In the crowded space of legal services, law firms must continuously work hard to bring in new leads and clients. Sure, referrals are a nice source of new clients, but law firms can’t rely on them alone. Firms have to advertise their services, but television ads can be prohibitively expensive and can easily produce lackluster results.
Digital advertising, however, definitely has its place in law firm marketing. The question is how and where? The answer is LinkedIn advertising. LinkedIn advertising can help provide your law firm with precisely targeted messaging, giving you the chance to develop new leads for your niche practice areas. In this post, we lay down the basics, explain how LinkedIn advertising works, and share with you some tricks and best practices to get the most from your law firm’s LinkedIn advertising investment.
It’s important to note that LinkedIn advertising doesn’t equal guaranteed success for everyone. Since the ads tend to be pricey – $6-9 per click on average – legal marketers need to ensure that they have an efficient funnel for nurturing leads and the proper resources in place to make these programs work.
The basics of LinkedIn advertising
- Remember AMO – This acronym stands for Audience, Message, and Offer. It’s important to have identified and optimized each of these areas before proceeding with launching a campaign.
- Objective-based LinkedIn ads – A fairly new program in the Campaign Manager tool, this feature requires advertisers to establish goals and objectives for their campaigns before they can set up their LinkedIn ads. There are four objectives to choose from: Website Visits, Engagement, Video Views, and Lead Generation. If you choose website visits, you can direct people to any page, form, or offer, so many advertisers find this the simplest objective to start campaigns with. Note: you can still generate leads for your law firm without using the “Lead Generation” objective which uses a pre-filled Lead Gen Form, as long as the landing page you are directing users to has an embedded form fill.
- Maximizing results – It’s important to note that the objectives simply help LinkedIn to bid for you – they don’t impact what other options are available to you. For example:
- If you choose website visits as your campaign objective, LinkedIn will provide the maximum CPC or CPM bid.
- If you choose the Engagement campaign objective, LinkedIn will bid by the like, company page follow, or comment.
- If you choose Lead Generation, LinkedIn will bid by lead form opens or by submitted lead forms.
- If you choose Video Views, LinkedIn will bid by the cost per view.
- Tracking conversions – You’ll want to track the activity generated by LinkedIn performance. You can do this by installing a pixel on Thank You Pages or events to track conversions. You might also want to set up Google Analytics UTM parameters for further insight.
What you need to know about audience targeting
One of the key benefits law firms see by advertising on LinkedIn is the ability to highly target specific audiences. No other platform allows for the precise targeting of prospects that LinkedIn does. It’s important to select, research, and understand the audiences you’ll be advertising to.
- Target by organization – Advertisers can target by industry or even a subset of an industry, as well as the size of an organization. LinkedIn also offers targeting by broad metro areas (not specific zip codes).
- Target by company name – If you’re interested in account based marketing, this is an area to explore. You can hone in on specific organizations within LinkedIn, and can even upload a list of your key targets and use LinkedIn to serve ads only to them. Uploading this type of list tends to lead to a lower CPC than using LinkedIn’s native proprietary data.
- Target by job title, skills, or seniority – LinkedIn offers several layers of targeting based on job description, roles, etc. LinkedIn judges seniority by titles, so be wary of using only that method since often titles mean different things in different industries.
- Target by skills and interests – There are over 35,000 skills on LinkedIn which can be narrowed down for targeting. Anyone with a skill listed on their profile is able to be targeted based on that category. Interests tend to be more broad and can be a helpful layer in targeting, but we don’t suggest targeting based on interests alone.
- Target by groups – When people go out of their way to join groups, it’s likely that they’re highly interested in the topic and also active on LinkedIn. Targeting by groups will yield a smaller audience but one that is likely higher quality. You can discover groups to target by using the search bar in the Groups category. We suggest layering another targeting option on top of the group selection.
LinkedIn ad placement options
LinkedIn offers four main advertising types, and which will work for your law firm is dependent on what we mentioned above: audience, message, and offer.
- Sponsored content – The most versatile and most common option, these are native ads that appear in the feed and look like normal organic posts. The ads might have an image, video, or carousel and have a lead generation form attached, and they are noted with “sponsored” or “promoted” beneath the content.
- Text ads – These are desktop only and are found on the right hand side of the site. They are great for promoting landing page experiences that don’t function as well on mobile. You can add a very small image, but they are mostly text. Text ads are also the least expensive option on LinkedIn.
- Sponsored Messaging – Similar to Facebook Messenger options, these ads perform like an email campaign. They are great for highly personalized messages such as a customized offer or invitation. Using these ads, you’ll pay per send regardless of who opens or their engagement. In general, Messages tends to generate a 50% open rate with a $23 cost per click. It’s also worth noting that there is a frequency cap so that advertisers don’t spam LinkedIn users.
- Dynamic ads – This ad format includes a user’s profile image in the ad to capture their attention. However, as a fairly new option, results are not impressive so far. Advertisers tend to report a lower CTR than other options so far.
Related: A Legal Marketer’s Guide to Analyzing LinkedIn Advertising Performance.
LinkedIn ads can help your law firm reach a powerful professional audience and by now, you should understand how the platform works. You begin by signing into Campaign Manager and creating a campaign, choosing your ad objective, refining your audience, and uploading your ad! Whether you’re looking to promote an upcoming webinar, achieve more downloads for your lead magnets, recruit top talent for your law firm, or promote your case studies, LinkedIn ads might be the way to go.
If you need help building out a LinkedIn advertising strategy or adjusting current initiatives, reach out to us today. We have vast experience helping lawyers and law firms achieve measurable success through LinkedIn advertising.