Content marketing has exploded, and the legal industry has certainly felt the aftershocks. More and more law firms are beginning to realize the immense benefits of curating and developing their own content to advance their business development goals. The development of firm-branded blogs, social media handles, e-newsletters and microsites is a huge trend, and the outlook is that there’s no slowing down.
In light of this legal content boom, the question arises: How do you source your content? The truth is there is no one right answer. Content strategy and development will vary from firm to firm, depending on each one’s needs and the robustness of its content development infrastructure. But, generally speaking, you can rely on these four content sources:
- Attorney-generated content
- Marketer-generated content
- Professional content developer-generated content
- Curated content
There are benefits and drawbacks to each one of these content sources, which is why it is critical to assess how the content will be used and where it will appear before identifying the source for generating it.
For example, attorney-written content is ideal for articles published in professional journals, as it requires a deep understanding of legal principles. However, this content might not be suited for an e-newsletter, a forum where editorial-style copy usually works best.
Likewise, in-house marketers might be ideal candidates for drafting copy for the firm website—assuming they have the time—but they might focus too much on the “hard sell” when writing a blog post, thus missing out on a key thought-leadership opportunity.
Professional content developers, meanwhile, usually have a blend of journalism, marketing and public relations in their backgrounds, which suits them well when drafting blog and newsletter copy. Their research skills are often highly polished, making them prime candidates for ghostwriting attorney-bylined articles. The drawback is that there are a lot of mediocre content developers out there, so you need to vet your talent or go with an agency like Jaffe PR that has a stable of highly skilled writers.
Curation is an ideal method for any firm that wants to break into content marketing. It’s a huge timesaver and, if done right, can pay off tremendously. The key is to have someone knowledgeable oversee the content curation process, preferably someone with an editorial eye who knows how to reshape pre-existing content for the intended medium. Blogs, e-newsletters and social media are all great platforms for curated content.
Before you dive too deep into your content marketing strategy, assess your available resources – and make sure to pick the right content development source for the job.