Online, All Audience Is Local - Here's How to Reach & Engage Yours

by JD Supra Perspectives
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There's a reason it's called the World Wide Web. It's world-wide...

Occasionally while explaining the JD Supra service to law firm marketers and partners, I am asked about our international readers. Do we reach people in Europe or Asia, for example. Another version of the question: do we reach regional readers inside the United States? Examples, please?

Of course, we don't share client analytics with anyone other than our clients - that's their information, not ours. But, the beauty of our platform is that our readers often are also active public sharers, so typically this is when I show some of our copious examples of local reach and engagement from the public record:

The Shanghai-based head of IP for an Asian paper company sharing on LinkedIn a law firm's update on China copyright issues. A global privacy office at Eli Lilly sharing to her LinkedIn network a helpful update about impending GDPR regulations in Europe. A Madrid-based investment bank sharing from their company profile a law firm's analysis of successful life sciences transactions in Europe. (Drop me a note. I'll share these, and others on additional platforms and outlets, with you.)

Of course, there are also the regional U.S. examples, like one from this morning as I write this post: the legal officer of a Georgia-based hospital association sharing with her network a law firm's update about a Georgia State Bar presentation on Medicaid.

Online, All Audience Is Local

 The relationship between our audience and the content we deliver them is not haphazard, but specific, and local. Much like the human need for information. It reflects engagement between someone in the world (anywhere in the world) and the information that addresses their pressing, immediate (aka local) need.

They engage with what they need, with what they see addressing their need. (More on this below; it's a critical, deceptively simple point.)

Online, A Local Audience Finds Its News & Information (If You Allow Them To)

I am reminded of the day a new client started on JD Supra by publishing articles related to a regional, Wisconsin-based case in which they'd successfully participated. All morning of that first day on JD Supra, the firm fielded questions from reporters for Wisconsin-based news outlets who were online researching the case and - presto - were connecting with their newly available, timely, and pertinent content.

There's a reason it's called the World Wide Web. It's world-wide. Your audience is world-wide. As big as that seems, for each person, their need is ... again ... usually local. IP regulations in Asia. Privacy rules in Europe. Workplace changes in North Carolina. Real estate in Florida.

Done right, law firms have the ability to reach anyone, anywhere when they write about the pressing, immediate needs of a local audience - and make it easy for readers to find and recognize that work. We see reporters from around the world using Google, Google News, Twitter, and email subscriptions to track their local beats online. They write for local outlets but don't limit their research to the same - their sources are the sites that deliver what they need. 

Think Local, Reach Global

The same applies to any corporate reader anywhere in the world. And with this in mind, I offer three suggestions for anyone whose content strategy includes connecting with a regionally specific audience based on their local need:

  1. Know the need. Research what actually matters to the audience you are trying to reach, no matter how you segment (industry, sector, or geographical location) - and then address it, head on. Data helps.
  2. Use your titles to engage your audience. Many of the most successful firms on JD Supra focus on titles that jump off of the page and call an audience by its name, while also communicating: here's why you should click this. Typically, the language of a good title that manages to engage attention of a local audience is specific and concrete and on point.
  3. Make your work available. As my colleague Adrian Lurssen says, don't mistake having the means to publish with actually having an audience. The two are not the same thing and a key part of your strategy should be: audience. That's where we come in - and how this conversation got started in the first place...

Who are you trying to reach? Let's talk!

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[Kara McKenna is a business development director at JD Supra. Connect with her on LinkedIn; follow her latest writings on JD Supra.]

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