The marketing community is abuzz with discussions about content marketing. It’s a term that lawyers don’t hear often enough, and I can count on one hand the number of lawyers who market in this fashion. It’s a shame, really – because effective legal marketing should always be content marketing.
So what IS content marketing, anyway? Wikipedia tells us:
Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. In contrast to traditional marketing methods that aim to increase sales or awareness through interruption techniques, content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty better than traditional marketing techniques.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about what content marketing means to lawyers. It means:
- Give Really Useful Stuff To Your Prospects And They Will Be More Likely To Hire You
- Give More Useful Stuff To Seal The Deal
- Keep Giving Them Useful Stuff So They Remain Clients
- Give Them Extra Stuff So They Refer Friends And Family
I teach my students about the concept of the tractor beam. This is a piece of content – a free report, a DVD, a CD, a book, a teleseminar … a “thing” – that is given away to people at no cost and no obligation.
When they get it, they’re more likely to respect you as an authority in the market.
Other great marketers have called it by other names – a money magnet, a widget, a lead generation piece – but to me it’s always been something that is so powerful that a prospect almost has no choice but to grab onto it. Kind of like how the Millenium Falcon couldn’t escape the grip of the Death Star (except this is a non-evil thing and we don’t have that much ominous music).
Smart lawyers do this through blogging, optimized article marketing, audio delivery mechanisms, teleseminars, videos, email marketing, newsletters, TV, radio, webinars and social media. It’s the cornerstone of what I teach, and at the heart of any successful marketing campaign.
After all, educating the prospect results in your recognition as a thought leader and industry expert.
Done right, content marketing makes all marketing options make more sense. It lets you see the opportunities as, “What can I give to prospects and clients, and how can I make it work for me?” It’s not easy, and it’s not quick – creating and repurposing content is simple once you know how to do it right, but the learning curve is a steep one. On the plus side, it allows for a comprehensive “set it and forget it” marketing plan that pays dividends for years to come.
And that’s cool.
How do YOU engage in content marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!