Outsourced content marketing: An option for public affairs consulting firms

The outsourcing of content marketing is a good option for public affairs consulting firms.

As Marketing Insider Group details, B2B companies that blog at least 11 times per month receive 1.75 times more leads than those that blog 6 to 10 times per month – and 3.75 times more leads than those blogging once a week. The production of sophisticated public affairs content is often complex and time consuming, placing pressure on firms to maintain updated blogs (let alone maintaining industry-leading thought leadership platforms).

Good public affairs writers will produce content quickly

Topics of interest to discerning public affairs services clients are often sophisticated, therefore will often require the expertise of a specialist public affairs writer. Public affairs-focused writing (particularly writing that clients and other key audiences will find compelling) often takes time and subject matter familiarity to produce.

As Semrush Blog details, some content writers develop significant expertise in industry-specific content production – making it likely they will be capable of producing a high-volume of sophisticated subject matter specific content.  This content is, therefore, ideal for outsourcing to a public affairs-focused writer and publisher with experience in support of public affairs marketing and business development.

Good public affairs writers do more than write

Good public affairs writers will also have experience in range of tasks associated with maintaining a lead-generating public affairs blog  — including strategy, research, editing, publishing, calls to action — and social media promotion and engagement.

Outsourced public affairs writers are cost-effective

Because they are not full-time employees and will be working on a per-project basis, outsourcing to independent writers is likely to be cost efficient. And while a public affairs specialist marketing writer ad blogger is likely to cost more than a more generally qualified content writer, their knowledge of blogging in support of public affairs marketing will be worth the added expense in peace of mind and a more robust pipeline of new leads.

Law firms are already looking to outsource internal functions

As Thomson Reuters recently detailed, law firms (whose services are similar to those of public affairs and governmental relations firms) are “looking to increase efficiency, lower costs, and improve their value proposition to clients…[and are currently] exploring outsourcing of support staff roles as a key option.” Public affairs firms might, therefore, wish to emulate the legal services sector here.

Consider outsourcing public affairs content production

I help public affairs and governmental relations consulting firms produce, publish and promote written content in support of the marketing and business development functions.  For more information, please contact me.

Why public affairs consulting blogs should highlight paths to important client business objectives

Blogging is a proven method of client development for professional services firms, including public affairs and governmental relations consulting firms. And based on what professional services clients are looking for from their advisors — these blogging initiatives should aim to address how public affairs consulting services can help clients achieve important business objectives.

A recent article in Forbes magazine by legal services sector management consultant Mark Cohen describes an emerging legal market where business clients increasingly expect lawyers to be a conduit to business success. 

As Cohen explains, business leaders are encouraging (or sometimes demanding) that lawyers “operate proactively, predictively, quickly, efficiently, collaboratively, and in data-backed fashion. The expectation is that the legal function will morph from self-contained cost center to collaborative catalyst for enterprise and customer value creation.” 

Notably, as Cohen details, 97% of business leaders want their lawyer’s success metrics to be aligned with their business goals. And 74% of business leaders say it is important or extremely important for lawyers to create revenue and new market opportunities.

Professional services firms in other disciplines like public affairs and governmental relations should assume these emerging client expectations apply equally to their areas of expertise.

Public procurement is a prime client-centric blogging topic for public affairs

A prime example of where public affairs advisors can align their services with client business objectives (and blog about them) is public procurement.

Notably, public procurement represented 12 percent of global GDP in 2018. In the EU, for example, 14% of GDP (approximately 2 trillion euros per year) is spent by EU member state governments on public procurement. In the US, the federal government purchases approximately $665 billion annually in goods and services each year from outside contractors (10% of the $6.5 trillion annual budget).

These budgets represent a sizable commercial opportunity for businesses, where public affairs and governmental relations advisors are uniquely positioned to help.

