Is Content Strategy as Scary as it Sounds?

Blogs are a hot topic for legal in today’s digital and content landscape. Any conversation with a client or partner makes this clear to see. However, feedback on the issue isn’t all good. There is a real mix of both success and nightmares when it comes to blogging. So what exactly is happening and what can be done to improve it?

There will always be a number of variables that affect the success of blogs but to minimise the chances that people will not read them, unsubscribe or both, it’s a good idea to have a content strategy.

 

It seems surprising, but recent research shows that content strategy is not taken seriously in the legal sector. Recently, Zeughauser Group and Greentarget released The 2015 State of Digital and Content Marketing Survey. The report gives a comprehensive view on what in-house counsel and legal marketers think of the current state of the digital world for legal marketing success.

 

The report found that only 13% of content marketing strategy is documented.

 

Marketing and Business Development teams in law firms rely on content from their attorneys in order to drive sales and pipeline within the business. Verbal confirmation of any plan is a good start, but people forget and other priorities take over. If strategies are documented, there is a far greater impetus to work towards and improve them.

 

With content marketing strategies being treated in such a way, it is perhaps not surprising that other worrying statistics have been revealed:

 

Since 2014 there has been a 10% decrease in in house counsel finding blog content credible. Understanding your audience is a huge part in content marketing success. With so much inbox and social noise currently out there it is important to target recipients with relevant and timely content in order to drive engagement, especially when 30% of in house counsel do not visit law firm blogs. An ability to understand what needs to change and the flexibility to affect the change is vital. This is far easier with a content strategy in place.

 

So is it all bad news?

 

Not exactly. Whilst engagement levels in the world of legal content are less than desirable, there has been an increase in investment, suggesting a real desire for improvement. 2015 saw 43% of CMOs increase budget for content marketing. But increasing resources has not ameliorated engagement rates. Effort needs to be put into looking at how this investment can be used most effectively. In essence, law firms need to strategise when it comes to content.

 

Making a content marketing strategy does not necessarily mean starting from scratch. In my next blog, I will consider how a content success chain can be utilised to ensure a comprehensive and effective strategy can be achieved.