Content Marketing for Law Firms: More, More, More

Blogging has moved from top billing in social media marketing to an ensemble role. A blog is still an important player in the markting ecosystem, but it now shares the stage with other major and minor players in a much bigger, more robust production called content marketing.

The following BlueGlass Interactive infographic illustrates the variety and range of content types and distribution models. BlueGlass executive Chris Winfield notes, “Instead of just investing in their blog and blogging strategies, [companies are] investing in content people will actually want to share. Even if it’s not directly related to selling something, it’s still branding.”

The top 20 content marketing tactics according to a recent Content Marketing Institute survey:

  1. Articles
  2. Social media
  3. Blogs
  4. eNewsletters
  5. Case studies
  6. In-person events
  7. Videos
  8. White papers
  9. Webinars/webcasts
  10. Microsites
  11. Print magazines
  12. Traditional media
  13. Research reports
  14. Branded content tools
  15. Print newsletter
  16. eBooks
  17. Podcasts
  18. Mobile content
  19. Digital magazines
  20. Virtual conferences
WARNING: This does not mean use ALL of these tactics. Rather, it suggests that your marketing program can benefit from thinking beyond the usual suspects: blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Greater depth, breadth, variety, ubiquity and frequency of content will generate more opportunities to be discovered.

 

Endeavor to Be Useful: Legal Marketing Tips 02.09.12

A digest of social media “how-to” advice and tips for legal marketing.

WordPress for Law Firms: Must-Have Plugins for Your Blog

With an abundance of massively useful best practices, tips and “how-to” guidance, sites like WordPress Jedi make a compelling case that you’re probably wasting a lot of $$$ on a hosting service for your blog (since they’re likely hosted on WordPress already).

One of the great things about WordPress is that critical functionality like maintenance and security can be added without specialized programming knowledge (or paying a Web developer), through plugins.

What are your recommendations for the “must-have” list?

 

Content Marketing for Law Firms: Don’t Get Sucked Into Storify

The I Can’t Blog, But This App Can Daily is out!

Look familiar? Twitter is awash with that headline formula, which announces/flags (depending how you look at it) auto-generated posts posing as curated content.

One of the more credible “curation” platforms is Storify, which “lets you curate social networks to build social stories, bringing together media scattered across the Web into a coherent narrative.” Although Storify is more authentic than Paper.li, Summify and other curation platforms insofar as it requires the user to actively choose and arrange the content samples, like its app spam counterparts Storify has no compelling value proposition for content marketers. In fact, Storify could end up making you look like a social media dilettante. 

As Ramon Ray unironically commented yesterday on the Small Business Technology blog, “If you are looking for an easy to way to compile online content, but don’t have your own content to share, Storify can help.”

Seriously?

If you don’t have your own content to share, then you shouldn’t waste your time on social media.

 

So what’s the harm in using Storify?

  • It takes as much time to research and assemble a Storify “story” as it does to write a blog post.
  • If you make the time to caption each of the elements in your story, you might as well be creating multiple short posts on your own blog.
  • It’s even more difficult to develop a Storify following than it is to build traction for your own blog.

In contrast, Larry Bodine takes the right approach to curation with his “Best Practices in Lawyer Blogs” posts on the Martindale.com blog. He features a few  interesting/useful posts from other sites/authors, providing a précis and link for each.

For my part, every Wednesday and Friday I cull and present without comment or embellishment seven strong “how to” posts from various sources in my RSS feed, all under the heading “Endeavor to Be Useful.”

Are you trying your hand at content curation? What content marketing tactics are working/not working for you?

Social Media for Law Firms: LinkedIn vs. Facebook Smackdown

Both LinkedIn and Facebook have momentum and partisans in legal marketing. As time and experience go on, we’re better able to move from faith to data as the foundation for our respective positions.

If you’re already dubious about Facebook for law firms, Sam Glover’s scorched earth take on Lawyerist offers support. However, the pro-Facebook for law firms faction will find some consolation in an interesting infographic from Bop Design, which is discussed today on SocialMouths.

