If there’s one thing that most law firms have noticed, it’s that the way that the public finds a law firm has changed drastically. Once upon a time, all a law firm had to do was pay for some television, radio, and newspaper ads and have a noticeable listing in the local Yellow Pages.
Those days are gone forever. Today’s law firm needs to understand the key to success lies solely in the digital arena. Digital marketing is the best way to both attract new clients and to attract new employees to help increase a law firm’s revenue. The competition with other law firms is fiercer than ever. For a firm to stand out from the rest means putting in more effort than ever before in building up an online presence, as well as making sure to keep on top of everything from visitors to a website to follow ups to any requests for information.
The marketing strategy that every law firm needs is digital marketing and yet, so many firms out there simply don’t understand how to make that happen. Firms looking to locate useful resources can use a list of marketing conferences for lawyers which will provide up-to-date information on the best conferences to showcase successful marketing campaigns for lawyers and law firms.
One of the most effective tools in digital marketing for a law firm is branding. “Branding” is one of those words that gets tossed around by marketing experts but it’s difficult for some people to understand just what branding means. In simplest terms, “branding” is what potential clients will think of when it comes to a law firm. One law firm might use the branding tactic of being the “nice guy” lawyers and another firm might go in the opposite direction, choosing to go down the branding path by presenting itself to the public as the “predatory” law firm, going after every penny that a client is due.
Digital marketing also needs to have a law firm focus on what makes it different from the competition. What is it about the firm that makes them stand out from the crowd? Potential clients arriving at a website will want to know just what it is about a firm that puts it above and beyond the competition.
Clients want to know the law firm they hire is credible and respected. When a potential client lands on a website, having any awards and journalistic mentions goes a long way towards establishing the firm as having the right credentials and being a legal authority. Asking a client to put trust in a firm is easier when that firm has a solid foundation to rest upon. Another way to establish credibility is to allow others to read reviews from former and current clients.
Law firms need to let potential clients know precisely what services are offered by the firm. In addition, letting clients know which attorneys within the practice are proficient in which service area allows the client to know which attorney to ask for when it comes time to setting up an appointment.
A solid law firm should never be hesitant about showing off its track record. A visit to a law firm’s website discovering that firm has a rock solid success rate will be more inclined to set up an appointment to meet with an attorney in that firm as opposed to some other firm that might not have put forth its track record. Clients want to know they’re in the capable hands and nothing shows capability more than seeing past performance from a firm.
Maximizing Search Engine Optimization
9 times out of 10, potential clients will go to a search engine such as Google in order to find information on law firms. Of those people, 3 out of 4 will never go beyond the first page of the search engine result. Needless to say, this can have disastrous consequences for a firm that doesn’t show up on that first page. In order to maximize a company’s search engine optimization, it is important to actually use a professional digital marketing individual or business. When the internet first started out, search engines simply scanned websites to see what words were on the various pages.
The more times those words appeared, the higher in the search rankings a page became. Those trying to “game the system” would simply post pages with the same phrases repeated dozens of times, making the search engine give a high ranking. As the internet evolved, so did the algorithms search engines used in order to rank a site’s search engine result. With today’s internet, it’s vital to have someone who understands the complexities of the search engine’s working to ensure a firm’s web page ranking.
Digital Ad Campaign
Using a digital ad campaign such as Google AdWords can have a positive effect on bringing new clients into a law firm’s orbit. The way it works is that a company spends money to have its presence show up on the first page of a search engine result. The cost of the ad depends upon the keywords being used and in order to maximize results, it’s important to have a professional involved who actually manages the ad campaign for the company.
Develop a strong landing page
A law firm’s landing page is where potential clients arrive from various areas of the internet. It’s the first impression a firm has to convert someone into becoming a client. The landing page should be clear, concise, and should also have some means of having visitors to the site come into contact with the firm. This can be done with an online form that allows an attorney to reach out to the prospective client.
Online Legal Directories
While clients might not be reaching for their physical Yellow Pages, they might find themselves on a website that’s a directory of law firms. Having a firm listed there provides yet another method of having clients discover that firm. Some of the legal directories are free of charge and others actually require payment.
