In the competitive world of legal services, some small and midsize law firms often feel overshadowed by the gargantuan operations and deep pockets of big law. Yet, small and midsize law firms have their own unique advantages, especially when it comes to marketing. With their nimbleness, small and midsize law firms can embrace more creative marketing approaches, which may sometimes be more risky or unconventional than what larger firms do. Here’s how.
Big Law vs. Small Law: Marketing Resources and Focus
At big law firms, legal marketers may often find themselves stretched thin, managing a plethora of tasks and trying to cater to the varied needs of a large organization. Conversely, smaller firms, while they might have more limited staffing and budget, have the ability to focus on a niche, dive deep into content marketing strategies and can often turn to outside business partners to supplement areas such as marketing, writing, design and SEO.
Owned Media vs. Earned Media: The Power of Control
- Earned Media: This is when your firm garners attention from third parties, resulting in content about your firm produced externally. It can include press mentions, guest articles or other forms of external recognition.
- Owned Media: This refers to content that your firm produces in-house, encompassing client alerts, social media posts, blogs and more. This is your content marketing secret weapon.
While earned media is undeniably valuable for establishing credibility and trust, it’s not always within a firm’s control, especially for smaller entities. Thus, maximizing owned media can offer a consistent and reliable approach to building a firm’s reputation, especially when earned media opportunities might be scarcer.
Smaller firms can create an owned media content marketing strategy for social media and their website to effectively differentiate themselves.
Crafting a Tailored Content Strategy
- Quality Over Quantity: Instead of attempting to create content in bulk, it’s vital to prioritize the production of impactful and relevant content. Concentrate on your firm’s main initiatives rather than diluting efforts across numerous practice areas and industries.
- Know Thy Audience: Leverage your analytics to gauge where your audience is primarily based, their behaviors and the platforms they frequent. Tailor your content to resonate with these findings.
- Create Once, Publish Everywhere: One of the advantages of owned media is its versatility. You can repackage and repurpose content to fit different platforms, thereby maximizing reach and relevance. Highlight varied aspects of your content and strategically share them across platforms.
- Employee Advocacy: Small and midsize law firms often boast tight-knit communities. Harness this by empowering your staff and lawyers to amplify your content through their personal networks. This is where proper training comes into the equation. Invest in training all of your employees on how to use LinkedIn effectively – this is a win-win for everyone.
Strategies for Small and Midsize Law Firms to Punch Above Their Weight
- Repurpose and Recycle: The content you produce doesn’t have to be a one-and-done deal. Refresh old blog posts with updated information or turn them into infographics or video snippets.
- Equip and Educate: Ensure that your lawyers are not just legally proficient but also digitally savvy. Offer them training on utilizing social platforms effectively and integrating them into your wider content strategy.
- Empower with Tools: Utilize tools like Canva, which democratizes design, enabling even those without a background in graphic design to create compelling visuals.
- Smartly Collaborate: Even if your in-house resources are limited, external partnerships can fill the gap. By working with reliable business partners and consultants, small law firms can tap into specialized expertise. Here’s why outsourcing marketing can be one of the smartest decisions you make.
In conclusion, while the challenges small and midsize law firms face in marketing might differ from their larger counterparts, they also possess unique advantages. By focusing on owned media, crafting a targeted content strategy and leveraging external resources, smaller and midsize firms can carve out a powerful and influential space in the legal market.