• Doug McPherson

What does the future hold for lawyers' and accountants' blogs?

As a lawyer, an accountant or an IP attorney it’s difficult to keep up with the latest content marketing trends so let us do that for you ...

... based on current trends there are the 10½ blogging trends every law firm and accountancy practice should be aware of:

1. The reach of your blog will only grow

The world’s population is currently around 7.5 billion and of those, more than 4 billion are online. Of those half are reading blogs. While your practice won’t appeal to 2 billion people, based on that percentage your blog could reach 1 out of 3 potential targets.

2. Get mobile

More than half of the people online access the interest via their mobile device. Once they do, they spend an average of three and a half hours on it every day. This means your blog must be mobile-friendly.

3. Writing in English is a plus

More than 70% of the blogs on the World’s major platforms are in English. People are used to English being the dominant language online. Although it is always beneficial to be able to translate your content if you are targeting particular communities or countries, there is no issue if you can only write in English.

4. Brands want blogs

In 2018 more than half of the World's top brands said that blogging was their top marketing priority.

While the professional services are a very different proposition, these brands are trailblazers. If they - with all their marketing expertise - are prioritising blogging, there must be something in it!

5. Keep adapting your structure

Instead of producing individual blogs, try to build a story that puts all the points you want to make into a timeline or narrative.

And try to vary the way you communicate. Use more video. Mix long and short-form content. Experiment with interactive content and more visual content like infographics and flowcharts.

6. Go niche

With so much information available online, you have to focus. Get to know your target market, what’s bothering them and the terminology and vocabulary they use. Use the trade press and Google alerts. They'll update you on the latest developments so your content is relevant and current.

7. Partner up

More and more blogs are now co-written and guest written. Why not ask a client or referrer to share writing duties with you? It’ll provide your readers with a much wider perspective on the topics you’re tackling.

It'll also double your audience and halves the writing burden!

8. Keep the search engines onside

Google performs more than 70,000 searches every second, every day. This means anticipating what your readers will be searching on will push you up the results.

What are the issues your clients face? What questions are you asked most often? and what’s going on/about to happen in your markets. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients what they want more information on. You can even use online polls to gauge your markets’ information requirements.

You should also be keeping an eye on voice and image searches. Don't ignore the potential of Alexa, Google Assistant, Google Lens and Pinterest.

9. Leverage “micro-moments”

A micro-moment is a very short period during which a client needs something very specific. The good news for the professional services is that the window is longer than it is for consumer brands. But, you still need to take full advantage.

For accountants, the Budget is a good example. You have to be ready to comment on the key points within the hour.

But, a more pertinent example (at time of writing) may be Coronavirus. As soon as reports hinting at the possible scale of the outbreak broke, many law firms put out statements from an employment, corporate or family perspective to capitalise on the inevitable spike in related searches.

10. Connect everything

One only needs to watch someone use a smartphone to see how people move from blog to social media to websites.

Make sure everything links up. And, make those links visible and obvious to maximise engagement.

10½. Chatbots

They may drive me mad but chatbots are being used by more and more firms. They allow you to answer (or at least field) questions outside office hours. They'll buy you time if your team is busy. They can help you convert an interested visitor at the height of their interest levels.

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