"You're talking a lot, but you're not sayin' anything" - 'Psycho Killer', Talking Heads
As Psycho Killer was released in 1977, it is a certainty that David Byrne wasn't lamenting the type of content that features on the blogs of most law firms' websites. His lyrics though are of great relevance today – in the Internet age where we are all publishers.
We now live in a world of 'hyper connectivity' where, like it or not, we are exposed to information relentlessly through the Internet, a process assisted by the proliferation of Internet enabled devices that allow us to consume information no matter where we are or what we are doing.
One of the issues that can flow from such a sensory overload of information is that it can be hard to find content that is reliable and of value to us – we just end up reading a lot but at times not really gaining anything as we wade through endless 'updates' of little value. In a sense, a lot of people and businesses are talking a lot but not saying anything.
If you are looking for a good example of 'content for the sake of content', it might be prudent to consider the approach adopted by many law firms. Rather than creating content of value to the reader the approach often adopted is to simply 'update' the news section of the website with a piece of 'information'.
This information is often a generic piece of content that has been sourced online – it may be of some relevance to the work types that the firm provides, but it is rarely breaking news, or even news in any real sense. So the reader may find out that mortgage approvals increased by 5% last month, or that claims for unfair dismissal have fallen significantly compared to last year, but is this really of any value to them? Was it what they wanted to hear from the law firm that they were assessing and perhaps thinking of engaging to look after their legal affairs?
The answer is probably no. The 'update' in a way updates the site, and at very least makes it look as though it is maintained, but it isn't updating the site in any meaningful way – and the reader is left diminished and frustrated, and wont engage.
So, what type of content is the reader looking for? The answer is simple – content of value that informs the reader in a meaningful way and helps them to understand a topic or their situation better. This enriches the reader and helps them make a better, informed decision if that is what they are looking to do.
Sticking with the law firm theme, the online visitor will often be looking to gain greater understanding of their legal difficulty through informative content using all forms of media such as text, video or infographics. Once they have this information they will then perhaps consider moving on to the next step of instructing a solicitor to look after their affairs.
The law firm that takes the time to create valuable content places itself in the best position possible to be the firm that receives the enquiry. The person who has been informed by it may consider the firm as the 'provider of help', capable of guiding them through the legal maze – just as the firm guided them through the maze of online content that they found initially when they searched online. In a sense, you made sense of things for them, you helped them with your knowledge and in return you were thanked with their business.
Effective content marketing is challenging – in terms of the time and effort required to create the content and the strategy required around it to give it an audience. The Internet requires new, valuable content on an ongoing basis ('Say something once, why say it again?') and Curated Media can help you make sense of the online world. If you are tense and nervous about your online content marketing then we can help you relax. Say hello.