We've seen an explosion in professional services content in the last few years. More and more firms now see demonstrating their expertise as a core part of their marketing strategy.
As more firms adopt more intensive content marketing approaches, how can marketers ensure that their firm's content is engaging the right people and having an impact?
That was the topic of discussion at today's closing keynote at The Lawyer's Marketing Leadership Summit. Hundreds of legal professionals heard the well-qualified wisdom of Nick Rose, Senior Manager - Digital & Marketing Communications at Linklaters as he talked through the successes the team at Linklaters have had.
We were hosted by Will Eke of Passle as he gave some context around the Linklaters program Nick is driving. Nick runs a segment of the thought leadership at Linklaters, producing an incredible 200+ posts in the first half of 2021 - four times more than the average firm.
To put that into context - the 111 authors Nick has oversight of at Linklaters would be ranked 35th in terms of content production for law firms in the UK - ranking above firms with thousands of lawyers.
More important than the amount of content produced though is the impact that it is having and how Nick and his team are able to cut through the noise in the market.
Here's Nick's advice on how to ensure your content is having an impact.
Your thought leadership should be more authentic, genuine & useful
It might seem obvious, but there is no secret to getting people to engage with your content. Clickbait might work in the world of social media but it doesn't bring affinity with your brand and it certainly doesn't help anyone.
Make sure that your content is coming from the people at your firm that are genuinely able to help your clients and prospects.
Useful goes beyond just showing off all your smarts. It means engaging your market on their terms, where they are and in the manner that suits them best. Nick and the team write short, punchy, timely content that touches on what people need to know now as quickly as possible.
A General Counsel does not usually have the time to consider a multi-page white-paper but will welcome insight into best practice that will impact their business.
Your thought leadership program needs the right stakeholders
Nick identified two key people as critical to successful thought leadership. First is a partner to sponsor the program, this person lends authority and credibility and demonstrates the firm's commitment to the initiative.
The second person Nick mentioned was a Business Development stakeholder who is able to engage with fee earners on the importance of content to the revenue of the firm - rather than just it's reputation. Content needs to be targeted at the clients and prospects that will help the firm grow.
A Business Development focus for content ensures that content is not created for its own sake but also results in better content - as the audience and their challenges become clearer, content can become more useful in response.
We'd probably add a third person to this mix, a marketing stakeholder that is able to take a big picture view of what areas to focus on for content and bring together data on what is working to shape the overall plan.
Use data to drive content that has an impact
Nick is in an especially good position to see what content is having an impact. He can see across the firm which blogs get the most engagement, how high quality that engagement is and where it comes from.
Being careful not to deliver too much information, Nick is able to guide his authors and stakeholders in the right direction and produce more effective content.
Just by showing the team who is creating content that works, Nick can demonstrate best practice and use the natural competitiveness of the team to ensure content is hitting the mark. This feedback piece is essential to the long term growth of the program - lawyers that do not see the result of their content will not continue to write. Conversely, lawyers creating poor content do not know how to change without data.