The In’s and Out’s of Law Firm Marketing
We’ve observed that many lawyers could care less about digital marketing. We’ve also noticed that many law offices have a very poor presence online. Not only a poorly built website, but no social or media presence. It leads me to believe marketing their law firm is unimportant. Unfortunately, their practice will continue to be overtaken online by those who are putting an effort into marketing their law firm.
Many attorneys are reluctant to jump on board the digital marketing train for the usual reasons. Attorneys will say things like, “My clients don’t use social media” or “I don’t have that kind of time”. You’ve probably even heard other attorneys say, “Our firm is too small to have an impact.” But did you know that 39% of lawyers have gained new customers through digital marketing efforts. The American Bar Association predicts that number will continue to grow rapidly over the next decade.
So, how is law firm marketing successful for that many lawyers who blog and use digital marketing regularly? For starters – traditional advertising is arguably grinding to its death. Reaching out to customers (especially millennials) with traditional advertising avenues can easily backfire. The younger public tends to be turned off from direct mail, email lists, TV and web advertisements (Though if done right, they can still have an impact in exposure). Marketing agencies call that traditional style of advertising outbound marketing. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably focusing your efforts on reaching out to a broad audience and trying to find avenues of advertising that captivates the audience. This is hard and usually very expensive.
To flip the tables, marketers have found ways to bring the right audience to you. We do this by creating a means for customers to reach you who already want to do business with you. Whether you are familiar or not with this type of marketing, read on to learn some of our best law firm marketing strategies and how you can bring the right audience to your doorstep who are ready to purchase your services.
Law Firm Marketing Solutions
Blogging for Lawyers
Blogging may seem like a daunting task to some attorneys. Some might even think of it as a waste of time; something your uncle would write on his last vacation to Europe. It can be time-consuming, that is very true. It can also be used as a way to communicate with friends and family regarding your travels. This is also true. But blogging, especially blogging for lawyers is so much more.
Blogging in the 21st century is a crucial part of ranking well for your targeted keywords on Google. Maintaining a steady blog can take your online presence to the next level and bring your firm much greater exposure. Company blogs are a great tool as well, as they are inexpensive and informative to users. Also, producing relevant content will lead to more shares on social media pages. In turn, this will also generate more attention to your website and your firm.
Before you start, you will want to develop a plan of action. This begins with deciding your purpose for blogging. Are you looking to reach clients on a more personal level? Do you want to find potential referrals through other lawyers Determining your goal will lead you to your target audience. As with all marketing plans, knowing your target audience is a necessity.
Find topics that are relevant to this target audience. Write about what they would find helpful or interesting.
Let’s say you want to reach other lawyers. What challenges do you often face at work and how can they be overcome? Do you specialize in a certain area and have suggestions for others? Finding common ground with your target audience is a great approach to writing your blog. It is very helpful to write about topics that you and your audience are both passionate about.
Stay up-to-date with what is going on in the law field, as news stories always make for a great topic.
One thing to consider though is that a few blog posts aren’t going to cut it. This is something you must regularly maintain, and the content must be genuine and helpful. Fluff posts just won’t cut it. You must be consistent for it to be effective.
Consider joining a Facebook or LinkedIn group that is exclusive to lawyers. Through this forum, you can share your blog posts and reach a massive audience. Targeting the right audience, writing valuable content and getting the content into your audience’s hands is a recipe for success!
Search Engine Optimization
Search marketing, or SEO, is a tool for driving online traffic. This is especially true for local, small-medium sized firms who are looking for exposure to their business. Building a quality site that is optimized for Google’s search bots to read is necessary for good search results, but so is only the first part of a large list of requirements.
Studies show that 78% of mobile local searches turned into a purchase. 76% of those purchases happening on the same day. Your firm’s web page must be among the first few pages of the search engine to be found during these searches. Producing content that appeals to mobile users will increase search rankings, as does an optimized site, inbound links, social presence and more.
Be mindful of your company’s location if your reach is certain local communities. Maintaining consistency throughout directory listings is hugely helpful in creating a great online presence for your business.
Your online presence should not end with blogging or website optimization.
With nearly 7 out of 10 adults on social media- and 68% of adults on Facebook- we cannot assert enough how important it is to be active on the various social media platforms.
Social platforms create a space of engagement between businesses and users. Keep in mind that users go to social media usually for entertainment or information. But not typically looking for business recommendations. Lawyers should utilize both a personal page and have access to a company page to post new articles that are relevant and helpful to their audience. Think of it as helping your target audience learn that you are a trustworthy attorney who can help them in their time of need.
For your law firm marketing strategy to work, you will want to consider what your online image should be. This should directly reflect your company’s overall brand. You will also want to determine the goal behind your social channels. How you interact with other users will be different depending on your goal. Accumulate lead generation vs. interacting with existing customers require two different strategies.
Based on your goal, your company will need to develop a marketing strategy to lead the process.
As we’ve stated before, be aware that social platforms are not intended to be strictly promotional. Actually, very few of your posts should be promotional as it tends to annoy clients.
Generally, a good rule of thumb for company page postings would be:
- 50% sharing outside content; i.e. news related to the law field, other lawyers’ blog posts and articles, any trending law stories
- 30% engaging and tagging other users; i.e. posting pictures from a recent conference or outing and tagging other firms/lawyers
- 20% promotional; i.e. sharing blog posts, links to services, etc.
For personal pages, the types of posts should be slightly skewed. Again, if you use your personal page as a promotional effort, you do not want to consistently make promotional posts. (Social media is fun, isn’t it?)
We would recommend roughly 60% of your content being about your personal life. Keep it professional, but not dry or boring. Have some fun, but good hearted fun. In addition, 50% of your posts should be left to sharing outside content, such as news articles or articles you find interesting. Only 20% of your posts should be self-promoting.
One Facebook post and 1-5 tweets a day are sufficient for maintaining an active page. A minimum of 2-3 blog posts a week is best for rankings, though these numbers can be a goal to build to and not something that has to be obtained right out of the gate.
Your firm may want to consider other ways to increase lead generation from your web page. Marketing offers are similar to blog posts in the sense that they are meant to be informative to readers. Generally, they take longer to create but they have many uses.
They typically begin with a promotional post on social media or call-to-action on a company’s website. This leads to a trip-wire, or a useful offer that potential customers are willing to give up their email address for. White papers, case studies, and free consultations are great examples for lawyers.
A white paper should present a law-related problem, and offer a solution for how to resolve it. This report should be in-depth and authoritative.
Case Studies should reflect work that the firm carried out with a client. Including testimonials and direct quotes from clients are a great way to show your work.
These should be utilized if you are generating a considerable amount of traffic, otherwise focusing on social media to place this offer might be your best action point.
Many of the topics covered here are challenging and typically reserved for advanced marketers. Don’t feel overwhelmed by all of things you need to do, just pick one or two items from above and try it out. If you’d like some help though, we would enjoy talking with you about marketing your law firm. For all inquiries, contact us here at Olive Group! We specialize in web design, developing marketing strategies, and much, much more.