Content marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies today. It increases traffic and generated high-quality leads. So all you need to do is write a few blog posts several times a month to become an industry expert? If only it was that easy. Content marketing for attorneys is a crowded market. Just do a basic Google search for your area of practice and you will get millions of results. When people are writing about the same topic, the odds of getting new clients are slim.
There are many mistakes that law firms make with content marketing every day. Until they are fixed, your firm will receive low-traffic numbers and less-quality leads. There is no room for mistakes and missed opportunities. You have to get it right to get the results you want.
Here’s a look at common content marketing mistakes law firms make and what you can do to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Failing to Research What Content Your Audience Wants
The secret to any good piece of content is its ability to connect with your target audience and provide something of value. As you consider creating content, you must ensure that your strategy revolves around the needs and interests of your target audience. What kind of information are they looking for? What does the content provide to your audience? Why should they care about it? What value does it offer? What problems can you solve for them?
Quality content offers valuable insights, solves problems, and leaves your readers satisfied. Jumping into content without conducting some detailed research in advance can result in poorly curated content that misses the mark completely. Sometimes, what you think is important to your audience may not be actually important to them. Unless you have data to back up your assumption, you could end up creating irrelevant content. It doesn’t matter how well-researched or written your content is- if it does not offer any value to your audience, then it’s not going to deliver for you.
Mistake #2: Failure to Set Goals
Before creating any content, it’s imperative to set goals and identify key performance indicators (KPIs) you will employ to measure success. Setting goals for your content helps keep it focused and makes sure that it’s serving the purpose for your firm and your target audience. You should identify your immediate and end goals, how often you will be posting, what channels you’ll be posting on, the type of content you’ll be creating, the reaction you want from your readers, and whether you’re going to hire an agency to create your content.
KPIs, on the other hand, are the most important metrics for your content and will go a long way in evaluating accomplishment and analyzing what to improve. If for instance, the primary goal of your content is brand awareness, then KPIs might include visits, impressions, shares, or time spent on the page. But if the goal of your content is to generate leads, then most likely your KPIs will include metrics such as calls, form submissions, or downloads.
Understanding why you are creating the content, what you expect to achieve from it, and how you will measure the outcomes helps keep your content valuable for both your firm and clients. Having a plan will make it easier to create effective content and stick to the posting schedule. With time, you will be in a position to tell whether or not your content met the goal, how well it did, as well as how to improve in order to keep growing.
Mistake #3: Poor Keyword Research
If you want to get a higher search engine ranking, use the right keywords. One of the biggest mistakes attorneys make is trying to rank for generic keywords with a high search volume. It’s time you tried long-tail keywords. These refer to key phrases or words that are more explicit and typically longer than the keywords more commonly searched for. They indeed get less search traffic, but they’ll usually have a higher conversion value since they are more precise.
With a tool such as Keywords Everywhere, you can get access to a host of long-tail phrases for your practice areas depending on what people are searching for using specific keywords. Another convenient tool to find ideas for content based on keyword searches is the Keyword Planner within Adwords.
Mistake #4: Being Inconsistent in Creating Content
With your busy schedule, we know that creating content consistently is challenging. Many lawyers will start a blog with great intentions, only to end up with a dry well of content after a few months. Also, it’s worth noting that content marketing is a long-term strategy. Creating and promoting your content one time and then letting it sit is one way to lose out on potential growth. Yes, it might not make sense to keep on promoting it as intensively as you did during the initial release. But it surely does make a lot of sense to keep on sharing it every often and continue doing some targeted outreach for the same.
The first solution to this problem is to create a content calendar at the start of every quarter. This will help you maintain a steady schedule for content production, allowing you to plan for both seasonal and annual campaigns. Furthermore, it helps you deliver a more balanced mix of content formats like videos, infographics, articles, as well as social media posts. And even after your content is published, continue updating it to ensure it still works for you.
Mistake #5: Creating Bad Content
Producing poor quality content is one of the biggest content marketing mistakes law firms make. Just like any other industry, the content landscape is extremely competitive and anything below high-quality won’t penetrate the noise or even realize long-term results.
The sooner your firm realizes that readers can easily distinguish between value-based content and content created primarily for SEO reasons the better. You should never ignore SEO, however, add some value first then worry about SEO. Content for content’s sake won’t win you any leads and will more than likely see your brand reputation decline down the line.
Also, avoid being too promotional, because your content may come across as pushy, abrasive, and may not leave individuals with a positive experience with your firm. Content that is inconsistent with your brand can put potential clients off. Your priority should be great content educates readers and adds value. Everything else comes after that.
Mistake #6: Forgetting to Include CTAs
Your content should serve a purpose and provide logical next steps for prospective clients to follow. The whole idea of content marketing is to connect with prospects, build fruitful relationships with them as well as generate leads. Therefore, failure to provide the next steps they should take after they’re done reading could leave potential leads on the table.
