I speak to multiple lawyers across a variety of practice areas each day. Most of my inquiries for consulting assistance would benefit from the same basic advice: a marketing strategy should be comprehensive. Most lawyers and law firms make isolated marketing decisions in a vacuum, one at a time, not planning their strategy across an entire year.
Often, decisions are made spontaneously when a “problem solving” vendor solicits the firm, without adequate research or planning (i.e. a syndicated video vendor calling with a pitch that “we make all your law firm video in one day and it’s super awesome = video solved”). Why? Lawyers are busy litigating, working, and running a business.
Write it Down: Draft an Editorial Calendar for the Year
What is an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar plans a writing project, such as the strategy for your law firm blog. If you drafted an editorial calendar for your lawyer blog (I use a proprietary template in Excel), it might include:
- Blog topic
- Publishing date
- Keywords and/or "tags" to optimize the post for
Even though I use Excel, there are a variety of ways to keep your editorial calendar, even incorporating it into your firm’s Outlook Calendar or iCal. The form of an editorial calendar is relatively inconsequential; the content contained therein is the important part.
Getting Started with Your Firm’s Editorial Calendar
(1) Start with goal setting (i.e. blog twice per week).
(2) Then define your target audience (who you are writing for).
(3) Reach for a word count of 300 words or more per post.
(4) Choose how you will promote your content once it is posted (i.e. on Facebook or in your e-newsletter).
I generally start my content strategy by looking into a website’s Google Analytics, researching which search terms are bringing qualified traffic to the website. What questions are searchers asking? How can they be answered? In addition, try to hit on major practice areas each at least twice a month.
With a marketing editorial calendar, you take the guesswork out of content creation for your staff. No one has writers block. Even though this article speaks largely to blogs, a law firm’s editorial calendar can and should outline a promotional schedule for your lawyers’ speaking engagements, articles for publications, discuss video marketing topics, and more.
Contact the Lawyer Content Marketing Consultants of Stacey E. Burke, P.C.
We have generated and implemented social media marketing and content marketing strategies for lawyers across the country with great success. If you feel like you need a plan for 2014, now is the time. The fourth quarter of 2013 is the perfect time to start the ball rolling for the coming year. Don’t wait until January to decide the direction your law firm is heading. Contact SEBPC today.