Things have been a wee bit hectic around here, so I’m late in getting the final installment of my re-cap of Adrian Lurssen and John Hellerman’s excellent webinar published. But better late than never, right?
The last section of the webinar was dedicated to the topic "Follow the Numbers." What does that mean? Well, you can tell by looking at analytics what people are interested in. (And good titles help encourage people’s interest).
Topics that show high readership can be leveraged elsewhere by firms – they can pitch news stories on them, create roundtables, and put together recurring article series. If something is hot, you should do multiple pieces of content around it.
Analytics on your own content can help you to see what people are interested in among the articles that you’ve already written, but how else can you see what’s out there? Adrian recommended using the Google drop down menu – when you start to type in a search, Google fills in what’s most popular in that topic area:
What is going to be of most interest will be particular to your firm, and you know what your firm is good at. Keep looking for keywords – really solid language to use in titles – that’s what people are searching for.
Then, go to Google Adwords, where you can see who’s interested in what, and how interested they are.
Google Adwords also tells you how much competition there is, so you can start piecing together a sense of what people are interested in, and the language they use to search on it.
Adrian and John took questions at the end of the webinar, and the first was on the usefulness of an editorial calendar. The person asking the question was concerned that it would simply prompt attorneys to write for the sake of writing, and not because they had something interesting and engaging to say.
John said that he’s balanced this by creating broad categories for his editorial calendar, which allows him to choose something timely to comment on within those categories. For example, they have "Monday Media," "Tuesday Tweet," a rotating column on Wednesdays that changes week to week, and their thought leadership piece on Thursdays.
He cautioned not to let the editorial calendar shoehorn the attorneys into topics.
Adrian added that for JD Supra, their calendar is currently week by week right now, and is always hectic between timely news and evergreen content. Firms need to develop interest in their blogs through timely content, which will have a limited shelf life, and balance that with evergreen content, which will be topics that are always of interest.
He said that firms needs to find time to engage with an audience when they’re interested, but not engaged with a lot of other sources.
Engaging Language versus Scholarly Analysis
The final question from the audience centered around the battle between using engaging language (which many attorneys consider to be unprofessional) and scholarly analysis (which many audiences might consider to be too dry). John and Adrian agreed that it has to be about the audience and using the language that they use.
But it can also be about the attorney’s comfort level – if an attorney is more comfortable writing something that looks like mini case law, that can continue, but the attorneys need to widen what that looks like.
Attorneys are born for this online environment, and they just need to see what they’re doing work, and then they’ll be convinced.
I’m very much looking forward to JD Supra’s next webinar!