Your law firm website is the core of your marketing efforts. Yet it’s easy to take it for granted. We know how it goes — you spend time and trouble getting it to work like you want, and then you move on to more urgent things. But, really, constant attention is needed to keep your website working for you. Sayre Happich has good ideas for doing just that, from the experts at the 2013 Legal Marketing Technology/West.
1. Draw a Picture
“Most legal issues are complex and can benefit from visual illustration,” says Kerstin Firmin, Creative Manager at The Bar Association of San Francisco. “When done right, infographics can communicate information extremely well.”
Firmin offered tips on “Websites and Great Content” along with Robert Algeri and Scott Mozarsky at the recent 2013 Legal Marketing Technology/West, sponsored by the Legal Marketing Association Bay Area Chapter and The Bar Association of San Francisco.
What type of information can a law firm turn into an infographic — and how do you get that data? Firmin suggests looking at your firm’s press releases, client successes and PowerPoint presentations, as well as any firm or industry data you may track internally on spreadsheets. And don’t forget to check your website’s Google Analytics reports.
For example, let’s say your firm represented 100 clients last year. Of those 100, 55 clients were represented in workers’ compensation cases, 25 were employment cases and the remaining 20 clients were discrimination cases. You could use those numbers to create a pie chart showing potential clients the types of cases you handle. You could include the locations and types of business that were involved, and then break down the information to include success rates in each area of practice.
All this data can be turned into an infographic that would be much more engaging than a spreadsheet or a bunch of words on your website.
No creative person on staff? Sites such as Infogr.am and Visual.ly will automatically generate infographics for you.
One easy place to apply infographics to your website is on your attorney profile pages. Visualize.me will take your LinkedIn resume and turn it into a quick infographic.
Be sure to search for “Legal Infographics” on Pinterest to see how other firms are using them in their marketing.
2. Out with “Practice Area” Pages, In with “Emerging Issues”
Robert Algeri of Great Jakes Marketing Company says firms should just stop trying to improve their practice area pages and focus on “emerging issues” pages instead. Algeri defined emerging issues as those that:
- Are just arriving on your client’s radar.
- Can change the shape of an industry.
- Can be profitable for your firm.
Natural disasters or catastrophic events fall under the emerging issues category. For example, New Jersey’s Nelson Levine has a dedicated web page for emerging issues, and last year rolled out a Hurricane Sandy microsite for its clients. By packaging existing resources into a single location and then pushing out content, the firm was able to position itself as an authority in the disaster.
3. Create a “Content Culture” at Your Firm
A continual flow of good information from your firm means your content will be shared more, and flow widely into the social media ecosystem, says Scott Mozarsky, UBM Tech’s chief commercial officer. The challenge is getting lawyers to participate in developing that good content. Mozarsky suggests encouraging a “content culture,” and getting the most use out of the content you are able to produce:
- Share data with other lawyers in your firm about the ROI of content marketing.
- Remember, the more you publish — and the more lawyers who write — the more your firm will be known as the go-to resource on a particular subject.
- Make it easy. Lawyers like to draft documents based on prior work product or templates — and it makes them more productive. The same applies when writing for content marketing purposes.
- Use and re-use content in different formats —blog posts, videos, white papers and slide presentations.
Creating good content isn’t enough, though. You have to push it out as well, says Mozarsky:
- Share on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Research publications and websites that might syndicate your articles.
- Reach out to the news media. You can be quoted or used as a resource for a story. (Tip: You can find most reporters on Twitter.)
Mozarsky also suggests “newsjacking” as a simple way any attorney can inject ideas and participate in online conversations about breaking news.
Sayre Happich is the Assistant Director of Communications and Social Media Manager at The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF), where she has been since 2004. Sayre manages the BASF’s website, monthly newspaper, bimonthly e-newsletters and public relations efforts. She also heads up the organization’s social media efforts, @SFbar.
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