One of the most effective marketing strategies for lawyers is writing client alerts and blog posts on a regular basis. Publishing content like this establishes you as a thought leader and helps to keep you top of mind with your clients, referrals, prospects and the media and bolsters your SEO results too.

So, what makes a good client alert or blog post? It’s not about writing the longest alert or publishing it before your competitors or including every detail about the court decision.

I see many law firms publish client alerts with good intentions – the whole idea is to get helpful information to your clients and prospects as quickly as possible with interesting insights.

A lot of law firms sometimes miss the mark because their client alerts are either just regurgitating facts, don’t have a lot of insight in them, are too long, are written in legalese and they’re not client-centric meaning they don’t put the client first and aren’t written for them and their needs, which completely defeats the point.

I also see alerts that are too cute or clever – with headlines based on movies, TV shows or music lyrics . What you really want to do is deliver a clear promise in the headline and provide value while engaging your reader.

A strong headline is often the determining factor on whether someone actually opens the content or not. You also must actually deliver on what you say you’re going to provide in the alert.

So if the alert says it is going to be on X topic and the first few sentences lead you to believe that, but then it goes down another path, that’s clickbait and frustrates the reader.

Almost as important as what you write is how you structure the alert. Dense, long paragraphs are not going to capture your reader’s attention today. Try using shorter paragraphs with subheadings. Make it easy for someone to follow along and find points of engagement. Bulleted or numbered lists also work well to engage your reader.

In addition, make sure your alert has a vantage point. Just regurgitating information that somebody can find on a public website about a major decision or case or update in the law is not very poignant, memorable, relevant or helpful.

What is helpful and useful is explaining what the decision or update means for your client’s business.  And of course, the hidden underlying message is “we can help you with this, we care about you and our insights can help solve your thorniest legal and business needs.” Just make sure that your content supports that too.

Writing client alerts and blog posts is one of the best ways to get back in touch with your clients, referrals and prospects in a way that showcases your subject-matter authority. Plus you’re not even thinking about all of the silent viewers and readers of your content and how that can actually lead to new business, greater visibility and brand recognition.

If writing a client alert or blog post seems too overwhelming to do alone, buddy up with a colleague or even better – a client. The summer is a great time to focus on drafting and publishing a piece of content like this, so what are you waiting for?

Reach out to me if you need help planning out your content strategy.

Watch this video for more tips on writing a better client alert or blog post.