Machine-generated content tools are all the rage right now, including ChatGPT. While artificial intelligence and free text output tools can produce a lot of content for little money, law firms should be cautious about relying on them too heavily. In a crowded market, it’s important that your online presence stands out. Will leveraging AI tools lead to more business for your firm or put up more barriers for potential clients?
The legal industry has experienced a sharp increase in the use of machine copy. But even large firms that are early adopters of this technology have implemented “risk management programs” to validate the copy, according to this recent WIRED article.
Here’s what you need to know about how to manage your content strategy in the age of AI, including the risks of using machine content, the advantages of using a real human copywriter and editor, and the storytelling principles that can help your firm stand out.
Machine-generated content is easy, but it’s not enough
Yes, it is extremely easy to generate AI content for your law firm’s website—but it’s important to keep your actual goal in mind.
You need content that converts. You need content that is accurate, empathetic, and consistent. Machine content is not guaranteed to be any of these things.
The only easy thing about machine copy is how you generate it. Then, you must fact-check and proofread it before publishing it. Even then, there’s still doubt about whether the machine copy will resonate with your audience.
See for yourself with a quick experiment. Go to ChatGPT and ask it to write a page about why a client should choose your legal practice. The output will be instantaneous and well-written, but it’s unlikely to be memorable.
Legal websites need to be warm, approachable, and on-brand to earn someone’s trust.
You need good storytelling to humanize your law firm. Will you trust the task of humanizing to a machine?
Storytelling requires human insight
Let’s hone in on the power of storytelling for a moment. What is the best story you can remember recently? Maybe it was a Facebook video of someone rescuing an abandoned puppy. Was it a twist in a TV show that captivated and delighted you?
Storytelling is a transformative journey from point A to point B. Machines regurgitate, but human beings craft stories that captivate you.
Here are two examples of successful law firm storytelling:
- Capuano IP: The themed visuals align with the written copy, resulting in a confidence-inspiring website that feels relatable to the target market.
- New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers: Bold images complement thoughtful text, educating visitors with localized content that resonates with potential clients.
In business, storytelling is a tool that can help you transform potential clients into paying clients.
As of yet, there is no AI tool that can measure up to a human’s ability to comprehend a user journey, address their pain points, and craft content with the authenticity and empathy of a real person with lived experience.
Most importantly, machines have not mastered the consistency required to adhere to your brand. Your brand has a specific tone and your blog posts have a specific voice.
Best practices for storytelling for law firm websites
1. Choose the right story to tell.
Storytelling begins with knowledge. Who is the protagonist? What do they need and what’s stopping them from getting it? To generate content that will resonate, your law firm needs a deep understanding of your target market and what could be the pivotal moment in a hero’s journey. Use data about your past clients and summon insights about the future to pick the right story.
2. Craft a strong narrative.
Write from the reader’s point of view. Choose words that will entertain and inspire while answering their secret query. Organize the story in a way that is focused, memorable, and relatable. Humans have been storytellers since time immemorial. Capitalize on the way our brains are wired to remember a good story. Long-form content and shorter content are both important.
3. Think about visuals.
It’s a visual world. Your blog post will have a photo, at the very least. You could even repurpose your article into a TikTok video, or you could generate an infographic or downloadable lead magnet from your post. Before you start writing, think ahead about the best visual complement to pair with your text.
Ultimately, machines are tools that can perform well—if they receive firm guidance. Machines work for you and they’re only as good as the person who is managing them.
Review and next steps
Machine content can create more problems than it solves. AI cannot replace the skill of a human copywriter or the insight of a human content strategist.
To stand out in the age of machine content, double down on the power of storytelling. Prioritize human copywriting in your digital marketing efforts.
Use AI to support the humans on your team. For example, try using ChatGPT to come up with blog post ideas so you never run out of content. If you do generate machine content for your site, mitigate the risks of relying solely on machine copy by hiring human fact-checkers and writers with legal expertise.
Omnizant can help you strike a balance between efficiency and effectiveness. Reach out to find out how to improve your digital presence and sustainably grow your business this year.