[Rich Bracken is a Business Development and Marketing Consultant with over two decades of experience in both the legal and corporate settings:]
When it comes to market strategy and positioning, knowledge truly is power.
With the availability of more data than any one person knows what to do with, it is no longer acceptable to execute on marketing strategies and shrug when asked what your results are.
We’re not throwing bottled messages into the ocean anymore.
When given a core set of raw data, it is up to the skillful eye to weed through the numbers and algorithms to sort out the story, find the trends and place your finger on the strategic map as if you were hunting buried treasure.
Or, you can leverage a user-friendly breakdown of data and insights as Beacon Inights provides to the marketplace. Even then, it’s key to know what to look for in order to be more strategic about your content and firm go-forward strategy.
There are 5 key questions you should ask yourself in regards to firm and attorney visibility that this reader data can answer for you:
1. What Do Your Clients Care About?
This is a critical piece in client engagement. You can write or speak all day about what you think is important, but what matters most is what is on the radars of your clients and prospects.
This will also reaffirm what you should be discussing during client service visits, as you should be engaging in these conversations to raise your connection with your clients.
...you can write or speak all day about what you think is important, but what matters most is what is on the radars of your clients and prospects.
While those visits will give you specific information from your client, the reader data provides you more insights into what the company is looking at holistically. If you see that all of your bank clients are reading about cybersecurity and data breaches, this will provide you the opportunity to make an introduction for a cross-sell.
2. Is Your Firm Visible in Key Sectors?
We all want to be #1 in our area. The problem is that often we talk to ourselves so much about what we know and what we’re best at, that we assume that everyone knows.
...focus the message to the most appropriate industry audience.
That false assumption can leave a multitude of money on the table just because you’re not positioning your practices appropriately.
Beacon Insights can answer this for you in a couple of different ways:
Top-Read Authors – Are your attorneys being recognized for their topic and/or industry specific expertise?
Top-Read Articles – Which articles are gaining the most interest and driving the highest reads?
Key Industries to Target – As there will always be a demand on content from clients, where to place your emphasis will be key. If you have practices such as Labor & Employment or Data Security, those will apply to virtually every single industry. These insights will help you focus the message to the most appropriate industry audience.
Even if you’re not ranked as a top author or your article that you wrote hasn’t cracked the top five (yet), you can study the top gainers for tone, keywords, insights and more to fine-tune your approach a bit.
3. Who is Paying Attention to You?
One of the most impactful insights to any reader report is to learn who is reading your content; this is pure business development gold. Vanity statistics are fluff for marketing reports, but if you can show that your key clients and targets are reading your content, you have started uncovering the true value.
High impressions and reads are definitely nice, but when you see a list of clients that are reading your content, to see the key company names should give you a bit of a rush (and focus), knowing that you’re resonating with the right people.
4. What Are Your Competitors Doing?
If you’re not doing competitive intelligence, you’re not doing business development and marketing right.
No matter what industry I’ve been in, I’ve always learned from my competition. What are they doing? What are they saying? How are they saying it?
If you’re not doing competitive intelligence, you’re not doing business development and marketing right...
Operating in a vacuum because you’re not paying attention to your competition will have you lagging behind quicker than you’d care to imagine.
Pay attention to the top-read reports on specific subjects, in specific industries and see what names are consistently popping up. Read their content with a dose of humility and see if you don’t glean something from their approach that can make you stronger.
Additionally, if your firm is focused on one topic in an industry and your top competitors are writing about something else completely different, you might want to switch gears yesterday.
[Beacon Insights also enables you to benchmark your visibility in any industry and topic, a key metric showing the impact of your content.]
5. Is Your Content Optimized?
Beacon Insights provides optimal insights into keywords and contextual references that can boost your engagement and visibility.
While legal marketing professionals will constantly advise keyword optimization in bios and practice descriptions, but will often let external communications slip by without vetting it for the same quality.
Take time to analyze the keyword insights to compare to your content. If you’re not inserting and tagging your content with these words, your efforts are likely to be operating at a sub-par rate versus your competition. Some simple tweaks will push your content into a higher level of quality and Beacon Insights will literally give you the answers to the keyword test.
Proof in the Product
In the rapid moving, and never ending, knowledge sharing world, there is a need to consistently put out content to stay relevant, reach your audience and keep up with the flow of information.
To say that Beacon Insights is a competitive advantage in today’s day and age is an understatement.
...proof and credibility.
Not only does it allow you to leverage all of the insights previously mentioned, it gives you the critical pieces that any internal push for thought leadership needs: proof and credibility. I have yet to discuss this tool with any attorney who writes, or is thinking about writing, and the conversation doesn’t include “This is amazing information!”
The reliance on data as a differentiator is here and this type of information can help position your firm, and your key attorneys, for years to come.
[Rich Bracken advises attorneys and firms on revenue generation initiatives by leveraging data analytics, client service strategics and differentiated communication. He is also the Chair of the Legal Marketing Association of Kansas City, a frequent conference speaker and a regular contributor on Fox 4 News in Kansas City. Connect with Rich on LinkedIn and his website richbracken.com.]