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What Law Firms and In-house Counsel Are Doing in Online Marketing

04/30/14

What Law Firms and In-house Counsel Are Doing in Online Marketing


The latest survey of the working of law firms and in-house counsel in the new media environment done by Greentarget with ALM Legal Intelligence and the Zeughauser Group provides some significant insights into how law firms and in-house counsel are performing in establishing online presence and utilizing digital media. The survey, titled 2014 State of Digital & Content Marketing Survey, also highlights what successful lawyers and law firms are doing to gain a competitive edge. Essentially, the report concludes that law firm marketers should build well-defined content strategies and engage in corporate journalism through online platforms.

What Law Firms and In-house Counsel Are Doing in Online Marketing


The study found 'corporate journalism' allows business and professional entities to function like media companies by shaping and sharing stories that helps build brand awareness and establish their thought leadership.

According to the study, corporate journalism is practiced by incorporating the elements of traditional journalism into content supported by the professional or business entity's subject matter expertise and market intelligence. Thus, corporate journalism creates content that is both credible and sharable.

Speaking on the situation, John Corey, founding partner of Greentarget, said, "This year's survey of in-house counsel shows how hard it is for content to stand out when so much is flooding our computer screens, inboxes and mobile devices."

He added, "If law-firm marketers, and marketers of professional services generally, hope to make an impression, they must deliver information that readers find essential and are compelled to share. That's why we believe firms should embrace content strategies that are rooted in corporate journalism so that they can shape and deliver the most compelling stories they have to tell with credibility and impact."

Some key findings of the survey include the following:
  • Blog readership has reached a critical mass and started to stagnate. While the numbers of blogs published by the AmLaw 200 has gone up from 350 blogs in 2010 to more than 1000 today, readership is falling after years of steady increase.
  • LinkedIn is no more a differentiator but a necessity. For marketing and online brand building, LinkedIn has become a necessity for professionals and professional services. More lawyers and law firms use LinkedIn for engagement than they use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube combined.
  • News and information updates happen through mobile devices, which are always on. More than one third of the lawyers and law firms surveyed said their mobiles are always on and lead to significant information overload.
  • General Counsel prefer remaining on silent mode on social networks, and almost 71 percent regularly visit social media platforms to consume information, but only 29 percent engage with other users.

The report finds that only those lawyers and law firms who have well-defined content strategies are succeeding in online marketing. One of the major reasons is information overload, and while law firms have been publishing content steadily for ages, with the opening up of the digital media world, "the stream has become an ocean - one that threatens to drown out all but the most compelling voices."

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