Posted by Lisa Middleton, head of communications and marketing at Legal Futures Associate mmadigital 
This is the second in our series looking at the digital trends of 2015 and how they will affect law firms.
Having looked at the need to go mobile , in this blog I am focusing on content marketing.
Content marketing have become major buzzwords in the last few years, but when you actually understand what it means, it’s more than important to your business than you think.
Consider content marketing as the conversations you have with a potential client in the run-up to securing their business. Now take this online, where first impressions really matter and being responsive is hugely important. That’s the starting point.
Statistics from Target Marketing suggest that, by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. So your content really needs to be talking customers’ language and it needs to be where the customer is at.
When creating content, you must make sure it’s relevant, useful and well-written. Don’t write an essay – customers don’t need that – and make sure that you make your key points early. Pay attention to details, such as visual style, text layout and tone of voice, as well as using media such as images, video and infographics.
NewsCred says 70% of customers prefer to engage with a company via articles rather than ads and changes to the Google’s search tools favour useful content and earned media, so good content can help your SEO and PPC campaigns.
NewsCred stats also say that 72% of marketers think branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine. This is where tone of voice and authenticity is key. Customers want to believe that they are interacting with someone knowledgeable about the business and this is even more important for law firms. Using blogs from your real team members adds a level of trust, confidence and authenticity, as well as personality to your brand, and regardless of size, you do have a brand.
Many law firms are just starting out in embracing digital marketing, indeed mmadigital’s comparemyfirm.co.uk website which reviewed the top 200 law firms in the country found that web, content and mobile is not being well-used in the sector.
The best forms of content marketing provide a customer or partner with useful, relevant information in a format that’s easy to use. They also come from real people in your business and the thought-leaders in your firms are the content gold you need to effectively mine.
In light of mobile set to explode in 2015, content marketing needs to go bitesize and visual. Think key statements, infographics and videos both as explainers, blogs and real-time capture of events and activities. This is adding value to your customers and therefore your business. More about video in our next installment.
In the meantime, take some time to review your website and think about content strategy – could it do with a New Year overhaul?