When it comes to generating legal leads a comprehensive content marketing strategy is a lawyer’s best friend. Research shows that firms that maintain blogs experience more lead growth and that content marketing produces conversion rates some 6x higher than other digital marketing strategies.
For lawyers, competency and trust weigh heavily on a client’s decision when retaining an attorney. Content marketing provides a viable and crucial means of connecting with potential clients on a human level. Many lawyers engage in some form of content marketing, but few do it well.
In this article, we will discuss a 6-step content marketing strategy to generate and convert more legal leads.
Step One: Create Client Personas
Without understanding who the clients are that you are trying to reach you are unlikely to generate high-quality legal leads. The trick is to create client personas. A persona is essentially a hypothetic ideal client.
The best way to create a persona is to think about your current and former clients. Make a list of relevant attributes like age, sex, location, education level, occupation, and any practice area specific information. For instance, if you want to generate personal injury leads, you will want to include accident type (i.e., auto accident and/or slip and fall), likely search terms (“average settlement for whiplash“, etc), and what goals they may be looking to achieve (i.e. assess case value, hire an attorney, find out what their options are, etc).
Be sure to create a persona for each practice area. Note that if you have an established digital marketing campaign with detailed analytical information on things like demographics and conversions, you will want to rely heavily on this data when identifying ideal clients.
Step Two: Research
Once you know who you are trying to reach you can begin researching how these potential clients search online for legal services. This process involves coming up with search terms, or keywords, that your personas are likely to use.
There are many ways to generate keyword lists. The first is to list out terms that potential clients are likely to use. For example, if you want to generate workers comp leads, you may want to write down something like “workers comp lawyer in [city].”
Once you have your list, you can use some free keyword tools to both research your terms and get some ideas for related terms. Some useful keyword tools are:
In addition to helping you expand your list of search terms, these tools provide you with valuable information like keyword ranking difficulty and search volume. You may have what you think are the perfect search terms. But if no one is searching for it, it is not worth structuring content around the term.
After all that’s the purpose of this process, to generate ideas to consistently post engaging content that drives legal leads to your practice. Once you have narrowed down you list, think about what types of questions your persona would have about each term. In the next step you will create content that answers those questions.
Step Three: Create Engaging and Valuable Content
It takes time and money to create content. Each piece of content, whether it is a blog article, ebook, or webpage, should provide value to your firm. Content should be relevant to your client personas and generate the types of legal leads that you want. Be sure to follow SEO best practices. Incorporate your keywords to ensure that you rank well for terms that you are targeting.
Lawyers content marketing efforts commonly fail for several reasons. First, they fail to target high-value keywords, essentially writing content that very few potential clients are interested in. Second, they do not adhere to SEO best practices and are often penalized by search engines. Third, they post content infrequently, prioritizing more pressing matters.
And finally, many lawyers take the opposite approach, emphasizing quantity over quality. While consistency is important, putting out rushed and uninformative content will do little to generate leads for your firm. You are far better off writing a few authoritative pieces that appeal to your personas than a dozen poorly executed ones.
Step Four: Publish Content
Researching and writing content is a major part of the battle but don’t let up there. To drive high-quality legal leads to your firm you need to publish it on the appropriate channels. Your firm’s blog is a good place to start. But beyond that you will likely want to incorporate social media platforms utilized by your personas.
The easiest way to do this is to simply create a post with a headline, description, and link to your article. If you are using platforms like Instagram or Pinterest, you will also want to include media.
Email is another important channel. If you maintain an email list of current and former clients, consider sending out a message including the link to your article. Also, be sure to publish content on authoritative legal websites and platforms.
Step Five: Convert Leads
It’s great to drive high-quality traffic to your website but you want a significant portion of your leads to convert. Converting legal leads requires call-to-actions (CTAs). Give leads a reason to inquire further about your services. A CTA can be as simple as “Click here to schedule a free consultation.”
Or it could involve some type of incentive. For instance, if you are attempting to convert workers compensation leads, you could include a link to a free ebook providing an overview of the laws in your state. Not only do you capture the lead’s contact information, but you establish credibility and good-will, increasing the likelihood that the client retains you at some point in the future.
Step Six: Evaluate Results and Implement Improvements
Much like any digital marketing strategy, it is important to collect and analyze performance data to measure success. Using a tool like Google Analytics, you can monitor traffic to your website. See where this traffic is coming from, what pages are drawing the most views, and your conversion rates.
If you notice that several pieces of content are responsible for a significant portion of your traffic, figure out why leads gravitate towards it. Incorporate what you learn in future content to get better results.
Content marketing is an incredibly effective and important strategy for generating high-quality legal leads. To be sure, creating engaging content is a lot of work and often does not yield immediate returns. Yet done right, content marketing can help to grow your firm exponentially.