Content Marketing in 2017
Content marketing: a strategic marketing approach focused on consistently creating valuable, relevant, and informative content for your clients and prospective clients.
Client-focused content for your website and blog will continue to be a big theme of marketing in 2017 as it was in 2016. Your content should inform, build trust, and each page should give readers a convenient way to contact you.
Content will be longer. When a consumer enters a query into Google, a search engine results page will display. The object, of course, is to be one of those listed on the first results page. Studies have shown a positive relationship between the length of an article and its results page rank—longer articles rank higher.
Longer articles provide a more in-depth coverage of the topic, but they require more time to write. This could mean fewer articles; however, fewer articles published at regular intervals will still do well on a results page. Recognizing that these longer articles are still being read on phones and tablets, remember to format with bolds, lists, photos, video, and white space to make the reading easy to scan.
Making content visual. Not all your articles will be longer—blogs will probably stay short—but both blogs and feature articles can benefit from using visuals to break up long bits of content. For example:
- Use creative headers in bold so the scanners among your readers can find what they want quickly and easily.
- Break up content with pull quotes or formatting text differently such as adding borders.
- Use visual aids such as graphs, videos, screenshots, or photos.
Video content is expected in 2017. While video content was popular in 2016, it will become more commonplace this year. Not all video must be scripted—informal video of the firm's community events taken with a smartphone can be uploaded to your website. Video content is a great way to build trust and connect with your audience on an emotional level. Video can be used across platforms. You can add video to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, and your website right from your phone.
Improve your profile page. At some point, no matter where readers start, they will visit your profile page. As we've said in the past, your profile should be written in an active voice and in first person. While it's important to include education, awards, recognitions, etc., it should also include a glimpse of who you are, why you do what you do, and how you can help clients. Clients want to work with someone they feel comfortable with and can trust.
Add video and real pictures to your bio—pictures of you working in your office, interacting with your community, or spending time with your family. Much of communication is nonverbal, so using video and photos can add depth to your profile.
In addition, when you update your website profile, remember to also revise your SBM Member Directory profile.
Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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