By Barbara S. Kaplan
Special to the Legal
Articles, speeches, CLEs, attention-getting websites, microsites, blogs, advertising, public relations and electronic and social media are marketing tools commonly used to establish thought leadership.
Some firms claim that they make a quantifiable difference in attracting and building business while others aren’t sure but go through the motions because they think they can’t afford not to.
Welcome to content marketing – a method for creating and sharing valuable, unique content that enables you to turn marketing into business development and achieve measurable results. It should be an integral part of your overall strategy.
Content marketing is about providing and repurposing rich, valuable content. It enables you to leverage every piece of attorney-generated content into two to three other forms of content. Turn an article into a blog post or an e-newsletter, post it to LinkedIn and/or JD Supra, add it to your bio and the firm’s website, tweet it out … the options are many. And research shows that inserting a call to action with a benefit, in addition to a link, readily drives the reader to the next content item.
In this way, you are creating a critical mass of strategic activity, enhancing SEO, providing meaningful touches and multiple impressions and, above all, giving memorable impact and staying power to your thought leadership. We all know that articles, speeches, blog posts and the like are not revolutionary. However, the rise of social networks and other Internet-based communities has dramatically increased the potential business-development value of this attorney-driven content.
Social media thrives on the sharing of content across platforms and doing so quickly, before your competition gets there. First-mover advantage is your friend. The best endorsement you can get is for a reader of your blog to pass along your post to a third party. If you’ve written a good post on a relevant topic, there’s a great likelihood that will happen. When it does, the recipient sees your work, in the context of the stamp of approval of the contact who forwarded it.
Here are action steps for doing more with what you’ve got:
- Set your goal. What do you want the takeaway to be?
- Know to whom you are talking. Write for a particular audience. In-house counsel? Business executives?
- Start with the best marketing tool for getting the content across. Blog? Article? Short video?
- Identify the owners of the project. Who are the individuals responsible for writing, posting, etc.?
- Plan for all the other things you will do with the content. Bio? Speech? Blog? And don’t forget to find other industry blogs and comment/contribute to them leaving a trackback to yours.
In essence, when you drive people to read your thought-leadership content, you are positioning yourself for a tangible return and developing a new kind of conversation and relationship between the author and the audience.
Barbara S. Kaplan is the principal of BSK Strategies. She works with lawyers and law firms to help build their business development skills, target and win higher-value work, establish thought leadership and earn client loyalty.