As a law firm, building authority and a positive online reputation in the community are essential to strengthening your overall brand. Your digital marketing efforts should support just that — the overall position of your firm and its reputation.
Plus, it’s all related. By emphasizing thought leadership and trust through digital marketing, your firm builds a reputation, and clients seek you out based on that reputation.
Understanding growth marketing vs. demand generation is important as you think through your strategy. Growth marketing focuses on the entire customer journey from awareness to acquisition and from retention to common growth marketing tactics include search engine optimization efforts and email marketing campaigns.
Demand generation zeroes in on building awareness and interest in what your law firm has to offer in order to drive leads. Common demand generation marketing tactics focus on one element of your client’s journey, such as increasing online traffic or using call-to-action buttons to convert a web visitor to a lead.
The best law firm digital marketing plan uses a combination of growth marketing and demand generation strategies. The key is knowing which channel will work best for your law firm by looking at your firm’s key performance metrics and measuring changes in your online position over time.
Below, we’ll get into the details on four of the digital marketing channels from search engine optimization and social media marketing campaigns to email marketing and paid ads .that can help your law firm make the biggest online impact— for the best return on your investment.
SEO drives traffic to your law firm’s website by increasing its visibility in search engine non-paid results. Here’s how it works: Google search engine results rank the responses to a user’s search based on multiple factors, including the content of webpages. The more relevant your content is to the search terms entered by the online searcher, the more likely that your content and your firm’s website will appear at the top of a results page.
SEO is also measured by the quality of your law firm’s webpage. That means navigation and readability matter.
Lastly, local SEO can be another important aspect of your legal website’s overall SEO. Your law firm can optimize its geographic reach through local SEO, helping to establish your firm as the go-to in your community.
When properly executed, SEO will deliver returns well above the 5:1 ratio we mentioned in our blog post explaining the return on investment of marketing.
A social media presence helps prospective clients both find your firm and get to know all about your brand.
Through an approachable, robust social media presence, you’ll meet prospective clients where they are and encourage them to get in contact with you by demystifying the legal process. In addition, with a solid social media presence, your law firm can engage directly with current clients and leads, marketing its expertise while building stronger community relationships.
As with your overall digital content strategy, your law firm’s social media posts should be helpful, legally sound, visually appealing, and link directly to your firm’s website to capture any leads. We recommend getting started with Facebook, a Google Business Profile, and LinkedIn.
Engage current and prospective clients with thoughtful and helpful content and information. You can offer a free weekly or monthly newsletter, or access to your law firm’s blog. You can collect email addresses and stay in contact with current clients (and keep them updated on how helpful your law firm is).
Entice website visitors with lead magnets such as free guidebooks, white papers, or webinars that visitors can download directly from your law firm’s website once they’ve provided their contact information .
Once your law firm has a solid email list, you can plan effective email marketing. The emails sent out through this list should be targeted and positive, showcasing your firm’s expertise and how your attorneys make life easier for their clients.
If you are looking for the fastest, most direct results, paid search campaigns are another digital marketing tool to consider. The three main types of digital ads are pay-per-click, pay-per-lead, and Google’s Local Services ads.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
With PPC advertising, your law firm only pays for the number of “clicks” it receives from online users. For example, your firm’s ad is featured on a given platform (a website, social media, or a search engine), an online user clicks on the ad, and then your law firm pays for that click. It seems like a simple process, but optimization requires strategic thinking and regular re-evaluation.
As with SEO, research is important here. Your law firm will need to conduct research on keywords, organize those keywords into logical groupings, and then link to the correct landing page of your website to hook the lead as quickly as possible. PPC is a great tool to boost your law firm’s online performance at a relatively low cost.
Pay-per-lead (PPL) advertising
With PPL advertising, the amount that your law firm will pay for an advertisement depends on the number of leads acquired. Typically, your law firm will be able to define what constitutes a lead and pay only when those requirements are met.
An example of a PPL arrangement is one where a firm pays by the number of leads who provide their contact information. A PPL campaign is a great option for small law firms or solo practitioners who want their law practice to grow but don’t yet have the capacity for dozens of new clients.
Google’s Local Services ads
With Google Local Services ads, your law firm can connect with people who search on Google for services that your firm offers. It works like this: your firm’s advertisement will show up for customers in your geographic area who search for legal services related to your firm. Similar to standard PPL, your law firm will only pay if the lead calls or messages directly through the advertisement. These Google ads are relatively new and require multistep verification.
As with other advertisement strategies, Local Services ads should be optimized to showcase your law firm’s expertise. (Relatedly, we also recommend Facebook ads are another as a route to grow your firm’s local online visibility.)
The key to meeting your law firm’s business development goals this year is to build your firm’s digital presence so you can start reaching a broader audience of prospective clients. By investing in these four foundational digital marketing channels, you’ll open up new avenues to reach new prospects, build your reputation, attract more traffic to your law firm’s website, and begin building a more robust client pipeline.