More than Keywords: Three Ways Content can increase your Professional Firm's Visibility
Marketing is no longer about who’s got enough money to scream the loudest and most frequently. Today’s most successful professional service organizations use something far more efficient. Inbound marketing attracts customers through offering relevant and helpful content.
You’ve got to sit and wonder about the money. Your competitor is all over TV. There are the billboards and the print ads. And then there’s social media. It’s not possible to hit one of the networks without the competition showing up in your feed. How do you outspend that?
Maybe you shouldn’t even try. Think about it for a second. You can’t blink without seeing your competitor’s ads. If it’s a successful marketing strategy, why does it go on month after month? They’d have to triple or quadruple the number of lawyers in the firm. Perhaps, the only successful thing they’ve done is pick the right keywords. Take a closer look. Is all this marketing an outbound push? If that’s the case, you’ve got a powerful way to elevate your voice above theirs.
Focus on Inbound Marketing
Marketing is no longer about who’s got enough money to scream the loudest and most often. Today’s most successful professional service organizations use something far more efficient. Inbound marketing attracts customers through offering relevant and helpful content. This content adds more value at every stage. You don’t fight for attention. You don’t talk about yourself – at least not much. You focus on content that helps prospects understand their problem and put it into perspective. This content builds trust and credibility for your law firm. Here’s how.
1. Use Content as a Discovery Tool That Establishes Your Firm as a Thought Leader
Your competitor is doing an admirable job of attention-getting. But what are they accomplishing? If their marketing message is all about the results they achieve, isn’t that a lot like prescribing medicine before you even examine the patient?
Effective inbound marketing is always created for the benefit of the customer. While that might sound obvious, it’s not. And that’s because the customer doesn’t really care about what you or your firm can do for them until they’re convinced that you understand their problem.
Your content has to be focused on their problem, and not your solution. Don’t worry. You’ll have content which works on that as prospects move along to become potential customers. At first, though, prospects are looking for ways to validate their problem or pain point. They’re searching for an organization that says, “Yes, your problem is real and valid. By the way, here’s some perspective to help you understand it even more deeply.”
Notice that the purpose of this content offers no part of a solution? That’s key. Prospects want two things:
- Validation and a much deeper understanding of the problem they have
- To feel as if they participated in obtaining perspective, and in discovering that you are a subject matter expert
Ultimately, as they move through the process created by inbound marketing, they’ll come across content that describes your approach and solution. They’ll be highly receptive to it because you’ve offered valuable guidance. They trust you.
2. Get This Content in Front of Your Prospects
Here’s where you’ll have a bit in common with your competitor. All of this excellent content created to validate prospects’ problems, help them gain perspective, and prove that you are an expert in solving this problem has to be seen by people. Your competitor may just be driving people to their website, which is set up to deliver shock and awe – but it probably has little or no ability to answer one very important question.
Meanwhile, your website is rich with information. There are articles that go deeply into the process of offering perspective on the types of problems your firm specializes in solving. There are eBooks that can be downloaded, which take a prospect step by step through the process of how the problem they have can be resolved. There are webinars where people can sign up to hear members of your team talk about how to prepare to solve a problem.
There’s everything a prospect needs to gain trust, determine that your firm is an expert, and ask you to solve their problem.
Is all of this accomplished with bidding on keywords? Absolutely not. In fact, most of it has little to do with banner networks or campaigns on social media sites. It has quite a lot to do with actually using those sites so that you are digitally rubbing elbows with your prospects.
For that, you’ve got to be a sleuth. Where are your prospects gathering online? Offer to write guest articles on sites where they congregate. Participate in forums and online discussion groups where they go for information. Establish which social media networks they prefer and start introducing the people who make up your firm. Participation in all these cases will engage prospects. “Hey, I hear you. I get your problem. I can help you understand it better.”
Meanwhile, your competitor is just doing more of the same: digital trumpeting. Good luck with that.
3. Say Goodbye to Your Digital Brochure
Unfortunately, that’s what most professional service organizations use their website for. Your site has a better use for this digital space. You’ve set up your content to be in service of inbound marketing, which means you’ll also be using areas of your site for specific landing pages that measure the effectiveness of your offers and calls to action.
No one will get sent to your index page. That’s like inviting someone over for dinner and telling them that the meal will be served after they get in the kitchen and cook it. You’re the expert, remember? You’re building trust. That means you’re going to serve people exactly what they want while making them feel like they discovered it by themselves.
Let your competitor keep talking about how awesome they are. When was the last time you trusted and did business with someone who used that approach to get your business? It’s not the way the world works – online or not.
And, yes, all the content you’ll need for your website to be converted into an inbound marketing machine is considerable. It can’t be static, either. People will consume it and want more. You have to be a part of it, but you can and should find an expert partner to help you create it.
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