As the innovation of technology advances and the use of it continues to increase, businesses need to consider the experiences of other clients and new ways to reach consumers where they are spending time. This is especially true for law firms; as the adoption of digital marketing strategies for law firms is trending. Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing strategies can be less expensive and have long-term benefits. Creating a digital marketing strategy for your law firm is a great way to gain new clients, and establish your legal brand.
So, you must be wondering…how should you go about planning a digital marketing strategy? We have 8 great tactics to help you start marketing your firm digitally!
Identify Your Goals
Before implementing digital marketing tactics there are a few things that you need to first identify. What is your core target market? Where are they spending their time? Once you establish the persona of your typical client then you must identify what you would like to achieve.
When considering what you would like to achieve, keep S.M.A.R.T goals in mind. Make sure the goals can be reasonably met within a specific time frame.
- Leads: Do you want to meet a certain amount of leads per week/month?
- Conversions or New Cases Opened: Are there a certain number of leads you would like to convert into clients in a specific time frame?
- Social Media Followers: Is there a certain number of social media followers you would like to gain per week/month?
- Click through rate: If placing pay-per-click advertisements, is there a certain CTR you would like to achieve?
- Site visits per week/month: Is there a specific amount of site visits or new visitors to your website that you would like to achieve within a specific time frame?
Once you identify your goals, you can begin to plan your digital marketing strategy. Here are some great strategy ideas used in the legal industry that you may wish to adopt.
Build a Brand Identity
Every business, including law firms, needs to build a strong brand identity. When it comes to legal branding, you want to have consistency across all platforms. The best way to establish this, especially if you will have other employees implementing your marketing efforts, is to develop a branding guide.
A branding guide should include your logo, unique selling proposition, slogan, font type, and color schemes. You want to build consistency across all your platforms. Establish rules to never alter your company logo.
Make sure to establish a unique selling proposition. What makes your legal services unique? Why should someone hire you over another lawyer? Demonstrate the breadth of the services you provide.
To brainstorm ideas, consider factors like:
- Have you been in the industry for a long time?
- How many cases have you won?
- What was the greatest settlement one of your clients won?
- Do you specialize in a particular niche or concentration?
- What are you doing that the competition isn’t?
For legal branding, you will want to create a brand that visually shows expertise to establish authority. On your website provide case studies and any awards you have received.
Establish authority through social proof. Have clients give testimonials both in video advertising and written ads. Add those testimonials on your website similar to what Kaplan Lawyers PC has done. Furthermore, ask consumers to provide reviews on Google My Business or through legal directories. Prospective clients will take the experiences of other clients into consideration when deciding to hire a lawyer.
Content marketing is an important part of digital marketing. It will help you build your brand authority, and convert new clients. Through content marketing, you provide quality information to prospects so they can make informed decisions.
On your website, create a blog page similar to what the Toronto Lawyers have done on their website. On this blog page, create informative articles about trending topics related to your expertise in the legal field. It could be a topic that directly affects your target market in a timely fashion. For example, maybe you are in business law and a new state pandemic restriction will affect small business restaurant owners. You should quickly inform them what this will mean for their business.
Or perhaps there is legal news trending on a national level that you can break down for the general public to understand. Lately, many Californian attorneys have been discussing the Britney Spears conservatorship since many people are talking about it and it can be legally confusing for the general public.
If you create a youtube video on the topic, make sure to include it in your blog article as this will increase its chances of ranking higher on google. Having blog posts on your website will increase your exposure and help generate leads.
Creating a newsletter, for those that subscribe to your email list is a great idea. In your newsletter, make sure to include any timely state/federal law changes that impact your area of expertise, legal updates, snippets of your recent blog posts, a featured summary of one of your legal staff, details of awards you have received, and more. This will keep prospects coming back to your site.
If you haven’t already, you should also add case studies from your previous cases on your site. Creating an FAQ is also very helpful to prospective clients. When hiring a lawyer, people have a lot of questions. By having an FAQ, clients will feel confident when deciding to hire you as a lawyer.
Common questions to include are:
- When should I hire a lawyer?
- Why should I hire you as a lawyer?
- How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
- What other fees do lawyers charge?
- How often do you bill?
- What if I cannot afford to hire a lawyer?
- How often will you update me on my case status?
- What states are you licensed in?
- How long have you been a lawyer?
- What is your area of legal expertise?
When drafting questions for your FAQ section, it is also a good practice to include questions that your clients are asking during consultations. You may also want to include questions that are related to your specific specialty.
Legal directories are a great resource for law firms. By listing yourself on a legal directory, you will gain prospecting client leads who are actively searching for a lawyer. Directories also provide useful information to clients such as various state laws. This also helps you build credibility with clients.
Not only are legal directories great for getting client leads, but they also provide the benefits of link building. Link building is an important part of search engine optimization. When you create a profile on a legal directory site, you will gain an external backlink to your site.
Link building is one of the practices Google considers when determining the authority of your website. The authority of your website is an important deciding factor in how Google will rank your site on their search engine.
You can create a listing on a legal directory for free. Although there are also paid options if you desire extra exposure.
Although there is no right way to advertise digitally, we can help you develop some guidelines to maximize your online advertisements.