Focus on generating more client-centric blogging opportunities

Public affairs firms can identify how they can help clients secure public sector contacting opportunities, then regularly blog about them for client development purposes. And each public affairs practice niche can be examined to determine how it can be utilized to achieve important client objectives. Once identified, these capabilities can be regularly articulated in a blogging initiative to help attract interest from potential clients attracted by a public affairs services offer closely aligned with their important business objectives.

I provide public affairs consulting firms with writing, editing and blogging services including the production of thought leadership focused on how public affairs services can help clients achieve business success. For more information, please contact me.

PEO Services blogs need thought leadership, not just SEO

A professional employer organization (PEO) provides outsourced, cost-efficient business management services primarily to small & medium (SME) companies — including payroll, accounting, tax, recruitment, talent search, and compliance.

Globally, the PEO services industry is growing due to the increasing need for cost-efficient management services by internationalizing SMEs. In 2022, the PEO services market was valued at 62 billion USD. It is projected to reach a value of 158 billion USD by 2031.

Blogging often used for PEO services marketing

Due to the often-international nature of its clientele, many PEO services companies (aware of the results content marketing produces for B2B services providers) utilize blogging to generate interest from potential clients.  These blogging initiatives rely on the publication of topical articles discussing how globalizing companies might be helped by outsourcing their critical business functions and the analysis of PEO industry trends.

Thought leadership and SEO essential to good blogging

There are two core elements associated with good blogging: search engine optimization (SEO) and thought leadership.  SEO relies on the production of good results from online searches.  And thought leadership involves gaining market awareness from quality blog content about leading industry trends and client concerns. While thought leadership can be conducted without SEO, successful SEO requires thought leadership – as publishing high quality content is the most important factor in today’s Google search engine algorithm.

Ensure thought leadership is equally balanced with SEO

In my observation of many PEO services blogs, I have noticed that SEO tends to often be prioritized over thought leadership.  Therefore, I recommend PEO services companies utilize the services of a writer capable of producing superior PEO services thought leadership to ensure their content marketing initiative maintains a healthy balance between SEO and thought leadership.

For example, good PEO services blogs will include thought leadership such as industry leader interviews, Q&A or journalistic style posts about how PEO can help companies reduce costs and improve efficiencies, and lower staff turnover. High quality thought leadership like this helps distinguish PEO services companies from their competitors, builds more brand awareness and generates more client leads, while expanding exposure among key industry journalists and networking organizations.

In sum, mediocre content in a climate where many PEO services companies are competing for business is insufficient to achieve a high degree of recognition by clients and high search engines results. It is, therefore, vital to produce high quality thought leadership as a cornerstone of your PEO services content marketing efforts.

I provide PEO services companies with writing, editing and blogging services including the production of thought leadership and SEO-friendly content.  For more information, please contact me.

Why intellectual property lawyers should blog about how to monetize IP

Intellectual property lawyers should blog about strategies for clients to monetize their IP – as law firm clients are increasingly looking for legal counsel that will be a conduit to business success.

Clients expect lawyers to be a conduit to business success

A recent article in Forbes magazine by legal services sector management consultant Mark Cohen describes an emerging legal market where business clients increasingly expect lawyers to be a conduit to business success.

As Cohen explains, business leaders are encouraging (or sometimes demanding) that lawyers “operate proactively, predictively, quickly, efficiently, collaboratively, and in data-backed fashion. The expectation is that the legal function will morph from self-contained cost center to collaborative catalyst for enterprise and customer value creation.”

Notably, as Cohen details, 97% of business leaders want their lawyer’s success metrics to be aligned with their business goals. And 74% of business leaders say it is important or extremely important for lawyers to create revenue and new market opportunities.

Where IP lawyers can be a conduit to business success

IP monetization is where intellectual property (IP) is harnessed to generate revenue. As IP law firm Maier & Maier, PLLC has explained: “The next great corporate challenge in the information age is figuring out how to unlock the hidden power of Intellectual Property, most notably with patents. ” And as upcounsel details, this monetization is complex and requires the special skills which IP lawyers possess.

