Online marketing presents many opportunities for lawyers to raise awareness of their firm and its practice groups, as well as to generate new business opportunities from prospects or existing clients. The growing importance of online marketing is evident as we’ve witnessed the balance of power shift from traditional marketing to online marketing. According to eMarketer, U.S. digital marketing spend surpassed traditional spending in 2019 for the first time. It is clear that in today’s digitally connected world, if you want your law firm to remain competitive and drum up a steady flow of new clients and high-value cases, you must be marketing online.
Our beginner’s guide to online marketing for lawyers includes the essential strategies and components of a successful online marketing strategy. It focuses on three things: raising your profile, building credibility in your areas of expertise, and reaching the right people with the right message.
Keep reading to learn how you can get on the right track to reach new clients and grow your law practice. By the end you’ll also know how to connect the many moving parts of online marketing to your big-picture goal, which is return on investment (ROI).
1. Be laser focused on your clients
Your past, current, and prospective clients are the lifeblood of your firm. All aspects of your firm’s online marketing strategy needs to be built around them. In order to successfully engage clients and prospects with your online marketing, you must first understand what they truly want and what challenges they need help solving. We recommend creating a buyer persona for your firm, which according to HubSpot is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
2. Build your marketing framework and set SMART goals
A core idea that we want to reinforce is that marketing should be evaluated holistically. Rather than thinking in terms of campaigns, you should think in terms of growth frameworks and long-term business objectives. Your framework should be a written marketing plan that guides the direction of your firm’s campaigns, goals, and growth.
Your efforts will be much more victorious, and a whole lot easier to get off the ground, if you start with SMART goals and KPIs. SMART marketing goals is a framework for successful goal setting. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Using the SMART goal framework to set marketing goals will help keep your law firm focused, effective, and efficient. More importantly it will allow for imperative conversations to happen throughout the process.
3. Getting found online: search engine optimization (SEO)
You can have the most amazing website or blog but ensuring that your website can be found by your target audience is what really matters. This is where SEO comes into play, which is an essential part of any effective online marketing strategy for lawyers.
At its core, SEO generates traffic to your website by allowing visitors to find your firm easily when searching online. The better your website’s SEO, the better it will be ranked by search engines, meaning your website will appear higher in search results. For more information on SEO, visit our post: An SEO Checklist for Law Firms.
4. Drive leads with conversion rate optimization strategies
Law firms that are focused on generating new qualified leads and acquiring new clients through online marketing need to ensure that their website is optimized for conversions. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the practice of converting website visitors into qualified leads. CRO works by capturing the contact information of potential leads who are visiting your website (i.e. with calls-to-action such as “download” or “subscribe”). While search engine optimization can help law firms boost online presence, conversion rate optimization can help firms turn casual browsers into leads.
5. Build audience connections with content marketing
Quality content that builds a dialogue with your target clients will ultimately strengthen and deepen your relationships and lead to more business. Content marketing is more than just your law firm’s blog, however. When executed properly, content includes articles, ebooks, webinars, guides, quizzes, videos, podcasts, etc. These content formats can all be powerful growth drivers for your firm. Be sure to focus on creating thoughtful, timely, and educational content that is of high quality and tailored to your audience.
Download our complimentary eBook, The Law Firm Guide to Content Marketing and learn how to develop an effective content marketing strategy.
6. Launch a social media strategy
Cultivating an appealing image through social media is an integral part of online marketing and public relations for any law firm today. Social media platforms should be used to connect with your audience, build your law firms’ brand, drive website traffic, and increase leads. This involves publishing quality content (that can be repurposed from your website) on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running paid social media advertisements. Also, don’t forget to craft a professional social media bio as it is often viewed more than any content you share.
You are also invited to watch our on demand webinar hosted by Good2bSocial’s CEO Guy Alvarez: How Lawyers Can Use Social Media to Build Their Brand & Grow Their Practice. Watch now.
7. Find clients through search engine marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is an effective method of delivering quality traffic and leads right to your law firms’ website. SEM is also referred to as online advertising, paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. These terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same concept — traffic purchased through online ads, often on Google. SEM allows you to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when a prospect searches for a keyword that is related to your legal services.
8. Amplify connections with email marketing
Email marketing remains one of the most important communication tools in online marketing for lawyers. Email is an excellent way for your law firm to capture new business, or keep your firm front-of-mind among past and present clients. A weekly or monthly newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with subscribers. Law firms that come out on top focus on sending relevant, valuable and personalized emails. An effective way to personalize your email campaigns is through email segmentation.
9. Measure and analyze performance constantly
In a constantly and rapidly changing business landscape, the need to measure online marketing success as efficiently as possible has increased in importance more than ever before. By measuring and paying close attention to your online marketing metrics, you’ll be able to better understand the impact and effectiveness of your online activity.
We hope this guide has helped you better understand all of the fundamental digital marketing tactics that are essential when it comes to online marketing for lawyers. It takes a consistent, persistent presence to stay top of mind as a law firm but there is no one-size-fits-all online marketing strategy for law firms.
Contact us today if you need help developing a digital marketing strategy. We’re happy to assess your current digital marketing efforts, discuss your goals, and come up with a strategy to propel your law firm forward.
Good2bSocial has significant experience advising various organizations and law firms, from the AmLaw 100 to solo practitioners, on how to leverage digital marketing in order to achieve their desired business goals.
Updated and republished from Jul 14, 2020.