Marketing for Lawyers – How to Make your Law Firm Blog a Powerful Tool – Part 2
Marketing for Lawyers – How to Make your Law Firm Blog a Powerful Tool
Justice David Majanja in 2013 made a ruling which held that Rule 2 of the Advocates (Practice) Rules against direct or indirect touting and advertising of legal services was unconstitutional insofar as it constituted a complete ban on advertising. The LSK immediately afterwards published the new rules following a High Court order in March same year where it ruled that a complete ban of advertising was unconstitutional. Now, Most people, probably from TV depictions, imagine law to be glamorous. The fact is that law involves mountains of paperwork and technical details for the most part. Depending on which country you live in, it can be a tedious process working your way through the legal system and its peculiarities. And as result, barring them from the advertising market doesn’t sound so fair after all.
This is where you will find that Marketing for lawyers and legal firms should be more than just advertising. For the so called forward looking legal practices, blogging as we had indicated in part 1 (you can locate it here) they will definitely add some flair to it beyond just blogging.
Of course, they might choose to add podcasts, video or other media into the mix to keep things interesting – but words are powerful, and it can be good to start there.
Blogging for Lawyers Requires A Little (just a touch) SEO Knowledge… sorry.
I’m not going to give you a massive tutorial on search engine optimisation. After all, you’re a lawyer and if you wanted to know all about SEO, that you would probably be in a different industry.
However, despite the love affair with social media, the fact is that search engines still provide a far greater chance of you getting relevant, targeted traffic to your site.
But there are some absolute basics that you should be aware of, and not just leave in the hands of your marketing team (if you’re lucky enough to have one!).
Here are some SEO basics to get you on the right track:
- Your article heading doesn’t need to be the same as your “SEO title” – you can think of what sounds better for your blog readers and use that, but use something more likely to be searched for by your clients for your SEO title; e.g. Marketing for Lawyers.
- Make sure you have a short excerpt which delivers a snapshot of what your piece is about, to go into the search engine results (using any simple SEO plugin list Yoast makes this easy)
- Don’t go nuts with keywords – if you’re writing about “financial law” I don’t want to read “financial law” in every single sentence. Just aim for making it clear what the article is about. That might include, ideally, using your keyword:
- in the SEO title and/or the Blog title
- in your opening paragraph
- in your image descriptions
- throughout your text.
- Just as there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s usually more than one phrase related to your keyword – feel free to use closely related phrases throughout your text.
- Make your article topic fairly narrow, but deal with it comprehensively (see above). Basically, you want to deliver the absolutely best piece of content you can on a particular topic that someone you choose is likely to be looking for.
- You’ve probably heard this one before: write for people, not for search engines. At the end of the day, content that’s valuable to people (the right people) will get shared, linked and generate enquiries. Content that’s not valuable, impossible to read or transparently focused on keyword stuffing won’t.
Naturally there are a million other SEO tactics (some good, some bad) that lawyers could use, for I am pretty sure you are already thinking of something, but these simple strategies should help you out without you having to go insane trying to get everything 100% right.
When Should Lawyers Publish Their Blog Posts?
I don’t care what anybody says – there’s no right answer to this question.
Common “wisdom” says Monday morning is best, because people aren’t yet frazzled enough and they’re trying to avoid starting work. But then, if everyone does that won’t your post get lost in the noise?
Lunch times can be good if people are working at their desks.
Evenings are sometimes good as people sit down for social media.
Here’s the easiest thing to do: try something for a while and see what happens. Mark the trends and maximize on optimal engagement.
If you decide to publish twice a week, the try publishing at 7:00am Monday morning, and 7:00am Thursday morning for a while.
Then change it up, and move one of the times. Then the day. And, of course, you can try different things at different times.
However if you’re paying attention to your email marketing software and your social media accounts, you’ll be able to get a good picture of what’s happening. The information available to you is huge, and you’ll be able to see:
- when your readers are online
- when people open your emails
- which emails do well
- when your site gets the most traffic
These statistics will help you refine and test other iterations of your plan, until you have something that works for you.
But this kind of question can hold people up for weeks while they try to find the “perfect” posting schedule. It doesn’t exist – just publish.
The current Computer and Cybercrimes law which has many loosely framed offences and aims to further limit freedom of expression brought in a number of media player to engage with lawyers in the manner in which some of the offences are framed, many bloggers and social media influencers may get arrested. The Bloggers Association of Kenya BAKE, ran litigation workshops in Kenya to defend bloggers and other online media amongst the participants being lawyers, in partnership with Media Defense and aimed to support the development and understanding of the right to freedom of expression and digital rights. Now you know that to “publish” is not just a small point and click button.
Sharing is Caring
OK so you’ve got your blog topics chosen, you know your audience, and you’re comfortable with the SEO basics that your law firm needs. What next?
Now you need to hit publish.
Once you’ve done that, you probably want to share, and here’s where it can get powerful. Let’s start with the basics:
- send an email to your email marketing list with the article or a link to it (only the people who care about this topic please, and if you haven’t segmented your list then DO IT);
- publish on your law firm’s social media pages.
This is about all that most lawyers do with their blogs. But what if you could do more?
What if you then:
- published the blog again on LinkedIn
- made a video of the blog
- recorded the audio of the blog as a podcast
- published the blog on Medium
- had all of your relevant staff share the post as well?
This last one is powerful. If every lawyer in your firm has 300 connections on LinkedIn, and 5 of them share the article, that’s automatically another 1500 potential readers.
If another 10 of those people share it, then that’s another 3000 potential connections (4500 now).
And so on, and so forth.
This is the power of social media, but for some reason most firm’s don’t leverage their most powerful asset: their own lawyers’ connections. Take advantage and leverage your connections for you never know which customer is on your friends twitter feeds.