This is why it is important to include a CTA (call-to-action) and a good follow-up plan in every piece of content. CTAs offer a logical next step for potential leads to follow. Do you want them to fill out a form, call you, or sign up for your newsletter? Let them know what you want with a CTA.
While there’s no guarantee that prospects will follow the next steps in the path you want them to follow, it certainly makes it easy for those who are interested to convert into leads. And since not everyone who becomes a lead is ready to retain your legal services right away, having a proper follow-up plan can help you keep in touch with them on their terms. When they’re ready to hire a lawyer, it will make sense for them to choose you. Follow-up could include simple email newsletters, manual outreach, autoresponder series, or a combination of these. It all depends on how your target audience likes to be communicated with.
Mistake #7: Failure to Include Visuals
People connect more emotionally with images than they do with plain text. Our minds are attracted more readily to images and content that draw, so adding compelling images can help break through the online content clutter.
And because anyone can incorporate images into their content marketing strategy, you need to be resourceful and creative. There are many photo and online design tools you can use to create visually compelling images and graphics for free or at a low cost. Also, be sure to optimize the images for Google search by including a caption and relevant keywords to the file names.
Mistake #8: Having No Plan for Promotion
Content marketing is more than just publishing content. Many marketers make the mistake of creating content and forgetting about it after the publishing process. Yes, your firm may get lucky and some prospects may come across it. However, if you truly want your piece of content to gain traction and reach many, you must be willing to promote it. Consider how you’ll promote your content and where it will have more impact. One idea is to follow the 80/20 rule. This involves spending 20% of the time on content creation and using the other 80% to promote it via email, blogs, social media, and other channels. From implementing a content approval process to developing content your marketing team can avoid common content marketing pitfalls and reap the rewards of content efforts.
Find out where your target audience consumes content and how they relate to it. Which social media platforms do they use and how they use them. Do they respond well to email/ are there any forums they spend more time on? Having correct answers to these questions can help you generate a plan for content promotion that gets more eyes on your content as well as allowing you to get in front of individuals who matter to your law firm.
Mistakes #9: Writing Boring Content
You make the first impression on a prospective reader with your headline. Without a captivating headline, very few people may click through to read your content. How to, questions and list headlines tend to get the most engagement.
To avoid writing content that bores your prospective reader’s socks off, you may want to include an example or a real-life story. Legal content can be a bit dry and confusing if the real-life application is not made clear. Be sure to tell a story to connect the headline relates to how the reader lives his/her everyday life, or how you have helped previous clients beat their obstacles. You want to make connections between the complex legal issues and how they apply to your target audience.
Mistake #10: Using the Legal Jargon
If you’ve read lots of legal articles and blogs you’ll agree that it’s overwhelming how law firms use legal jargon in their legal blogs and updates. They must be thinking this makes them look well-informed and thus credible. If you use more legal jargon in your content than your clients can understand, they will most likely stop reading your piece.
Try as much as possible to create your content in plain language. Only use terminologies when you have to, and be sure to explain what that term means in plain language. This will go a long way in helping ease your reader’s anxiety and confusion. Furthermore, it helps them connect with you as a person who is not trying to elitist. Content that is easily and quickly digested is great for content marketing.
Mistake #11: Not Using Multiple Content Forms
We’ve all read that blog post that looks like a page from a history book. It has big blocks of text and zero images to break it up. Then as marketers, we’re compelled to just add an image and expect everything to work out. People love to consume information in different ways, so it makes sense to mix up your content strategy to include content in different forms.
Videos and infographics have a powerful impact on users because they are much easier to digest when compared to a big block of text. And the good news is that you can repurpose your old content into an infographic. All of the research is complete so it’s just a matter of breaking the information into a different medium.
Mistake #12 Not Tracking and Measuring Progress
How do you know how effective your content marketing is? The only way to answer that question is to put a system in place to track and analyze your progress. Ignoring the analytics is a mistake that will prevent you from knowing what works or refining your content marketing.
As you’re actively promoting your content, you want to continually check on its performance. Things to track include which content performs the best in terms of traffic, shares, likes, and lead generation. You’ll also understand what length of content works best. Using measurement and testing will help you to improve and get the most of the content itself as well as the money, time, and effort you’re putting into promotion.
Find a Content Marketing Agency Near Me
If your content is outdated or has a poor user experience, it could drive potential clients away. This is where Elite Content Writers comes in. We write copy that reaches out and transmits the right message to your target audience. Our content writers know how to create simple and catchy that will transform website visitors into clients. Our copies are easy to read, catchy, and relevant. We understand the importance of having quality content for your online content marketing strategy, which is why we spare no effort to produce informative, error-free, and SEO friendly content for our clients.