IP assets are frequently developed (via primary and supplementary monetization) by corporate management teams seeking to generate greater profitability. As deal lawyer Art Mertes has detailed in Entrepreneur magazine: “Accretion of IP value is the key element to supporting overall enterprise value. ” Frequently, IP assets can become biproducts of a company’s core business activities, capable of generating multiple revenue streams. Once regarded as simply tools providing rights for exclusion, patents are increasingly significant as intangible assets.

Historically focused on industry sectors including e-commerce, high-tech, and pharmaceuticals, IP monetization is now more important in other industries. Many IP owners are not knowledgeable about how it can be monetized. This presents an opportunity for IP lawyers to meet the needs of clients where they most wish to be assisted.

IP monetization-focused blogging will help law firms generate more clients

As the blog of legal technology company Clio has detailed (citing an American Bar Association study), 60% of law firms with more than 100 lawyers maintain blogs – and 37% of all law firms do. Notably, 34% of firms with blogs report that they have been signed by new clients because of their blogging. Clio also cites Kevin O’Keefe, CEO of LexBlog, who explains that blogs build law firm authority and reputation. But to stand out among a sea of blogs, he advises firms to focus their blogging on specific legal niches. Importantly, he also explains that firms should not use their blog as a megaphone to shout the merits of their firm. Instead, law blogs should provide useful information that is enjoyable to read.

Lawyers who focus on niche blogging areas like IP monetization strategy, therefore, can distinguish themselves among their competitors with an insightful and consistent blogging initiative. Here, lawyers can analyze the market to determine what topical IP monetization issues or opportunities are most relevant to clients — and where their practice niche can be of help in the monetization process.

I have extensive experience in helping law firms establish and maintain niche blogging initiatives, including those focused on intellectual property monetization. If you would like to discuss how I might help you establish or maintain a niche legal blogging initiative around IP, please contact me.  

Why law blogs should focus on helping clients achieve revenue and new markets

Business clients want their lawyers to help facilitate commercial objectives

A recent article in Forbes magazine by legal services sector management consultant Mark Cohen describes an emerging legal market where business clients increasingly expect lawyers to be a conduit to business success.

As Cohen explains, business leaders are encouraging (or sometimes demanding) that lawyers “operate proactively, predictively, quickly, efficiently, collaboratively, and in data-backed fashion. The expectation is that the legal function will morph from self-contained cost center to collaborative catalyst for enterprise and customer value creation.”

Notably, as Cohen details, 97% of business leaders want their lawyer’s success metrics to be aligned with their business goals. And 74% of business leaders say it is important or extremely important for lawyers to create revenue and new market opportunities.

As Cohen explains, lawyers’ latent value is extracted when they cease to operate in isolation and instead align with their business clients. Here, he notes, is where ultimately lawyers will collaborate with and positively impact numerous units within client businesses – detecting, deterring, mitigating and accelerating solutions to business challenges while also capturing opportunities. Lawyers will, therefore, be a “proactive, positive force in the enterprise, not a reactive, “department of no.””

Lawyers should reorient around client business goals facilitation

Lawyers providing services to business should seek to closely align their services offer with helping make their clients’ businesses more competitive and profitable. For example, IP lawyers can seek opportunities to monetize client IP portfolios, corporate lawyers can seek to be a conduit to M&A opportunities (not just a transaction advisor), government lawyers can seek to help clients secure government contracts, litigation lawyers can seek to help clients avoid litigation risk before conflicts arise.

In addition to reorienting services offers to help facilitate client commercial objectives, lawyers should also seek to establish a thought leadership position around this expertise in each legal specialism where they are deploying this posture. A well thought out blog and a considered business development initiative around engaging the business units around potential client businesses will see firms becoming trusted partners for business growth.

I help lawyers and law firms establish and maintain blogging initiatives which highlight their ability to facilitate commercial opportunities for clients. If you would like to learn more, please contact me.

How many blogposts should lawyers publish every month?

