This Two for Tuesdays finds me in Budapest! I am visiting with one of our member firms to meet their partners and have some one-on-one time to discuss the ILN and how they can make the most of their membership.
Lucky for you, I set up my blog posts for this week prior to flying out of town. For today’s Two for Tuesdays, I’m focused on content marketing – we know what it is and why we should be doing it (if you don’t, please see me after class). But what are some ideas for what we can do for content marketing?
Since this month has been focused on the idea of "refreshing" our marketing, today, I’m bringing you two tips for refreshing new ways to do content marketing!
Thanks to Drew Hubbard on iMedia Connection, we have this brilliant list of suggestions to draw from. I’m going to take two of his ideas and look at how we in the legal industry can use them.
Tip One: Create a Top Ten List
Finding a balance between being "fresh" with your content and being professional can be a difficult tightrope for lawyers and law firms, and lists are a great way to do that. People love lists, and creating them is a fairly simple and quick way to create content.
Obviously, lists do quite well on blogs, but you can also use them in presentations, client alerts, articles, etc. The idea here is to take five to ten things about some part of your practice, and share them in a way that is relatable for your audience.
Some examples of legal lists are:
- Technology M&A in 2014: 10 issues to consider (Part I)
- 5 Ways to Protect your Business from a Cyber Attack
- Employers, don’t commit these 5 firing faux pas!
- 3 Changes in Europe’s Energy Policy that Offer Lessons and Opportunities for the Middle East
- Trademark Roundup: Top 5 ESPN Trademarks
As you can see from this list, there are a variety of practice areas represented, and range in number from three to ten items in each. Take a look at what you might consider the top three-five questions you get from your clients regularly (that you can answer in a general sort of way, not in a client-specific way) and write up a quick list to share.
Then, take these lists and use them everywhere – post them to your blog, use them in your next presentation (or presentation proposal), send out a client alert, etc. It won’t take you long to put them together, they will be easily readable for your audiences, and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.
Tip Two: Think Outside of the Box
One of my most favorite lines from my early legal marketing days was when I heard someone say that lawyers want to be first to be second – and it’s my favorite because it’s proven true again and again. The things that make lawyers excellent at their profession, such as caution, can often hinder great marketing and business development.
But this week, you’re going to think outside the box and create some content that will make you memorable and be easily shared. For that, we’re going to consider two of the ideas from the above referenced post.
Idea One: Brand a Meme
Don’t panic if you don’t know what a "meme" is (and for the record, it’s pronounced "meem"). Hubbard tells us:
‘Meme’ has become almost synonymous with ‘image macro.’ But since image macros are frequently the most popular types of memes, we’ll use them interchangeably here, if that’s OK with you. For clarification, Wikipedia says that an image macro is ‘is an image superimposed with text for humorous effect,’ which is what I’m talking about here. Popular memes include ‘Keep calm and carry on,’ ‘Not sure if Fry,’ and ‘Scumbag Steve.’ But there are thousands, and a few of them are even funny. Spend an hour on http://knowyourmeme.com/ or http://www.reddit.com/r/memes, and you’ll be up to speed."
I know what you’re thinking – that we start to skirt dangerously close to the line between "professional" and "funny" here. Yes, it’s possible to start to stray over that line, but I have faith in all of you that you know where it is, and how to navigate it professionally and with creativity.
Give it some thought – how can you adapt one of the memes you’ve seen to fit your practice area? How about "Keep calm and litigate on?" or "The litigation team at x law firm says ‘Come at me, bro!’" It’s possible to be clever and deliver your message, without being questionable or offensive. Come up with your meme idea, buy some images to use, and get to editing – it will be funny, memorable, and easily shareable. Just make sure you link it to yourself and your firm for the most impact.
Idea Two: Behind the Scenes Vine
If you’re not sure what a vine is, it’s a six-second video created using an app called "vine." You can use Vine, or Instagram, or even YouTube to put together a short video of interest. Keeping it short ensures that you’ll get and keep someone’s attention.
And you can break out of the mold of informational videos – these are good, and can be extremely useful, so I’m not suggesting you stop doing them. But add in some short videos to your mix. Do as Hubbard suggests, and create a "behind the scenes" look – perhaps you offer a snapshot of what your office looks like as you’re working, or everyone busy in the conference room during a meeting. get even further behind the scenes with some of the fun office stuff that happens – record a snippet of "ice cream Wednesdays" or that time a very serious partner wore a crazy bowtie to the office.
Not only is it interesting to people, and something they will share, but it offers a fun, relatable look at you and your firm that will build loyalty – that loyalty is important, because it translates to people being more interested and likely to engage with and share the next piece of content you produce.
As you work on making these suggestions a reality, please share them in the comments (especially your memes – I love a good meme).