You probably target a niche clientele as an attorney. These niches include family law, personal injury, etc. Considering this, Google Ads can be a great tool to use for advertising your firm since it allows you to target specific audiences. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements can be great for law firms, especially budget-conscious ones. You can bid on a keyword, and when a person searches for that keyword on Google, your ad will appear. Every time an individual clicks on your ad, you will be charged a fee.
Luckily, you can set limits on your keyword bid and click cost. This way you will not be overcharged. Google ads are a great way to receive traffic to your website and to increase brand awareness. It is especially great for law firms who require almost immediate traffic.
Lawyers and law firms can also engage with social media advertising. Through social media ads, you can target a very specific audience group by choosing your core, custom, and lookalike audience. Social media allows for a quick and extremely cost-effective way to target your niche.
Similar to Google ads, you can set a daily budget and it is very user-friendly for beginners. Along with this, you can constantly update and change your campaign based on its success or failure – unlike traditional advertising vehicles.
These are some guidelines on how to get started with online advertising:
- Identify Your Advertising Goals: Some goals for your advertisement may include brand awareness, website traffic, leads, etc. This is a very important first step since your goals will be the foundation of your whole campaign.
- Identify Which Service Do You Want To Market & To Which Customer Segment: It is very important to determine early on which service you will be marketing and to whom you will target your campaign. Having a clear focus results in a much more effective campaign.
- Set A Budget: Setting a small starting budget is better than going big early on. With a small budget, you can test your ads and adjust accordingly. Then, once you have understood the advertising tools, you can think of increasing your budget.
- Create Your Ad Content: If you are advertising on Google ads, choose the best keywords to bid on and create an ad that includes those keywords. Keep the writing short, and make your content focused. There should be a call to action on your ad.
- Choose The Right Metrics To Analyze: Based on the goals you have established, choose the right metrics to monitor and analyze. Do not look at all the metrics since many may not be applicable to your goals and will deviate you from your objectives.
Although there are so many communication platforms out there, email is still very relevant and important in terms of targeting current and potential customers. It is very effective to set up an email drip. Email drips are personalized email campaigns. It helps educate your audience and encourages them to take the action you are inspiring.
To make your email marketing effective, segment your list based on these criteria:
- Area of interest
- Buying cycle stage
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has become a huge thing in recent years. Especially in 2021, social media marketing has been booming for law firms. Social media allows companies to stay relevant and in touch with their customers. It helps you build a connection with customers and develop a brand personality.
Depending on your target audience and the type of law you are practicing, you should determine which platform will fit your firm the best. For example, if your target client is the general public, having a Facebook account can be very useful since you can reach a large audience group very quickly. For example, Hollis Law Firm has a big Facebook following.
On the contrary, they have a very small Instagram and Twitter following. This just proves that having a presence on all social media platforms is not necessary. It is much more important to have an account only where your audience is present, and spending all your time perfecting that account. In this case, Hollis Law Firm can spend a lot more time focusing on their Facebook since clearly, their audience is not present on Instagram and Twitter.
On the other hand, if your firm is trying to attract business clients or professionals similar to Kirkland & Ellis, having a LinkedIn account is very important. Furthermore, this may seem a little unorthodox, however, since TikTok has become so big, you can consider creating an account there depending on your audience.
Many lawyers such as Michael Mandell have started a TikTok account. His target audience is the younger generation so it is a perfect platform for him, and it may be for you as well if your audience group is younger.
All in all, having a social media page is extremely important, but it is much more important to find the right platform where your client base is.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It is very important to optimize your search engine in order for your website to be suggested within the first page of a Google search.
So, how does Google determine which website to display on the first page?
- Relevancy: Your website should match exactly what your audience is searching for through keywords, information, etc. If your website does not match the topics being searched for, your website is less likely to show up on the first page.
- User Friendly: Your website should display information that people would be searching for. However, it should also be quick in terms of loading and navigation. The information should be easily readable and very accessible. Lastly, your website should be mobile-friendly.
There are 2 ways to optimize your search engine:
- On-Page Optimization: On-page search engine optimization refers to changes you can make to your website to increase SEO. This includes:
- Displaying relevant information,
- Having all the indicators that someone in your client group would be looking for
- Professionally written landing page
- The right keywords in your body and in image descriptions.
Overall on-page SEO is easier to manipulate since the changes are all under your control.
- Off-Page Optimization: Off-page search engine optimization is when other websites link out to you. Unfortunately, this is not in your control since you are reliant on other websites.
- To learn about link building and to boost your SEO through off-page optimization, watch the video below:
Although you may think some industries still do not need to go digital in terms of marketing, in the current day and age, we would disagree. It is very important for you as a law firm to take a step into the digital world and engage with your audience there.
Following our digital marketing plan will help your firm reach the goals you have determined for yourself.
So, do you think digital marketing is the next step for your firm? Want to learn more about digital marketing? Subscribe to our youtube channel to learn more for free.
About the Authors
Dishti Zaveri is a Brand Marketing Analyst intern at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™ and a fourth-year student at Schulich School of Business.
Jack Leduc is a Brand Marketing Analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™ and a Digital Marketing Coach at Easy Event Planning, LLC.