Why white papers are the new black in legal content
In today’s era, there is no doubt that technology is at the crux of bolstering business marketing. We all do it; Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and the long debated trend of internet advertising, it’s here and it is an inescapable part of capturing the market. Part of that is generating content for the Internet and there’s no better way to do so than put out a white paper.
The legal profession ultimately faces the problem of providing valuable information that resonates with its consumers, all the while diminishing any perception that Google is the solution to their problems.
A significant number of people refer to ‘Solicitor Google’ before seeking professional legal advice. But everyone in the legal profession knows that most of the time Google is not an adequate fix for the problem on hand, however, your firm could be. By putting out a white paper showing that you have knowledge and expertise in an area not only will you demonstrate value but you’ll also attract customers.
White papers provide an opportunity to both educate the market and demonstrate the expertise and value of your firm at the same time. It is an authoritative report that extrapolates an issue or a decision and has the ability to show off expertise while fostering a sense of credibility, which in turn builds a better brand image. While practicing law is not about ‘keeping up with the Jones’ you only need to look at the websites of the magic circle firms to see that white papers aren’t just free advice but a valuable way to attract clients.
White papers can be a tool by publishers to ‘fish’ for future clients; this is by focusing the research on an area into which the firm may wish to expand. For example, a firm may send a copy of the white paper to a prospective client on how businesses would benefit from receiving legal advice before dealing with employment issues.
Further, the informative nature of the document means that they are shared within the industry, if the publisher has allowed for it. This is mutually beneficial as those who use the material gain valuable insight, while the publisher gains recognition and by virtue brand advertisement.
It is attractive for law firms as white papers pose a problem that can be addressed by offering the company’s services. It engages the reader by invoking curiosity and urges the reader to actively take steps to address the problem. White papers do not directly praise the company’s services eliminating any scepticism as to the legitimacy of the information provided.
White papers are also important tools in working with the technological landscape. Publishers can use the content of a white paper in exchange for the reader to join mailing lists or to gain more ‘likes’ on its Facebook page. Further, having the white paper linked to the law firms website will mean a bump up in Google’s algorithm, which will improve the firm’s online exposure while establishing a brand of credibility for the firm.
We live in a society where we value making informed decisions. Consumers want to know more, demand transparency in the market and fight for the best outcome. White papers stand on the top podium in this market. A white paper, as an informative document with very little overtly promotional material, sets a firm apart as a credible source and a thought leader.