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A content marketing campaign can be a catalyst for growing your firm and building a solid reputation. Before jumping in head first, it’s smart to develop the right strategy and plan it out step by step. To get started, you should:
Lawyers, are you looking for tips to get your blog noticed in 2013? Look no further; these best practices will draw visitors and get them to stay, bookmark your page and hopefully come to your firm for legal representation.
Writing a successful blog in 2013 is all about making the content interesting and easily digestible. There are millions of blogs to read, so you want to make sure that yours doesn’t turn viewers off from a visual perspective — if a post looks too long, many consumers will simply navigate away from it. The best practices include:
Pithy is in these days when it comes to blog content, so organize your thoughts and get them on the page quickly. If you need to expand on a topic, just write another post!
On the Internet, people often scan blog posts before actually reading them. You need to consider your post’s overall composition, rather than simply thinking of it as a linear block of text. Indeed, blocks of text are often seen as incomprehensible and skipped over in favor of a well-organized piece. Informative sub-headings are useful for viewers to understand the gist of each blog. If they like what your subheadings have to say, they’ll read your posts.
Include at least one image in each blog post to break up the text. This image could be as simple as an evocative close-up, such as a line of police tape for criminal defense attorneys or a stock photo of a hospital operating room for medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago. You could also go the other direction and use a complex infographic to explain your position.
Either way, viewers want something that breaks up the text, so they can get an additional level of nonverbal understanding from your blog. All the image has to say is “this is about criminal law” or “this is about corporate fraud,” but more creative images often provide better page view results.
In today’s blogging world, short is usually the best way to go. If you want your posts to be read by all, make them fit within a 300- to 600-word limit. Any shorter, and it feels unprofessional or poorly planned, but any longer, and it might turn off your audience.
As an attorney, don’t fall behind your competitors’ blog traffic. Use the best practices, write interesting articles, and you’re sure to get plenty of Web visitors and client conversions.
During the 20th century, statisticians and marketing researchers perfected techniques borrowed from the hard sciences in order to collect and analyze data more efficiently. Today, law firm leaders rely on this highly accurate statistical data in order to guide and refine their marketing campaigns. Before using statistical data in a marketing campaign, it’s important to understand how the two different forms of data gathering, experiments and observational studies, are used.
Observational studies are generally used to find correlations between a variable and an outcome. True to their name, these types of studies rely on personal observation and data gathering. All collected data is analyzed using statistical methods in order to reach a conclusion about a marketing question. Deciding on a marketing or research question ahead of time will help to guide observations.
For example, a DUI lawyer in Harrisburg might be interested in exploring if there are differences in how women and men experience the case adjudication process. The results of this research could be used to refine marketing materials so they appeal to individuals based not only on their legal need but also on their gender.
Law firm leaders can also use experimental research in order to gather marketing data. In this type of research, a hypothesis is tested in order to determine how an effect is related to one or more variables. In order to conduct experimental research, firm leaders must have a strong understanding of the scientific method.
Keep in mind that this type of research is best when used in situations where interfering variables can be controlled. For instance, a marketer might want to study whether potential clients react more positively to postcard-style ads or folded brochures. Remember that regardless of the type of statistical research being conducted, staying neutral and carefully recording results is key to garnering accurate data.
Changing gears a bit, check back again two weeks from today for information on the role of Google Analytics in online statistics!
Once you’ve implemented all the design, coding and other SEO elements to optimize your firm’s site for online marketing, the hardest job is to continue producing content. Not just any content will do — you need to have quality content if you want to acquire a following and achieve success on the Web.
There are several different elements to quality content. While writing is still more of an art than a science, there are certain aspects that consistently draw in viewers and potential clients. Whether you’re an intestate administration attorney in Phoenix or a bankruptcy attorney in Brooklyn, you should make sure your content:
Quality content is the core of any successful online marketing strategy. Everything else is just details. If you want your firm to draw plenty of business, make sure you’ve got your core online marketing practices set!
While hashtags are a relatively new phenomenon, there is no denying their power and popularity among social media users. The concept of hashtags originated organically on Twitter but has since spread to many other social media sites. It’s important anyone involved in your law firm’s social media efforts understands the fundamentals of how they work and why they can be beneficial to your firm’s marketing campaign.
In a nutshell, hashtags consist of a numerical sign (#) that’s followed by a keyword. They are typically inserted at the end of a social media post and are a simple way to categorize content. From there, people can search hashtags to narrow down their searches and find relevant content. This means that social media users can quickly access content on nearly any topic.
By using this technique, you can conveniently market your firm and get found by potential clients. A Memphis divorce lawyer might insert hashtags like #divorce or #childcustody into a post concerning these topics to quickly increase their exposure on Twitter or Facebook. From there, prospective clients who search for these hashtags could find those posts, which could lead to re-posts and more followers if the content quality is high enough.
Another benefit is the large volume of social media users that click on hashtags. According to Marketing Pilgrim, studies have shown that 41.8 percent of people will click on them to explore new content, which is tangible proof of their power. Since the process of creating hashtags is incredibly quick and easy, it only makes sense that your law firm should take advantage.
In addition, you can sometimes create a buzz around your law firm when you capitalize on current trends. If you get one of your hashtags featured on Twitter’s trending list — which is admittedly very difficult — this can result in massive exposure overnight. If this happens, you can expect a dramatic boost in both your number of followers and traffic to your website, which can help you generate plenty of leads.
