Signal vs. Noise: 5 Takeaways for Law Firm Marketers From 2017 Survey on Digital and Content Marketing

by JD Supra Perspectives
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Greentarget and Zeughauser Group have released their much-anticipated 2017 State of Digital & Content Marketing Survey, a definitive report on how corporate counsel across the United States rely upon digital media and content in answer to their professional needs.

Over the coming days and weeks I expect many folks within the legal marketplace to make sense of what's reported within the survey (get your free copy here) - it's a rich trove of actionable intelligence that deserves time and should inform the digital strategies of all law firms. For a start, here's my contribution.

Five content strategy takeaways from the 2017 Greentarget/Zeughauser survey on digital and content marketing:

  1. Client alerts still win: 87% of respondents identified client alerts as the most valuable type of law firm-generated content (versus practice-group newsletters [67%], blogs [35%], website content [22%], and social media posts [4%]).
  2. Articles and speeches are second only to recommendations from trusted sources: 91% of respondents indicated that articles and speeches are important in helping to research outside lawyers and firms for potential hire. That's second only to recommendations from trusted sources (96%), almost on a par with attorney bios (90%), and decidedly more than the lowest on the list, peer-driven rankings and directories (67%).
  3. Podcasts over videos: 27% of respondents listened to a podcast or audio recording produced by a law firm in the past month; 13% of respondents watched a law firm video. Put that in your content strategy pipe and smoke it.
  4. Still more listening than engaging: 73% of respondents said they use social media today to listen (defined as "to stay informed of the latest news, developments and conversations occurring on topics I'm interested in") versus a mere 27% who use social to listen and engage.
  5. "Information overload" is a problem: 50% of respondents say that information overload online is somewhat of a problem in their efforts to consume business-related information, followed by an additional 26% who consider it a "big" problem. Signal vs. noise matters. Make your solution a key part of your strategy.

This last point is the overarching theme of this year's report (if you're reading this, you likely received an email from Greentarget today announcing the new findings, subject line "A Roaring Sea of Noise.")

At JD Supra we've been saying this for years. When we talk to our subscribers, especially our in-house counsel subscribers, they tell us how much they prefer getting a single, aggregated digest of all law firm publications (yes: client alerts, blog posts, white papers, webinar recordings, podcasts, videos, all of it) on only the subjects they care about. This is their signal in the noise - and, daily, they skim for headlines that inform their professional needs and interests and click to dive deeper as needed.

I am quoted in this year's report, talking about the Reader's Journey. This is a key point, in my experience: We meet our readers on their terms. That means we meet our readers where they gather, where they find value, where there is signal over noise.

Click here to get your copy of the 2017 State of Digital & Content Marketing Survey - it's a meaty report worthy of your attention.

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