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5 Questions to Consider When Writing for An Audience

The first step in conveying an effective message is knowing who you are talking to. The key is adapting your content to align with the anticipated values and concerns of those who will be receiving your message. Whether you have a generalized group of readers or you are writing to a closed group of people, there are five questions you should ask yourself before you begin:

Where do they live? Are you writing content for a localized area or will it be available to people all over? Taking the geographical location of your readers into consideration when writing is one way to pinpoint your audience’s values. Researching local customs and cultural traditions can also help you establish context in their current events.

What is the context? Researching events that have been in the news in that area will give you a sense of context. Remaining sensitive and mindful of current events will help you adjust your content in terms of what is appropriate to discuss and what might be portrayed as offensive.

How big is the audience? While this may seem insignificant, this small detail can help determine what kind of “voice” you use in your writing. For example, if you were to write a newsletter for your colleagues, you could assume that your readers are college educated and have at least a basic knowledge of the company. However, if your audience is a large and more generalized group of people, you will need to tailor your message so it is palatable to more than one demographic.

What demographic would you like to reach? It is no secret that you would not speak to a high school student the same way you would a business woman. Knowing or anticipating the demographic of your readers can help you determine the level of vocabulary to use, the formality of your language, the level of detail, and the types of visual aids, or lack thereof, to use. For example, if your goal is to persuade readers, statistics and facts might work for scholars and professionals but will not be as effective in a younger, less educated demographic.

What do they value? Finally, you must consider what your intended audience values and what they might be looking to gain from reading your content. If you can anticipate what is important to your audience, you can ultimately create something that will resonate with them.

Create Videos and Make your Law Firm Stand Out

As digital marketing continues to grow, the amount of competition for views, clicks, likes and follows is steeper than ever before. It can be difficult to make your firm stand out when so many attorneys are investing a lot of money on their online marketing. One way to strengthen your social media presence and gain online attention is to create videos for your website or YouTube channel. Videos will give you an extra opportunity to explain your experience, connect with potential clients and generate website traffic.

How Will Video Marketing Benefit your Law Firm?

Considering the fact that an average internet user spends over 2 hours per day using social media and messaging services, effective videos can offer many advantages.

Increased traffic to your site. In addition to Google search results, potential clients also take to YouTube, Google Videos, Vimeo and other video-specific sites to find answers to their legal questions. Your video could lead them to your site and begin an attorney-client relationship.

You can explain complicated topics more simply. When discussing law, many attorneys speak “legalese” and sound too technical. In order to gain attention, videos used in law marketing are usually short so they force attorneys to explain concepts in the easiest way possible. This simplicity lets potential clients know you are knowledgeable but easy to communicate with as well.

Link your videos to your social media accounts. It is possible to connect across multiple mediums with one post, increasing the chances that an Internet browser will find their way to your firm.

Getting Started with Legal Marketing

Think of videos as an extension of your communication with clients, where you will be answering to their questions in a concise and understanding way. Here are a few tips to get your video marketing project started:

Keep your videos short. If it lasts longer than a few minutes, viewers will likely lose interest and be turned off by your site. Whether it is a frequently asked question, an attorney introduction or an explanation of a practice area, it is best to keep your videos short. Aim for an average of 2 minutes per video depending on the topic

Share everywhere.  It is a great opportunity to generate a chain reaction, up traffic to your pages and promote the accounts that are linked to your video. When you share a video with someone, they can also share it with people, and it will keep people interested in what your firm is doing. \

Publish regularly. Having videos will be useless if you make only a few or if the information on your site quickly becomes outdated. Be consistent and post videos regularly to keep information current and increase your following online.

5 Common Content Creation Mistakes You Want to Avoid

Content marketing is a massively effective strategy as its conversion rates are way higher than traditional marketing. Although creating content is not optional for your brand anymore, it needs to be valuable high-quality content in order to effectively attract your audience. The question is: how?

Not all content is created equal but there’s a few content crimes that are really common in the PR world. Take a look at this list and find out what you can do to fix your mistakes and get back on track to content marketing success.

1.There are typos. Your content may be beautifully written, but if you have glaring typos, you’ll instantly turn your audience off. Typos make your brand appear sloppy and unorganized. You want your content to leave as good of an impression as possible, and ensuring your copy is free of errors is the first step. Implement a proofreading procedure in your content creation process, and don’t leave both the proofreading and writing to one person. If you write a copy, send it to someone else to proof. And always give the piece a final proof before publishing.

2.It’s too generic. Content is a great tool for establishing your brand’s expertise and showcasing thought leadership. But if your content reads like everyone else’s, it won’t set your brand apart from the competition. Think about a topic you can speak to, and research what else has been said about it before you write. How can you take the idea in a new direction? Giving the topic a fresh angle will make the piece more interesting to your audience.

3.It’s not what your audience wants. If your content isn’t relevant to your audience, they won’t read it. So how do you know what types of content your audience is interested in? Use your social listening tools and pay attention to their online habits. What topics do they interact with most? Before you begin writing, ask yourself: how will this piece of content benefit my audience? What will they gain from it? Focus on helping your audience and build your content around solving their problems.

