Digital Presence as an Absolute Necessity
Technology has and continues to evolve at an exponential rate, allowing people to communicate and collaborate with each other in ways that were unimaginable a decade ago. Many emerging and established businesses—including law firms—are leveraging online channels as part of their future-proofing strategy.
With relationships now being built online, having a strong digital presence has become necessary to accomplish the following:
Connect With Audiences
Eighty-five percent of Americans go online daily, with 31% of adults saying they’re online “almost constantly.” As “tele-everything” started becoming the new normal, online customer engagement shot up to 60%. Moreover, 88% of customers expect brands’ digital initiatives to accelerate.
Establish Brand Recall and Online Reputation
Online visibility is the first step toward building brand awareness to develop trust and loyalty among your target audience. Moreover, 44% of consumers expect brands to adopt digital solutions for product and service delivery.
Gain New Customers
Nearly 40% of people consider the internet the next best resource for finding a lawyer after referrals.
Having a digital presence allows the public to know about and connect with you 24-7. Both first-time visitors and existing clients can get immediate support through a chatbot and other self-service tools anywhere in real-time, beyond human office hours.
Organizations that use omnichannel marketing or a seamless system of engaging with clients through various digital channels experience a 32% return on investment (ROI).
An Online Strategy Can Grow Your Law Practice
The Internet is saturated with an array of law firms from across the globe and across every state. But like any brand, digital marketing for law firms is unique for every legal office. You can effectively promote your services online if you have a marketing strategy containing these elements:
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. We discuss S.M.A.R.T. goals in detail in the section “Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Law Firm” below.
Use credible sources, including legal journals and websites ending in .org and .edu. Thought leadership content is another way to add value to your digital assets. The insights you share demonstrate your expertise in the legal field.
Nine out of 10 people also trust what other clients say rather than what organizations say about themselves. This makes posting case studies or client success stories a great way to promote your practice.
A digital marketing agency for law firms can help you develop and implement a strategy that suits your current needs using a framework that’s made up of the above-mentioned elements.
How Can Digital Marketing Benefit Law Firms?
Here are five reasons your law firm needs to incorporate digital marketing in your practice:
It Helps Build Trust between Potential Clients and the Law Firm
More than well-written and curated content, your uploaded material should exude expertise and experience to establish your credibility. Thought leadership content is also an effective way of getting recognized by C-suite executives and business decision-makers.
It Helps Law Firms Rank Higher on Search
With the right web optimization techniques, your website can appear in the top spots of a search engine result. This boosts traffic to your portal and connects you to nearby clients more quickly.
Reviews Help Bolster a Law Firm’s Reputation
Most consumers have little to no experience in getting legal services, making them likely to heavily rely on word-of-mouth through review marketing. Thirty-five percent of those who went online to find a lawyer relied on reviews.
It Provides a Competitive Edge
Nearly 40% of consumers (37%) expect most—if not all—law firms to operate virtually in the future. A mix of your credentials, thought leadership content, and personalized services can keep your firm’s brand professional and reputable.
Over half of consumers look for the following information about a firm online, no matter what channel they use: its experience, the types of cases it handles, explanation of the legal process, and estimated expense.
Meanwhile, personalized services mean offering clients virtual communication, electronic document sharing, and e-payment options.
Targeted Campaigns Can Help Secure Future Clients
Try a combination of paid and unpaid awareness campaigns to help boost trust for visitors to the law firm’s website and social platforms.
For example, testimonial content has strong drawing power, with 47% of U.S. law firms with websites offering information about recent successful cases. Meanwhile, 44% feature cases of interest. Joining Google’s Screened and Guaranteed Programs can also earn green checkmarks and further establish your law firm’s credibility when it appears on a search page.
Four Necessary Components of Digital Marketing for Law Firms
For your marketing strategy to succeed, your digital arsenal should include:
Social Media Marketing
The best law offices have accounts with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. To reach younger netizens, you can post surveys, questions, and gifs on Instagram Stories. Or you can produce videos to explain legal issues in simple terms using TikTok. You can also add YouTube and Zoom to the list to live stream meetings and webinars.
Search engines and social channels offer pay-per-click ads for businesses. Advertisers pay a set amount for every click a netizen makes on their ad.
Search Engine Optimization
Using keywords relevant to the legal field and your physical location, getting listed in business directories (like Google My Business, Bing Places), and collecting online reviews can help you outrank your competitors in online searches and increase traffic to your site.
Staff biographies, legal areas of focus, blogs, case studies, interviews, and newsletters can expand your client base.
Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Law Firm
Formulating a winning strategy will involve these three steps:
Research Your Target Clients
Your website should exist to serve your would-be and existing client’s needs. Conduct research to understand your buyer persona or ideal client. You can look into your clients’ demographics to determine gender, age, location, family status, educational background, income range, interests, life aspirations, and values.
Find out their reasons for reaching you, their stress factors, and their motives. Additionally, review how they found out about your practice and whether they finally decided to get your services by answering a form, live chat, or phone call.
Analyze and Select the Best Channels to Reach Your Desired Clients
Market research will help you discover the digital channels through which your legal office is found. You’ll also learn where your existing clients normally “hang out.” You can then publish audience-specific content and targeted ads on each of these platforms.
Establish Your Goals for Digital Marketing
Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.:
Instead of a general objective, set achievable goals. This could mean increasing your number of new and active clients by the end of the month or quarter, improving your current web traffic, or raising the price of certain legal services you offer.
Goals should be quantifiable. An important gauge of digital marketing success is examining how internet users interact with your web or social media content. Some metrics to consider include the bounce rate (one-page views before departure), the average time spent on a page, and the average number of pages viewed per visit.
Your goal should be within your capacity and budget—not so hard that it’s demoralizing but not so easy that the effort becomes meaningless.
