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Forefront eNewsletter

Q1 2017 EDITION

Top Three Legal Marketing Trends, and How To Make Them Work for You

There’s a lot happening in the digital marketing world today. Law firm marketing is maturing, and legal marketers are coming to grips with how to make content marketing work in this unique industry. Here are our top three legal marketing trends for 2017:

Increased Visual Storytelling Tops Legal Marketing Trends

One of the core components of a structured content marketing campaign is the use of compelling stories. This year, one of the major legal marketing trends we’ll see grow is the use of more visuals in storytelling. Research shows that using colored visuals can make your content 80% more appealing to your audience. And that’s a good thing. Legal marketing firms using more visual content will be able to add a new dimension for their audiences, driving more engagement.

Video Will Be More Prominent

We expect to see video getting more attention from legal marketers in 2017. As a medium, video presents smart legal marketers with the opportunity to create more intimate experiences for their audiences. Video has the ability to move audiences because elements like sound, lighting, color, and characters who can convey emotions all come together to create a life-like experience for viewers.

If you plan to use video, be sure to make it an official part of your content marketing strategy. Be sure to have access to the tools and people that can create, edit, and publish your videos consistently. And, always, always stick to your production cycle. As with all other forms of marketing, consistency matters.

Here are four tips on incorporating video into your content marketing strategy in 2017:

  • Create an appealing storyline
    Audiences get bombarded with marketing from many other marketers. And yes, most aren’t even in the legal field! For your video to stand out, you’ll need to tell a story that resonates with your audience. It doesn’t need to be a complex story, the best are the simplest.
  • Spread your storyline over a series of videos
    Ever hear of the Zeigarnik effect? It was discovered by psychologist and psychiatrist Bluma Wulfovna Zeigarnik in the early 1900s. According to Zeigarnik, people have the tendency to remember uncompleted tasks until they are completed. In modern marketing, this is applied everywhere from landing pages to email marketing. It can be used in video as well. Using the Zeigarnik effect in video can be achieved by creating a video series that people want to keep on watching.
  • Production quality is important
    Your audience is less likely to tune in for a series of videos with poor sound quality and dull lighting. Make sure that you set clear video quality standards early on and stick to them.
  • If you make the commitment to video, execute
    Prepare by setting a fixed schedule for creating scripts, storyboards, recording content, editing, and promoting your videos. Using a schedule will relieve any stress associated with guessing what to do next. You’ll also find that creating your video content becomes simpler because the planning, creation, post-production, and promotion processes become predictable.

Law Firm Marketing Teams Will Commit More to Social Media

Social is the place that all law firm marketing teams need to be if they want to engage more prospects in a competitive marketplace. In a joint survey, produced by Bloomberg Law and the Legal Marketing Association, law firms report on a rise in full time equivalents (FTEs) that support firm growth. Of these FTEs, marketing roles are growing, and they are starting to include social media as a core responsibility.

Getting the Most out of Social

Social is a great place to share your stories. To get the best out of your social efforts, you need to make sure that your resources and content are geared toward creating engaging experiences for your audience.

Here are four tips on how to strengthen your social efforts:

  • Have an editorial calendar that’s always ahead of schedule
    Plan at least two to three weeks of social posts. This will alleviate the anxiety that comes with rushing social post creation and the disappointment of seeing low engagement metrics.
  • Use lots of relevant and colorful visuals with your posts
    According to eye tracking studies, readers are more likely to pay attention to relevant images. Relevant and colorful images will help attract more readers who are likely to read more of your content.
  • Use compelling copy
    Make your titles engaging and your copy concise. People often go through a lot of social posts in one sitting. Making yours stand out is important. We like this infographic from Hubspot which explains what the perfect social post looks like across different social platforms.
  • Be consistent
    We’ll keep mentioning this one, but that’s only because it matters a lot. Establishing a market presence doesn't happen if you stop marketing, or market your brand sporadically. Commit to producing and publishing content according to a fixed schedule. Doing so will make your marketing a data-driven practice. A data-driven marketing approach will show you what is working and what is not.

SEO Will Be Based on Topical Relevance

In yesteryear, keyword stuffing was how many teams gained higher search engine rankings. In 2017, we will instead see marketers build larger, more comprehensive content resources.

Google is cracking down on poor quality content with questionable SEO practices. This is in order to serve up the very best and relevant content to its users. In an in-depth study on the inner workings of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, where more than 9.93 million words of content were analyzed, results show that websites that include more pieces of comprehensive content on topics are starting to rank higher that those with more backlinks, more referring domains, higher domain scores, and higher trust scores.

Topically relevant content is content that fits into a specific category. It is content that is related and regarded as useful when linked to by other related content. In Google’s eyes, producing more content that relates to a certain topic can show that you are a thought leader on the subject matter. Creating topically relevant content and promoting it will lead to more relevant backlinks from other websites that also create content around similar topics.

Here are three ways to develop more topically relevant content in 2017:

Establish Topics that Tie into Your Keyword Strategy

While keywords are not enough to get you the top ranking position in Google, they still help you determine what your audience is looking for. A simple way of gathering more ideas for a more comprehensive topically relevant content resource is to use the suggested results at the bottom of your search results page in Google.

Here are results on a search for “lawyer I can trust”:

search related

In the example above, a search for “lawyer I can trust” shows six other search phrases, which are all long-tail keywords, that unique pieces of content can be built around. These are all keyword phrases that people are using in Google when they search for the term, “lawyer I can trust.”

Repeat this for each of the keywords that you have, and you’ll be on your way to creating content that more of your audience is interested in.

Write More Long-form Content

Your content also needs to be longer and more in-depth. In a study by serpiq, they found that longer articles got better search results.

Avg Content Length

While writing long-form content may take longer, long-form content returns higher rankings and gets more traffic.

Promote, Promote, and Promote Some More

Building content and waiting for visitors to come is not part of any effective content marketing plan. Content promotion must be a part of your content marketing strategy and practiced constantly and consistently.

Here are three ways to promote your new content:

  • Email your list of subscribers
  • Create multiple social posts that can be scheduled throughout a week to drive engagement (remember to use relevant and colorful images with engaging copy)
  • Leverage a well-planned influencer outreach program to drive more traffic through social

It's an exciting time to be a legal marketer. There's room to make your brand shine in a unique light. As with all things marketing, hard work and perseverance will bring results.
 

Qorus

Qorus Software is a leading global provider of proposal and content management solutions for firms looking to simplify the way they do business. In a world that is growing increasingly complex, and with clients who continue to demand more for less, we believe that legal software should be intuitive and easy to use. Which is why our solutions are built on well-known Microsoft® tools like Word® and PowerPoint®. They're designed to be used across all departments of your firm, helping produce better proposals, RFP responses, contracts and reports – while decreasing non-billable time. Qorus is a proud Microsoft® partner, Primary Competency (Application Development) and Silver Cloud Competency. Click here for more information.

 
 
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