photo-1463453091185-61582044d556Taped to my computer monitor, I have a set of photobooth photos from last years LMA New England conference, which include the conference theme: “What’s Your WOW Factor?” As much as I enjoy seeing the photos of my friends and I from the conference, the theme itself is a constant reminder to be asking myself that question as I undertake my daily tasks – “What’s my WOW Factor today?”

In today’s post, I want to look at two steps that law firms should be taking right now in their content marketing (as part of a series of posts), thanks to this piece from the Content Marketing Institute by Joe Pulizzi. These steps, and the ones that follow, have me thinking about that very idea – what’s our “wow” factor when it comes to content marketing – because in the end, that’s what it’s really all about. The thing that makes our audiences sit up and take notice of what we’re putting out for their consumption.

Pulizzi sets up his post by saying that these action steps are reminders to keep us on track in our content marketing – and I love that idea. We can easily get bogged down in the day to day nitty gritty that we lose sight of the forest for the trees. So action steps such as these are a way to pause, take stock, and ensure that what we’re doing with our content is effective and valuable, so that we’re getting the most for our efforts. And in a time and in an industry where we don’t want to waste any efforts, that’s essential. 

Step One: Make sure you’re differentiated

Pulizzi asks:

Are you actually telling a different story? Is your content truly differentiated, or is it just like everyone else’s content?”

Does that make anyone uncomfortable? I suspect there are more than a few of us out there who are producing content that is the same as other law firms – it may be different in the sense that there’s a slightly different take on the issue, or the lawyer who’s authoring the content has a different voice, but at the heart of it, is it really differentiated?

How can you be sure? Pulizzi tells us:

Perform an audit of your content for each of your target audiences. What’s your mission for each audience? If you delivered content consistently to that audience, can you position your company as the leading expert in that particular topic area?

That will tell you whether you’re different, but how can you really BE different?

  • Deliver your content in a new way: if everyone is providing alerts, try short, concise videos that are well done.
  • Inject personality: Don’t be afraid to add your personality to your writing or video – that’s how people get to know you.
  • WOW Factor: Figure out your WOW factor – what makes you different to everyone else doing the same thing? Spend a little bit of time seeing how your competitors share information, what they share and how they share it, and see what the gaps are. Where can you fill in those gaps? How can you be valuable in a way that someone else isn’t already being valuable?

Step Two: Be Consistent

Consistency is key, because people take comfort in things they can count on. Someone may not read your “Monday alert” every Monday, but they know that it’s there, and they know which day to search their inboxes for it when they want to reference it.

Pulizzi asks:

Are you consistent in your delivery channels? Is your newsletter delivered at the same time each week? How about your YouTube videos? What about your blog posts?”

The action step to this one is fairly simple to deliver on:

Take the next few weeks and outline your current distribution schedule. If you are not consistent, adjust until you are predictably delivering information in every channel.”

What’s the WOW factor here? Relentless consistency. How can you achieve this?

  • Set up an editorial calendar that helps you determine what you produce (you can even get as granular as the social media postings you do, if you want to be more consistent with those, and you should be).
  • Once you have those editorial deadlines in place, set up alerts on whatever calendering device works best for you – for me, it’s a combination of my Outlook calendar and my paper agenda. Set up reminders for both when things are due to be published and promoted AND when you need to be working on something to prepare it, so that you’re never scrambling at the last minute to get something written or recorded.

Taking the guesswork out of consistency for yourself takes all the stress out of it as well. Yes, it means it can be difficult to find inspiration when you’re struggling with writers’ block, but there are ways around that too. And when your audience relies on you for a certain amount of consistency, delivering on those unwritten promises creates a wow factor that people remember.

We’ll be back next week with some more of Pulizzi’s action steps, but in the meantime, how can you add “wow” through differentiation and consistency in your content?