Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Law Firms
Digital marketing is an umbrella term used to describe an evolving process where law firms use digital marketing strategies to attract clients, build their brand, and market their law firms.
Trying to perform well in all digital marketing areas can be overwhelming and impractical. Numerous options are available, including online legal profiles, digital legal advertising, professional listings, live chat services, Q&A forums, social media marketing, website design and management, and even real-time lead generation.
The best digital marketing strategies for your firm will depend on your law firm size, practice area, mission, and goals. It may be most effective to concentrate on those digital marketing methods that can attract the type of potential clients you are looking for in the practice areas you specialize in.
Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies
Each of the digital marketing strategies described in this article can help build your brand, reach more potential clients, and successfully propel your law firm forward. Learning how to strategize within these digital marketing methods will improve your online visibility.
1) Attorney and Law Firm Websites
Online consumers are becoming more active and resourceful when deciding which attorney to hire for their particular legal needs. They expect to learn the parameters of their legal issues and something about the law firm they’re researching.
The first impression potential clients will have of you and your services is what comes across on your website. You can impress clients with a knowledge-based site that is eye-catching and easy to navigate. Your goal should be to keep the attention of a consumer who has clicked over to your website.
To engage with potential clients, your website should strive to contain the following features:
Advanced Website Design
- Personalize with your picture and client testimonials.
- Leverage any existing brand or logo.
- Customize to fit your brand and business goals.
- Start over with a fresh new website domain if necessary.
Custom Professional Content
- Communicate your specific areas of practice.
- Build online credibility and legal authority.
- Put yourself forward as a resourceful solution.
- Use SEO to increase rank in search listings.
- Interact with prospects via Q&A or website forums.
Relatable Photographic Imagery
- Capture how potential clients may feel.
- Illustrate significant concerns with attention-grabbing images.
- Draw the potential client in with compelling photographs.
- Instantly create a measure of believability and trustworthiness.
The services your website promotes should be bolstered by the power of client testimonials, peer endorsements, and online client reviews. Attorneys with user commentaries are more likely to be contacted than those without such recommendations.
The importance of client and peer reviews can‘t be overstated. Ratings, when available, are also important. These days, consumers won’t buy a product without looking at its reviews. Similarly, an impassioned review can play a critical role for potential clients seeking to hire an attorney. People seek out the same positive results that others have experienced.
Search engines like Google also include online reviews as an important factor in their search algorithms. The addition of reviews, ratings, and search page ranking will strengthen your online presence and increase the likelihood that you will be contacted and hired by prospective clients.
2) Law Firm Social Media Presence
Growing your brand is critical in the fast-moving world of digital marketing where it can be difficult to cultivate the relationships necessary to develop a client base. A proven strategy comprises the continuous promotion and development of your brand on social media.
When creating a presence on social media it’s important to know what each platform promotes and to understand the potential clients you would like to reach. Knowing your ideal prospective client will guide your digital marketing strategies, allowing you to choose the most appropriate available platforms from among Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Quora, and others.
Targeting the social media platforms where your prospective clients are found may be the best initial approach. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn have target audiences that are either related to friends and family or related to business professionals respectively. While you can choose to post on both social networks, your content, as well as your target audience, would be decidedly different for each platform
Note that while much of social media is free, it may benefit you to bring in marketing professionals with experience in guiding digital marketing strategies for law firms/attorneys. Your social media accounts must be closely monitored, constantly reworked, and updated frequently to ensure continued reliability.
Without question, Facebook is the most popular social media platform worldwide. Legal professionals have consistently used Facebook to create law firm pages promoting their brand and engaging online users. Feinberg & Alban in Massachusetts is an excellent representation of a successful firm that posts engaging and informative videos with powerful imagery linking back to its blog and website.
You can repurpose content from your website. Gain Facebook followers by showcasing your community involvement, highlighting attorney achievements, answering questions, using behind-the-scenes photos, providing legal tutorials, and offering video presentations with subtitles for silent viewers.
