Know when enough is enough when it comes to the length of your and your law firm’s marketing and business development content
I recently came across two pieces of thought-leadership content from law firms that reminded me of a saying I like to tell my clients:
“Don’t give your readers the whole chicken when all they want are the nuggets.”
These two pieces of content were long—unnecessarily long, especially given their formats.
One piece of content was a 3000-word long email blast.
The second piece of content was a 2700-word long article.
The law firms that published this content forgot about a key aspect of law firm thought-leadership strategy:
You have to assume the recipients of your content don’t have a lot of attention span to spare on reading long-form law firm marketing and business development content. Nor do they have a lot of time to consume that content.
That’s why asking your readers to read a 3000-word email or a 2700-word article in one sitting is asking a lot of them. And if they don’t consume it in one sitting, they’ll likely never consume it in its entirety given how busy they are.
Of course, if your target audiences don’t consume the content you’ve created for them, you don’t get the benefit that thought leadership provides. You don’t get to show off your knowledge and wisdom about the areas of law you practice because they haven’t read the content. If they don’t read the content, it’s like you never wrote it.
Now, there will surely be instances where lawyers or their marketing and business development colleagues will say, “Well, we have 3000 words to say about a topic,” or “We need 2700 words to explain this issue.”
When that’s the case, they’ve got to give their target audiences nuggets.
They can break a 3000-word email down to six 500-word emails. Or, they can create a short email that has a link to a longer 3000-word post on the firm’s website.
Likewise, they can break a 2700-word article up into three 900-word articles or two 1350-word articles.
A nice benefit of breaking up this content into nuggets is that it gives a law firm more bites at the apple (there I go mixing food metaphors again) by providing more opportunities to engage with their target audiences in the form of more emails sent or more articles published.
It can often be tempting for lawyers and law firms to publish marketing and business development content, including thought-leadership content, that includes everything they know about a particular legal development or issue. When they do so, they typically end up crafting unnecessarily long content.
But they have to remember that maybe, just maybe, their target audiences don’t want to consume unnecessarily long content like that. Because their target audiences are bombarded with content from many law firms, they’re not in a position to consume unnecessarily long content because they just don’t have the attention span.
Instead, they’d probably prefer smaller chunks of information they can consume quickly and still learn from.
It is imperative that lawyers and law firms remember that when they are creating marketing and business content, including thought-leadership content, they don’t give their target audiences the whole chicken when all those audiences want are the nuggets.
Interested in getting outside help creating marketing and business development content for your law firm that’s right-sized for your target audiences? Click here to schedule a 30-minute Content Strategy Audit to learn if collaborating with an outside strategist and writer is the right move for your firm.