Is blogging the key to making your legal marketing work? Blogging may not always first appear to be the most ego satisfying form of legal marketing.
It certainly may not provide the satisfaction of seeing your outsized face on a billboard on the interstate, but the digits suggest it could be one of the most valuable when it comes down to attracting clients and winning new case intake.
Just how valuable and productive can lawyers’ blogs be? What benefits and pitfalls are often overlooked? How can even the most in-demand celebrity lawyers find time to dream up great blog titles and publish them?
Blogging for Billions, and Brand Domination
As addressed in the Real Legal Marketing Blog on “The Best SEO Practices and Strategies for Legal Marketing”, many of the most famous top attorneys blog on a regular basis.
LegalZoom unquestionably has far better brand recognition and awareness than anyone else in this space. As far back as 2011 LegalZoom was attracting almost $1M online visitors per month.
At the same time Nolo was attracting just under 500,000 unique visitors per month, and was purchased by Internet Brands for an estimated $21M.
Data from the American Bar Association shows that as of February 2011 over 40% of surveyed individuals said they would go online to find a lawyer. Their top channels for finding legal help online included lawyer websites, Q&A websites, blogs, and social media.
It may not be long before the legal industry catches up to real estate where almost 100% of buyers start their searches online, and over half do so from mobile devices.
We also know that blogging and online content was a major driver of Facebook and generating Mark Zuckerberg’s $45B+ net worth. The Huffington Post blog sold for over $300M, and Zillow recently purchased it’s runner up competitor Trulia for $2.5B, largely on the strength of its content and online traffic.
So does blogging have value? You bet. And it could soon swallow the legal industry.
Blogging: The Lifeblood of All Your Legal Marketing
Even for those boutique family law firms that have no desire to appeal to the masses or scale that large; blogging is quite literally the heart of their legal marketing. At least it should be. And we all know that a weak heart is going to affect overall health and performance of any individual or organization.
Blogging is the epitome of content marketing, and fuels all other content based forms of marketing. This includes social, email marketing, and lawyer websites. The blog also acts as the anchor of credibility and contact for offline marketing efforts too.
A radio listener, direct mail recipient, or driver passing your billboard may not record your contact information at first contact, or be willing to bet on you until they’ve looked you up. A blog goes a long way to ensuring they find you when they need your services, and not your competition.
The “Big Three” Benefits of Blogging for Lawyers
There are many advantages of blogging for legal pros, and here are the big three:
1. Multiple Benefits in One Blog Post – A single blog post can offer branding, inbound marketing, SEO, and visibility benefits.
2. Reducing Marketing Costs – A single blog post can be repurposed as social media posts, emails, ebooks, press releases, and other offsite multimedia content marketing. Blogs also have an infinite shelf life. A billboard only lasts the month it is up.
A mailer normally lasts as long as it takes to get from the mailbox to the trash can. A radio ad lasts 30 to 60 seconds. Blogs can have immediate benefit, and go on producing results and propping up your overall efforts for years.
3. Better Overall Legal Marketing Performance & ROI – With a blog as your backbone conversions from every other marketing, branding, and advertising effort are likely to be higher. Highly relevant blogs can also drive down PPC marketing costs with Google.
The National Law Review reports that a single click for some auto and health related keywords can cost upward of $650 each in 2016. That’s not clients; just clicks and visitors.
Google gives preference and better deals to advertisers with more relevant content and congruency on their site and landing pages. In this respect a legal blog can give marketers a huge edge over the competition.
The Pitfalls of Blogging
On the other hand, poor blogging is counterproductive. Many fall into this trap. If businesses and entrepreneurs are not going to invest in good blogs, it may be better to avoid doing harm.
Done well legal blogs can be highly profitable. But this will require some investment and thought. It requires consistency, marketing intelligence, data-based keyword usage and optimized copy, and some design.
Most lawyers simply don’t find the time to blog well themselves month after month. If you can relate; hire someone. Recruit help to brainstorm and research titles and topics, and to craft and publish blog content that gets results.
If you are reading this blogging clearly works. It doesn’t just work; it is a multi-billion dollar legal marketing tool. With a soaring percentage of legal clients looking for help online, and the ROI and branding advantages a good legal blog offers; there is a definite competitive (and financial) advantage for those that blog for their legal business.
What will you do with yours?