Content Marketing: 7 Best Practices (Part 2)
Last month, we discussed the fact that content marketing is hot. According to the 2014 State of Digital and Content Marketing Survey, 80% of law firm CMOs believe content marketing is an important marketing and business development strategy, and 84% expect to increase the amount of content they are producing over the prior year. With that in mind, we discussed the first four and a half of seven best practices. We conclude this discussion herein with a continuation of Point 5, Repurposing Content.
5. Reuse Content
There are lots of ways to repurpose content. If you have a longer piece, try to create “bite-sized chunks” of it — i.e., tips, checklists, blog posts, slides, charts, infographics, etc. You can expand on shorter pieces or combine several ones on related topics into whitepapers, eBooks, webinars, and events. Articles can become videos and presentations, or vice versa. Update and revise older content by highlighting new developments or frequently asked questions. Repackaging your content not only helps relieve some of the burden of creating new content, but also creates different formats that may resonate better with different audiences.
Content curation is another method of reusing content, but you are selecting and sharing useful information created by others. (You can curate your own content, but I consider that another form of repurposing.) However, you still need to make sure the curated content is of real interest to your audience and add some of your own thoughts and commentary. You want it to be more than a list of recommended readings.
6. Test and Track Results Using Appropriate Metrics
The end game for any marketing strategy is to bring in revenue, but there are other goals to keep in mind. In fact, in the 2014 State of Digital study, law firm CMOs said their top two content-marketing goals were demonstrating thought leadership and building brand awareness. Winning new business was in tenth place. Although marketers aren’t expecting immediate financial returns, they do need to develop metrics to gauge relative success of different tactics as well as progress toward the firm’s overall objectives.
Determining the appropriate metrics depends on the firm’s specific goals. However, some of the more common ones include:
- Website/blog traffic and engagement metrics (unique and repeat visitors, page views, time spent on site, etc.).
- Organic search engine ranking.
- Social media interest (followers, connections, sharing, etc.).
- E-mail open rates, click-throughs, downloads, forwards.
- Inbound links to your site.
- Registrations for your newsletters, webinars, events, white papers, etc.
- Quality and quantity of leads generated.
- Acknowledgement/feedback from clients, prospects, potential employees and media.
- Improved client retention and referrals.
- New business closed.
Think carefully about what exactly is the right measurement. For example, if you’re measuring website traffic, do you care about the number of site visitors, what pages were visited or how much time they spent on the site? Determine what’s most important.Once you have established your metrics, start testing your content and marketing tactics. What topics, headlines, content formats, content length, and distribution channels performed the best? Revise and hone your strategies accordingly.
7. Start Small and Scale Up
Getting excited about content marketing can be a double-edged sword if you try to take on too much too soon. Instead, think small to start, and develop a pilot project that you can scale up over time. For example, start with individual attorneys or a practice/industry group within your firm whose members like to write or speak, and build a plan to maximize their efforts.
Alternatively, look at how your existing content marketing can be improved, keeping in mind some of the best practices mentioned in this article. Prepare a new documented strategy, buyer persona, editorial calendar, etc. Consider what you are already doing as well as how adding resources could improve your results.
The point is to limit the investment of time, money and resources to a smaller-scale project. It will provide invaluable experience in working out the kinks in your approach and process. It is hoped that you will also start to see successes and build on them. This will help justify adding even more resources and also get you more internal support for scaling up.
Content marketing is a great investment when done right. Hopefully, these seven best practices will help make your initiatives more successful.
For more tips, follow my blog at www.rdtcontentmarketing.com/blog.
By: Edie Reinhardt
Originally published in Marketing the Law Firm, May 2015, Law Journal Newsletters. ALM Properties Inc. All rights reserved. To view the issue, visit www.lawjournalnewsletters.com.