How to Create Content Marketing Your Lawyers Will Love

6 Types of Lawyer-Friendly Content Marketing

Do you have legal and compliance teams that won’t approve any content marketing you create without subjecting it to a time consuming processes? Do you find that this process removes anything in your content that doesn’t sound like it was written by a lawyer? If so, you’re not alone.

While the hurdles you face may seem insurmountable, these challenges shouldn’t prevent you from creating quality content that has a human voice and resonates with your target audience.

Before jumping into how to compose lawyer-friendly content marketing, read Hidden in Plain Sight…A Perspective on Suicide. This is an incredibly moving post on Navy Live, a blog targeted at current and former Navy service personnel. This article deals with the loss of a colleague to suicide and helps readers deal with the challenge of suicide and to encourage people who are at risk to get help. If the Navy can confront and talk openly about this  silent killer, you and your legal team can find some common ground.  (BTW, here’s what I wrote when Trey Pennington took his life and I was one of the last people he communicated with via Twitter.)

Developing content marketing that your legal and compliance teams will support, involves changing your perspective. This doesn’t translate to generic, can-be-written-for-any-business content. Many times the hurdle is taking a new direction that doesn’t talk about your products directly thereby skirting the thornier elements that give your lawyers the willies.

Start by understanding your content’s target audience. Imagine a typical member of this audience. This person may not be your buyer. He or she may be an influencer, decision-maker or end-user. To this end, create marketing personas and social media personas to appreciate the type of information they’re looking for and where they’re seeking it. (Here’s seven types of content customers actively seek.)

Here are six ways to develop your organization’s content that your legal department should like.

  1. Tell human interest stories. Tell personal stories from your employees and/or your customers. Encourage your customers tell why they chose to buy from your firm. The great part of getting your customers to share their stories is that it gives your product a human side. Go one step further and include photos of your customers, especially older ones.
  2. Answer questions related to your products and services. Gather input for your customer or client facing staff such as customer service and sales to develop a list of questions. Employees answer these questions regularly in real time via phone and in-person. What information do they share and how does your compliance team ensure that these answers are acceptable? Further, they can be answered and approved since they’re not necessarily time sensitive. (Here’s how to use this technique to build your blog!)
  3. Elaborate on your company’s history.  This can include a discussion of how your business came into being like L.L. Bean’s history or it can be a walk down the memory lane of your business.
  4. Provide useful related information. The objective is to talk about needs related to your product. For example, a home insurance company can discuss how to take care of your home. They could produce content focused on different areas of their customers’ home, how to deal with changing seasons, and other safety and value related topics.
  5. Skip the words. Use photographs to make your point concisely. Organize or curate other people’s images where appropriate. For example, one not-for-profit marketer was challenged getting approval to use photos of the children her organization helped. Instead, she found that she could use their toys or blankets to tell their stories. By presenting images with universal appeal, she could make a connection with a broader audience by association.
  6. Offer related trivia. Use little known facts about your organization or a related category that your audience will find interesting. In addition to creating articles based on these facts, consider making them into enticing tidbits for social media sharing.

When creating content in an organization where legal and/or compliance approval is required, try to work with your colleagues to determine what part of the information is an issue. Work with them to find out what type of information they will approve. The important element is retaining a human voice in your content.

What types of content have you found easiest to get approved by your legal department? What recommendations would you make to others in this situation?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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