Since the worldwide financial crisis of 2008, things haven’t been the same in legal marketing. Demand has taken a nosedive, with clients opting to hang on to work they’d otherwise have outsourced. Unfortunately, as clients keep more work in-house, they become more capable, making the likelihood of things going back to the way they used to be rather slim.
Image source: 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market
This puts huge pressure on marketers, who now need to achieve more with smaller budgets and little margin for error.
The good news is that even though times are tougher, it’s possible to become a better marketer.
Smart Marketing Always Starts with Excellent Content
One of the best ways to prove that you put clients first is by putting them at the center of your story, and creating relevant, helpful content for them as they move down the sales funnel and begin to identify challenges that we can help them with.
Here are three ways you can ensure that the content your firm creates is effective.
1. Stay relevant
Content marketing is evolving. Marketers are telling more complex stories which are better planned than they were 12 months ago. They’ve started positioning their blogs and website resource sections as news publishing platforms with specific attention to trending topics.
For example, when news of Brexit broke, speculation about whether or not Britain’s exit from the EU would be a good idea and what it meant for all involved made headlines globally.
Ashurst saw an opportunity to participate and committed by creating a section on their website dedicated to sharing insights and news on Brexit with their audience.
To date, they have 38 entries, each with commentary on Brexit developments. But they didn’t stop there. Knowing that prospects seek experts, Ashurst solidified their thought leader status and created a very approachable brand by including a “key contacts” section as a permanent feature on their Brexit Hub.
Staying relevant is as simple as establishing what really matters to your audience and building core content around that topic.
2. Optimize your marketing funnel
Your marketing funnel is likely one of the best tools that you have. In many cases, marketing funnels aren’t optimized to qualify leads through the delivery of valuable content. You may think that legal marketing has no room for “optimized marketing funnels,” but that’s not true.
Your marketing funnel is a gateway to a larger relationship that you’re developing with a prospect. Like courting, your prospects need to get to know you. You’re likely to only win the right to be their legal counsel when they develop a need for your services. Before that point, your goal is to stay top-of-mind.
The most cost-effective and least time-consuming way to get your brand in front of your prospect is by constantly engaging them with valuable content that’s part of your marketing funnel.
Optimizing your marketing funnel is not difficult. It doesn’t need to be complex, it just needs to provide valuable content ideas. You can take things to the next level with lead scoring and email marketing decision trees, but if you’re starting out, just focus on the content.
Blog signups are a great way to get the ball rolling, but be sure to make your audience an offer they can’t refuse. Offering a downloadable on a specific legal topic is a good way to attract leads. Simply offering readers the opportunity to subscribe to news from you isn’t as attractive an offer as it used to be.
3. Get data smart
One of the things I love the most about digital marketing is the ability to track and measure everything that you do.
Data doesn’t lie, and being able to track and measure your content’s performance can help you play to your strengths and develop more of the right content. If interpreting your web data and analytics is something you’ve shied away from, trust me, you can become an expert at it. You can learn everything about digital marketing online.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool, and there’s a good chance that your firm uses it. If you’re not able to make sense of your traffic, you should upskill yourself through Google’s Analytics Academy. They do an excellent job of distilling complex concepts and offer four courses you can dive into. And hey, if you don’t understand anything, Google it!
The legal industry is going through trying times, and your marketing team must evolve if it is to capture the attention of prospects in a crowded and price-sensitive market.
Catching trends and developing strong core content, optimizing marketing funnels and focusing on data and analytics will help you produce better marketing results.