Many businesses are concerned with how to get noticed online. I work daily to attract visitors to my website and, hopefully, convert them into leads. The first step for me in the process is to understand the concerns of my potential clients.
Understanding the issues that trouble my clients helps me provide solutions and serve as a valuable resource for legal tech and legal services vendors. I want them to rely on me to be aware of their needs and to trust that my services will benefit them.
Caring about my potential clients’ hopes, fears, goals and wishes requires work. Researching online and reading the latest industry news helps me stay in tune with what makes them tick and write better material.
But there’s no substitute for direct responses. I recently sent an email to several people who own or work for businesses in my target audience. In the email, I asked them to answer a couple questions designed to help me better understand their world.
I was excited to get this response:
“I’m looking for growth, getting the word out effectively about my service and getting new customers. As a marketing person for the legal industry, what would you bring to help me achieve this? Everything I’ve been recommended in the past has just cost me money with little to no return.”
Oh, my dear sir, thank you for responding with such well-stated concerns that are relatable to so many people! What follows is a close variation of my response to this gentleman’s question.
If you are a legal product or service vendor who struggles to effectively get the word out about your business and gain new clients, here is what content marketing can do for you:
Get noticed online where your target audiences do their research.
Most people don’t just call up a business and subject themselves to suffering through a sales pitch. They research and find information online first. In fact, research shows that around 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before people reach out to a company or salesperson.
That means that people expect to be able to find out most of what they need to know and are already contemplating buying your services long before they reach out to you one-on-one.People expect to be able to find out most of what they need to know and are already contemplating buying your services long before they reach out to you one-on-one. Click To Tweet
You need to get content out there online to help potential clients on their journey. When you promote your content, you attract people to your website. When visitors are finally on your website, you need to capture and maintain their interest and provide answers and information. You accomplish all that through content that informs, educates, entertains, and persuades them that you are the right choice.
Your website content does the heavy lifting of gathering leads.
To get noticed online, it’s helpful to find out about your potential clients’ problems and struggles. (Like I was doing when I emailed this gentleman.) Then, you can provide content that offers them solutions, which in turn positions you as a trusted authority.
Studies show that 82% of customers view five or more pieces of content from a vendor before making a purchase. You must create content such as blog posts, infographics, case studies, cost/benefit analysis workbooks, ebooks, guides, templates, videos, and so on that solves problems for your potential clients and provides them with value.
You could give them tips on how to save time or provide a handy spreadsheet template to download that helps them track case expenses. Providing access to a database of specific, hard-to-find information may win over hearts. Adding a worksheet and calculator to your site that visitors can use to run their own cost/benefit analysis related to buying your services or products could win over minds.
There is no end to the amount of content you can create or topics you can cover as long as it interests and provides value to your visitors.
Make content readily available and promote the heck out of it.
Make your content readily available on your website and promote the heck out of it on social media. Use enticing language in your posts to encourage clicks that direct people to your website.
Particularly promote your content on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook because we know that’s where lawyers and legal types hang out. This is key to how you get noticed online.
Creating content and failing to promote it is like throwing a party but never sending out invitations. Content promotion is a vital step in content marketing that never ends. You spend a ton of time and effort to bake the cake, hang the streamers, and set out the party favors. But no one will come and enjoy the party if you don’t let them know where it is happening. And no one will read your content if you don’t show them that it exists.
Build your email list.
Offer a newsletter people can sign up to receive. Provide an option to subscribe to your blog. Create highly valuable resources (ebooks, templates, guides, webinars, workbooks, etc.) that you offer for free, but require visitors to provide their email addresses before they can access.
You want email addresses so you can maintain contact and further cultivate relationships with people who are interested in – but not yet ready to buy – your services. That group often includes the majority of first-time site visitors as well as those visiting for the second, third, fourth, or more times.
Email your list helpful information, useful tools and tips, industry news, your latest blog posts. Send notices of new product releases and updates. When they are ready to buy, your name will be right there in their inbox and at the top of their minds.
Content Marketing is a Long Game.
Content marketing offers many more benefits than I mentioned here. Like how it helps your website rank higher in search results, which is always great for reaching more eyeballs. Plus, it costs 62% less than traditional marketing and provides three times more leads.
Organically, content marketing is a long game. It continues in a cycle of researching your target audiences, building up your content library, and promoting content through email and social media.
How long does it take to get noticed online?
You could immediately attract leads and new clients, and that is always awesome. But many variables influence outcomes. Content marketing can also take six months, a year, or even longer to really pay off.
The good news is that a good chunk of content compounds in value. You create it once and it continues to pay off year after year after year.
Paid online and social media ad campaigns greatly reduce the time it takes to get noticed online. Get your name in front of the right people quickly with ads targeted to specific demographics and industries.
And, of course, you can do both. Create content that works organically to attract and nurture leads, and send out ads that work quickly to get you noticed. Either way, content is the workhorse of successful online marketing.