PUTTING CLIENTS AT THE HEART OF CONTENT STRATEGY
Great legal content encourages potential clients to contact your firm. In a nutshell what you put up on your law firm website should explain why someone can’t do without your legal advice.
So how do you establish whether or not you are positioning your legal content in the correct way? It might be obvious – but one way is to ask your existing clients. They all have one thing in common. They’ve each made a decision to engage your firm. If they found you online, why did they choose you?
We’ve developed online content for dozens of law firms in the UK and internationally. Here are some of our thoughts on how to put your clients firmly at the centre of your content strategy.
SPEAK TO CLIENTS – We all receive online surveys and auto-generated emails asking us for an immediate assessment of some just-dispensed service. Do they work? Maybe in some sectors. But for legal advice that’s so personal or commercially sensitive we’re not so sure. Have you ever asked your client face to face what they think of your website? A five-minute discussion at the end of a meeting could make all the difference. Granted, this approach won’t be appropriate in some cases. But if you can manage it, you could learn a lot about what type of content you need to be generating.
ASK YOURSELF WHY PEOPLE SEARCH ONLINE – People visit websites for all sorts of reasons. A fantastic design is great. It can present the personality of your firm in a unique and distinct way. But we believe – for law firm sites at any rate – design is there to accommodate the content. People looking for a solicitor online are looking for one thing: useful information. That’s it. For prospective clients this means details on how you can help. Your content should demonstrate that you have the expertise sought and you know how to apply it in the type of situation your prospective client is in.
IT’S GOOD TO TALK – People are only too pleased to be asked for their opinion. They’ll be impressed that you value their contribution. Open up the landing pages. Show them your latest blog. Does the content resonate? What else would they like you to cover on your law firm’s website?
DON’T COPY THE REST – It’s good to look at what your competitors are doing. But when it comes to content, that’s really not the be all and end all. Why? Two reasons:
- For a start if you watch what someone else is doing too closely you’ll end up with content that’s derivative. It won’t differentiate you among prospective clients– and that ought to be the key characteristic of all your content.
- There will always be a ‘new’ way to deliver content: video, blogs, eNewsletters, infographics, webinars, podcasts. But if you are going to invest time in developing a new form of content like video on your site, think carefully about what you are going to put up there. Will it reach your target audience? Is there a genuine need to put content up in a particular format? Will your target clients respond to it?
IF IT’S NOT WORKING, FIX IT – Use Google analytics and other tools to investigate how your content is performing. Look at the bounce rate (which shows whether your site is holding the attention of visitors), assess pages that get the most hits and ask why? The data analytics should inform all future content. Never be afraid to reframe poor performing content.
Content doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Producing material for the sake of it, without a clear idea of who it’s for and what you intend it to do with it is pretty much pointless. The real skill in developing a coherent content strategy is discovering content that new clients want to read about, what is useful to them – and forgetting about what you think visitors to your site will want to read.