Surely, if you do something often enough you're going to get better at it. Right?
The truth is that doing things over and over again without refning or improving is just a terrible, terrible idea.
Which, I guess, is the essence of practice – that you can spot when you're doing it wrong, improve when you do it next time.
But can we do that with our content?
Yes. Yes we can.
Doing it Wrong, Over and Over Again, Doesn't Help
Somewhere along the way, someone decided on your marketing strategy.
Perhaps it was a commitee of individuals many years before you cared about such things. Perhaps it is the fact that you are just doing the best you can without the time or resources to dedicate to finding out whether it's good or not. And perhaps it's that you have no ability or desire to measure the efficacy of your content.
Whatever the case – it's easily avoided.
So let's get into it.
At the Very Least, Learn Best Practice
If you're going to embark on a fairly expensive content campaign then (whether you outsource it or not) it's a good plan to understand what is, and is not, best practice when it comes to content marketing.
That means understanding the nature of headlines and their purpose.
How to write introductory paragraphs and articles that have a hope of engaging the reader.
And how to choose topics that people actually care about.
Basically, given that lawyers are provided precisely zero marketing training as part of their normal study and formative years in practice, you need to take responsibility to learn how to do things well. And then do those things…
Ask for Input from Marketing People
Now this might be a bit delicate to say out aloud, but lawyers aren't renowned for their ability to take negative feedback.
So what you need is a person who's good at stuff who can give you honest feedback on your work product.
And you need to suck up your pride and be able to hear that feedback.
Here's a classic example that many lawyers struggle to break from: writing in an unbelievably boring academic style. From casual use of latin (yes – in marketing articles!) to insisting on using case citations and oodles of passive voice, we're sometimes oblivious to the wide world of other styles.
That's a bad thing.
Look at What's Working
Part of the underlying idea of publishing regular content is to give you the ability to get feedback from your readers.
What do they click on versus not?
What do they spend time reading versus not?
Which emails get opened?
Which social media posts get engagement?
And how can you use that information to best advantage.
Sure, a tonne of what we do is going to be met with utter silence – but if we can learn from the times we do manage to score a few runs, then we're able to gradually and incrementally find out what people actually care about.
So Don't Just Plow Ahead
I'm a fan of taking massive action, but not at the expense of some common sense.
If what you're doing isn't working on any level at all, then something's gotta give.
Sure sometimes it's just that you haven't been doing it long enough. But sometimes it's because you're doing it wrong.
Find out how, fix it, and move on with a renewed sense of energy.