Law firms are creating more content than ever before and spending more money producing it. Whether it is focused content for existing clients, press releases, or content marketing, the volume is staggering and the intended audiences are drowning.

Unfortunately, much of the available content is too self-promotional, boasting "We did X for client Y", rather than focusing on the needs of the audience the firm is trying to reach. Instead of offering a sales pitch disguised as content, you must show you can add value, get results and demonstrate your problem-solving skills. Your personality counts and therefore you should focus on reputation measurement NOT just brand measurement.

With an increasing amount of competition for your content, how can you create relevant and valuable information to attract and retain clients? Try some of the most recent trends in content marketing and watch your reputation and revenue grow to make 2018 your best content year yet.

Personalised content

According to Evergage, virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalisation advances customer relationships. In the legal context, personalised content experiences are more likely to increase engagement, making it a vital part of content strategy.

To write effective personalised content you must understand who you're writing for and why the content is valuable to the audience. The ability to talk directly to your clients using co-branding or permissions is a very powerful tool. Any client that sees advice targeted directly to them and their firm alongside other industry content is going to see the value in that experience.

Presenting content within a client portal that provides greater personalisation and targeting is another great way to become the go-to destination for client knowledge. A powerful client portal should combine your thought leadership and premium service with their transactions and matters. The result provides a memorable client experience that will increase engagement and value.

Niche content

Karen Reyburn of The Profitable Firm says niche content “is efficient, powerful and ultimately more profitable" and is a frequently missed opportunity in legal. Publishing niche content gives you the ability to establish your expertise, demonstrate your knowledge and showcase your ability to help clients with creative solutions.

Your lawyers are experts and innovative problem solvers even when faced with uncommon situations. Create content that offers advice to others facing similar problems based on their unique experiences. The key is to take high-level concepts, thinking of all the pain points someone might have along the way, and write content about solving those pain points.

Niche strategies allow your firm to address a very specific audience with targeted and personalised advice and expertise. To know what will work, you must engage with your clients to discover their needs, track your content success against solid metrics, and make sure your content creators are credible. Your existing clients will expect you to be experts but ensuring you can use your niche content to win new business is also vital.

Leveraging content

Knowing your audience for a particular piece of content is essential, but understanding how you can get more value from the content item will maximize your ROI. With a little re-work your client-focused content can be fuel for the buyer’s journey. Understanding what content works for both and how to present it to each is vital.

The same piece of content can have value in the discovery, conversion, pitch, and growing stages of the client journey. Make sure you use it to its full potential! Grist, a B2B content marketing agency, has a helpful graphic, 'How do you use content marketing?' that shows ways you can use your content.

Think about how you can create relationships between content types. Convert a successful client event into a summary blog post and provide a recording and the presentation notes. Share available content on your social channels but always try to engage NOT just broadcast. Advocacy is also an important part of a law firm’s approach. An army of advocates will influence others and ultimately improve your market presence and perception.

Strategic content

Today, the majority of content produced by law firms is in the form of written briefings, posts, and articles. This is a remnant of the print age struggling to move to the digital. Leverage the value locked in your legal-orientated content by thinking beyond traditional content types. Create a content hub that includes your clients’ consumer podcasts, videos, presentations and events to compliment your written knowledge. Our infographic highlights key trends in video marketing which will only get bigger in 2018!

The content a law firm produces is not just knowledge or marketing focused. There are many other digital services and solutions that are 'content' and should be part of your firm’s strategy. Linking your thought leadership to other digital services and simplifying your client’s journey is a key way to create a competitive advantage. Whether you expose the inner-workings of your legal project management system, highlight a few simple external resources, publish a glossary of terms, or provide insight to other digital solutions, they will all work towards adding value and enhancing your service.

Summary

There is a lot of noise in the legal content space right now. Building a strategy that focuses on your clients’ needs and adds value is crucial to success in 2018 and beyond. Subscribe to the HighQ Blog for the latest legal tech and content updates.

Ben is responsible for HighQ Publisher product and the associated services delivered to its clients. Ben also provides consulting and focuses on the application of modern social and collaborative concepts usually found in the consumer world and applying them to today's typical business challenges to enhance productivity, improve both internal and external communication and knowledge management. He is more of a people person than a technologist and is driven by great user experience. He enjoys working closely with clients and colleagues to ensure the successful delivery of solutions which help clients derive the most value from their investment in HighQ software. He has over 10 years legal, social and content publishing technology experience.