Content Marketing Best Practices in a Challenging Market

JD Supra Perspectives
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...this is the time to lean in and help your clients

Content marketing and sharing content via email and social media has never been a more important way to communicate with clients and prospects, and to build your brand and business by helping your readers make sense of the issues of the day.

You should be sensitive to current market conditions and create your content relevant to what’s happening in the world right now (for example, right now, everyone needs your help making sense of the impact of COVID-19 on their lives and businesses), but this is not the time to disappear from your clients – or to suspend your marketing activities.

In fact, this is the time to lean in, help your clients and position yourself as a thought leader and authority in your respective area of the law.

There are so many things you can do right now to supercharge your marketing and business development efforts in the short- and long-term while still being mindful and sensitive to current market conditions and striking the right tone. Here are some ideas on the content marketing front.

  • Step into your clients’ shoes – what are their pain points? What is keeping them up at night? What are they reaching out to you about? Write about those issues in their language and don’t sit on it – good is good enough in order to seize the opportunity. The content you produce and share should always be client-focused, helpful and value-added.
  • Read what your competitors are writing and do it better than them or take a different angle. Don’t sit on content just to perfect it – time is of the essence right now.
  • While it’s great to curate content (sharing content from third-party sources), make sure to read it thoroughly before you share it to ensure the subject matter is aligns with your values and your clients’ interests. Never post anything that is political in nature – it’s just not worth it.
  • Turn webinars about the coronavirus into written pieces and turn written pieces into webinars – now is the time to be creative and clever about how you repurpose your materials.
  • Show readers how today's issues impact their business – every practice area can find a way to tie in the coronavirus to what they do. Clients are worried about how this pandemic will impact their businesses, so help guide them through it.
  • Promote your good works - highlight pro bono and community service initiatives related to the coronavirus - if your firm isn’t doing them, do it now. Being a good corporate citizen is something your clients expect and it’s the right thing to do.
  • Ensure every post has an accompanying visual to obtain maximum engagement because posts with images do better on social media than those without them.
  • Write timeless “Why” and “How-To” pieces that can be promoted several times over several months – you can always update the content to reflect current market conditions.
  • Cross sell practices and capabilities through your content. Encourage lawyers in different practice areas to partner up on writing a piece that is of interest to both of their client bases.
  • Avoid random acts of content, meaning don’t invest all this time into creating a coronavirus resource center and just promote it once. Find ways to promote it multiple times by pulling out statistics, quotes or excerpts, or using an infographic or icons to bring the content to life.
  • Don’t name your coronavirus content the “Coronavirus Resource Center” – nearly every firm is using that same verbiage – make yours stand out with a unique name.
  • Carefully select your platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram) – ONLY invest time in the platforms where your clients are.
  • Adjust your content for each medium, meaning don’t post the same exact copy to each platform. LinkedIn is very different from Twitter and Twitter is very different than Instagram. It’s all about finding the right tone and voice.
  • Build an editorial/content calendar to track your posts.
  • Train your employees on how to use social media to tap into their networks.
  • Reuse and repurpose your content to make it work harder and smarter for you.
  • Effectively use hashtags to make your content more discoverable – use tools such as Ritetag and Hashtagifyme to find relevant hashtags
  • Include calls to action (CTAs) so that you can capture contact information of those interested in your content.
  • Understand how SEO works and use it to your advantage.
  • Use analytics to refine your content and social media strategy.
  • Craft strong headlines for every piece of content you create – this will encourage your audience to open your emails.
  • Pay it forward by promoting the content of key contacts and clients.
  • Use a mix of platforms to engage with your target audiences (video, written content, podcasts, etc.)

Your goal should always be to educate your clients and prospects especially during this tumultuous time. We are all in this together. Stay safe and stay smart.

Stefanie Marrone helps law firms effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. Over the last 18 years, she has worked with some of the most prominent and innovative law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating business development and communications strategies, including media relations, branding, and multi-channel content marketing and social media campaigns. She is very passionate about using social media for lead generation and brand building. She has a diverse range of experience in both Big Law and mid-size/small-law firms. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her latest writing on JD Supra as well as her blog The Social Media Butterfly.

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