In our second installment of Wondering Wednesdays, I answer the question "What is content marketing, and how can I use it successfully?"

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Content marketing is defined by the Content Marketing Institute as creating and curating valuable content to attract and retain clients. I would take it a step further and add that it’s also to become known as a thought leader, who is the go-to source for a particular subject. 

CMI says that it’s the

art of communicating with your [clients] and prospects without selling…Instead of pitching your…service, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent." 

With that said, my three tips for content marketing success (these are by no means exclusive) are: 

  • Focus on your audience: You want to make sure that any content you deliver is focused on what your audience cares about (so you have to know who they are, and what that is). This includes news items with commentary, the latest legal updates, how something might impact them, etc. 

    If you’re concerned that content marketing is giving too much information away for free, and clients won’t want to hire you if you’re doing that, think of it like being a doctor – just because someone can check their symptoms and "self-diagnose" after looking at WebMD doesn’t mean that people stop going to the doctor, who can work with them on THEIR symptoms and with THEIR medical history. Your clients and potential clients are the same. 
     

  • Know what content marketing ISN’T: Content marketing isn’t press releases, advertisements or news stories that announce that an attorney is quoted in an article. These things have their value as part of a full marketing package, but they’re not content. With everything you publish, you should be asking yourself "why does this matter? Why does my audience care about this?"
     
  • Repurpose what you’re already getting paid to do: Instead of worrying that you need to come up with original content, repurpose the things you’re already getting paid to do: 
    • Often-asked questions from clients: Take those questions that you can address in a couple of paragraphs, and share them in a blog post. 
    • Conferences you’ve attended: If you’re attending a CLE session, use your notes to write a brief blog post with the salient points. 
    • Speaking engagements: Take your presentations from speaking engagements and turn these into a post or series of posts. 
    • News items: Take the articles that you would formerly mail or email to a client with your two sentences on how it might impact them, and turn that into a post or article. 

      Each of these things is taking the work you’re already doing, and multiplying it – instead of you having to go out and market and network yourself, this is doing that for you without you even having to be there. 

Please add your tips for content marketing success in the comments, or let us know what you’re "wondering" about for our next Wondering Wednesday!