There are a lot of buzzwords today being used by legal marketing professionals. Let’s craft a single sentence incorporating as many of them as we can:

“To stand out from the crowd, law firms today to be seen as trusted advisors must establish themselves as thought leaders through legal brand journalism and content marketing in order to build relationships and increase their public reputation among key audiences.”

At a glance, that looks great! I really must know what I am talking about! Or do I? Am I really saying anything new, or am I losing an opportunity to capture my key audience’s interest (that is you, dear reader) and deliver a targeted message over the next minute, while I have your attention?

As that example illustrates, content for content’s sake is not the answer. Tossing out every trending term will do little to engage your audience. That’s why a good content marketing initiative begins with a well-planned strategy. How are you thinking about the firm’s content and what is being shared? Is it a random deluge: “Firm management decrees that all attorneys must start writing, blogging and tweeting!” Or is it more thoughtful and deliberate, interesting and relevant? How does your firm’s content strategy measure up?

Here are a few tips to get you thinking about ways to be strategic with your content.

  • Review: Dust off the attorneys’ individual marketing plans or review a practice group’s marketing plan, especially if it’s been more than 18 months since it was created. What are some ways to update the tactics to be more strategic about the kind of content to be created this year and its delivery?
  • Repeat and repurpose: The rule for remembering a key message is “repeat, repeat, repeat.” In advertising, we know that significant repetition is critical for the viewer, or buyer, to become aware of, much less remember, a brand or a product. Translate that into content marketing. Can the firm’s lawyers repeat and repurpose their content to reach their audience in multiple ways? Can a client alert be turned into a blog? Leveraged in a podcast and/or video message? Delivered as a speech, seminar or webinar? Tweeted? Published as a bylined article? Discussed one-to-one with clients?  Maybe the goal isn’t to do this maximum effort every single time, but pay attention and recognize those opportunities. Make those clients sit up, take notice and think, “I keep hearing and reading about this issue, I need to know more.”
  • Leadership support: The firm’s leaders set the example; that is why they are leaders. Do they support and help drive the firm’s marketing strategy, and do they understand the value of content marketing? What are they doing to participate, and how is this being communicated throughout the firm?
  • Write it down: Start this year by writing down and creating a content strategy – or build it separately into the firm’s overall annual marketing strategy – for developing and distributing firm content in a focused manner. You can start with only one or a few practice areas or partners, rather than the whole. Set some realistic goals, and monitor progress throughout the year.

To learn more about developing a content strategy, contact me at