Staying on top of the latest marketing strategies while juggling your firm’s current cases during a global pandemic was — and remains — a challenge. The marketing world changed quickly and businesses of every type scrambled to adapt to the virtual world.
Attorneys have used every tool in their digital toolkit including social media, blogs, and email to find a way to stay in contact with new or prospective clients. This new normal has stuck around, and now, more than ever, it’s essential to be up to date on the trends that shape online marketing and how they can impact your firm.
Here are the top digital marketing trends that can help fuel your strategy for the rest of the year and beyond.
One of the fundamental principles of effective marketing is to uncover your customers’ pain points and showcase how you can help address them. Lawyers don’t have to look far; all potential clients struggle with some sort of legal obstacle.
That said, today’s customers prefer to give their business to someone that is authentic, not distant and generic. To market effectively, you need to focus on sharing meaningful content with an emphasis on your commitment to providing an excellent client experience and solid solutions. Highlight services that show you go above and beyond for clients. Do you offer 24/7 contact options? Do you have a response time guarantee that sets you apart? Let prospective clients know you value them in a way your competitors aren’t.
Targeting mobile users isn’t a new trend. According to BrightEdge, more than half (57%) of all U.S. online traffic now comes from mobile devices. Google also reports that people have two times more interactions with brands via mobile than anywhere else.
When optimizing for mobile devices, law firms should consider several factors, each of which are worth of their own blog:
- Page Load Speed: The time it takes for your website to load on any device affects the user experience.
- Local SEO: Many mobile searches are locally-based, such as a query for a “car accident lawyer near me.”
- Voice Search: Voice-based digital searches (on platforms such as Siri, Google, Alexa, etc.) using terms like “what,” “how,” and “best” are very common, as well as accessible to differently-abled folks.
Data & Analytics
Firms now have access to more data than ever before to make smart, informed marketing decisions. Thoughtful data analysis will enable your firm to optimize its efforts at every stage of the customer’s journey.
As you collect and use marketing data, it’s useful to keep the following in mind:
- Tools like Google Analytics help you analyze the data available from your website. Track metrics such as traffic, time on site, bounce rate, and search to better understand what users are looking for and if they found it.
- This data also helps reveal which pieces of your content have the best engagement and which pieces are missing the mark.
- Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to benchmark and measure your marketing strategy’s performance.
Customers are always on the go, even during a pandemic. This is one reason why podcasting has exploded in popularity over the last few years; while otherwise occupied with eating, exercising, or driving, people can devote some of their attention to what your firm has to say on a wide variety of topics.
One recent study found that 73% percent of the U.S. 12+ population (an estimated 209 million people) have listened to online audio in the last month, up from 68% in 2021. Even if you don’t want to produce your own podcasts, you can offer to be interviewed or featured on a popular podcast to gain greater exposure for your firm.
Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technology that can make predictions and guide decisions based on data. AI and machine learning technologies are transforming the way that law firms operate by automating mundane tasks and cutting through mountains of data to provide valuable marketing insights.
Your law firm might have the slickest ad copy in town, but there’s a slim chance of earning new client business if your brand’s online presence doesn’t match up to your claims. Firms that don’t have an online reputation management strategy in place will face consequences and miss opportunities in the long run.
According to BrightLocal, more consumers are reading online reviews than ever before: in 2021, 77% ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read them when browsing for local businesses (up from 60% in 2020).Moz also reported that 46% of Google’s searches have a local intent. To boost and maintain your online reputation:
- Keep your directory listings on sites like Lawyers.com, Avvo, Yelp, and Google Business Profile up to date
- Encourage clients to post reviews
- Respond promptly to feedback you receive through your website, social media channels, or directory listings — both positive and negative
Conventional methods of business development and digital marketing, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and writing ad copy, will remain crucial for law firms looking to attract customers online. However, as time goes on, the digital marketing landscape will see even more changes and improvements. Your legal marketing strategy should evolve and adapt to new marketing trends to boost your online visibility, strengthen your law firm’s reputation, and provide an excellent user experience. If you stay informed and adopt new digital marketing trends, you will ensure potential clients will always find you.
Editor’s note: updated on April 19, 2022.