Friday, April 20, 2012

The State of Inbound Marketing Report: Law Blogging Works

HubSpot recently released its "The State of Inbound Marketing Report 2012."  You can take a look at the whole thing here.

Essentially the report discusses trends and practices in the field of inbound marketing of which law blog writing falls.  Inbound marketing in this report refers to a marketing strategies where a business attempts to be found by those who are already looking for services.  Of course, in the legal world, inbound marketing is the name of the game.  Whereas one who sells hamburgers can engage in outbound marketing--trying to convince people that they need to buy one of these hamburgers--lawyers are less inclined to convince people that they need the service.  Instead, lawyers are most often trying to be chosen by those who already have the need or desire for legal services.   Therefore, inbound marketing strategies are the bread and butter of law firm marketing.

The HubSpot inbound marketing report is a summary of information based on surveys from nearly 1,000 marketing professionals to get a feel for what is going on in this part--perhaps the biggest part--of the legal marketing world.

So what does it reveal?  A lot.  There is too much detail to go through it all verbatim, so those with more specific interest should take a look at the whole report.   However, the five key takeaway delineated in the report are as follows:

1) Inbound marketing leads are low costs.  On average, it requires a lot less marketing spending to generate leads with inbound marketing than outbound marketing.  This is logical as spending on social media sites, law blog writing, and other tasks is far cheaper than things like television commercials.  All told the 2012 report found inbound marketing to be 61% cheaper per lead than outbound strategies.

2) Perhaps because of its value, marketing budgets are shifting so that more money is being spend on these tools.  Business of all stripes, including law firms, are finding more value in shifting resources to the more cost-effective tools, like having legal blog writers.

3) The last year saw an explosion in social media use, with 62% of respondents admitting that they've begun using social media tools much more than in the past.

4) Interestingly, Google+ has become a growing social media tool.  For those unfamiliar, Google+ is essentially Google's latest (and most forceful) attempt to jump into the social media world.  Think of it as another Facebook.  The verdict is still out on the overall useability and value of Google+ among some.  However, considering the ways that Google search is using the social network, it is becoming more and more necessary for firms to at least be aware of the media and dabble in it.

5) Our Favorite: The value of blogging is rising steadily.  Over 81% of those responding rated their business blog as highly valuable or useful.  In fact, more than a quarter of the businesses mentioning blogging as "critical" to their efforts.  Obviously, as legal content writers we endorse this concept.  But it is encouraging that more and more businesses (including law firms) are coming to the realization that blogging is a tool that is too critical to ignore.

See Our Related Blogs:

The Myth of Overnight Success

Google "Search Plus Your World" and What It Means For Your Law Firm Blog

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Myth of Overnight Success

Mega-sensations in every field often have stories painted of immediate success.  Their genius or natural talent was supposedly evident right from the beginning.  Tales abound of young firms and attorneys that nab some big case or take a high-profile stand that launches them into the stratosphere and indefinitely secures their position in their own corner of the legal world.

Virtually all of these stories are misleading.

Overnight success generally isn't an apt description even in the few cases where it seems to apply.  That is certainly the case in the legal world.  Even though  99 out of 100 solo and small firm attorneys will agree that overnight success is a myth many still allow the perception to creep into their own judgment about their practice.  Our legal content writers work with many small and medium firms who worry about the trajectory of their practice and base their fears on false assumptions on how it worked for the most successful that they are hoping to emulate.  A interesting post as Fast Company highlights the situation...
When looking at the most successful people and organizations, we often imagine geniuses with a smooth journey straight to the promised land. But when you really examine nearly every success story, they are filled with crushing defeats, near-death experiences, and countless setbacks.
The same oversight success principles apply to firms generally as they do to their law firm blogs specifically.  In fact, overnight success should likely be banished from any conversation  about how a blog or any online project will help the firm.  Benefits from these tools simply do not happen overnight because their benefit is based on accumulated value over time.  That is not to say that some firms don't see immediate benefit from starting a blog, adding new law blog posts consistently, or otherwise amping up one's online effort.  Law blogging has be to done with a view for the long-game.