Any goal should improve aspects of your business. If it’s to widen your client base or engagement, you should check client demographics, pain points, and awareness level of legal services.
Set a deadline for accomplishing your goals, say one month, one quarter, or a year.
How to Achieve an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy for Law Firms
1. Developing an SEO-Friendly Website
Keywords: The content you publish in your digital channels should feature words that are relevant to your industry. There are free keyword search tools that can show you the words or phrases netizens usually use when researching legal information. Including these keywords and topics in your content will help you rank higher in text and voice searches.
Optimized Website: While keywords are central to SEO, there’s more to it than that. How you present and organize your content also matters to search engines. An optimized website should also be:
- High-quality service or product descriptions, blogs, and images
- Fast enough to load in two seconds or less
- Easy to navigate
- Filled with credible backlinks
- Secure (HTTPS connection)
2. Regularly Updating Your Blog
Pick your niche topics. You can focus on the type of practice or services you offer, specific industries, or the size of revenue—whether they be businesses or high net worth individuals. Also, stay updated with trends by subscribing to top legal blogs and news outlets. Blogs should help readers deal with or find solutions to their current problems.
Blogs with recent data are attractive to search engines and can improve your SEO. Freshness is one of Google’s ranking factors.
3. Leveraging Social Media
In the age of personalization, law firms can make personal connections by creating accounts on various social media platforms.
Both law firms (81%) and individual lawyers (71%) now have a social media presence. Nearly 30% of the solos (29%) say their social channels have helped clients choose to maintain their legal services with them.
Besides keeping in touch with clients, social media management also includes featuring compelling content, scheduling your posts, and replying to feedback.
4. Conducting Email Marketing Campaigns
You can use your website to invite visitors to sign up to your email list to receive new articles or relevant legal updates.
Email marketing can generate the highest ROI ($36 for every $1 spent) among digital marketing tactics when done strategically. For your emails to be effective, segment your recipients into prospects, current clients, professional relationships, and others. Afterwards, plan the kind of emails to send each segment.
Have an end-goal and a relevant call-to-action for your email nurture campaigns. You can share your views on current events that are relevant to your clients, answer common questions, simplify complex concepts such as filing and pursuing a claim or link back to your website’s blog posts. You can also offer “how-to” guides and e-books. Keep emails concise and focused. Email software can ease segmentation and automatic send-outs.
5. Providing Your Audience with Easy Ways to Reach You
A live chat tool that can answer basic information anytime can keep leads and even current clients from considering other law firms who can give real-time answers. Deploying a chatbot is another way of offering basic-level service. It can also screen your leads and prepare prospects for an initial consultation.
Would you like your clients to write a review about your service? Sign up with a review service like Yelp or Avvo. Then you can set your email software to send a short message that politely asks your client to write a review. The email can include a link to the review site of your choice.
6. Monitoring and Measuring Your Online Metrics
Your law firm can determine whether your campaigns are effective by regularly checking the performance of your digital assets. Besides checking traffic and user interactions on your website, look at the open and click-through rates (CTR) of your emails as well as subscriber growth. The CTR and conversion rate of your ads are other important metrics. Also, check your new and returning visitors and subscribers per platform and device.
Ineffective tactics can be tweaked or changed completely. For instance, you can optimize websites for speed. You can make ads more personalized, drop low-performing ones, or focus on making social channels more responsive.
7. Working with a Digital Marketing Agency for Law Firms
Professional agencies are well-versed with the messaging and approach that your law practice needs to connect with your intended market. They can conduct the data analytics necessary so your marketing can target those who need your services the most. You can also tap them for review and social media management. By outsourcing digital marketing, you can concentrate on your case build-up and presentation.
Digital Marketing and The Law
Be Transparent with Data Usage
As practitioners of the law, clients expect legal offices to comply with privacy laws on data handling and marketing strategies. Some of the more popular ones include the Nevada Privacy of Information Collected on the Internet from Consumers Act, the California Consumer Privacy Act, the Texas Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act, and the more recently passed Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act. There’s also the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which prohibits unsolicited emails.
Your law firm’s data protection policies and guidelines must be accessible on your website. Visitors and clients should also have the freedom to opt-in or out of email subscription offers or survey-taking that may require personal information.
Google has announced that it will soon stop using cookies. They enable advertisers to track their visitors and users’ internet behaviour even after leaving their websites. This decision will prompt organizations and their marketers to focus on substance and quality content that will cover a wider demographic. Evaluations for marketing campaign success will soon have to be done on a macro instead of micro or individual level.
Craft Thought Leadership Content Wisely
Thought leadership content only achieves its true purpose when it pushes a reader to action. Instead of packaging the blog or post as legal advice, it should offer the “next steps” for engaging your services. This can include a call-to-action such as attending your webinars, signing up for your newsletter or online guide, or scheduling an initial consultation.
Partner with Experienced Marketing Agencies
When choosing an external team to help you with your marketing strategy, investigate its track record with law firms. Ask current and former clients about their experience if possible. Find out how well-versed the agency is with data privacy laws and website accessibility regulations for disabled netizens. Agencies must keep your and your client’s data secure, providing opt-out options for parties requesting it.
Determine if it has the capability to achieve your goals, whether it’s higher conversions, more website traffic, or more social media followers. The agency should be able to tell you about their work process, give you access to performance results, and finish tasks with quick response times.
Upgrade Your Digital Marketing Strategy with SunRize Marketing
Whether you need to refresh your current online assets or you’re just starting to get deep into digital marketing, SunRize Marketing can help you with your journey. We can discuss your goals or audit your systems—or both—to come up with secure, responsive, and conversion-driven channels. Stand out among other South Floridian law firms by contacting SunRize Marketing today.