Would you make an emotional love confession to your toothbrush? Would you tell your favorite joke to a glass of water? If you answered “no” twice, take a minute to think about why those answers were so easy, and yet you don’t bat an eye about marketing to robots.

When we say robots, we’re referring to search engine algorithms — the invisible hand controlling everyone’s Google searches. Every year, more lawyers create content focused on catching that technology’s attention. But in the long run, this isn’t a smart way to market. That’s why the second law of content marketing is…

focus on people, not search engines.”

Last month, we shared the first law of content marketing with you (“content is king”) and explained that people are consuming more and more content each year. The first law shows why creating content consistently is so important. The second law reveals that how you create content matters just as much. There are two reasons you should tailor your content to people, not robots.

1. Staying in touch is guaranteed — winning the SEO game isn’t. 

The SEO landscape is so competitive that you can gamble away thousands of dollars and hours without any return. But when you focus on people and share your content with them on social media or through email, you’re guaranteed to accomplish your goal of staying in touch and keeping your firm top of mind.

2. Content is what makes your firm relatable.

Using content, you can put yourself in your clients’ shoes, answer their questions, and tell them what they want to hear. You can make your firm relatable and build your credibility. This is what makes content such a valuable marketing tool. But when you shift your focus away from creating helpful, meaningful posts in favor of stuffing them with keywords, you lose that advantage.

Ultimately, your toothbrush, a glass of water, and search engines have a key thing in common: None of them is your target audience. They aren’t the ones who will ultimately decide to accept your love, laugh at your joke, or do business with your firm. So, instead of wasting your money and time targeting robots, speak to the people you really care about: your clients, leads, and referral partners.