I recently did a blog post on content marketing, and I've now come accross a slideshare presentation done by Velocity, a UK business to business marketing firm. The presentation went viral, for good reason. I've embedded their presentation below if you're interested in viewing it in its entirety, but here are my take-aways.
Many of the points made in this slideshow struck me as particularly applicable to lawyers. Lawyers are busy enough as it is, but to compete in today's market, they'll have to start producing content - quality content - on top of everything else they already have to do to attract and serve clients. That means they need people who can create content - but not just any content: content their audiences (potential clients, existing clients, former clients, strategic partners and referral sources) will find valuable - and share-able.
As Velocity also points out, SEO agencies are going to be offering to develop content for clients, including lawyers. In my experience, many SEO companies already do a bit of that by offering to write web copy for lawyers. But is an SEO expert really the one you want developing content - particularly legal content - for your audiences?
As a lawyer, you're going to want not only "[p]eople who 'get' content, understand context and can actually produce things that audiences want to consume," but you are going to want content produced by someone who has a working knowledge or understanding of lawyers and legal concepts.
Perhaps Velocity's point can be reduced to the following mathematical equation:
Increased demand for content + inexperienced content creators = crap content.
The slideshow concludes with Velocity's 8 Principles of Great Content Brands (which your law firm must be in order to compete). They are:
Be the client Know your target audience and what their concerns are. What information are they looking for?
Be authoritative Talk about what you really know; don't add content just to add it - make sure you know it inside and out and can handle those kinds of matters
Be strategic What content are you producing, where will it be placed, how will it relate to other content, how will that content be shared and why?
Be prolific You'll need lots of content on a consistent basis.
Be passionate If you don't care about the issues you're writing about, why should anyone else? When you write with passion, readers can tell. If you're bored, that will also come through - and your audience will be bored, too.
Be tough on yourself Your content needs to show you in your best light and demonstrate your expertise. Don't settle for crappy content, and don't let laziness take over. Don't become a content machine or have content prepared by rote.