Warning: 4 Content Marketing Mistakes even Smart Law Firms Make

Content Marketing MistakesWhat’s worse than a law firm not having a content marketing and social media strategy?

A law firm with a marketing strategy that’s poorly conceived and executed.

You probably know what I’m talking about.

A strategy where blog posts are automatically pushed to their social media feeds, with little to no thought about engagement and timing. And that’s just one of the common mistakes I’ve seen online—it’s not even an epic mistake.

Anticipating and preventing mistakes is a common skill among lawyers. But I also know marketing isn’t a specialty for many professionals in the legal field. Besides, everyone makes mistakes.

So I thought I’d help you out. In this article, I’m going to point out content marketing mistakes you should avoid—if you want your marketing efforts to pay off.

Are You Committing Any of these Content Marketing Mistakes?

1. Promoting Services Too Soon

Each of your blog post ends with a call to action to for a free consult. Your subscribers often get emails with strong, almost forceful prompts to buy your book or call for a consultation.

It sounds obvious but it bears repeating, don’t over promote your services at the end of every blog or social media post. Adding a link to a related post or downloadable guide on the same topic is better.

You won’t convince anyone with a hard push strategy in this day and age.

Legal clients, like other consumers, have a buying cycle.

  • Awareness: They know there’s a problem, or they’re anticipating a problem.
  • Consideration: The prospect starts looking for possible solutions, including comparing services from different legal counsel.
  • Decision stage: Choosing whether to avail legal counsel, and who to trust with their case.

Your content should take all these stages in consideration. For the awareness stage, you should have plenty of blog posts, white papers, or e-books to educate prospects.

Your strategy for the consideration stage should include comparison of legal firms and their services, testimonials, and other credibility boosters.

2. Relying on Quantity

Content, whether that’s blog posts, infographics, or video, created just to make your website seem active is a waste of time.

If you didn’t take time to consider its relevance, accuracy, and informative value—its quality—it can damage your content marketing efforts. Your readers might start thinking of your site as a source of unreliable content, or worse, a spammy site. That’s a huge blow to your authority in the legal marketing industry.

The solution is simple. Produce quality content that’s both educational and fun to read for your prospects. While it’s tempting to focus on the legal aspects of your practice, how-to articles and tips aren’t enough to make you stand out.

Why? Your competitors are writing about those, too.

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney? Check.

How Soon can I Get Spousal Support? Check.

Who is Responsible for a Serious Bus Crash? Check.

Sure, write about the basic stuff and the FAQ. But don’t forget to include a human element your readers can relate to.

Attorney-client privileges prevent you from divulging case details in a blog post, but that shouldn’t stop you from drawing inspiration from multiple cases and writing a fictitious story. Like the Law and Order series, you can add a disclaimer at the bottom of your post saying that all stories are fictitious and any resemblance to cases are coincidental.

Photo credit: Disclaiming Disclaimers

You can also add a human element to your post by capitalizing on ongoing cases, news, and scandals, like a law blog that wrote about Brangelina’s divorce.

3. Not Having a Target Audience

With that in mind, chose blog post topics strategically. If you’re a divorce lawyer in New York, don’t write a lot of posts on trending divorces. You don’t want readers mistaking your site for a gossip blog!

If you do this, people will search online for updates about the case and read your blog to devour the latest about that scandal, instead of getting legal information. Do this once in a while but don’t lose focus on the legal aspect of the article—the celebrity angle is just your news hook!

Remember, who your target audience is.

Here are 2 topic ideas if you use Brangelina’s divorce as a news angle and human element, while keeping the post informative:

  • Will Angelina Get Alimony? Learn the What, When, and Who of Spousal Support
  • Brad Pitt and his Kids: Domestic Violence and its Effect on Custody Battles

Knowing who your target audience is makes producing and distributing content easier. Target demographics, socio-economic status, goals, and interests play a huge part in understanding what they want to read—and how that can influence your perceived authority in their eyes.

4. No Distribution Strategy

Greentarget’s 2014 digital marketing survey reveals that only about 25% of lawyers have a documented content marketing strategy. For an industry that puts a high value on documenting everything, that’s a disappointment.

So you write a blog post then publish it on your website and promote it to your social followers. What then?

A few months later, it’s gathering virtual dust bunnies in your archive. Same goes for infographics and videos you created.

That’s such a waste. Not having a documented content distribution strategy hinders everything you create from ever taking off in the digital world.

For how can it bring you more followers and subscribers if it’s only promoted to your current social circle? Try one of these strategies then add it to your content promotion repertoire if it works.

  • Try promoting your blog posts and white papers through a low-budget LinkedIn or Facebook ad campaign. A $10 to $20 budget per post is fine for starters.
  • Reach out to relevant but non-competing websites to ask if they’d be willing to share your content. It has to be a good fit, of course. If you’re a divorce lawyer, a parenting site or mom blog will do.
  • Start commenting on active Facebook groups. Promote your post after a few days with a caption about how you think it might be a good read for group members.

Your Content Pieces are Your Digital Assets

You’re creating quality content now, so you should treat it as an asset. Maximize the benefit of one content post by repurposing it. For instance, a webinar created to answer FAQs about your practice could be turned into a blog post, then a Slideshare, and fed into your social media accounts for once a day postings spread over a week.

Yes, all of this takes time to implement. But it pays off better compared to writing article after article, with little content marketing strategy and then not promoting any of it.

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