Benchmarking consists of making a set of milestones for an advertising campaign. It is arguably the most essential part of tracking the success of your SEM campaigns, as without a set of benchmarks, you will not even be able to talk about whether you’ve succeeded or failed. Success is defined by benchmarks.
There are two types of benchmarks — internal and external. Internal benchmarks consist of measuring success against previous results. If you receive 25 percent more click-throughs from organic search this month than last month, your SEM campaign is succeeding from the standpoint of an internal benchmark.
Conversely, external benchmarks consist of measuring success against the market. If you receive 25 percent more click-throughs but your industry grew by 50 percent, then you have actually failed from the standpoint of an external benchmark.
On one hand, external benchmarking helps you get out of the erroneous belief that you exist in a vacuum. It can help your business become more competitive if you realize that you aren’t growing fast enough and that other firms in your field are taking your customers. External benchmarking is also arguably more objective, as it is measured against something outside the purview of your company.
That said, external benchmarking can cause you to forget the fundamentals of running your company. If you spend too much time chasing competitors, you run the risk of overlooking investing in important marketing and service infrastructures. Internal benchmarks are more predictable from year to year. Most analysts recommend a a mix of internal and external benchmarks.
Success is defined in relation to benchmarks. But who sets the benchmarks? As the business owner, it is your job to define success and to perform to that level. You need to gauge success in a way that meets your operational goals.
Do you want to become the pre-eminent resource for information about Social Security Disability in Charleston? Do you want to keep pace with the market? Do you want to focus on fundamentals and worry about growth and market share later? The answer to these questions will not only help you determine whether to use internal or external benchmarks; they will help you choose the specific benchmarks to measure your firm by.
Using external benchmarks to define your firm’s success can encourage you to redouble your efforts to improve your company’s SEM standing in the face of competition, which can be important if you are in a competitive legal environment such as New York City, Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles. They are an excellent tool to use if you want to push yourself to bring your law firm’s operations and online reach to the next level.
Google’s own social network has traveled far from its fledgling status this past year. It has more than 200 million active members and 300,000 brands with accounts, and is Google+ is rapidly coming of age with an impressive array of features. Many of these features focus on dynamic social interaction and collaboration, which seems to be a salient point for the company behind the social network. Google+ wants to entice members who want to get things done and thus are more likely to stay logged in — but it can be hard for new users to connect with others. That’s where Find People on Plus comes in.
Marketing success on Google+ is all about joining and targeting the right circles. Legal professionals who set up a business profile for the first time will find the usual tools to discover and invite current contacts to join them in Google+, but this has a limited effect on the expansion of social circles.
Find People on Plus is a third-party site that takes advantage of the Google+ application programming interface (API) to offer a comprehensive member directory. The default offering is a list of the most popular users on Google+ such as pop singer Britney Spears and astronaut Ron Garan. Users have many options to browse, search and filter the directory by age, university affiliation, employer, occupation, city and more. The service makes connecting with others much easier on Google+, which means those new to the social platform are more likely to stay and become active members.
Google+ is still in a maturing stage, which makes it perfect for legal professionals who practice niche marketing strategies. An attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases can build up an early audience with the right number of followers in well-defined circles that will naturally expand as more people join Google+. In fact, the Google+ Communities are some of the best marketing tools available to legal professionals now.
Google will probably enhance its own social network search so that attorneys and other members can easily build their own circles, but this does not mean that great third-party tools based on the Google+ API will stop being developed. Find People on Plus is likely just the beginning here — the pioneer leading the way!
Social Media Mondays is a CaseDetails.com series covering different topics in the social media world on a weekly basis. Check back every Monday for more news on social media and useful information on how law firms can use social platforms to their advantage.
According to Internet traffic data compiled by Adobe and Google, approximately 20 percent of all Internet traffic in the United States now takes place on mobile browsers. Smartphones are being used in greater numbers compared to tablets, but that trend is bound to see a reversal later this year: Tablets are expected to account for 10 percent of all Web traffic in 2014.
The figures above should remind modern legal professionals that their Internet presence should be optimized for mobile browsing, but there are other factors to keep in mind. Mobile browsing will one day be as common as desktop browsing; to this end, it is important to consider the behavioral and experiential differences between the two.
Instant access is the first aspect to consider with regard to mobile browsing. Smartphones and tablets are always on and ready for duty, and this makes them more attractive to users who wish to quickly look up information even if they are at home. In fact, 70 percent of tablet owners browse exclusively from home. For this reason, it is imperative that legal professionals optimize their websites by using a responsive design.
Mobile sites must not only conform to various screen sizes; they must also provide a browsing experience that adjusts to various devices. In this sense, the mobile website of a Pensacola domestic violence lawyer should not offer as many touch-and-tap options as its desktop version. This entails giving mobile users more pixel space between areas of the screen they can touch, which makes the site easier to navigate.
The desktop browsing experience is more comfortable with regard to visibility and practicality. Desktop browsers invite collecting information, opening several sites, clicking on multiple links, drag-and-drop functionality and customizing the overall Web browsing experience. Reading, however, is an activity that users seem to enjoy on tablets more than on desktop systems; this should prompt legal professionals to increase the quality and quantity of content on their websites in order to appeal to all platforms and devices.