[Author: Noreen Fishman]
Effective law firm marketing is all about getting your message to the people who are seeking what you have to offer. Simple enough, right? Well, it’s more complicated than it sounds, especially in today’s increasingly fragmented and fast-moving digital landscape. We’ve worked with firms of every size and specialty, and have picked up on best practices that consistently generate results. Here are 10 legal marketing habits of successful law firms.
Consistency is really key when it comes to marketing. All too often, we see firms neglecting to update their blog, podcast, or social media for far too long. A lack of consistency can be detrimental to credibility, and not having active strategies leads to a lot of missed opportunities.
Far from thinking “small”, focusing on geography is a smart strategy for many reasons. The fact is that most of your future clients are searching locally before they hire a lawyer. Your marketing will work best in the areas where you actually practice. Start by creating local business listings. These listings function as part of local online search and make your firm visible. Take advantage of the hundreds of directories where you can list your firm for free, such as Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Places, etc. The quality, consistency, and spread of your online directory listings can affect your local search engine optimization (SEO) results. Yext is a great tool that can help you manage your online reputation through directories.
Obtaining user reviews across these listings is also important. Just as important as the digital aspect is the physical one: join local professional groups, volunteer, participate in local forums, etc. Your goal is to get your firm’s name out in the local market as much as possible.
How will you know what your audience wants unless you test it? A/B testing is when a marketer changes one attribute on marketing material and releases two versions to test which attribute performs best with their audience. The savviest of marketers will keep testing different variables until they figure out the perfect formula for success with their audience. You can test items like landing pages, emails, ads, and more.
A slow website or one that is difficult to navigate isn’t going to cut it. Having a well-designed website with great content is important, but adhering to technical best practices is equally critical. It’s key that your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly since people tend to look at websites on multiple devices. Your number one priority should be ensuring the site works across any device. Then, take a look at your loading speed and do what you can to make your site faster. Also, consider making the site ADA compliant. For tips on making your site accessible to someone with a disability, check out our past blog.
As legal marketing moves more into the digital sphere, it becomes easier and more important to focus on a specific audience and then use data to understand how those activities are performing. Examples of trackable strategies include everything from blogging to paid advertising to email to account-based marketing.
Consider your ideal audience (you can create client personas to better articulate these individuals- start with a free guide like this one: A Law Firm’s Guide to Creating an Ideal Client Profile), and then think about where they spend time and the best ways to reach them. What topics are they interested in? What are their challenges? Content creation should revolve around these areas. Then, make data part of your overall strategy.
Fortunately, Google Analytics is free and offers the ability to set up and track a wide range of digital activities. Consistently pull data on your efforts so that you can optimize and make more cost-effective law firm marketing plans. Be wary of any activities that are targeted to a broad audience, or do not have a way of tracking results.
Niche-focused marketing allows your law firm to target leads that meet its specific business growth goals. A deep understanding of your clients, your industry, your long-term business goals, and your prospect’s business pain points allows your firm to provide tailored services that genuinely add value in your client’s eyes. Focus on your attorneys’ strengths and what they are experts in, and work to instill trust in people seeking experts in that field.
Then, after identifying these pain points, you should focus on offering solutions in the form of blog posts, eBooks, podcasts, videos, or via email.
Anything you produce that promotes your firm should gently remind people to take a next step. While that can mean calls-to-action (CTA) on content like white papers, it also means helping people to engage when they are on your website. User studies have shown that interactive content such as quizzes and polls prompts people to take action. Additionally, many firms have found success implementing a live chat feature. People like the instant gratification of getting answers, without the pressure of setting up a real discussion with staff. Interaction also extends to encouraging users to leave reviews for your firm, engaging with them, and asking them to respond to social posts, etc. It is important to remember when establishing your legal marketing habits to include lead forms across your website and make sure every single web page has some sort of CTA for what to do next.
The key to understanding what will perform best is drawing actionable conclusions from your data. Marketers should take a look at data on both a weekly and monthly basis in order to assess what is working and what is not. Monthly data should also be positioned against 17 month averages or yearly averages so you can accurately assess trends. Always keep track of how your strategies have changed from month to month so you can understand what is impacting your data and what is working vs. what isn’t working.
Even the smartest of legal marketers and lawyers cannot keep up to date with everything all the time. The legal marketing landscape is constantly changing, and it’s very normal to lack an understanding of the latest tactics or best practices as time progresses. Make sure you’re leveraging free resources online like blogs, podcasts, and newsletters in the legal marketing community. Or consider investing in an all-encompassing digital marketing course like this one: Digital Marketing for Law Firms Certification Course.
Many firms are hesitant to check out their competitors, but a robust competitor analysis can help law firms see new opportunities and understand their strengths and weaknesses. While you want to stay away from simply copying others’ strategies, an analysis of your competitors can help you understand areas of improvement and best practices in the industry.
Prioritizing these legal marketing habits will enable you to improve your online authority, helping you to grow your practice and generate more business online. Knowing you need to implement these strategies is one thing – having the bandwidth to do them is another.
This post has been edited and republished from Jul. 2, 2021.
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