One of the questions we are often asked at the end of our Proof of Value launch is, "What does Year Two look like? Is our current behaviour just a surge of initial excitement?"
Firms are right to ask this question; Passle Proof of Values typically lead to a genuinely phenomenal change in behaviour from the initial group. Far more content, more engagement on the website, LinkedIn & more reads on Lexology. 5x, 10x, 20x across the spectrum of metrics. Surely it cannot continue like this.
And in some ways they are right. It does not continue like that - the initial group are the pathfinders, the early adopters. For a content strategy to be successful it must become a mainstream, business-as-usual process; a solid, easy way to keep in contact with your key clients and prospects.
So, is it sustainable?
To answer this question, we’ve been back and analysed tens of thousands of posts across all of our law clients over the last six years. We had a look at how they have faired as a group. The answer is well and very, very consistently: basically 50% compounding growth of page views year-on-year.
The numbers above represent the total number of post views across all of our law clients from their first year of using Passle verses their second year. And then similarly looking at all of our clients in their second year against how they faired in the third year. And so on.
In other words, each year's figure is an apples-to-apples comparison - the same clients in the two years analysed. To be clear, this also includes the small number of law firms who have discontinued.
The cumulative affect of these increases are shown in the graph below.
The long term power of thought leadership.
Once the foundation of a thought leadership program is in place, rolling out firm-wide effectively is a matter of continuing the momentum of the launch and creating an easy pathway into the program for new thought leaders.
Growing consistently in this way means that the 5-10x step changes aren’t happening at the same unsustainable rate, but are steadily growing across the firm in a way that is far more powerful than a small number of thought leaders could achieve.
By the second year of using Passle, a firm was steadily growing their program, maybe rolling out to a few more users and gaining 49% more page views of their thought leadership content. After five years, most firms are operating on firm-wide licences, more fee earners want to be part of the program, existing users are writing more content and there are 7x more page views than the first year on the platform.
The value of thought leadership should be instantly recognisable from a launch, but it is in the long term that the cumulative impact of regular content creates powerful benefits for your firm.
- Relevant and interested readers return to your site time and again as you become the go-to source of information.
- Google recognises the regularity and quality of the content you are providing and starts to rank you higher in the key areas that you would like to be known.
- Thought leadership is often valuable for long after it is written as content has a “long tail’. This is to say, you get a large number of the readers when the content is fresh but it continues to have some readers over time - as the body of content expands then the "long tail" becomes a large number of the post reads.
While the launch of a thought leadership program is exciting and powerful, the long term impact of this type of regular success with thought leadership cannot be underestimated.