Word of mouth advertising can only take your law firm so far.
If you do not take advantage of at least a couple inbound marketing methods as detailed below, it is only a matter of time until your client list shrinks, potentially to the point that you question the viability of your business. However, the prudent use of the inbound marketing methods will gradually increase your client base, helping your firm reach its true potential sooner rather than later.
Though your law firm’s reputation in the community is certainly important, a growing number of people are turning to the web to find local legal practitioners.
If your website does not look amazing, function flawlessly on mobile devices and reinforce your value offering, it must be enhanced. The truth is law firm websites are valuable marketing tools yet they are often neglected or underutilized. Visitors should be able to navigate your law firm website with ease, regardless of whether they are using a traditional desktop computer or a mobile computing device.
Be sure to include a section about your law firm’s attorneys to help develop a rapport between your legal practitioners and online visitors.
Finally, your website should have a blog with helpful and insightful posts updated at least once per month at a bare minimum. If you do not have the time, writing chops or interest in regularly updating your law firm’s blog, hire a SEO writer to do the work on your behalf. The blog content should include keywords and key phrases your target audience is most likely to search the web for.
Mix in some local identifiers including:
· Your law firm’s city name
· The names of local neighborhoods
· Nicknames for your city and nearby neighborhoods
· Local street names
The local identifiers listed above might seem like subtleties yet they actually matter a great deal in the context of search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO. The right keyword saturation rate along with local identifiers really will help your law firm jump up the search engine results pages (SERPs), providing your website with much-needed visibility that ultimately benefits your bottom line.
The content on your blog, website, social media and other parts of your law firm marketing should be crafted in a careful manner.
Aside from the keywords, key phrases and local identifiers detailed above, your online content should also help solve client problems or at least provide helpful insight. Continue to provide your target audience with a steady stream of helpful content and you will maximize the chances of converting them into paying clients.
Your content must be tailored to your target audience while simultaneously positioning your law firm as a legitimate authority.
This is your opportunity to flex your intellectual muscle, put your legal prowess on display for locals to see and communicate your value offering. However, it is a mistake to use legalese in your content in an attempt to create the impression that your team is especially savvy. Use plain English everyday people can understand in order to develop the all-important rapport with these prospective clients.
Generate meaningful content tailored to your target audience using layman’s terms anyone can understand and it just might be re-posted, re-tweeted and liked to the point that it goes viral.
A viral piece of online content will put your law firm squarely in the spotlight and ultimately helping you generate that much more business as time progresses.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As explained above, the subtleties of your law firm’s online content matter a great deal.
The inclusion of specific keywords and key phrases along with local identifiers have the potential to transform an ineffective piece of content into one that generates ongoing business across posterity. When crafted properly, your online content really is the gift that keeps on giving for months, weeks and years into the future. However, this is not to say you should overload your online content with keywords and key phrases. Google and other search engines punish websites that use an excessive number of keywords and key phrases.
When in doubt, consult with a SEO or digital marketing specialist to ensure your online content features the right keywords, key phrases and local identifiers at the optimal saturation rate.
Every aspect of your law firm’s online footprint should include SEO. This way, when locals search for legal services in the area along with one or several of the keywords or key phrases relevant to your firm/area of practice, your website will appear in the first couple pages of search engine results.
Continue with your SEO push as time progresses and your law firm website just might make it onto the first page of Google search engine results. Ideally, your law firm website will be “above the fold”, meaning it appears in the upper half of the first page of search engine results after the online query is performed.
Search Engine Marketing / PPC
While the SEO detailed above is centered on generating organic traffic to your law firm website, search engine marketing or SEM for short, is centered on paid traffic. In particular, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is especially popular. This approach to web advertising involves paying in order for the website to appear on Google and other search engines. However, you only pay for the number of clicks your ads receive. If you are interested in SEM/PPC, begin by performing a competitive analysis to determine what is already out there.
This way, you will understand what your law firm has to do differently in order to emerge from the pack. As an example, it might make sense to run PPC ads based on geographical data.
Social Media Marketing
If your law firm is not on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and other online social media platforms, it is time to participate in these essential marketing channels.
Nowadays, Facebook is just as much about businesses connecting with prospective clients as it is about socializing in a virtual realm. Update your social media profiles with insightful, helpful and informative information at least once per week. Interact with those who comment on your posts, ask questions, etc. to make it clear your law firm cares about its audience.
The relationships you build through social media platforms have the potential to boost your bottom line.