The LinkedIn social media platform is made for business professionals. It is designed to promote your professional brand and build connections within the legal and business communities of your choice. Reinforcing your LinkedIn profile with eye-catching graphics (to match your website) along with references, case histories, and winning verdicts, can bring in referrals or at least keep your firm among those well-remembered when legal services are needed.
For an effective and successful LinkedIn profile, consider using the following techniques:
- Keep your LinkedIn profile professional.
- Use a clear headline that is both concise and informational.
- Present a compelling summary (often that’s all that will be seen).
- Use professionally shot photos for your profile (to match your website).
- Learn from other LinkedIn legal professionals (consider what works for them).
- Join relevant LinkedIn groups like those offered by the American Bar Association.
- Import and seek to connect with all of your professional contacts.
- Remember to download the app to your phone (mobile use has surpassed desktop use).
- Avoid labeling yourself as a specialist or expert (this may run afoul of ethics guidelines).
Legal professionals do not often turn to Twitter as their chosen social media platform, but before you dismiss it entirely, consider the following unique benefits of this micro-blogging social media giant:
- Twitter instantaneously engages its audience.
- It attracts a growing and critical target audience among those who are 18 to 44 years of age.
- Clients can immediately click over to your website from Twitter.
- The platform has an accessible and far-reaching mobile application.
- Clients can quickly scroll headlines.
- Comments, likes, and posts are seen immediately.
Instagram is a social platform geared toward images and video snippets. This may be an odd fit for your law firm, but for personal injury lawyers, for example, an image of a car wreck can generate comments, instant reactions, and create individual connections.
It’s important to properly use hashtags and location tagging. Also, never break client confidentiality with your photos, and continue to maintain your professionalism throughout all postings.
While YouTube may not immediately come to mind when you consider your digital marketing strategy, it is an incredibly useful and effective tool to get your name and brand out there.
The video social media platform (owned by Google) provides the opportunity to share video content with user. The most beneficial aspect of the video format is that it presents you as a reliable legal authority to a potential client who may be searching for information on a topic your firm handles.
It includes the following benefits that encourage users to click on your content:
- Viewers are given a quick visual wrap-up without the need to read more information.
- Clients and prospective clients feel like they know you through your presentation.
- Video content can easily explain complicated topics.
- Engaging videos increase the comfort level of prospective clients.
- Videos can instantly convey professional legal authority.
Deciding to use video to explain a topic of interest to consumers is not without pitfalls. Your presentation must be engaging and the production level, including titles, video quality, audio, and lighting, should be polished and business-like. Be sure you look and feel comfortable before a camera, as your level of engagement will affect the time that users stay on your video and their assessment of your reliability, honesty, and trustworthiness.
TikTok is an increasingly popular social platform where users create short videos, usually about 60 seconds in length, and watch videos generated by others. TikTok has nearly one billion active monthly users. Attorneys are discovering TikTok and starting to use the social network to promote their services.
For example, attorney Michael Mandell has posted TikTok videos that have gone viral. With strategic offerings, he was able to gain 3.5 million followers in less than two months. Ethan Ostroff, another attorney using the TikTok platform, has gained a following simply by answering questions from followers on any legal topic.
There are many benefits to using and creating content on TikTok, most notably free advertising and brand exposure. Legal videos explaining topics of interest are seen by a wide variety of consumers and you can gain a following simply by submitting videos that are creative, engaging, and provide trustworthy legal advice.
Other methods of engagement include showcasing your knowledge by answering consumer questions posed by potential clients. Quora is a social question-and-answer platform that allows you to put yourself forward as a legal professional with the experience and authority to answer user questions. This type of social media engagement takes time and effort but can turn Quora users into potential legal clients.
3) Online Legal Profiles
The benefit is immeasurable when prospective clients see your online legal profile in the search results page on numerous available lawyer directories, such as:
- Lawyers.com and Martindale.com
Keep your messaging consistent. It’s important to relay the same tone on your profile that you use elsewhere. For example, don’t suddenly become casual if your website is somewhat formal.
With a direct and distinctive online profile, the potential influx of new clients searching for legal answers will provide an ample opportunity to gain new clients. Millions of consumers visit online legal directories every month, actively seeking legal help.
