Law firms tend to generate a lot of content as part of their business development, marketing and client relations efforts. However, this content is often under-utilised, often just published on the firm’s website or client portal, and email-blasted at sporadic intervals to a long list of clients and prospects.
This type of content distribution does little to guarantee a return on the amount of time and effort put into creating the content in the first place. After all, if valuable hours are being spent creating high-quality content, it makes sense to maximise the reach and visibility of the content to make sure it is seen by the right audience.
The key to doing this is running integrated content marketing campaigns based around particular pieces of content, or series of related pieces. What ‘integrated’ refers to is connecting publishing channels and applying marketing automation, which will not only enable content to stretch further but also to reduce the amount of resource required to publish it.
By running integrated campaigns, each piece of content becomes a valuable component of a whole package rather than a lone piece of information lacking context or purpose. Each piece of content builds on the preceding one, taking the consumer on a journey that draws them closer to the source. Importantly these pieces of content or series can be parts of a wider service.
This is extremely valuable to law firms and provides a number of benefits beyond loosely tethering existing clients to the firm. A well-executed content marketing strategy helps law firms to:
- Gain industry recognition and differentiate themselves from other firms
- Position themselves as thought leaders in particular industries or practice groups
- Win new business by providing valuable information to clients and prospective clients
- Increase the potential of cross selling services to existing clients
- Gain referrals from existing clients who pass content onto friends and contacts
- Establish deeper relationships with existing clients and create a stickiness factor
As with almost everything of value, the more that is invested in a content marketing strategy the more there is to be gained from it. However, when it comes to integrated content marketing campaigns, once they are set up with the correct tools they do not require much additional resource beyond the creation of the content.
So what is involved in creating an integrated content marketing campaign?
For many law firms, quarterly newsletters, case update emails and online articles is the extent of their content marketing efforts. The first step to creating an integrating campaign is to build on what is already being done. Send out follow-up emails to maximise readership and use content syndication services to increase the reach of the content and gain a wider audience. This will help increase readership and engagement in general across content. The good thing is, this can become part of the general process of publishing, and does not require a specific campaign to execute.
When it comes to developing a campaign around an event or timely topic, for instance the launch of a graduate trainee programme, consider building a microsite. They direct audiences to one place that contains all resources surrounding one subject. Post blog posts, press releases, event information, contact details, application forms and so on can be stored within the microsite. Keeping related content together on a separate URL from your main website means that it is easy to direct users to content directly or via email and social media.
It is also possible to maximise the value in one particular piece of content by repurposing it as different types of media. Film videos of events or keynotes, transform an article into an infographic, create SlideShares from keynote slide decks. Variety of content types will capture the attention of different audiences, and also allows marketing teams to produce large quantities of content without having to rely on fee-earners as a resource for information. Different forms of content will appeal to different audiences too, further increasing the content’s reach.
Finally, consider integrating the campaign with other schools of marketing. Promote your content through online PR, contact relevant thought-leaders to review the article or expose their network to it through social media channels, and maximise search engine traffic through effective SEO. This can be done in-house or by utilising agencies who may be able to gain broader reach through existing contacts or industry influence.
What tools are required to create an integrated content marketing campaign?
The best way to manage integrated campaigns is through an integrated platform that allows you to publish to multiple media in one place. Choose an integrated digital publishing and content marketing platform especially built for legal that allows you to create and manage micro sites, email marketing campaigns and client knowledge portals in one go.
A content management system that allows you to easily publish content, while allowing your audience to tailor the information they receive and consume themselves is ideal. This means that not only do you know what your clients want, but they get what they want from you. For this, you’ll need a platform that integrates with your customer relationship management system so it can pull through your client information directly from your database.