As the first quarter of the year comes to a close, it’s a good idea to take stock of how the execution of your marketing plan is going so far. Don’t have a formal marketing plan? You need one. An annual marketing plan helps you to plot the course of your activities and achieve measurable results (not to mention create a realistic budget). The marketing plan you’ll use will vary based on several factors, but here’s a general guide on creating a plan for marketing your law firm.
What Should a Marketing Plan Include?
Marketing plans can get quite granular depending on your industry, target audience, goals, and size of your digital presence. However, notwithstanding those factors, any robust marketing plan should include sections on:
- A summary of your organization with basic information like a mission statement
- Marketing initiatives that outline which projects are specific to marketing your law firm, along with the goals and how those goals will be measured
- A client analysis based on extensive market research, including various client personas
- A well-researched competitor analysis where you’ll take stock of competing firms’ positioning, market share, etc.
- A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) based on the research you’ve conducted and input from the other sections
- A description of how your firm will approach the market, or a market strategy, that discusses price, place, promotion, etc.
- A budget that describes how much money the marketing team will have access to for projects
- Which specific marketing channels you’ll use to spread awareness, generate leads, and nurture relationships
- Financial projections that reflect the ROI of your planned tactics
How to Create a Plan for Marketing Your Law Firm
There are a few steps that should be followed in order to develop an impactful marketing plan that can guide your team to success with marketing your law firm.
1. Perform a Situation Analysis
What are the current circumstances for your firm? This is where you’ll seek to understand your firm’s positioning and create a SWOT analysis, along with the overall market environment, competitor analysis, etc.
2. Research and Document Your Target Audience
If your law firm has already created client personas, then these can provide valuable insight. If you haven’t, now is a great time to do so! Include demographic information like location, age, and income. Also consider pain points, goals, typical objections, etc. What drives your audience? What problems does your firm address? This information will help you decide on your goals.
3. Create SMART Goals
SMART refers to goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. That means goals should be related to particular objectives and be able to be completed and measured within identifiable timeframes. Before you begin any tactics, you should write out your goals. Only then can you evaluate which activities are best for achieving them. For example, if you want to beef up your social media presence, you might create a goal of increasing LinkedIn followers by 15% within three months.
4. Evaluate Tactics
At this point, you know who you need to reach and what you want to achieve. Now you must determine which tactics can help you to accomplish your goals. Additionally, this is the time to consider channels and other action items. For example, taking our LinkedIn goal above, related tactics could include hosting a number of live streams, responding to comments within a certain timeframe, or adding additional content to your firm page. Brainstorm as many tactics as possible and plan to narrow down. However, do so knowing that you will ultimately work within a budget.
5. Determine Your Budget
Before you can actually implement anything you’ve developed to this point, you need to set a budget. In some cases, you may not have the budget for your desired activities – or you may need to shuffle some money around. As you determine your tactics, estimate how much money will be required. It’s also helpful to make note of the timeline for completing each tactic as well as what other assets you might need to obtain to actually deploy those tactics (such as ad space, software, etc).
We often advise clients to develop a marketing plan that will achieve some quick wins initially. That way, your team can build some momentum and tackle more challenging initiatives as the year goes on. An omnichannel digital marketing plan can provide the roadmap for accomplishing your firm’s goals and gaining more clients.
We offer several services that can help firms of all sizes to build out powerful and effective marketing plans. If you need assistance reaching your marketing goals, connect with us today for a free consultation.