Google Business Profile
Registering your law firm as a business directly with Google Business Profile will help ensure that all your information is correct and that no one else will falsely claim your business as their own.
Registration also increases the likelihood of appearing t in Google local results for relevant consumer queries.
The business profile is free and can be supplemented with photos, offers, posted content, and updates so potential clients can continue to learn more about your firm and legal services.
Google Business Profile makes it easy for law firms to manage their listings in Google search results. One of the most important factors for appearing in local search results is to make sure your firm’s name, address, and phone number appear exactly the same on your website as they do all over the web. If they are different in any way, Google will rank them separately and you will not benefit from the consistent and cumulative web visibility you would otherwise gain.
4) Legal Advertising
Paid Directory Ads
Having your sponsored listing or display ad appear on the very first page of online searches will noticeably increase your contacts and lead to more clients. The law firms/attorneys who use sponsored advertising receive up to 70 times more contacts compared to those who do not advertise, simply because of the increased visibility.
If you make the decision to use legal directory advertising, the return on investment (ROI) will be measurable. By having your ad appear at the top of online search directories like Lawyers.com, Martindale.com, or Avvo.com, you will reach more potential clients who are actively looking for legal representation. Research shows that consumers place great value on online directories when looking for legal representation.
Since you will not be the only one advertising, consider opting for animated display ads or adding arresting images to help capture the attention of prospective clients. Advertising can be further streamlined by focusing on the most critical parts of your practice or promoting your practice to a specific city or area.
Paid Search Ads
There is a difference between organic search results and paid search advertising, whether in the form of pay per click or impression-based display advertising. Paid search ads require that you dedicate a substantial amount of resources to maintain and manage your account. The paid ads can, however, increase your overall client prospect pool due to the prominent position your law firm will rank on the search results page.
Paid Facebook Ads
Facebook allows your law firm to create ads with a targeted audience in mind. Daily or lifetime budget plans allow you to monitor how much you spend on ads. Facebook’s Ads Manager provides valuable tools that allow you to choose an objective for your campaign, select the demographics and location of a defined audience, and track who is clicking on your ads. It can be a far-reaching and cost-effective method of advertising.
5) Attorney Pay Per Lead Program
Digital marketing strategies for law firms/attorneys can be expensive to implement and may not always generate the amount or type of business you expect. You may benefit from using a more targeted approach. An attorney pay per lead program is a method where you pay directly for qualified leads furnished by a third party.
An attorney pay per lead program can be a valuable option as a short or long-term solution for practices with little marketing experience or significant budgetary constraints. The best pay per lead programs use practice-specific forms, collect pertinent details, and relay the leads to you immediately.
Real-time lead notification instantly alerts you to the query and you can respond promptly. If possible, a pay per lead program should target clients based on distinct parameters determined by you. This way, you can more readily trust that your lead generation solution will identify the type of prospects best served by your practice.
By connecting with potential new clients at the exact moment they’re trying to find you, your chances at a successful conversion increase dramatically. Pay per lead can find prospective clients in virtually any practice area, including criminal defense, bankruptcy, divorce, estate planning, personal injury, and more.
Law Firm Live Chat Services
Another version of paying for lead generation occurs when using live chat services. Many business and professional websites today are using live chat services to convert online visitors into potential clients. Live chat is an enticing method because there are human operators engaging with potential clients visiting your website 24/7 every day of the year.
The operators are specifically trained in the intake conversion process and you generally pay only for the qualified leads you receive. Live chat also offers several ways to interact with potential clients. Live transfers allow operators to reach out to you immediately for further contact, or offer text-to-chat features so clients can communicate with you at a time of their choosing.
With live chat, you instantly engage potential clients from the moment they come onto your website. The live chat pop-ups demonstrate a level of interest in your visitors that can ultimately convert interested parties into paying customers.
A dynamic digital marketing strategy will build your brand and promote your online presence to attract prospective clients to your law firm. Digital marketing for law firms/attorneys is an evolving process and will produce varying results as you try different methods and discover what strategy is most successful for your firm.