How do you choose the right digital marketing agency for your law firm? Selecting a legal marketing agency to work with can be one of the most important decisions you will make. The right agency can boost the effectiveness of your online marketing and increase revenue significantly. However, a poorly chosen agency can do anything from achieving disappointing results to actually causing negative outcomes.
Working with an agency can be difficult if they don’t fully understand your goals. In order to be successful, you need to clearly communicate what your business goals are and how you will measure the agency’s success in achieving these goals.
When the time comes to bring in outside help for your law practice’s digital marketing, you’ll want to make sure you’re considering the right factors and asking the right questions. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to make sure you’re getting started on the right foot.
Why Hire a Legal Marketing Agency
Hiring a legal marketing agency may seem like a costly and daunting pursuit. However, the benefits greatly outweigh the expense. Some key benefits you’ll find are:
- Saved money- as now you won’t have to outsource multiple tasks, expand your own team size, or invest in the multitude of marketing tools needed nowadays
- Access to years of experience- By working with an agency, you’ll have access to all the knowledge that comes with years of experience working purely in marketing. This is something that may be hard to find when building your internal team but is easy to find at an agency.
- Greater bandwidth and efficiency- with an agency you’ll be able to do more with less. As the agency takes on most of the grunt work, you’ll find your own team has more time on its hands and a greater ability to work towards your business development goals.
- Access to experts- when a new Google update occurs or a social media platform emerges, do you find yourself wondering what your firm should do? How can we stay current with our strategy? With an agency, you’ll have experts at the ready, so any questions you may have can be answered accurately and swiftly.
- New perspectives- many law firms struggle to stay current with new marketing trends or fail to refresh their strategies as often as they should. With your agency ready to provide its honest and fresh perspectives, you’ll never have to worry about losing ground to your competitors or falling short of industry standards. These new perspectives can even lead you to creating some cutting-edge campaigns.
- Access to better resources- Like we mentioned, investing in marketing technology can get expensive. An agency, assuming they’re reputable, will have access to the most up-to-date and cutting-edge resources that’ll improve your strategy over time.
Make Sure the Marketing Agency Understands Your Needs and Your Business
It’s essential to seek out an agency that understands exactly what you need, as well as your practice areas and your target audience. Some marketing agencies specialize in specific industries while others will take just about any client that knocks on their door. While specializing in the legal industry is not a requirement, it is highly likely your firm will achieve better results partnering with an agency that understands the specifics of working with lawyers and law firms and the nuances of legal marketing.
Ask About Their Services and Skills
Many different things fall under the umbrella of online or digital marketing. There are “organic” and paid methods of attracting leads. Marketers use various channels and tools such as: email, SEO, social media, and online advertising. You’ll want to ask any agency you’re considering what services they offer and which, if any, they specialize in.
Anyone claiming to be an expert in all aspects of digital marketing is almost certainly over-representing themselves. An honest agency will be upfront about where its strengths and weaknesses lie.
Room for Growth
While you might only be looking to sign on for a few services right now, that may not always be the case. What if you want to do more in the future? What if you need a website redesign in a few years? What if your team size changes and you need the agency to take on more tasks? Ask about their ability to cover a few different strategies and how accustomed they are to adding services as their clients grow or their needs change.
Ask About Strategy vs. Execution
Some marketing agencies will specialize in strategy and planning, expecting you to take care of the execution. Others might be ready to handle the execution, but expect you to devise and inform them of your own strategy. Still, others will fall somewhere in the middle. Again, no one way of doing things is better than the other. The right choice for you will depend on exactly what your goals are and how involved you want to be in the various processes.
Alignment of Goals
Before heading into the hiring process, you should first map out what your marketing goals are. Then, you should bring up goal setting when you meet with agencies. Do their goals for your firm align with your own? Do they feel equipped to reach your goals?
Ask How Results are Communicated
Keeping track of results is an important part of everything from small individual campaigns to your overall marketing efforts. You should find out right from the start how those results will be communicated to you. Some agencies might provide a login for a dashboard where you can keep track of your own results in real-time. Others might send you a report once a month through email. You’ll want to make sure that you’re going to be able to get at the information you want when you want it. You are also going to want more than just data. Data is useless if you don’t understand the meaning behind it or how it specifically impacts your practice. A good digital marketing agency will not only provide the data but also help you glean actionable insights and strategies from that data.
Ask For and Check Past Results
Unfortunately, there are a lot of agencies, not to mention individuals representing themselves as agencies, who will promise the sky just to get you to hand over some money. The best way to avoid these types of people is to ask for and check references.
Any reputable marketer will be able to provide references from past clients with verifiable results. For example, don’t believe someone who tells you to search for a term and then claims to be responsible for the first result on the page. Instead, insist on speaking with the owner of that particular business for verification.
Make Sure the Price is Right
Prices from one agency to another can vary greatly. The way services are billed can vary as well. It’s important to consider how much your firm can afford to spend and how you will be charged. Some agencies will simply bill a set price each month for whatever services you’ve chosen. Others will charge varying rates based on results. You should think about both of these factors and ensure you know how billing will work with each agency you’re considering.
Depending on how involved you want to be with the future marketing of your law firm, there may be some other miscellaneous factors to consider as you work to identify the right digital marketing agency. Such factors might include the agency’s proximity to your offices or how well you get along with their team members. The suggestions we’ve outlined above, however, should get you going in the right direction and help you find a digital marketing agency that will be both effective and comfortable to work with.
Choosing the right legal marketing agency is paramount for success. Not all agencies are alike, and sadly, there are many companies that lack knowledge of best practices.
If you’re considering hiring a digital marketing agency for your law firm, we’d be happy to set up a call to discuss your options. We’re a full service digital legal marketing agency that has helped countless law firms improve their marketing.
This post has been edited and republished from May 15, 2018.