video post. You can also share the audio alone for people who prefer consuming content that way. Do you have a graphic designer on hand? Use data from blog posts to create a visually compelling infographic.
Grab old articles and blog posts and convert them into informative and promotional emails.
— Third-Party Websites
Expand your reach by sharing your content with other publications. Law blogs may allow you to post your content and place a promotional link back to your law firm's website. This work builds authority and improves your site's search ranking.
— Social Media
Share snippets from your blog posts as social media posts. Look for compelling facts or graphics.
11. Writing Tips to Take Your Law Firm Content Marketing to a New Level
When you write content for potential clients, focus on clarity and readability. It's better to make points that people can understand than to be witty or clever. Your goal is to have people engage with your content, share it with others, and answer your call to action.
Take estate planning, for example. Instead of writing a lengthy blog about inheritance law, remember that more people will probably appreciate a simple how-to post that walks them through writing a will or avoiding probate issues.
It also helps to stick to the point. Be concise, but include all relevant information. Avoid too many dates that could make your posts seem old in the near future.
Follow these points to make your content easier for people to skim and read:
- Break content into logical sections with subheadings;
- Use numbered and bulleted lists;
- Write short sentences;
- Avoid legal jargon;
- Add images to make the content interesting;
- Use links to prove your points.
Finally, use Grammarly or another tool to make sure your content doesn't have spelling and grammar mistakes.
Content Marketing for Scale: Insights from Jay Ruane in the Podcast Series
In the podcast episode, Jay Ruane discusses using social media to generate substantial business for his law firm. Implementing the right systems allowed him to scale by delegating tasks and delivering services efficiently. He emphasizes the importance of networking with other law firm owners to learn from their experiences. Jay also highlights the value of authentic branding on social media, sharing impactful stories, and engaging in charitable activities to connect with potential clients.
Final Thoughts on Content Marketing for Law Firms
We've said it a few times in this guide and we'll keep saying it- content marketing is all about creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content. This content helps law firms attract potential clients, build their brands, and increase conversion. Law firms must develop a content marketing plan that aligns with their business goals, target audience, and brand voice to reach their audience effectively.
However, content marketing takes a significant amount of effort and time. You have to invest considerable resources in getting started. Then, you must sustain the content marketing efforts by regularly producing and promoting new content. Keep in mind that quality is the largest determining factor for content marketing success. Many law firms find that they get better results at a faster pace if they work with law firm digital marketing experts like Grow Law Firm. Contact our team today to learn more!