Consistent blogging is an important anchor for lawyers seeking to maximize their marketing and business development potential.  Notably, B2B marketers that use blogs receive 55% more website visitors, 97% more links from other sites, and 67% more leads than those who don’t. And 34% of law firms with blogs report that they have been signed by new clients because of their blogging.

Consistency a challenge to law firm blogging efforts

While blogging can be time consuming, it is utilized by leading law firms to build a strong industry reputation while also generating more new clients leads. Key to blogging success, however, is consistency.  But because many lawyers are busy, producing regular blogposts is challenging for many law firms.

2-4 posts a month is a minimum to achieve good search engine rankings

In preparing this blogpost, I reviewed the suggestions of several industry experts to seek to identify how many posts lawyers should publish every month.  The recommendations range from a minimum of 2 to 4 posts per month. I would suggest this total should apply to small law firms or practice groups within large law firms.  Why 2 to 4?  Because Google and other search engines need to see regular amounts of good content to rank a blog as a source of expert information. I would also suggest that high quality content that uniquely addresses client concerns is as important a criterion for how much to publish as search engine ranking is.  So, seek to be a genuine legal thought leader in each specialism your firm focuses on to generate greater client leads and recognition – above and beyond ranking in search results.

As your firm continues to regularly publish blogposts month-to-month, your firm will rank higher and higher in search results for the legal specialisms your ideal clients are searching for online.  At the same time, your blog will also be producing more inquiries from potential clients and referral sources. And your blogposts can also be proactively utilized by lawyers and firm business development professionals to generate conversations with potential clients and referral sources – not solely serve as an inbound marketing tool.

Outsource legal writing and blogging to achieve your publishing objectives

Firms and practice groups should see 2-4 blogposts per month as the bare minimum publishing goal — and outsource blogging to an expert in legal writing and publishing for legal marketing and business development purposes. An expert legal blogger will be in a position to also help you determine ideal blogpost topics and publishing frequency based on firm or practice group business development goals, create a publishing calendar, operate the law blog, utilize the firms social media profiles to promote the blog content, and in some cases liaise with legal media around covering subjects of interest to their readers that intersect with your blogging focus.

Mission critical law blogs require professional support to achieve maximum success

To achieve the client development goals your firm or practice group has — a blog is now mission critical.  Therefore, the services of a professional legal blogger are a wise investment to ensure your law blog publishes consistent, client-focused quality content.  I help law firms and legal practice groups establish and maintain consistent blogging initiatives that generate new client inquiries. For more information about how I might help you maintain your law blog, please contact me.

Why international law firms should blog about local markets

Legal business development professional Richard Smith recently shared an article on Twitter which is relevant to marketing initiatives of international law firms.  The article appeared in Harvard Business Review and noted how important it is for globalizing companies to approach local markets with a local approach. 

Globalizing companies need tailored local assistance

The article mentioned how Harvard Business School Professor Alexander MacKay studied the new market entry strategy of Uber and found that it adjusted its strategies to meet specific challenges it found from competitors and regulators in local markets.

Some Governments seek to meet the localized informational needs of globalizing companies

Another article from Reuters details how the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has sought to actively market Malaysia as a jurisdiction of choice for international companies seeking opportunities.

The Reuters and HBR articles I believe demonstrate why the opportunities for international law firms in local markets are substantial.  Reuters notes that in the case of Malaysia, there are more that 1 million small and medium sized business which represent almost 40% of the country’s economy.  And that in a globalized economy, localized opportunities for international companies will expand.

In the case of Malaysia, MIDA has been highlighting local incentives which should be attractive to foreign companies, including competitive energy prices, high productivity levels, lower cost of skilled labor and a working population that embraces technology innovation.

Reuters notes how Malaysia’s economy has attracted numerous global companies and that MIDA operates offices throughout Europe.  MIDA CEO Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman told Reuters that MIDA has become “a one-stop center for overseas investors seeking information and assistance in setting up or expanding a business in Malaysia.” I believe law firms can learn from this and seek to emulate this effort (which resembles similar efforts in other countries).