However, the results won’t show right away. Continue to engage with others on social media and business will spike in due time. It might even make sense to pay for ads to appear on the feeds of locals in your law firm’s zip code as well as neighboring zip codes. Paying for such social media ads puts your law firm’s name in front of locals who might need your legal services at the moment or at some point in the future.
Embedded videos as well as videos posted to your law firm’s YouTube channel have the potential to serve as invaluable marketing tools.
However, if you embrace this approach to inbound marketing, be sure to keep the videos brief.
The average person is willing to listen or watch a video that is a minute or two in length yet most won’t pay attention any longer than a couple minutes. After all, the internet is chock full of interesting digressions so few people will listen closely to a video ad for an extended period of time.
This is precisely why nearly three-quarters of all business videos posted to the web in 2019 were under two minutes in length.
Your law firm marketing videos will generate a rapport with your target audience if you include the partners or at least one or two associate attorneys in the footage. Consider showing the interior of your law firm office to give prospective clients an idea of what it will be like to visit the office.
Include a sign-up form for your email list in your call-to-action and other components of your online footprint and you will have quite the convenient means of remaining in contact with clients.
However, if your emails are too sales-oriented or do not provide any sort of insight/assistance, your audience will tune them out. Send an informative email once every couple weeks or once a month and you will keep your clients in the fold while reinforcing your law firm’s value offering.
Attorneys and law firm managers who are short on time or looking for a hands-off approach to advertising will find marketing automation quite helpful.
This tech empowers attorneys and law firm managers to coordinate the transmission of emails at specific intervals.
This way, you can transmit marketing messages and other materials in a pre-determined, automated manner that suits your law firm’s unique aims. In fact, marketing automation has advanced to the point that it is now possible for email fields to be auto-filled with information tailored to specific clients so you do not have to invest your limited time in writing individualized emails.
Customer relationship management software (CRM) is also available to automate everything from lead management to lead nurturing, phone calls, customer support and beyond.
Invest in a CRM program and you will no longer have to shoulder the burden of these responsibilities on your own. Instead, the software will do the brunt of the work on your behalf.
Display ads might seem a bit outdated, especially for those who have been using the web for advertising since its infancy, yet they are still quite effective. Such advertisement banners will tout your law firm with:
Such paid ads are certainly an overt means of advertising your web firm yet they will ramp up your online traffic, helping you land that many more clients in need of legal counsel.
Remarketing ads are also worth consideration. This Google Ads service is a second chance of sorts that empowers you to go back to convert website leads/visitors with the use of targeted ads. Such ads are designed to enhance brand awareness to the point that leads are converted into paying customers. If you are worried that web users might block your ads, don’t fret. Ad blocking is not as common place as most assume. According to Key Medium, only about 10% of all ads are blocked.
Other Traditional Methods of Marketing
The inbound marketing techniques detailed above are large pieces of the modern day law firm marketing puzzle. However, they are only some of the essential pieces. The remainder of the puzzle is pieced together with the prudent use of traditional outbound advertising methods. Combine the forementioned inbound marketing strategies with conventional outbound advertising methods and you will maximize your impact on your target audience. After all, some people are not heavy web or social media users. You will need traditional ads to reach these individuals.
Every traditional outbound marketing channel is worth considering:
· Local newspapers
· Local magazines
These conventional inbound marketing channels will significantly bolster your law firm’s brand awareness in the local community.
More importantly, these ads will be seen by community members who might not spend an abundance of time on the internet. This way, those who are not exposed to your inbound ads will likely see your conventional outbound ads around town or on local media and immediately think of your law firm when they need legal services. Just be sure to include your law firm’s web address at the bottom of your traditional outbound advertisements when possible so those who see these ads can check out your firm online.
Even if only half of those who see your traditional outbound ads end up visiting your law firm’s website, it is reason to celebrate.
These web visitors will likely check out your law firm’s blog, social media and various pages on your website. In other words, your inbound and outbound ads have the potential to reinforce one another to garner ongoing interest in your legal services.
Continue Experimenting With Your Law Firm Marketing Until You Find the Right Mix
Merely implementing one of the law firm marketing strategies detailed above might not suffice. Your law firm will likely need multiple inbound marketing methods in combination with one or a few conventional outbound advertising methods in order to maximize your client base.
Continue to tinker with your marketing strategy as time progresses and you will find the right mix that yields the optimal results in due time.
By: Frank DePino
Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.