Articles about highly specialized areas of law of interest to in-house counsel are becoming increasingly important, according to a new report from Greentarget – a Chicago based business to business (B2B) communications company. Lee Pacchia, host of The Business of Law on MimesisWebTV, recently interviewed John Corey, President and co-founder of Greentarget, about the report. The highlights of that interview are outlined below:
The Green Target study, in its fourth year, focused on digital and content marketing for law firms
As Corey told Pacchia, Greentarget began to conduct the study when content began to be talked about more within the legal services sector around 2009. The study also focused on the buying patterns of corporate general counsels. This years’ survey was conducted by polling 189 in-house counsel, and also included senior law firm marketers and Chief Marketing Officers (CMO’s) among America’s largest law firms.
What the study found, according to Corey, was that law firms have been creating greater volumes of content. And that this trend raises the question of how are law firms restructuring to create more content. Pacchia cited the study finding that 84% of CMO’s will make more content this year – and that 25% have a documented plan on how they will do so.
Corey emphasized however, that: Producing content is hard. [emphasis added]. And that CMO’s have multiple priorities, among them are not only content but also branding, thought leadership, events and more. So where is the time to focus?
In response, Corey has developed what Greentarget calls the 80/20. The vast majority of content firms develop is being produced in a decentralized fashion. A good thing, according to Corey. This grassroots production is creating reach, consistency and quality. However, continuing to produce content under optimal conditions requires someone who understands content and how to optimize it, as Corey explained. What practice areas are most unique to the brand to help it to rise above the pack in the age of information overload – is one question Corey cited as central to law firm decision-making about content strategy going forward.
How can law firms stand out among the competition?
Corey, citing the study, outlined that among the top American law firms, four times as much content is being produced now than was being produced four years ago. So the central question becomes — How to stand out? According to Corey, less is more and quality is key.
Pacchia asked Corey: How many firms have a single person focused on solely content creation? Corey responded that 29% percent of law firms polled have a single, dedicated person devoted exclusively to content strategy.
In order to help law firms stand out among the competition, content producers at law firms have to develop a “corporate journalist” outlook, according to Corey. Firms are sitting on a treasure trove of intellectual capacity. It’s about adopting the principles of traditional journalism, which places the reader at the center of focus.
Pacchia responded by saying it appears law firms now are turning into media companies.
Why aren’t more law firms jumping in?, asked Pacchia. Corey responded that content production and strategy with a journalist outlook is new terrain for law firms and other professional services firms. But also that law firms have much content to tap into – like newsletters and articles. Hence, law firms have an opportunity to take existing content and use unique platforms where they can place that content to attract specific audiences.
One platform the study showed has gained acceptance among lawyers is LinkedIn, which has a significant proportion of lawyers active on the platform. And mainstream usage is increasing, particularly among older lawyers. More lawyers are on LinkedIn than anywhere else on the web, Corey told Pacchia.
Where next? asked Pacchia. Corey responded: Helping attorneys to expand and enhance their profiles online. Taking profiles to “the next level” – and distributing their own content across platforms like LinkedIn.
Why is content particularly important in the Asia-Pacific legal market?
The Asia-Pacific legal market is expanding rapidly, and gaining new competitors every day lured by economic growth, legal market liberalization and more. As well, as statistics have shown – Asia’s growing population is turning in increasing numbers to the internet to access information. And mobile devices is how the internet is being accessed. Indeed, a full 61% of new internet users in the world are coming from Asia. With all the factors outlined above – lawyers in the Asia-Pacific legal market may wish to adopt content-driven sophisticated online presences to compete effectively for clients, as Greentarget’s study shows others are already doing.
To view Lee Pacchia’s entire interview with John Corey, click here. For more information about John Corey and Greentarget, click here. For more information about Lee Pacchia and MimesisWebTV, click here.