Lights, Camera, Action – Video Marketing
Some firms don’t see the need for having video marketing attached to their company. The answer is simple – firms using video are over 50 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google. Since it’s been discussed as to how important it is to have a prominent place in the search engine first page, it’s only smart marketing to have a video attached to the law firm. One of the ways to use videos to reach clients is to have a firm’s various attorneys create an “introduction” video.
This way, someone interested in doing business with the firm can see the different attorneys and get a feel for which attorney they’d like to work with. In the introduction video, attorneys could present to the public which services they offer. Keep in mind that videos are viewed on computers, tablets, smartphones – and that younger clients are more likely to want to deal with watching a video, rather than simply reading a webpage. As mentioned earlier, reviews and testimonials are a great way to establish a firm’s credentials. Having video testimonials provides an air of authenticity that simple black-and-white print testimonials don’t.
Strong Social Media Marketing
Today’s firms cannot ignore the impact of social media when it comes to attracting new clients. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – these are all the sites where people gather and exchange information and share their thoughts. Having a strong social media presence increases the likelihood of someone looking to find a law firm will come in contact with the law firm using social media to its benefit. Using social media is also a great way to stay in contact with former clients. Former clients provide incredible word of mouth service when it comes to bringing new clients into a firm’s front door.
Gated content is a superb way of generating leads for new clients. While many websites offer free information, gated content offers information in exchange for either contact information, usually in the form of phone numbers or email addresses. This information is then used in order to generate a database of potential clients. The advantage of using gated content is knowing the individuals giving information to the database already have some interest in having legal assistance.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It – Newsletter Marketing
Newsletters are a great way for law firms to get former and new clients updated with whatever the firm considers newsworthy. There are articles about various legal topics and someone reading those articles might make a phone call requesting more information about whatever is discussed in the article or else to get more information about the law firm in general.
While it might seem counter-intuitive for a law firm to offer live chat, it’s actually a very useful tool. First and foremost, it provides an immediate response with a potential client. Someone might want to know whether or not a firm handles overseas divorces and the live chat can give them that information immediately. More and more websites are offering live chat and there’s a good reason for that – it’s proven itself to be both useful and revenue-generating. Another benefit is that having live chat gives the impression that the law firm is progressive and staying current with today’s technology.
Putting press releases on a firm’s website provides current information to visitors about the business and also lends an air of authenticity that might otherwise be lacking. Press releases that are linked to other websites have the added benefit of rising in the search engine rankings.
Every law firm should have a blog page on its website. Blogs have become an integral part of today’s internet culture and providing the public with useful information via a blog is a surefire way to rise in the search engine rankings. At the same time, blog posts have the benefit of helping to establish a law firm as an authoritative online voice and that carries tremendous impact nowadays.
A law firm blog can also have “guest bloggers” appear. These guests tend to write content for a site in exchange for a link back to their own blogs and websites. When a blog has constant original content and showcases other bloggers, it tends to build up a following that can be impressive. Blog posts also have the benefit of generating new content for a website. This is important because one of the factors
Podcasts have become increasingly popular and some law firms have taken advantage of this by producing a podcast of their own. Podcasts give listeners a chance to actually hear from the lawyers and clients of a firm discuss different aspects of the company and precisely what services can be offered. At the same time, podcasts are useful when it comes to imparting legal information that people might want to know about. When a topic is discussed that interests the audience, they are directed to get more information by going to the law firm website.
Another great marketing strategy for a law firm is to make sure that it is listed on Apple Maps. By simply filling out information at mapsconnect.apple.com, a law firm can claim the proper listing and get placed on the Maps app designed for iPhones. The advantage to this is that whenever an individual is using the Maps app when in the area surrounding the law firm, the law firm is identified on the map.
Email marketing, when done correctly, is still a very powerful marketing tool. Rather than sending out emails that are nothing more than flyers for a law firm, having an email that delivers on useful content allows subscribers to both learn more information about the law firm and to have the law firm’s information easily accessible through their email.
Law firms which take advantage of digital marketing place themselves front and center when it comes to new clients, while those who refrain from using the myriad tools at their disposal will continue to struggle to attract attention in a sea of more connected law firms.