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Law Firms Are Getting More Creative With Digital Marketing, but Some Lack Clear Strategy

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When 2020, and the accompanying pandemic, led to the re-emergence of legal digital marketing and social media use, that was to be expected given the circumstances. fatherNot all companies manage this content effectively.

Created by internet marketing consultancy Good2BSocial and running since 2013, the annual Social Law Firm Index (SLFI) released its results and rankings on Monday. Many of the trends observed in the 2020 study, such as the increase in creation and use of podcasts and video, were validated in 2021.

New strategies for active engagement and use of the platform have also emerged, as well as new problems arising from generating too much content. Not all content is considered effective content, and some of it can actually be harmful.

This year was as challenging and unique as 2020Jay Alvarez, CEO of Good2bSocial, said in a statement. “We’ve seen that Am Law 200 law firms create a huge amount of content, and they’ve even set up COVID-19 Resource Centers to provide valuable insights and advice to their clients and prospects.”

Alvarez said that while law firms have learned how to effectively use social media to build their businesses, they need to move on to the next step.

“They need to engage and help strengthen their existing relationships while strategically developing new ones,” he said in a statement. “We believe this indicator shows companies how important they are.”

ranking

The SLFI Index looks at a law firm’s use of digital and social content and rates its effectiveness against peers. This results in a comprehensive ranking, detailing by platform: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.

The study also measures the social media access, engagement, and marketing performance of law firms on their websites and on public social media platforms. and here It measures how effective companies are in promoting thought leadership, its severity with podcasts and how they benefit from search engine optimization.

The top 25 companies in the overall ranking can be seen in the chart below. It shows little change at the top compared to last year, other than some realignment of the top five.

There were nine new entrants in the top 25 companies, and the biggest jump in the ranking was the 112-point jump by Knobbe Martens (#129 in 2020 to #17 in 2021).

Perkins Coe, who ranked 126th last year, has also made a huge jump, coming in at 106th and 20th in 2021.

excess content

Alvarez said the past two years have seen companies create more content than ever before. Some of this content, such as COVID-19 updates microsites, is useful and makes the company a thought leader and go-to source for information.

But all too often the content appears to be there just because companies think it should be, not because it serves the company or the customer.

“Most companies only publish press releases,” he said. “But I have spoken to a few smart companies about this. They are trying to figure out how to use data to create business development opportunities.”

At the start of the pandemic, Alvarez said, companies were creating massive amounts of content. But, after “stabilization”, the amount of content they were creating became “unsustainable”.

And this is a problem, not only because of overstimulation or crowding, but because those micro-blogs or resource centers are still in the ether and, when found, may produce a negative impression on those who come across content platforms that have been basically abandoned.

“There is all this content without focus or strategy,” he said. “This is something companies will face over the next couple of years.”

He said many companies “lost focus” and “goed back to doing what they’ve always been doing” once the enthusiasm for the content returned a bit.

“If they are no longer being resourced, companies need to remove them,” he said, referring to old blogs or micro-sites. “And if it still matters, they need to put the resources and strategy behind it to make it a valuable continuing resource.”

Platforms have a purpose

As in the past year, companies have been seen moving away from Facebook and toward Instagram to promote cultural news – such as participating in special issues and DEI efforts.

Alvarez said that over the past year several companies have used their social media presence to promote DEI efforts and put up a banner in support of (or oppose) various causes.

“Companies will definitely continue to push DEI,” he said. “It’s a big thing that every company invests heavily in. They take every opportunity to publish content around it. But, they should realize that DEI shouldn’t be their complete content strategy.”

Alvarez noted that companies gravitate more towards LinkedIn to enhance thought leadership. he He said the platform is used to connect with customers and promote prizes, which makes sense given the platform’s purported business audience.

“Just as we did in the previous year, we’re seeing a significant increase in the use of LinkedIn ads to better target audiences,” Alvarez noted. But He added that not all lawyers are behind the move, noting the concept that “advertising is under them.”

“This is a misconception among lawyers,” Alvarez said. “But all you do is target your content to a specific audience. It still thinks it’s leadership, you just pay to make sure you reach the target audience.”

High rates for videos and podcasts

Alvarez said the years-long trend of increased use of video by companies has not abated.

“Because there is a lot of competition on social media, video makes you stand out,” he said.

Combined with companies realizing that video on different platforms can be an asset, technological advances have made it less prohibitively expensive.

“A lot of companies are shooting animated videos now,” he said. “No lights, no headphones. You just need a good graphic designer to create the content. If you’re scrolling through LinkedIn, for example, and you see movement, it will stop. It’s a highlighter.”

Alvarez said podcast use is on the rise as well, although not all companies are using podcasts in the most effective way.

“What we’re seeing is that smart companies create actors on certain topics,” he said. “They launch not one but multiples for different industries and topics. Not-so-smart companies are broadcasting the “Firm ABC podcast.”

The study found that nearly 75% of Am Law 100 companies have an active podcast, and many, Alvarez suggested, have many different topics.

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