Content marketing is a marketing method that focuses on creating, publishing, and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract, engage, and convert prospects into clients. It can be extremely effective in driving traffic to your website, establishing your firm as an authority, increasing leads, and improving your bottom line if done well. But, myths abound and not everyone understands what content marketing really means, what it’s for, or why it works.
Myth 1: Content Marketing = MORE Content
Yes, there are studies that show that the more frequently a law firm blogs, the greater the amount of traffic to their website. However, unless you’re working with a creative team staffed with writers and editors, chances are you don’t have the resources to publish killer content on a daily basis.
When it comes to content marketing, more is not better. Publishing mediocre posts, just for the sake of posting, is the equivalent of spam. Every piece of content you publish should be relevant and valuable to your clients and potential clients.
Recommendation: Publish a single piece of high-quality content item each week, rather than posting five mediocre blog posts.
Myth 2: Content Marketing = Advertisement of your Products and Services
Hubspot, the inbound marketing giant, defines content marketing as an effort “to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.”
Effective content marketing isn’t about pitching your law firm’s services. That’s called a brochure. Your content should be related to your practice, but not about your practice and should be something your clients will actually find valuable.
Recommendation: When it comes to content marketing, think “educational marketing” and publish content that speaks to your clients’ needs – an infographic explaining the probate process, an eBook about tax planning, or a legal guide detailing the special needs resources available in your community.
Myth 3: Content Marketing = Primarily for Link Building
Backlinks are a great byproduct of content marketing but shouldn’t be viewed as your primary goal. You should have loftier aspirations! An effective content marketing strategy will increase awareness for your brand, strengthen your reputation as an industry authority, and educate a growing audience while building trust.
Recommendation: It may be blasphemous for an SEO to advocate ignoring the search engines, so I won’t go that far. I WILL recommend that you consider your clients and potential clients first and search engines second when creating content.
Myth 4: Content Marketing = A Blog
- YouTube: More than 1 billion unique visitors each month
- Podcasts: 80 million Americans are weekly podcast listeners
- Social Media: 70% of the US population has active social media accounts
While creating a blog is likely the easiest way to generate content, it’s clear to see that blogging is far from the only way to reach potential clients.
When deciding on what types of content you want to produce, consider what format is most appropriate for the information you’d like to share. Data-heavy information might be more effectively communicated visually with an infographic, while a video of an interview would certainly be more engaging than a simple written transcript.
Recommendation: Create a varied content marketing schedule. Consider the best format for your subject and your target audience.
Myth 5: Content Marketing = Not Related to Social Media Marketing
While publishing great stuff on your own website is essential, it’s important to remember that most folks are NOT on your website. Distributing your content via other channels is a must and social media is the perfect way to do so. Quality content that’s posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ is often shared, widening your pool of potential clients even more.
Recommendation: Share every piece of content including blog posts, infographics, white papers, and slide decks on all of your social media platforms. There are several online tools and apps that make doing so easy, such as Hootsuite and Networked Blogs.
Myth 6: Giving Away Info Negates the Need for Clients to Call
One of the objections I often hear when it comes to content marketing is based on the fear of giving too much away. You may be concerned that once a potential client learns all about wills from an eBook, they’ll no longer need to hire you.
That’s not going to happen. At its very core, Content Marketing is about building a relationship with your audience. Consumers want your knowledge and expertise. By creating valuable information that keeps your potential clients informed and educated, you become their go-to resource and a trusted ally that they’ll turn to when they need your services.
Final Recommendation: Stake your claim as a thought leader in your industry and market by creating interesting and educational eBooks, infographics, white papers, slide decks and blog posts, then sharing them freely. By doing so, you’ll develop a loyal following that will hang on every word you publish.
Director, Web and Online Marketing Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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