The first step to establishing your online presence is by building a website. Check that. There’s insta-presence on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. There’s also Medium and Tumblr for writing long form articles by simply signing up, logging in, and start writing.
But the space on these platforms are rented. The currency you use to pay for that rental is the content you produce and your activities on the platforms. But you have little control. They can change at any time.
If you have a business – and make no mistake, running a law firm is as much a business as it is a practice – you need to own, not rent, your piece of real estate on the web. You need your own website. Check out our podcast episode on how one successful lawyer spends as much as 65% on marketing and managing his law firm.
OK, I’m preaching to the choir and you’ve built a website. Now what? Your online digital marketing strategy has only just begun. It’s now time to produce client-centric content, optimize your site, get some social signals going, and strategically invest in finely targeted ads to landing pages on your site —in order to build awareness, get qualified leads, and attract and retain high quality clients.
Start with a digital marketing strategy
You’ll need to develop a digital marketing strategy that uses various digital channels including social media, search engine marketing, email marketing and advertising, with your website as the hub. Your digital marketing strategy serves as a roadmap for what you want to accomplish and all the ways you’ll get there,
Content is the center of your efforts
Marketing success–and failure–often depends on the quality of your content marketing. It’s how you demonstrate your expertise and reinforce your law firm’s brand with clients, prospects and influencers.
Like your overall digital strategy, you’ll need to craft a content strategy and devise a plan that starts with three things: what you want to say, to whom, and how often. This includes identifying your target audience or buyer personas, type of content you need to produce (blog posts, e-books, video, podcasts, etc) and content production frequency.
Get found: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Having a client-centric website and useful content does no one any good if they can’t find it when they need the services you provide. You’ll need some optimization to help people find you when they research their problems online.
The goal of SEO is to drive traffic to your law firms website and raise your search rankings. But effective SEO takes time, attention and skill. And the process needs to be implemented every time you publish new content on your website.
Investing in organic SEO is more important now than ever before. You need to have an SEO strategy in place if you are interested in succeeding with your digital marketing strategy. See: SEO for Lawyers and Legal Marketers.
Build awareness and relationships with Social Media
Social media is today’s word-of-mouth. With it, your law firm can get its message to more people, engage with your target clients, and generate new leads and opportunities. it’s a great way to not only expand your reach but to build meaningful relationships.
A vibrant and engaging social media presence helps you to:
- Stay “top of mind” with and listen to your target audience (clients, prospects, alumni, colleagues, influencers, press)
- Develop strategic relationships
- Establish thought Leadership by demonstrating your skills, knowledge & experience
- Gain Competitive and Business Intelligence
- Drive traffic back to your website/blog
Use paid ads to get leads quickly
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns can be set up quickly and generate immediate traffic from keywords related to the needs of your clients and the services you offer. Paid social media ads are an increasingly popular option as it offers pinpoint targeting to your desired audience. Ad campaigns, done correctly, produces quality leads quickly.
After you’ve built your firm’s website, these content and optimization efforts, if done correctly and consistently, can produce awareness, thought-leadership recognition, and more business.