What types of marketing do lawyers and law firms need today?
There are many different types of advertising and marketing out there to choose from today. Many of them work, but they can vary widely in results and ROI. Often what matters most is how you stack and integrate them.
What legal marketing assets do you need? How should they fit together for optimal performance?
Offline Legal Marketing
If you’ve been out of law school for five minutes you are already keenly aware of many of the low tech legal marketing methods being put into play by your competition. You’ve heard them on the radio, driven by the billboards, and have maybe even seen them on cable TV.
If you’ve ever had a run in with the law for anything as minor as a traffic ticket, you’ll have probably received a mountain of junk mail from lawyers and law firms vying for your business.
Intensely concentrated and consistent offline campaigns can deliver some benefit. However, the fleeting and cold nature of these channels can mean burning a lot of marketing capital, and high lead and client acquisition costs.
This can be significantly reduced when advertisers backup these initiatives with a strong Internet presence.
Online Legal Marketing
Online marketing is the backbone and anchor of all legal marketing. It can also act as the flagship and first on the scene, but think of having an online presence as those first few puzzle pieces that everything else can be built on.
1. Great Legal Website
While websites aren’t the newest invention everything else is going to be harder, and is going to cost more unless you have one. If a law firm doesn’t have a website they might as well not exist. At a minimum it will be a monumental mission to convince prospective clients of credibility and legitimacy. They can be profitable too.
The Lexis Nexis Business of Law Blog quotes two surveys showing 70% to 77% of business generating leads online. The others may not even have a site.
2. Content Marketing
On the challenges and opportunities for legal marketing in 2016 The National Law Review specifically highlights “SEO as an important tactic.” Content marketing is a critical part of SEO.
Content makes all the difference in your placement in search engine results (being found online), as well as how many of those visitors convert to becoming clients, and the price they’ll happily pay for your legal services.
Many instantly think of blogs when “content marketing” is mentioned, but it is more than that. It is all of the text on your website, your blog (which is the heart of your business), and includes off-site content.
Offsite content such as articles and press releases is equally important, as evidenced by the major sponsors of the 2016 Legal Marketing Association conference in Austin, TX. These are all powerful tactics for raising brand awareness, real lead generation, and boosting SEO via link-building.
For 2016 legal marketers should specifically be looking at ‘long tail keyword’ phrases which may perform better when seeking to connect with highly targeted clients who are actively searching for legal services online, and via their Siri empowered iPhones.
3. Social Media Marketing
Some lump social media in the same bucket as legal content marketing. There is significant crossover, but can also operate completely separately, as in the case of paid Facebook ads.
If you have a regular blog going that can provide great fuel for social, and overall SEO, while bringing total marketing costs down, and raising marketing ROI. The important thing here is to decide whether you merely want a social media presence for credibility, or if you really want it to produce business.
4. Business Listings & Placements
Few may see print Yellow Pages as being relevant or useful any longer. The opposite can be said of online business listings. This is specifically true of Google, and for showing up in searches by those actively seeking legal assistance. More quality inbound links will also boost the overall strength of your SEO.
There are hundreds of places to have your law firm listed online. Using a service that can handle this for you is clearly the best way to optimize the ROI on your billable time.
There are many different types of legal marketing to choose from. The key to winning in solving this legal marketing Rubik’s Cube is selecting a good mix of channels, and completing the puzzle by building on successful move, after successful move, in order of their importance and return on investment.
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