3 Top Marketing Trends That Will Dominate the Legal Sector This Year
Every marketer worth their salt knows that to compete for customer affection and attention, they must produce engaging content that’s SEO-ready and speaks to customers from their perspective.
For the legal sector, good content marketing strategies are vital. That’s because it’s a fiercely competitive market, where the services you offer can often be almost identical to those of your competitors.
So unique content can really help you stand out from the crowd. But being different isn’t enough. According to Christopher Willis, CMO for content governance specialists Acrolinx, your content also needs to be valuable, transparent, and appropriate for organisations that trade on credibility, expertise, and the pursuit of truth.
For the legal sector content marketing isn’t straightforward – and being one step ahead of the competition is a must. Below, Christopher details the key trends coming down the road and explore how marketers in the sector can optimise their strategies to take advantage of them.
Thought leadership will continue to outshine advertising
Almost every brand invests in advertising to some degree. But the problem with this “above the line” activity is that it can sometimes be viewed as “self-serving.” It can also be dismissed quickly by your target audience – particularly if they aren’t able to see the substance behind your messaging.
Well-written thought leadership content, by contrast, can offer the same message but significantly elevate a reader’s view of your organisation. Instead of feeling “talked at,” they feel “engaged with,” and prospects believe you’re adding value through advice and knowledge.
Importantly, this doesn’t mean your content should be written in “lawyer-speak” – with a lot of technical jargon. In fact, the opposite is actually true. Engaging and effective content should be accessible and empathetic, showing a real understanding of your target audience’s issues and problems, with insights into possible solutions.
So, in 2020, as customers become increasingly savvy and accustomed to receiving knowledgeable content, the thought leadership trend will continue. The organisations that get it right will prosper. And it’s here that technology can help. Content governance solutions can create a systematic approach to delivering against your content strategy, measuring your success, and improving content performance over time.
Using data to increase quality and drive personalisation
Most of us already know that content marketing isn’t something we should approach haphazardly. A solid content marketing strategy aims to provide specific value to a specific audience. But, the question is, how are brands determining what’s valuable? Now, more than ever, the answer to that question is data.
Not all data is equal though. For example, content production metrics, the most basic of analytic results, simply keep tabs on whether you’re producing enough material. Content performance metrics analyse interaction. How many people saw your content? Liked it? Shared it? All of this is valuable – particularly in the legal field, where we know that recommendation is everything.
Content performance metrics analyse interaction. How many people saw your content? Liked it? Shared it? All of this is valuable – particularly in the legal field, where we know that recommendation is everything.
ROI metrics take things a step further by showing the value you’re creating for your business. And, the holy grail of data is in governance metrics. Active governance can help improve your content and your content creation processes before you ever publish anything – so you can measure what’s likely to be successful before you spend the cash to create it.
It can also help improve personalisation – guiding you to create highly targeted content that’s tailored to your audience’s interests and makes them want to know more. Indeed, the watchword for next year is dynamic content, also known as personalisation on steroids. Dynamic content changes according to who’s viewing it. It doesn’t just plug a name into a greeting or subject line (though that can be part of it). Instead, it tailors to the reader’s demographic and to what they care about in that specific moment.
The future is in the tech
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create better, more accurate content, faster and at scale is already a reality. But far from machines replacing human beings, we believe the future of AI will enrich what content creators are already achieving.
This is particularly true for the legal sector, where it’s often an individual’s expertise that sets them apart. So instead of just producing content, we see AI being particularly relevant in delivering it. For example, whether you have 1,000 or 100,000 clients (or potential customers), humans will take a scattergun approach to targeting. They’ll set a rule that says send an email at a specific time and hope for the best. AI, on the other hand, can segment those customers at a whole different level. If, for example, just one percent of them open their emails at 11pm on a Sunday night, then an AI system will make sure the message arrives in their inbox by 10.45pm.
AI can also use data to write social media updates, figure out what image to use, what hashtags to include, and when to publish for maximum results. Current intelligent software using AI can adjust the send date based on who you’re sending to, and alter the channel to make each post as effective as possible. Humans will never be able to do this as well, especially at scale.
These are just a few of the trends we’re likely to see in 2020. But to start the new year off right, legal firms should look to tech-powered, personalised content strategies that use data and can demonstrate value. By doing this, they’ll be able to build meaningful relationships with new and potential customers – and move ahead of their competitors.