Legal marketing in a post-pandemic world: what’s changed and how to move forward
The year 2020 has brought on many changes, not least of all in the legal content marketing field.
Whereas traditionally a significant chunk of the marketing efforts was done in person, at conferences and other networking events, now more and more marketing is virtual – and almost exclusively so during the coronavirus pandemic.
What does this mean for how we do legal content marketing in 2021, and going forward?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, however, let’s first answer, what is content marketing?
Content marketing is when law firms create useful, relevant content with the goal to boost their brand, build trust, and thus attract new clients and revenues or find new hires around the world. This “content” could appear on a number of media formats: blogs, videos, podcasts, social media or webinars.
It is not the same as traditional marketing since you are not directly advertising your services. Rather, you are offering valuable information to your target audience and, in this way, positioning yourself as a trusted authority on a particular set of issues.
While this may seem like a slow and tedious way of generating client leads, content marketing is actually incredibly effective and becoming better understood. In fact, content marketing is three times more effective in bringing leads than traditional marketing.
Think of it this way – ads can be a nuisance, but content is value.
A Sirkin Research study from April 2020 looked into the impact of coronavirus on marketing teams. One of the key findings was a shift in priorities (and budget) away from live events to virtual events and web content.
When COVID-19 hit, many law firms noticed that their lawyers started writing more blog articles – including those who have not written blogs before – and getting more leads as a result . Lawyers from practice areas that tended to dismiss content marketing before, such as those specializing in bankruptcy and restructuring, also joined the writing ranks.
Conferences on legal marketing and administrative court hearings switched to a virtual format for the first time where every participant joined remotely. To give a few more examples, the annual Canadian software company’s “Clio Cloud Conference” was on October 13-16, taking place online for the first time since it launched in 2013; the ANA/BAA Marketing Law Conference will be held virtually in November; and Legalweek(year) will host its first online installment in February 2021.
With all these changes taking place, online content marketing has now become more important than ever. And for law firms, that means thinking strategically.
While publishing blog articles and social media posts on your firm’s official channels is helpful, a consistent strategy is a much more effective approach to legal content marketing. Having a strategy means that the content is created and published on a consistent basis, and always reflects the company brand.
So, what does it mean for your law firm?
Here are some basic steps you can take to start reaping the rewards of content marketing.
- Motivate the lawyers in your firm to share their expertise by writing content for the company website.
- Identify your target audience and find ways to tailor your content to their needs. One way to create a better connection with this group is by addressing them directly in your content or answering their questions.
- Keep track of all articles about major case wins where content generated client leads, and use these success stories to inspire more lawyers to get involved in content production.
- Form a broader content marketing strategy. This could involve branching out into other media platforms, such as video or audio.
If you want to take the first step and need help with direction and implementation to build your brand, give us a call.
Lena Smirnova, Senior Writer
Lena Smirnova is a business and sports reporter with more than 12 years of experience in journalism as a writer, editor, producer and news service manager.
She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of British Columbia, which she completed with a gold medal. Her career highlights as a sports journalist include covering three Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, two Youth Olympic Games, two Pan and Parapan American Games, the European Games and the Rugby World Cup. Lena has interviewed athletes in English, Russian, French, and Spanish.
As a business journalist, Lena has covered the real estate, retail, environment, marketing and technology beats for English-language publications in Russia. She has also worked as the editor of the environment and arts sections in a daily newspaper.
Lena enjoys learning languages and hopes to say fünftausendsechshundertsiebenundneunzig in under 20 seconds some day.