A total of $118.4 billion will be spent on content marketing during 2015, and 77 percent of marketers reportedly plan to increase content production next year. Content marketing is becoming increasingly more vital to companies' overall marketing and branding strategy, and is now an imperative factor for most organisations. There is, however, a risk of firms getting stuck in a ruck when it comes to their content campaign; whether this be due to a shortage of content ideas, limited results, or a simple lack of motivation.
With Bonfire Night having just past, we’re going to see how companies, and especially law firms, can ignite their content revolution and start producing high quality and engaging reads. There are 2.5 million pieces of content shared on Facebook alone every minute, and there’s no lack of content or competition in any sector you work in, so you need to spark a content marketing strategy that burns bright and stands out from the crowd.
The necessity of content marketing
Not only is it a more cost effective way of marketing, but 70 percent of consumers now reportedly prefer getting to know a brand through content marketing rather than ads. Forms of content marketing, such as blogging, are no longer strategies that firms should just consider, or simply experiment with. B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those that do not. Content marketing should be a must for any organsition looking to increase their online presence, build a relationship between current and future clients, and attract new leads.
If you already have a content strategy up and running, you’re not alone. 48 percent of B2B marketers use at least one content marketing strategy, with B2C marketers using on average 12 content marketing tactics. A further 35 percent document their strategy and results. With your competitors most likely running their own content marketing campaign, not only does yours need to exist, it needs to prosper which a good content management system can help you do really well. Creating eye-catching content allows you to promote your company’s brand and personality, and can be a cost effective way of promoting your firm.
This content marketing knowledge can only be of value, however, if you implement it to create posts of the highest quality. Below, we will highlight five key components for creating a truly successful piece of content.
Igniting your content
Whether you already have a content marketing strategy, or if it’s something you’re only now considering, there’s certain things you should already know. You know you have to create content that people actually want to read, and will keep them coming back for more. It almost goes without saying that anything you write should have excellent spelling, grammar, and punctuation. What we’re going to look at is five additional key components that every content marketer must take into serious consideration, and that will help ignite your content revolution.
80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% will read your entire article to completion. It can’t be stressed enough just how important the title is to the overall success of your post. With a lacklustre title, you’re severely decreasing the chances of the rest of your blog post or article even being read. It doesn’t matter how engaging or informative the actual piece is; if the title isn’t interesting or intriguing enough to draw people in, the remainder of the post becomes obsolete.
After deciding on a title, ask yourself: If I saw this title pop up, would I click on it? Unless the answer is an absolute yes, you need to rethink and redraft it. It needs to include what the piece is about, but also leave the reader intrigued enough that they’ll click on it to find out more.
Once you’ve mastered the title and drawn the reader in, you then need to capture their attention with the opening line or paragraph. To the reader, this can define what the rest of the piece will be like, and whether they’ll read on or leave the page. Most visitors will scroll through 60 percent of an article, so make sure your posts aren’t part of this statistic, and create an opening that leaves them wanting more. You don’t have to explain what the entire post will centre around, but provide a hint and get the reader hooked.
This post, for instance, kicks off with a couple of statistics relating to content marketing. It gives you a glimpse of what the piece is going to revolve around, yet doesn’t give everything away immediately. There are numerous ways to kick start your post, so just make sure it’s enough to get the reader to the second line or paragraph. If you accomplish that, then more than half the battle is already won.
Posts with images average 94 percent more views than those without them. It may seem pretty obvious, but a heading image is a vital part of any piece of content. It’s the first thing that a reader’s eyes are drawn to, and can provide a hint for what the post is about. Due to this, however, you need to make sure you select the right image; an image that is relatable to your piece, grabs the reader’s attention, and carries some originality.
You shouldn’t be expected to use a brand new photo, never posted online before, but try to refrain from using a cliche stock photo that’s already been used on multiple other blog posts. If a reader spots an unoriginal image, they may immediately assume that the content itself is unoriginal and not worth a read.
Smartphones and tablets now account for 60 percent of the total time people spend online, up from 50 percent a year ago. More people are now accessing the internet on smartphones or tablets instead of computers. Simply put, your organisation has to have its website and posts optimised for mobile. Despite the number of people online through their mobile or tablet devices, many enterprises have yet to follow through and have their online presence optimised for mobile. In fact, only 1/3 of law firm websites are currently optimised for mobile devices.
We’ve all been there. We’re scrolling through the web on our mobile, land on a page that isn’t optimised, and we’re immediately put off and deterred from continuing. By companies ignoring this essential development, they risk losing a high percentage of readers, many of whom won’t return, especially if they’re on their mobile or tablet.
Blogs that post daily get 5 times more traffic compared to those that don’t. Even if you’re not able to create one post a day, or can only manage one a week, just make sure it’s consistent. Naturally, the more posts the better, but if your resources are limited, then decide how many per week or month you can produce, and map your out your content calendar. Whether it’s twice a week, once a week, bi-weekly etc, remain consistent. Your readers will then know when to expect new content and keep a look out for it.
Few things are worse from a content marketing perspective than heading over to a blog and seeing blogs posted sporadically, with no order or strategy. It screams unprofessionalism and is not something you want representing your business. Your company needs to come off as well run, strategic, and structured, so why should your organisation's content marketing be any different?
Spark your legal content revolution
The legal industry is without a doubt a competitive market. One thing this sector is arguably lacking in, however, is online creativity. 97 percent of law firm websites fail to deliver any kind of personalised content. This is despite 90 percent of consumers finding custom content useful and 78 percent believing that organisations that provide custom content are interested in building good relationships with clients. Though it’s a discouraging statistic for the legal sector as a whole, it provides your law firm with an opportunity. Putting together a strategic and creative content marketing strategy could allow you to stand out from the legal crowd, offering up personalised and insightful content that your competitors have yet to deliver.
On average, law firms employ one full-time marketing person for every 30-40 attorneys, and the average law firm marketing budget spent on promotional campaigns is approximately 2 percent of gross revenue. The advantages of content marketing is that it doesn’t require mass staff or a huge budget. You can achieve many things with simply a knowledge of the industry, ingenuity, and strategic commitment. Take a look at other sectors and their content marketing campaigns, seeing if you can draw any inspiration for your own company.
A recent report from Passle found that the Top 100 law firms are on track to post almost 47,000 'knowledge' pieces between them by the end of 2015, compared to just over 26,000 in 2014. Though this shows notable improvements, the 46,866 posts equal just 128 pieces of content per day. The total output of approximately 62,000 lawyers means that less than one piece of publicly available content is produced each year on average, highlighting the work this sector still needs to do to catch up with other industries' content marketing feats.
Informative and engaging content can highlight a law firm’s personality and brand, contributing to developing relationships with clients. Experiment with new strategies and see what works. What do you have to lose?
Light up your content
In 2014, 69 percent of B2C and 70 percent of B2B organisations published more content than they did in 2013. 2015 is showing no signs of slowing down, with content marketing for enterprises continuing to expand and flourish.
To conclude, we have some good news, and we have some bad news. The bad news for enterprises looking to jump into a new content marketing strategy is that content is already king, and many organisations are producing and succeeding with new content on a daily basis. The good news, however, is that it’s never too late to begin your content marketing campaign, and it only takes a whisk of creativity and inspiration to kick start your content revolution.