Updating Your Content Strategy in a Time of Change

Your law firm might be familiar with what we call the Friday Afternoon Dilemma. That’s when a professional has an idea for a piece of content but isn’t ready to write quite yet. So they think on it. Then Friday afternoon rolls around and the week’s work wraps up, giving them time to finally sit down and write it out. Once the piece is written, they’re sure it’s really good and very relevant. That’s when they approach marketing and ask them to send it out now. Really, send it now.

Except with the way the work environment has changed over the past few months, some professionals have a lot more time on their hands and they’re finally writing all the pieces they’ve been meaning to.

While it’s great that they’re invested in content marketing, it’s not great to have a sudden influx of content that all need to go out at once. This overwhelms and even confuses your subscribers.

If you send emails to clients and prospects, you don’t want to seem disorganized.

That’s why you need a content strategy. This gives you a framework you can reference so all that extra content actually helps your marketing department.

Can we use content more strategically?

Of course. To start using your content more strategically, ask these questions:

  • What is the goal for the content?
  • What is the optimal format to accomplish that goal?

Content can generate leads—when you gate it and ask for information in exchange for a download—it can also draw traffic to your website and educate your audience. Some content is offered without asking for data in order to show goodwill towards leads and clients, while still other content is meant to establish your firm as a thought leader in your field. Still, other pieces can drive interest for a digital event.

Each content piece you publish should have a clear goal attached to it and be published in such a way to accomplish that goal.

But before you start making decisions around the content you already have, consider what the law firm needs from content marketing. This will determine what type of content you ultimately publish. Even when lawyers offer content that doesn’t seem to fit with the overall goal, it usually only requires a little tweaking to shape the piece in a way that does. Just be sure you have permission and approval before you go editing things across the board.

Writing gated content

Gated content is one way to generate leads for your law firm. You write a piece of highly-valuable content and, in order to get that content, your leads give you their email address and possibly other information in exchange.

Any type of content can be gated if it’s valuable enough, but the most likely formats for gated content are:

  • White papers
  • Webinars
  • Guides
  • Case studies
  • Ebooks

You’ll notice that most of these pieces are a longer format than their un-gated counterparts. The idea is that these pieces are more detailed and thus more valuable, valuable enough to merit someone offering their email address for it.

Something to note: You’ll want to be sure you’re familiar with GDPR and other privacy laws to ensure your process complies with regulations. As you know, there are laws pertaining to how you ask people for their data and why.

Writing un-gated content

Usually, content that isn’t gated tends to be in a shorter format. Thought leadership pieces are still valuable to your firm as well as to clients, but in a different way than content that’s used for lead generation.

Thought leadership and helpful blog posts build goodwill, proving your firm is an authority in your field and that you’re happy to provide answers. These pieces are another way to put your best foot forward as a firm. What you write about—and how you write about it—proves to your site’s visitors what matters to your firm and how you’ll communicate with clients.

It’s an opportunity to put your values and your resources front and center.

Remember, articles, blog posts, podcasts, and really all content is about the value it brings to your readers. No one will stick around and read more of a piece that’s all about you and your firm.

Content offers you the chance to put clients’ needs first.

How do you alert followers to new content?

People often ask us if they should send an email every time a piece of content is published. While that might work if you only publish occasionally, it can become too much very quickly if you publish more than usual.

A good rule of thumb is to pick a regular publishing cadence and stick to it. If certain circumstances require you to publish more than usual, you can always increase your cadence. The best way is to publish content regularly and keep an eye on your metrics. Once you have a baseline understanding, you can test a different cadence and compare your results.

However, you’ll want to keep sending emails at a regular cadence. It’s important to the health of your deliverability to maintain a regular schedule and stick to it. Just like paying your bills at random intervals will hurt your credit score, sending randomly can hurt your deliverability.

Wrap up

Having a content strategy in place allows you to adapt to new circumstances with ease. You’ll already have a framework in place and you’ll be prepared to handle an influx of content with less stress and less of a headache. It also gives you a way to explain your choices to the lawyers based on data and goals, as opposed to basing your content publishing choices on opinions and guesses.

A content strategy allows you to focus on the goal of a piece, ensuring every piece of content you publish serves your law firm well. In the end, content only works with a strong strategy and a clear purpose.