To see how much gamification is a part of our lives, just search for TED talks or TEDx talks on YouTube, and you will find speakers giving advice about how to gamify this or that part of your life. A generation that sees itself as averse to the boring concerns of the older generations has tended to view many aspects of life, from time management to personal finance, as live action video games in order to make the drudgery more palatable.

Gamification in advertising, however, is older than the Internet. Generation X and millennials eagerly participated in the McDonald’s Monopoly games as children, and as disappointed as American kids were during the 1988 Winter Olympics that Debi Thomas received a lower score in figure skating than Katarina Witt of East Germany, Debi’s bronze medal meant that anyone who visited a McDonald’s would get a free small soda or milkshake. Meanwhile, their parents collected tickets from supermarket cashiers to participate in sweepstakes. Gamification in advertising connects with humans’ competitive nature and desire to win. Does it have a place in law firm marketing? Perhaps, but it is no substitute for good, old-fashioned legal blog content.

Legal Actions Are Not Fun and Games

Gamification is not just for burger joints and other companies that sell consumer products. Health apps and even the United States Army have included user-participation games in their content. The limits of gamification strategies in law firm marketing are obvious. Rebekah Carter of web designer depot lists six strategies for gamifying content marketing and most of them are completely inappropriate for law firms. Clearly, leaderboards have no place in law firm marketing. A choose your own adventure game might be good for a family law firm site to help people envision how the divorce process will look, if you have the budget to hire a web developer. In general, though, getting a favorable ruling or settlement in a lawsuit is not like winning a game. It is downright offensive to reduce things like probate, child custody disputes, and personal injury claims to entertainment.

Rewards and the Chance to Earn Rewards

It isn’t appropriate to offer prospective clients prizes for engaging your services. “File ten lawsuits and win a vacation” sounds like a bad lawyer joke. You can, however, reward prospective clients who contact you. If you are in a practice area that serves clients experiencing financial hardship (such as family law, bankruptcy, or personal injury), you can give coupons to local businesses to clients who schedule consultations; everyone who is considering filing a personal injury lawsuit could use a 25 percent discount on their groceries. You could even enter the people who submit contact forms on your site into drawings for prizes such as restaurant meals. It is a way of showing your customers that you appreciate them while brightening their difficult day with a prize.

Winning Content Does Not Have to Involve Games

The legal content writers at Law Blog Writers will create original blog content that makes your law firm’s website a winner.

Whether your small business provides legal representation or any other kind of product or service, you do not have to reinvent the wheel to run a successful marketing campaign. Making people notice that your law firm (or any other kind of business) exists and making them want to contact you when they need or want the service that your business provides does not require you to drop tens of thousands of dollars on elaborate stunts to make you seem more prestigious than your competitors. Earlier this month, an article appeared on the USA Today website extolling the virtues of “tried and true” marketing tactics. The trouble is that what is good for the neighborhood burger joint or auto body shop is not always good for the small law firm. When it comes to law firm marketing, you need a law firm website with a steady stream of legal blog content, as well as some of the usual suspects of small business marketing.

Keeping It Simple: What Works

Some of the tried-and-true small business marketing tactics that Rhonda Abrams recommends work well for law firms. These are some of her suggestions that small law firms would be wise to apply:

· Posting signs – A sign outside your physical office location, identifying what you do. Even in a pandemic, people have their usual driving routes. People will remember, when they need you, that there is a place called “Bloggins and Associates Personal Injury Law” on Main Street near the nail salon and the H&R Block.

· Business cards – Business networking in person is always effective, even when it is separated by long stretches of working from home. A good fraction of the people to whom you hand business cards at professional networking events will contact you.

· Search engine ads – You are wise to put effort into trying to rank at the top of the organic search results on Google, but it doesn’t hurt to have your website show up among the paid search results, too.

“Universally Foolproof” Advertising Techniques That Don’t Work for Law Firms

Abrams makes it sound like the recommended tried and true marketing practices will work equally well for all kinds of small businesses, but some of them simply are not applicable to small law firms. Coupons and discount promotions don’t work for law firms; a “Divorce Monday special” is just tacky. Likewise, it is impossible for law firms to give out free samples, free initial consultations notwithstanding. Finally, branded swag is not becoming of law firms, either. Can you imagine how silly it would be if people who had contacted your law firm walked around wearing “Bloggins and Associates” hoodie sweatshirts or played with “Bloggins and Associates” frisbees in the park?

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel With Your Marketing Strategy, but Do Trust the Pros

Getting professionally written content for your law firm website is always a good idea that will generate a good return on investment. The legal content writers at Law Blog Writers will create custom-written blog content that never goes out of style.

Many of today’s lawyers took Advanced Placement English in high school or participated in their schools’ speech and debate programs. The brainstorming exercises you did in those contexts in high school probably seemed silly at the time but turned out to be useful later on. It was no fun to draw a cluster of interconnected balloons (this exercise later came to be called a mind map), or a list of incomplete sentences with multiple layers of subheadings and turn it in for a grade, but you probably do some kind of outlining when you write anything more complex than a one-paragraph email. Brainstorming is beautiful, but brainstorming on command, performative brainstorming, is counterproductive, not to mention painfully embarrassing. There must be some way for lawyers to strategize collaboratively with their colleagues in order to generate ideas for legal blog content for their law firm’s website.

The Less Structure, the Better the Brainstorm

Some industries try to sell the dream of a democratic workplace where employees sit around a whiteboard and write down their unfiltered ideas for marketing strategy using brightly colored markers and responding to each other’s contributions with enthusiasm. This model fails to consider that it is more work to produce an enthusiastic response to every colleague’s every marketing idea than it is simply to write down your thoughts. Meanwhile, it is productive to share ideas.

Of the 13 brainstorming techniques that Darren Dematas of Content Marketing Institute recommends, the two that work best enable the ideas to flow on their own, and one of them even allows employees to share ideas on their own terms. One successful strategy is to schedule brainstorming meetings which are really brainstorm-sharing meetings. Each individual writes down their ideas over a period of weeks before the meeting. At the meeting, the employees discuss their ideas in pairs, each getting feedback from their partner before presenting the results of the pair discussions to the larger group.

In the other scenario, both the writing down of ideas and the responding to them take place asynchronously. The content marketing team creates a Google Doc or similar shared online document. Each person writes ideas on the document as the ideas occur to them. When you open the document to write your ideas, you can also see your colleagues’ ideas and respond to them. When everything takes place at the pace of writing instead of the pace of face-to-face interaction, it is easier to resist the temptation to shoot down each other ideas or to take offense to constructive criticism. You can read people’s responses to your ideas when you are in the frame of mind to receive feedback.

Just Because You Brainstorm, It Doesn’t Mean You Have to Write Blog Posts

Brainstorming marketing content is time-consuming enough; writing it is even more time-consuming. The legal content writers at Law Blog Writers will create high-performing legal blog content based on your brainstorms, or if you prefer, will brainstorm it and write it from scratch.