As clients, prospects, and referral sources increasingly turn to digital platforms and social media as a source of news and information, attorneys must embrace new methods for communicating and engaging with their target audiences. This has taken on added importance during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced the cancellation of many in-person legal conferences and industry networking events.
Today, no legal marketing or public relations campaign is complete without a robust digital strategy built around authentic engagement and timely, original content. Fortunately, digital mediums have leveled the playing field by creating limitless opportunities for savvy attorneys and firms to define their brand, communicate their messages, and reach the very people that are critical to growing their network and sustaining their business.
Practically speaking, the emphasis being put on content-driven thought leadership should be welcome news for attorneys who are long on expertise but short on time. The growing number of digital outlets that exist today means a single piece of content – be it a news article, an opinion column, or a podcast interview – can be repurposed across several platforms, each intended for a different group.
Following are four examples of content-driven strategies that attorneys and firms of all sizes should be prioritizing as part of a communications campaign combining media relations, digital marketing, and social media.
No. 1: Create trusted source material for clients.
All things being equal, client communications should be priority number one. By sending timely updates to clients about issues and policies pertaining to them or their business, attorneys can create a natural platform for staying top of mind and building goodwill. These alerts can be formatted as brief, personalized emails which direct readers to a more detailed analysis on a firm website.
No. 2: Establish a library of digital content.
Any law firm’s website should be viewed among key audiences as a source of trusted, publicly accessible information. Cultivating a rich collection of website content – including blog posts, client case studies, topical webinars, and even podcasts – is invaluable, as it creates a central destination for internet traffic, improves search engine rankings, and reinforces the notion that the firm is an authority within its areas of expertise.
No. 3: Publish thought leadership.
Attorneys are wise to spend time authoring byline articles or modifying existing content that can be published in credible news outlets, such as legal industry trades or titles that are well-read within specific client sectors. This type of exposure is the gold standard of marketing communications, as it creates visibility among target audiences and opens the door to a host of digital marketing opportunities.
No. 4: Engage your audiences on social media.
Too many attorneys and firms fall into the trap of creating one-way social media dialogues. Rather, the most effective campaigns are those which thrive on two-way engagement built around organic content. By activating social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter with timely information, attorneys can grow their online network, enhance their brand visibility, and direct people back to thought leadership that resides on their website.
This focus on putting original ideas in front of clearly defined audiences through a diverse range of mediums is the essence of integrated communications in today’s fragmented business environment. By reaching the right people on a consistent basis through media relations, marketing and social media, legal professionals have an opportunity to build their brand and position themselves for business growth.