Consider the arguments, factor in your own experience and let us know where you net out.

 

 

Law Practice Management: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

Q: How is the “information overload” problem like America’s obesity epidemic?

A: We know what needs to be done to address it, but we’re daunted by the seeming enormity of the task, and too few of us make the effort.

While not as disturbingly graphic as a Dr. Oz episode on belly fat, the following infographic from Mindjet illustrates the negative impacts and costs of information overload, and 11 simple coping strategies we can all implement to help us deal with the volume and complexity of information in healthy and productive ways.

 

 

Endeavor to Be Useful: Legal Marketing Tips 02.02.12

A digest of social media “how-to” advice and tips for legal marketing.

  • 11 tips for a better Facebook ad campaign | SEOptimise
  • 5 Steps To Bootstrapping Your PR Efforts | SEOmoz
  • 5 Essential Qualities of Growing Your Blog Quickly in a Crowded Niche | Kikolani
  • 47 Essential Social Media Tools for Content Marketers | Junta42
  • 5 Ways to Brand Your New YouTube Profile | Social Media Examiner 
  • 15 essential tasks to complete after installing WordPress | WordPress Hosting SEO
  • Keyword Research Mistakes to Avoid – Single Grain

 

SEO for Law Firms: What Legal Marketers Need to Know About Google’s Panda

In the search engine optimization world, “quality” content doesn’t mean what you might immediately think. It’s not breakthrough ideas compellingly expressed (although that’s part of it, in an indirect way).

From an SEO perspective, quality derives in part from structural elements and patterns within your content (frequency, amount of original content on a site, duplication, unnatural overuse of a word) and the way visitors interact with your content (time on page, bounce rate).

In other words, Google’s Panda search algorithm evaluates the “quality” of your content by how long visitors spend on a page (presumably reading) and whether they visit other pages on your site during the same session. Quality content = high average time on page + low bounce rate.

Digital marketing agency Single Grain created a useful infographic that chronicles Panda’s evolution (so to speak) and highlights what law firm site designers and managers can do to build essential inbound links to their blogs and websites.

 

What are your SEO for law firms tips? Have you made any changes to your website or blog(s) to accommodate the new content paradigm Panda has created?

Law Firm Websites Need to Master Inbound Marketing Basics

If the primary objective of your next website is to “inspire and present the right firm image,” then don’t be surprised if it doesn’t perform much better than your former site.

While law firm websites are getting more visually interesting, they will not generate more inquiries that lead to new business until the primary focus is on helping clients easily find the information they are looking for.

Think Like a Potential Client

Before you get carried away with the aesthetic sweep of your website, heed the guidance of “Chicago School” of architecture progenitor Louis Sullivan — “Form ever follows function.” As Jessica Meher notes, that dictum starts with your site’s homepage. “A homepage needs to wear many hats and serve many audiences who come from many different places….In order for a homepage to work, it needs to meet its purpose and contain key elements that attract traffic, educate your visitors, and convert browsers into buyers.”

The following HubSpot annotation illustrates how to build a functional framework for a law firm website homepage. Once you build this, you can overlay it with “strong, compelling, and emotional images” that animate your brand.

 

 

 

 

Twitter for Law Firms: Better Tweeting Through Science

Dan Zarrella is one of the most influential people in social media because he takes a rigorous, empirical approach to proving, disproving and improving the basic elements of online networking and marketing.

In the following infographic, Zarrella illustrates how various factors affect click-through rates (number of clicks / number of followers = CTR) of hyperlinks embedded into tweets. The variables tested include:

  • The tweet’s length.
  • The position of the link within the tweet.
  • Your tweet frequency.
  • Common terms and phrases that stimulate click-through.
  • Best times of day to tweet.

As the saying goes, “individual results might vary,” but the beauty of Twitter is that it doesn’t cost you anything to run a test of your own.

Do you have any secrets for getting followers to click through? Retweet?