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A Deep Dive into Brand and Messaging and Content Strategy

At the Legal Marketing Association’s national conference last month, I joined some very smart colleagues and sat down for a deep dive into the strategy, writing, design, and development of law firm websites.

Moderating the session was Robert Algeri from Great Jakes. Joining me on the panel were Katie Flores of Armitage Consulting, Jacqueline Madarang of Bradley, and Paul Pierson or Carbone Smolin Agency.

In case you missed the session, here are a couple of highlights from the topics I covered as part of the session.

Web Content Checklist

Approach content creation like a strategist would.

  • Share the brand strategy document with all writers, and discuss what it means for the firm’s written content. They’ll appreciate having the firm’s business and brand strategy before beginning their writing assignments. Let them see the wireframes, sitemaps, and rough layouts of all the pages. Knowing where the pages are connected and how the site will look-and-feel will help you get the best from your writing team.
  • This is your chance to be found by Google. Use SEO research and web stats to identify keywords to share with writers. We’re not suggesting a spammy approach to content creation. Instead, your writing team will be better informed about the specific words and phrases readers are seeking from your attorneys and your firm.

If you can’t rewrite everything that you would like…

  • Use web stats or a business case to help your attorneys set priorities. Tweak the writing on the most-visited pages. Be sure to review the search terms used on Google. Also look at your site’s internal search reports. They’ll tell you even more what phrases visitors are looking for – when they’ve already arrived on your site!
  • Propose a phased approach for continuing to rewrite content after launch. You needn’t worry about replacing every page before launch. Many firms have used this approach successfully – and without regret.
  • Consider leading a bio-writing workshop for your attorneys. This can be a lifesaver, especially when you’re facing a time-crunch.

Brand and Messaging Checklist

Thoughtfully select the attorneys to interview.

  • Choose a cross-section of team players, naysayers, old timers, and new kids on the block. You’ll also want to have management’s back during this phase, just in case the naysayers are behaving as their name implies.
Be prepared to answer questions that support the need for – and the importance of – a new brand and messaging platform. Frame your answers in terms of how this endeavor will help “move the firm forward,” “increase new business,” etc.

Click the links below for complete versions of the checklists:
Website Content
Brand and Messaging

If you need assistance with your firm’s brand and messaging or website content strategy, contact our team at Knapp Marketing.