What will our personal BD plans for the next quarter look like? Pt 1: Content marketing

24 Jun 2020

Theoretically, this is probably the easiest part of the series to write!  The short answer is it isn’t going to change; your clients will still need updates on what’s relevant/important to them, they’ll still need to access your latest thinking and they’ll still need alerts as to what could be about to impact on them.  Blogging and email updates will almost certainly remain the easiest and most cost-effective way to deliver that content.

There are, however, a few refinements you may want to bear in mind:

1. Format

As soon as the current restrictions kicked in the volume of content being produced by lawyers, accountants and patent and trade mark attorneys mushroomed.  It seemed that overnight professionals in all disciplines finally managed to shrug off the shyness that had prevented them from writing before (despite years of encouragement from their marketing teams!) and we were treated to a seemingly endless conveyor belt of news, insight and updates.

The result is many of us have now read out.

Instead of continuing to publish traditional blogs and articles, think instead about mixing in some video.  It’s been repeatedly proven that people are much more likely to watch a short video than read an article and if you don’t believe me, here are some interesting stats from May 2020:

55% of consumers view online videos every day.

54% of consumers want to see more video from the companies they are interested in.

66% of marketers receive more enquiries when they use video.

93% of marketing campaigns land at least one new client when they use video.

And if you think it’s going away, it isn’t; mobile video consumption is rising by 100% every year.

In terms of the types of video professional services marketers should be thinking about we’d suggest there are 2 options.  The first is a talking head.  Film a fee earner talking about or 2 fee earners discussing a current issue (this could be one point made in a recent blog to make it easier) in a minute or just over. 

If you make the point, explain its potential impact then offer a practical solution to either minimise or maximise its effect, that’s enough.  With video, bite sized chunks definitely work best.

Or you can look at infographics.  A short animated video that highlights the key points relating to a current issue over a series of images are easy on the eye, easy to follow and easy to digest.  Better still, you no longer have to engage the services of Aardman Animation.  There are loads of free apps online that will put videos together for you in minutes.

2. Approach

Having said that many firms have massively upped their content production, there is a ‘but’ …

… a lot of it has been really dull.  Many blogs have just been an excuse to shoehorn COVID or coronavirus into a headline in a rather obvious attempt to court SEO results.  Don’t get me wrong in the first few weeks of the pandemic these updates were important.  With so much uncertainty around we needed all the guidance and direction we could get.  However, as things begin to settle simply rewriting the news with a bit of a slant towards the most relevant practice areas is no longer a viable content marketing strategy.

Instead we’d suggest new pieces of content should be based around two principles:

(i) Optimism:  We’re starting to see the first real shots of a restart now so concentrate on the good news and leave the doom and gloom to Sky and the BBC!  Report what’s working, where you think the opportunities are and examples of recovery you’ve seen first-hand. 

(ii) Practicality:  And once you’ve identified the good news, explain to your readers what they need to do to take full advantage.  Clients and contacts are looking to you for advice so your blogs have to provide that in straightforward, practical, understandable and implementable steps.

3. Visibility

Sometimes lawyers and accountants feel a bit wary of entering into what they see as ‘clickbait’ territory.  However, the internet is going to be our primary lead generating medium for quite a few months.  This means you are going to have to pay closer attention to search trends and key words if your content is going to stand the best chance of getting found as the volume of content being produced by law firms and accountancy practise continues to grow.

Your usage of course should never be as blatant as ‘7 things that will make your business go bust in the new normal’ but you should be incorporating current hard-pulling search terms in your headlines (preferably in the form of questions) and making sure that you have an even but subtle sprinkling of key words in your body copy.   

4. Response

At the end of the day you are producing content to elicit a response so make it easy to respond.  Add as many response mechanisms as you can and tell people what they’re going to get when they do respond.   

There are a number of other considerations we could suggest so if you’d like to discuss how to refresh your firm or chambers’ content marketing strategy please email me at douglas@tenandahalf.co.uk and we can find a time to chat.


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