I was watching one of my favourite movies, Forrest Gump, the other night; a wonderful and heart-warming film.
I still pretty much well-up and cry throughout the whole film.
If you have seen the film, cast your mind back to the scene where Bubba has a conversation with Forrest about Shrimps and the Fruit of the Sea.
That delicious little conversation between Bubba and Forrest set my content marketing pulse racing.
Content Marketing: Shrimps and the Fruit of the Sea
Bubba engages Forrest with a question on his specialist subject the versatility of the shrimp:
“Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There, uh, shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole....shrimp gumbo, pan-fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp...shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich... that's, that's about it.”
I think you’ll agree quite a challenge to name all the multiple uses of that little decapod crustacean: the shrimp.
That exchange neatly encapsulates how I think law firms should be thinking about what legal content to create.
Self- Imposed Limitations of Law Firm Content
Many Law Firms tend to think of content and content marketing as just blogging.
Social Media is characterised by a once in a while update to LinkedIn profiles.
Most lawyers are uncomfortable in the Twittersphere and nervous (in my view correctly) of Facebook.
Law Firms feel that lack of time, irrelevance, cost or ambivalence are reasons enough to abstain from creating great legal content to educate and engage existing and potential clients alike.
But, those law firms are missing out.
Content and Social Media Marketing are now much more than the creation of articles blogs and the odd Tweet.
Great legal content is not just one dimensional.
It is so much more.
Law Firm Content as a Series and Not Just a Pilot Episode
Law firms who have the ability to create great legal content in all its forms and distribute that content via their website and through social media stand to reap a rich harvest of engaged existing clients and opportunities for potential clients to engage with your Law Firm.
Consider one piece of content and how it could be disseminated into other formats.
Think of your great legal content as a series rather than just a pilot or standalone episode.
Think of a great piece of legal content in the round. Great legal content should be something you can not only barbecue or boil but broil, bake, and sauté as well.
Put those ingredients with other media and you start being more creative.
Find your equivalent niches and recipes for pineapples, lemons and coconuts.
Slideshare and Infographics for Law Firms
I have reinvented my most read blog on Chancel Repair Liability into an Infographic cutting down almost a 1000 words into one picturewell, you know what they say.
We have just posted a Jargon Busting Slideshare presentation called: What’s the Name of That Legal Thingy?
Within 7 days of its release we had received over 2750 views and multiple likes, retweets and shares.
We’ve added to the mix eBooks, a printed book, and video on YouTube and created a hub for all our content to make it more easily accessible.
We even turned our obligatory complaints procedure into something of value and worth sharing.
Release Your Great Legal Content
Great legal content can stretch far and wide – swim (or scamper across) oceans if you will.
Ownership of great sharable legal content protects you from the vagaries of digital real estate owned by Google, Facebook, and Twitter et al.
Facebook for example has recently tweaked its algorithms to make it more difficult to publish content to as many “fans” as before. You now have to pay to get the previous coverage.
Great legal content will be shared by family friends and colleagues. Even better, if you are producing exceptional legal content, it will be shared by people outside of those immediate circles.
Think about it: your great legal content shared by people you do not know but digested and read by people who may become clients on the strength of that content.
What Will You Law Firm Content Marketing Success Look Like?
Bubba knew what success looked like:
“What you do is you just drag your nets across the bottom. On a good day, you can catch over a hundred pounds of shrimp. If everything goes all right, two men shrimpin' ten hours, less what you spends on gas, you can...”
I’ve written about fishing nets before in the context of law firm websites and how to engage with potential clients here.
If your law firm has great legal content I would love to share it and for that matter if you would like to share a box of chocolates… well perhaps an analogy too far.
Whatever analogy you choose I hope you look at content creation and the power of content marketing for your law firm in a whole new light or rather a series of lights.
And that's, that's about it.