Today, good legal marketing is so much more than having an advertisement in your local yellow pages or making a mediocre website. Marketing is almost exclusively done online, through a combination of blogging, social media, video, and more.
Today’s users know what they want and know how to look for it, and a strong legal marketing strategy develops ways to feed into the habits of web-savvy individuals. Here are some big do’s and don’ts of strong legal marketing that you can adapt as you begin to craft and hone your unique digital marketing strategies.
1. DO Have a Robust Web Presence (And Make Sure Your Law Firm Website Is Mobile Friendly)
Most attorneys have a web presence of some kind – if you don’t, it’s time to create one as soon as possible. Businesswire published GE Capital’s research on how digital tools have shaped consumer confidence, and the report is in – as much as 80% of consumers do research using the Internet before they ever make a financial transaction. This includes hiring an attorney.
If you do have a website or are in the process of creating one, be absolutely certain that it is mobile friendly. Whatever photos, videos, blogs, or other content you place on your law firm’s website, it’s crucial that they be easily viewable and read from a tablet or smartphone.
The following 2017 mobile usage report from comScore illustrates the point via the percent of mobile minutes spent online:
Prepare for this tech shift by building or tweaking your website to be fully responsive and look great on all platforms.
2. DO Create Meaningful, Engaging Content Regularly
Only part of the purpose of an attorney or law firm’s website is to give potential clients contact information and a way to reach them. A much larger part of having a legal website is keeping it updated with information that your potential clients find relevant to them and have a desire to read. This means blogging and optimizing all of your content for SEO.
You want to be creating meaningful, engaging content on a very consistent basis, even if that is just never missing once a month. According to Hubspot, blogging is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website, establish your firm or yourself as an authority in your niche in your area, and helps convert traffic to leads.
Check out our webinar with The National Law Review about 2017 SEO strategies and in particular about how long blog posts should be and how often people are posting.
Here’s a couple screenshots as an appetizer:
A very good website will even convince leads to reach out to you via your contact form or a phone call, and having updated, engaging content plays a significant role in closing that deal.
3. DO Get Involved in Social Media
While some attorneys jump on the social media bandwagon right out of law school, others keep waiting for social media to disappear like so many other fads. MySpace was indeed a fad, but Facebook turned 13 years old in 2017 and it’s only growing. Soon to be over 2 billion members!! They can’t all be people buying t-shirts or sharing what they had for breakfast, right?
LinkedIn is the first social network that C-level executives join and if you are not on it, you look a bit outdated. Opportunities abound including advanced paid tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator to put your business development into high gear.
It’s reasonably safe to say that Facebook and LinkedIn aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That means it’s time to make at least these social media networks work for you.
And Google+ is hardly optional since it is what helps you optimize your local map listings…
According to Orbit Media, in a study of 1,000 bloggers, social media is how 94% of writers promote their content. So without social, your content – even when it is optimized with SEO keywords – will be very looooonelyyyyy and do little for you.
Use social media to your advantage and do as Attorney at Work author Gyi Tsakalakis suggests: make it become a tool to help you cultivate personal relationships with potential clients as well as other attorneys.
However, Tsakalakis warns attorneys about using social media as a way to tell others more about yourself. He says, “Too many lawyers are talking past people online. After all these years, they still think of the social web solely as a broadcast medium. So, they paste commercials, ads and offers that shout ‘LOOK At Me!’”
Potential clients don’t want to only hear your long list of accomplishments or groups, clubs, and bar associations that you belong to. They want to hear what you, as their lawyer, can do for them. Use social media to connect with potential clients in that way and you’ll start to see a noticeable trend upwards in the results from your legal marketing efforts over time.
4. DON’T Spend Your Money on Law Firm Marketing Strategies You Can’t Measure
While some marketing tactics are organic, such as blog posts and some social media exposure, other marketing strategies are pay-to-play. Whether you’re engaging in PPC or Facebook Ads, it’s natural to expect to fork over a few hundred (or thousands) of dollars to strengthen your legal marketing and get your firm’s name out there to potential clients in your area.
However, be wary of spending money on any marketing that you can’t measure. You always want to be aware of what your marketing is doing for you and if your dollars are being spent in the most effective way.
If you’re not able to measure a particular marketing strategy, it’s likely of no use to you. You’ll never know if the money you spent increased your thought leadership profile, traffic and leads or decreased your bounce rate.
Even just measuring how you lowered your bounce rate could in turn lead to more sales and better SEO results.
Before spending anything on marketing, ask yourself how you’ll know at the end of the campaign if it was successful or not. If you’re not able to answer that question, it’s time to look at other marketing options.
At the very least, install and use Google Analytics for tracking conversions, not just “hits”.
5. DON’T Forget to Make a Personal Connection with Potential Clients
In today’s world, where attorneys for every need are everywhere, it’s important to make a personal connection with potential clients who visit your website. Whether you’re simply putting up your picture so visitors can see who you are in connection with your name, or you’re posting videos addressing some hot topics in your niche, making the extra effort to personalize your website can make a significant difference when it comes to conversion rates and turning potential customers into clients.
While having your image on your website’s banner or on your About page is crucial, one of the most effective ways you can make an impression on potential clients is through the use of video as a legal marketing tool. According to Cisco, global video traffic doubled in 2015 and is on track to increase tenfold by the year 2020. Internet video traffic is expected to grow 31% between 2015 to 2020.
If you don’t have video on your law firm’s website yet, the time has never been better to get started. Videos of you answering client questions or discussing the most talked-about topics at your firm gives users the opportunity to hear your voice and find out what you’re all about.
When it comes to choosing who they want as their attorney – whether they’re going through a divorce, tackling a trademark issue, if they’ve been injured, or they’ve been arrested for a crime – potential clients tend to gravitate towards lawyers they feel they “know” better.
A well strategized video can help make a client feel like they’ve already met you, even though they haven’t, putting you in a position above your competitors.
Naturally, there’s much more to legal marketing than these five simple things. However, these are a great start and can help you not only to build a web presence that will be relevant in the coming years, but also to develop relationships with leads, transforming them into potential and even recurring clients.