The internet has changed everything for businesses and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to be visible online, resulting in an increase in digital content marketing efforts by law firms and a continued change in the way that clients are consuming information.

A strong online presence is now a necessity for law firms looking to attract the right clients and use their thought leadership to maximise their success.

People are increasingly looking online to research and consume thought leadership. 89% of B2B researchers use the internet in their research process and they conduct 12 searchers prior to engaging on a specific business’ website (Forbes 2017). That means your clients are doing a lot of research before they even reach your law firm’s website and engage with you.

If you are creating valuable content, then it should be distributed further than your law firm website or blog if you want it to be seen. Forbes (2017) has reported that B2B clients progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before engaging with the firm

It is important that your online distribution is not treated as an afterthought if you want your content to be seen by your clients and prospects. Increased visibility will help you build on your brand, position you as an expert, boost your credibility, grow your network and build your practice.

Industry credibility

Over the last few years, law firms have been recognising how essential it is for them to have online presence to stay ahead in what is a competitive industry. If you are not engaging with your clients online, you can be sure that your competitors are. Many law firms will have been building on their online brand position in the industry and will have a strong reputation in today’s market.

As previously mentioned, it is important for lawyers to distribute their content further than their law firm website and blog. By choosing, partnering and distributing content to an online information resource platform for legal professionals – one that is well-known and has industry credibility – you or your firm will have an association with a reputable brand. The association with the legal online platform’s industry recognition will improve your industry credibility, and improved industry credibility will give you the competitive advantage that will distinguish you or your firm from your competitors.

Targeted audience

The best legal information resource platforms will have a strong understanding of the industry and how people research online. They will work tirelessly to curate an audience and subscriber base of counsel, individuals and businesses that will be interested in your legal practice and expertise, and regularly visit these publications searching for information.

With strong understanding of their audiences and by ingesting law firm’s content, legal information resource platforms can segment content appropriately so that you can be confident that your content will reach and be read by your target and prospective clients.

Increase your exposure and reach

Legal online publishers will have content specialists and editorial teams that look after your content and ensure that it is published in a timely manner and gets the exposure and reach that it deserves.

Your content will be exposed to both their current website and unique website visitors as it will be promoted on their homepage, in topic-specific areas, in the search and via their social media channels. Additionally, content will be categorised so that it can be used in a timely and trending manner for targeted distribution such as email and daily or monthly newsfeeds.

You will have the opportunity to include backlinks in your content that can encourage website visitors to visit your own law firm’s website to find out more about your legal practices and increase your firm’s website traffic.

Finally, many legal online publishers have third party associations where they promote your content to gain even more reach and exposure. If they do have these associations, your content can be featured by the legal media and associations, by industry publishers and associations or mainstream news resources.

Thought leadership

Any content that is written by you is a chance for you to position yourself as a thought leader in your specialist practice area and showcase your expertise. Writing and contributing content to a legal online publisher is an opportunity for you to promote yourself, your knowledge and your work outside of the traditional channels used.

It is important that you regularly write content showcasing your expertise through offering insight in your specialist practice areas and jurisdictions to engage with your target and prospect audience. If your target audience are regularly reading informative content from you that provides evidence to the claim that you and your firm will make about you being a specialist.