Some law firms have initiatives focused on providing local information to global companies

Law firms can seek to be a window into their market for international companies, which will help them become a trusted resource for all kinds of information (not just legal) about the local market – combining traditional legal blogging and the information initiatives of governmental agencies like MIDA focused in generating foreign investment.  Some locality-focused legal blogging examples law firms might wish to emulate include China Law Insight, The Malaysian Lawyer, My Lawyer in Spain, The Korean Law Blog, the European Law Blog, and Brazil Counsel.

Law blogging is a proven method for law firms to become a trusted source of information for clients and referral sources. A law firm blogging effort which seeks to combine the successful efforts of other law firms as well as local investment cultivation initiatives by governments — will serve any internationally focused law firm well in terms of becoming a source of trusted legal and commercial information clients and referral sources will be seeking when hoping to find capable and commercially astute local counsel.

I help law firms establish and maintain blogging initiatives focused on generating interest and new client engagements from foreign investors. If you would like to discuss how I might help your firm, please contact me.

Niche legal blogging opportunity in new US policy on foreign investment

A recent development in US policy related to outbound foreign investment is a subject ideal for specialist lawyers to blog about. As I have detailed previously, blogging about niche subjects is regarded by experts as important to lawyers who wish to become thought leaders in their area of legal specialty.

This new development is a recent Biden administration decision to release an executive order establishing an outbound investment screening mechanism.  The executive order and its implications were recently detailed by Emily Benson and Margot Putnam of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.

A March 2023 joint statement from US President Biden and European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reflects the concerns inspiring the new US executive order. In that statement, Biden and von der Leyen stated they “have a common interest in preventing our companies’ capital, expertise, and knowledge from fueling technological advances that will enhance the military and intelligence capabilities of our strategic rivals, including through outbound investment.”

This executive order has generated concerns over how US private sector entities will be impacted over the definition of the term investment, how screening mechanisms will operate, and how compliance will be conducted.  

As US foreign investment is enormous and impacts numerous foreign jurisdictions, this new policy and its various mechanisms provide much for the private sector to be concerned about – and therefore is an ideal subject for law firms that assist US foreign investors. Blogging topics related to this subject could involve a variety of practice specialisms and industry sector practice groups.  It therefore provides several potential client development opportunities.  

This is an excellent example of where lawyers who focus on niche blogging areas can distinguish themselves among their competitors. Lawyers in any practice specialism can do this sort of analysis of the news to determine what topical issues are most relevant to clients and where their practice niche can be of help – with an aim to creating content to address the needs of those potential clients.

If you would like to discuss how I might help you establish or maintain a niche legal blogging initiative, please contact me.  

Why law firms should coordinate business development and blogging

Law firms can and should coordinate their business development and blogging initiatives to generate more clients. Many law firms often silo these functions while focusing primarily on content marketing to build brand awareness and generate inbound inquiries — and less on business development to find and secure new client engagements.

Notably, 87% of marketers believe alignment between sales and marketing is important for business growth.  An article in NYTLicensing provides some interesting observations about the importance of coordinating business development and marketing and how it can be done. As the article details, a significant percentage of the global adult population (and by extension, lawyers) use the internet regularly. Important for lawyers to know is — 55% of decision makers use content to vet future partners and vendors — and 47% have shared contact details in exchange for thought leadership.

Blogging for law firms is important because the general counsel and other purchasers of legal services often search the internet before making decisions about who to work with on matters where they may need to make an external legal spend.  Therefore, a widely read blog with useful content becomes important for firms to distinguish themselves amid a sea of competitors.  Too, content can help create knowledge of your firm’s brand and expertise — for when business development initiatives contact your key audiences.

And business development is equally important because it serves as the engine which organizes and pushes forward efforts to engage specific potential clients around representation and renumeration. Without well-functioning business development, law firms will realize fewer new client engagements. Many of the functions and goals of blogging and business development overlap. Combining these efforts, therefore, should be a high priority for law firms.

