Law Firm Digital Marketing
Law firms are embracing the digital economy in a bid to gain more market share. Legal areas such as contract law, conveyancing, copyright, mergers and acquisitions and private client are implementing digital marketing techniques to be more competitive. Digital marketing in the legal sector focuses on better client communication, client acquisition and digital content. It is not only about publishing content online, but also about establishing a strong brand. Digital marketing for law firms is a long term strategy that will pay off in the years to come.
It is also important to note not only the DOs but also the DON’Ts of engaging in digital marketing. Here are some effective digital marketing tips for law firms.
What to DO in digital marketing for law firms
1. Connect with clients through content
The best way to know your client is to LISTEN. Listen to whatever they say to you and listen well to their needs. Client feedback and communication forms the core of your legal firm content marketing. It is important to build relationships with them, and to show them how much they are valued. If conversion is your law firm’s objective, then showing them you care is the door to your clients’ business.
Email newsletters, law firm mobile apps, social media and blogs are all channels of communication with clients online. Through your content, you are connecting with them about legal queries they may have and other concerns. Law firms are in the best position to educate clients about their practice areas and expertise. They can publish online case studies, testimonials, videos and helpful articles about legal procedures. For opt in email clients, legal newsletters will update them about legal staff and changes in the statutory law.
2. Invest a minimum of 2.5% of your revenue in digital marketing
This 2.5% should be invested directly in digital marketing activities. It does not include the wages of the individuals you have employed to execute the work:
In the legal sector, 2.5% of the revenue spent on digital marketing should generate good results. It should cover social media ads, search engine optimization, paid search and display media. Create a digital marketing plan and gauge its effectiveness through testing. This 2.5% will surely not go to waste, as it will improve your online visibility.
3. Use multimedia to liven up your law firm website
Incorporating multimedia content is an excellent marketing strategy for your law firm. It will increase engagement rates, views, traffic and brand awareness. Make sure that your legal firm’s logo is displayed on all visual and video content. With a visual content approach, you can deliver your message with a punch. You can take advantage of affordable video production services to create professional and engaging videos for your legal practice. You can even create a legal video blogs to address questions about the law, legal procedures and limitation periods.
4. Focus on quality over quantity
Content saturation is a very real problem for your legal firm’s clients. They do not have a lot of spare time and relevance is the only thing they care about. For every piece of content that you publish, assess whether it is necessary, relevant or informative enough for your clients. Reduce all content to valuable information that your clients want.
Good content will stand out in your client’s minds and strengthen a relationship that can lead to word of mouth or even more leads. Make sure that this content is easy to understand (a problem for many clients), up to date and relevant to the legal services that your firm provides.
5. Word of mouth is effective for law firm marketing
How do you encourage word of mouth through digital marketing? The answer is to use satisfied clients to create content. Client testimonials, online reviews and user generated content on social media are all ways to generate more trust in your firm. It is also important to be open to accept criticism online; see it as constructive criticism to improve your firm.
Offline, you must increase word of mouth referrals through your quality legal service.
What NOT to do in digital marketing for law firms
1. Do not focus too much on your law firm’s revenue
Whilst your law firm’s revenue is very important, it should not be the main focus of your digital marketing activities. There is truth in the saying: serve your customers well and they will look after you. Digital marketing for law firms is very client centric in solving their pain points and connecting better with them. The incentive to provide a better legal service will direct your efforts in better content marketing, client care and reputation for long term gains.
2. Do not use too much legal jargon in content marketing
Make sure to create content in a way that your clients understand. You are interpreting the complex legal procedures, not adding to the confusion. Not all of your clients have any legal background, so avoid using legalese about your firm. Only use it to try to explain it in a simple and brief way.
3. Do not be inactive on social media
Social media marketing involves interacting with clients in a relaxed manner. Clients may address questions to you on social media and you may acknowledge any positive content about your law firm. Legal firms may fear breaching client confidentiality on social media but it not be a problem if you train your legal staff in what they post.
Once you have social media accounts for your firm, you need to invest time in connections, providing value and conversations. Tweeting constantly about your firm will not do. You need to offer insights in legal trends or Use a social media tool to monitor conversations about your law firm and to see what content receives the most shares and views on social media. It will help you to track your social media marketing progress for your law firm.
There are many potentials clients active on social media, and many opportunities to catch their eye for services that your firm offers.
4. Do not use too much automation in your law firm marketing
Automation can help us save time in digital marketing, but it should not replace real time, human interactions. Non automated engagement with your clients shows that you are active and open for response. It is a great advantage to be able to reach out with them through social media and be able to be part of their life. When you implement marketing automation, it can be for out of office auto responses or scheduling posts, email newsletters.
Here are the most used marketing automation tools in 2015:
5. Do not forget about website optimization for your law firm
Did you know that 40% of all small law firms do not have a website? Of those who do have a website, 70% do not have a call to action on the landing page and only 30% of websites are optimized for mobile devices. When 35% of clients start their search using the Internet, this is not acceptable at all.
How can law firms optimize their website for clients? The first step is an audit to find all the technical onsite errors and structural weaknesses. This will prepare the website for search engine optimization. If the website is not mobile friendly, this needs to be changed. Google has issued guidelines for mobile friendliness and site performance.
If your law firm’s website needs a redesign, the main things to consider are content and UX. Will your website visitors have a good user experience? Is your website easy to navigate/intuitive to use? If they are looking for law firm contact details and legal services, will it be easy for them to find? Updating your content and contact details is necessary for good search engine rankings as inconsistencies can confuse your clients.
Lastly, optimizing your website for mobile should be be executed by marketers with experience. Adapting your firm’s website for a smaller screen requires changes in layout and text formats. You will need to keep the design streamlined for your clients without the loss of vital information. If you really feel it would add value to your clients and employees, perhaps it is time to create a mobile app. Make sure it is different from your main website and get client feedback about the ease of use and app features.