Lawyers have always faced a host of challenges related to acquiring new business, maximizing their public presence, and establishing themselves as credible professionals. These are marketing concerns are nothing new to law firms across the US. However, the excess of technology and advertising options present new wrinkles to an otherwise timeless issue.We have identified four key challenges currently troubling law practices, and unsurprisingly they involve some aspect of digital marketing.
Small practices rely on affordable digital marketing options to acquire new business. For better or worse, technology tends to determine effective marketing strategies, and law firms of all sizes have to grapple with the challenges posed by search engine optimization, social media, and content generation.
Challenge 1: The Overabundance of Marketing Choices
Though many lawyers are focused on digital marketing, tackling everything from blogging to web design, traditional marketing options can still be effective. Moreover, they tend to continue to reach potential clients who don’t regularly access the internet. It’s often easier to connect with older citizens and low-income individuals by putting out print or TV ads. However, there’s a flip side: potential clients who are younger or more tech-savvy may only notice your firm if you are online.
This can leave lawyers in a resources dilemma. Do you spend the time and energy you have honing your digital presence, focus on traditional marketing tactics, or spread yourself thin by tapping into all of your options? Lawyers struggle to choose between marketing possibilities such as:
- Print ads in newspapers and magazines
- Social media marketing through programs like Facebook and Twitter
- Video advertisements to run on local TV channels
Firms facing this challenge can benefit greatly from identifying their typical client demographic and picking marketing options to suit that audience. That might mean prioritizing advertisements placed in newspapers or magazines while sustaining fewer social media networks.
Challenge 2: The Time and Effort Involved with Online Content Generation
One of the primary problems with digital marketing is the continuous need for updates. If your blog or website is static or inactive, potential clients can view you as outdated, and Google may rank your content unfavorably. For law firms with any digital presence, simply staying on top of updates can be a struggle. Building a website, blog, and social media page for the first time or a new practice can be overwhelming.
There are several strategies for coping with the task of maintaining an active online presence for your practice. Many lawyers choose to outsource their attorney marketing services to companies that specialize in search engine optimization, website creation, and social media management. You can hire someone to simply set up your initial site, or you could even pay a business to keep your online presence updated and active. If you choose to take your online content generation yourself, strict scheduling can help. Spending an hour a week updating your blog with any new cases or events can help make your site seem up-to-the-minute and seriously boost your credibility for visitors to your site.
Challenge 3: Search Engine Optimization is Becoming More and More Difficult
Ranking high on a Google search can be the difference between being flooded with new clients and maintaining a website that few ever see. Very few internet users scan multiple pages of search results, choosing instead to investigate several of the top hits on the first page. Only a few years ago, attempting to increase the chances of showing up on that first page was a simple matter of developing targeting keywords and curating a network of links. Nowadays, Google’s algorithm is much more complicated, with a wide array of factors playing into your site’s placement on a search list.
Some tactics you can adopt to improve your site’s placement include:
- Hiring the services of a dedicated SEO company
- Including well-written and edited content on your site
- Updating your site content regularly
- Featuring unique, quality content to attract more readers
- Developing content that will be useful for your site visitors
Do-It-Yourself SEO can involve a great deal of trial and error as you alter your content format and wait to see results. This approach can involve time and effort you don’t have, so many lawyers outsource their SEO to digital marketing professionals.
Challenge 4: The Problem of Social Media Management
Maintaining an active presence on online through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and personal blogs can go a long way towards maintaining your client base and attracting new business. Unfortunately, few lawyers have the time to keep up with even just one or two social media accounts, even though it’s best to establish yourself on all the most popular platforms. That means far too many law firms are in command of outdated accounts on obsolete platforms with neither the time nor the inclination to update or create new ones.
While there are businesses that will manage your social media accounts for you, smaller firms and solo lawyers seldom have enough disposable income to spend on these services. Thankfully, if you choose to update your own social media accounts, there are several ways to streamline the process. Automation tools such as Dlvr.It and Buffer allow you to schedule posts in advance so that you don’t have to log in to each account every day. You can also use programs like HootSuite to centralize your social media networks. Using HootSuite, you can post to multiple platforms simultaneously.
Streamlining and outsourcing can help you overcome many of these internet marketing challenges and in turn save you time as well as help you bring in business for your law firm.