Attorneys who work primarily for businesses as clients can have a harder time creating a brand and marketing that brand than attorneys who market to consumers. B2B content marketing can seem tough because the clients are tougher—they expect a better product and they're not afraid to shop around. You can make those attitudes work to your advantage by using these strategies as your firm heads into 2013.
Strategy #1: Make Good Blogs Into Great Blogs
Surveys show that most business oriented firms are already doing some B2B content marketing through blogs. Lots of lawyers have good blogs. However, few have truly great blogs. Why is that? What separates the excellent from the merely pretty good? B2B content marketing depends on knowing how to appeal in a way that goes beyond just you talking and informing.
The main thing that a great blog has and a good blog doesn't is a sense of community. A great blog owner makes room for conversation and community, and knows how to moderate comment sections to minimize animosity and spam while maximizing opportunities for genuine interaction. Great blogs develop cult followings not just because the B2B content marketing on your page is great, but because you've let your readers and blog become a community that is more than the sum of its parts.
Strategy #2: Don't Be Afraid of Social Media
Many attorneys don't see the benefits that social media can bring to their firm's marketing and brand presence. However, one of the best things you can do for B2B content marketing is to make and share social media content. You should make sure that if you're doing business marketing, you're focusing most of your internet marketing dollars on LinkedIn. Surveys consistently show that to be the most commonly used social network by the people who would be most likely to be on your client list.
Good social media conversations are a huge part of B2B content marketing. Remember that every conversation you have in public on social media websites will become something that other people look at and use to judge whether you're a good firm to do business with. Put your best foot forward, and don't let anger or frustration cause you to lose sight of your brand image.
Strategy #3: Start Writing Engaging Press Releases
A press release is only as great as the eyes that it attracts. If your B2B content marketing press releases are only getting published on websites that will publish anything, odds are they're no longer helping your website's SEO ranking much any more. That's because of some algorithm changes collectively referred to as Google Penguin that effectively shut down the usefulness of those sites.
Instead of writing press releases designed for search engines, start writing ones designed for humans. If you create compelling storytelling as part of your press release B2B content marketing, you'll have a much easier time getting noticed. Sending your press releases to the right people can also be a big help to your overall success rate. Try sending press releases with your B2B content marketing to local business magazines as well as bloggers who discuss local business news.
Strategy #4: Consider Creating Microsites
One strategy that less than a third of law firms are currently using to attract B2B clients is creating microsites. It's now so cheap to buy domain names that there's nothing wrong with buying a domain for a single very specific purpose—even if that purpose is just to showcase a single piece of B2B content marketing.
A successful microsite will address a direct consumer need in a way that is informative or entertaining. If you're not paying attention to your clients' needs, your presentation is likely to fall flat on a microsite. Make sure that any microsites you create are professionally designed—it's all too easy to tell when a law firm has skimped on its website budget.
Strategy #5: Webinars and Webcasts
A large number of law firms are already making at least some use of web broadcasts, including webinars. If you're not already creating webinars, consider the types of legal subjects that you most enjoy talking about and helping people understand. By creating a webinar, you let people see you in action, explaining things just like you'd explain them to a client. It's a great introduction to how you practice law and what a client can expect from your firm if they choose to hire you. This is one of the best B2B content marketing practices for firms to increase their conversion rates.
Strategy #6: Creating Useful, Targeted E-Mails
You may think that direct email is dead as a B2B content marketing technique. The old days of just spamming everyone and seeing what stuck are over—spam filters are too good, and even if you get past them, people are too cynical. Instead, try microtargeting niche guides. When someone becomes part of your email list, keep track of the things they're actually interested in and only send them emails about those things. This keeps the number of people who unsubscribe from your email list lower, while giving a higher chance that people will contact you because of your email marketing.
Strategy #7: Mobile Optimized Content
The mobile web is growing in importance at a truly staggering rate. As more areas become connected with 3G and 4G coverage, mobile traffic online has been doubling every year for the last three years. It is expected to nearly double once more in 2013, eclipsing desktop and laptop traffic as the most common way for people to access the internet.
This means that the best time to start optimizing your B2B content marketing for mobile was about 6 months ago. The second best time is today—and you need to hurry! Other firms are starting to figure out B2B content marketing through the mobile web, but as of now, only 15 percent of firms are actively using it. By getting in on the ground floor, you ensure that some of the most affluent and connected clients are able to connect easily to your law firm through their mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.