4.You don’t have a call to action. Getting people to read your content is just the beginning. After they’ve read your content, what do you want them to do? Perhaps, you want them to subscribe to your blog or email list, read another page or buy a service. Without a call to action, your readers will not take the next step. Including a call to action will drive leads and convert customers. Use tracking links to easily demonstrate the value of your content and prove its impact.

5.You’re pushing the hard sell. Content that is too promotional isn’t appealing. Your audience doesn’t want to read a sales pitch; they want to know how you can help them. It’s okay to mention or highlight your brand within your content but it should never be your main focus.

Are you guilty of committing one of these content crimes? Avoiding them will make your marketing content more efficient.

Join Our Team As A Public Relations Account Coordinator!

Heying & Associates, one of San Diego’s most dynamic “boutique” PR/marketing agencies is seeking a talented Public Relations Account Coordinator.  We offer a people-oriented, team environment and mission driven accounts. Solid writing skills are a must as is an interest in legal/education/corporate/non-profit and professional services industries. We are looking for a team member who has excellent time management skills and enjoys a fast paced, professional yet fun working environment.

 

The Account Coordinator reports directly to the President and Account Executive of the agency.  The position is currently open as part time – 25-35 hours per week and may quickly turn into a full time position for the right candidate.

Click here to read the job description, requirements and instructions for the application process!

4 Tips to Align Marketing and PR

In order to a cohesive plan to attract more customers and make a name for your brand, the marketing and public relations departments need to be connected. They are both essential but it is often the case that one branch doesn’t know what the other is doing. PR and Marketing often don’t have aligned goals so how can you get them back on the same page?

Start Meeting Together. The two departments can be aligned if they meet as a unit. This is a great opportunity to work on establishing overall goals that both halves can work on, as well as get updates on what everyone is working on. The meetings don’t have to be long but they should be fairly frequent so that nothing slips through the cracks.

Get a Plan for Every Marketing Campaign. When both PR and marketing are involved in the same plan, one can support the other. Set up metrics for each activity in the plan and put each department in charge of those results.

Identifying Issues and Obstacles. Sometimes the misalignment between two departments is due to challenges that create roadblocks. Maybe the folks in PR aren’t as tech-savy as those in marketing, and they just don’t understand why they need to go digital. Or maybe one department has a bigger budget, and the other is resentful of that fact. Whatever the concern is, address it. You are both on the same team so start acting like it.

Set Goals Together. The staff on both marketing and public relations team get a say in establishing goals and objectives, and they have to be cohesive. Act like a team and make it a democracy, letting everyone get a vote. Those common goals can be used as metrics to measure against on both sides and every day both departments should move in favor of those goals.

Remember: marketing and PR are two sides of the same coin. They should work in harmony, not counter to one another.

4 Ways Your Law Firm’s Homepage May Be Driving Away Potential Clients

 

Your law firm website homepage is the first impression a potential client gets. A well-designed and informative homepage can motivate to explore and get to know your law firm. But a poorly designed homepage can drive visitors away before they’ve had a chance to engage with the rest of your website.

There are many problems that a homepage may have, but below are what we believe to be four of the most prominent problems that can drive potential clients away.

  1. Potential clients can’t tell how your law firm can help them

Website visitors have short attention spans. Your potential clients want to know whether you are the right attorney to help them with their case or matter. And they want to know that quickly.

When they visit your homepage, it should be easy for a potential client to quickly see what type(s) of law you practice, the geographic area you practice in and what kind of clients you serve.

  1. Your homepage doesn’t give potential clients a reason to stay on your law firm website

Your law firm website homepage should encourage potential clients to engage with your law firm. If there isn’t a reason to engage further or it is hard for them to do so, potential clients may not have a strong incentive to stay on your website.

Here are some reasons a potential client may choose to leave your homepage, rather than exploring your website or contacting your firm:

  • Confusing navigation. Your site’s navigation should make it easy for potential clients to learn about your law firm and to find answers to their questions.
  • Your site is hard to use on mobile devices. It is likely that a sizable percentage of your potential clients will use a mobile device to visit your law firm website. It’s important that your site is easy to use on desktop computers and laptops, as well as mobile devices.
  • They can’t see how to contact your firm. An effective law firm homepage lets potential clients easily see whether you are likely to be able to help them with their case or matter. Don’t make them hunt for your contact information. Display your contact information prominently in your site header and footer.
  1. Your law firm website homepage is overwhelming

Homepage design can unintentionally drive potential clients away. If your homepage includes a lot of flashy visual elements–such as multiple sliders, video backgrounds, pop-ups and other moving components–this can distract and overwhelm website visitors.

A good law firm website helps you communicate and connect with your potential clients. Too much visual “noise” can be distracting for your potential clients, and it can prevent you from connecting with them.

  1. You’re sending potential clients away from your law firm’s homepage to other sites

Online ratings and reviews can contribute to building potential clients’ trust and encourage them to choose your law firm over a competitor. However, you should consider whether you want to drive traffic to external review sites from your homepage.

On your law firm’s website, you can control what potential clients see. You control your messaging. However, on other websites, such as third-party review sites, you no longer control what a potential client sees or doesn’t see. If someone clicks that link to your Avvo profile (or another directory or review site), you’re sending a captive audience away from your homepage, where you control the messaging about your firm.

On another website, they may be exposed to positive reviews about your law firm. But they might also be exposed to negative reviews, as well as information and/or advertisements about your competitors.