Effectively coordinate legal business development and blogging

To effectively coordinate between marking and business development, firms should identify what content business development would like to see produced by the content team – which they believe will not only attract inbound inquiries, but which also will be used by business development in outbound initiatives.  Firms should ensure they also develop an editorial calendar that commits the content team to dedicating regular resources to topics identified as important by business development. Content teams will already be producing content about partner hires, events, and other PR related matters. So, this extension into coordinating with business development will not be disruptive to marketing time or resources. And it will also help tie content teams into participation in business development return on investment (ROI) gains.

With these initiatives in place, content marketing and business development will be able to work together more effectively and generate more client leads and more client signs. I have specialized in both legal business development and blogging for law firms for most of my career. Based on my experience, I understand how to effectively combine business development and blogging for the benefit of lawyers and their law firms.

If you would like to discuss how I might help your firm integrate business development and blogging effectively, please contact me.

Why law firms should promote their blogposts after publication

The promotion of blogposts after publication is important for law firms so they can maximize their ability to generate new clients and build more brand awareness. Blogposts by Yelena Petic on Vez Digital blog and Josh Slone on ContentScale blog provide very helpful information about how firms might promote blogposts to generate more return on investment from blogging. I have utilized some of the information in those posts while compiling the following list of how to promote blogposts:

Utilize a good blogging platform

Utilizing a blogging platform that is designed to host and support blogs is essential to the success of a law firm blog.  You should ensure the blog is capable of loading quickly on desktop or mobile. Further, the design of the site should make it easy to read.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

While law firms should prioritize content of high relevance to key audiences, search engine optimization (SEO) is something that can help a blog appear higher in internet search results. Therefore, it’s wise to use keywords in titles and meta descriptions to help your blog rank higher.  

Proofread after publishing

Blogging is often conducted under tight deadlines, so it is important to double check the text for mistakes after publishing. Also make sure there is a call to action in each post.  Hoping a reader will contact you? Place a contact form somewhere in the post.

Post to social media

After publishing each blogpost, post those articles to your active social media profiles and relevant social media groups. Law firms should not only maintain relevant social media profiles – they should engage with followers and build relationships on these profiles and in these groups as well.

Leverage relationships with industry influencers

Law firms should build relationships with industry influencers who may be more inclined to share your blogposts when published.  These influencer relationships can and should include guest posting, joint events, and more.  By doing this, law firms can leverage the networks of influencers they work with to amplify the reach of their blogposts and blog.

Email posts to subscribers

Email subscribers are usually the most interested in your content and your services – and therefore should be the first to receive your blogposts when published.  Most blogging platforms have a built-in subscriber email distribution function.  Make sure to cultivate subscribers by prominently placing a subscription sign up form on your blog.

Build internal and external links to your posts

Link building is an effective way to help search engines know that your blog is credible and should rank highly. You can, for example, create links from popular older posts to new posts to help increase the likelihood they will rank more highly in search results.  Also, by creating superb content others will cite it and link to it, which will also help you in search results.

Repurpose or syndicate blog content

Repurposing content is an excellent way to save time and increase the reach of your posts, even long after they have been initially published.  For example, utilizing blog content as scripts for video and audio, or in ebooks, or by creating excerpts from the posts for new social media channels or groups you’ve recently discovered – or sending to new potential clients as a part of your business development efforts.

Utilize blogposts in the business development process

One of the best uses for blogposts is to contact potential clients and invite those potential clients to discuss how you may be able to help them – while including a link to a post you have written with them in mind. A more advanced way to produce blogposts is to publish about specific needs specific clients may have – and have that sort of publishing serve as the primary anchor guiding your content creation.

Turn your blog into a lead generator

These are just some of the things law firms can do to promote blogposts in anticipation of publishing and after publishing.  By doing this a blogger can become an active lead generator for the firm they blog for.

If you would like to discuss how I can help your law firm establish and/or maintain a law blog, please contact me.