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July 30, 2014

Inbound Marketing for Law Firms: Let the Fish Swim into Your Net

Imagine a world where going fishing meant taking a net to the lake and waiting for the fish to swim into it. While that strategy might not make for an ideal fishing trip, the concept is ideal for marketing. Inbound marketing for law firms focuses on making it easy for people to find you and making your marketing appealing enough for them to convert and contact you when they are ready to evaluate or make a decision.

Why should your firm care about inbound marketing?

Marketing, fishing, consultwebsIn short, because you are wasting money if you ignore inbound marketing.

HubSpot’s recent report on the State of Inbound Marketing in 2013 details some of the key data points that substantiate the importance of inbound marketing.

  • Twice as many marketers say inbound marketing delivers a below average cost per lead compared with outbound strategies.

  • 34% of all the leads generated in 2013 are coming from inbound marketing sources. Inbound delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional leads generated from outbound.

  • 43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog this year, although a blog requires roughly 9% of marketers’ total full-time staff dedications and just 7% of their total budget.

In summary, “Inbound marketing produces more, better quality, cheaper leads.” Who wouldn’t want that!?

    Inbound Marketing for Law Firms 

So what is inbound marketing for law firms?

Are you unsure of whether or not you’re already using inbound marketing? If so, you’re not alone; also noted in HubSpot’s study was that 19% of marketers are unsure whether their marketing activities should be characterized as “inbound”. Even Google’s auto Web definition says that “inbound” has “various meanings depending on the context.”

The below graphic from HubSpot’s report helps illustrate more clearly how an inbound marketing strategy works. First, attract people to your website using high quality content. Second, offering calls to action that match your visitors’ needs helps to convert them. Third, close your leads and turn visitors into clients. Lastly, it is important to continually please your clients to encourage them to bring future legal clients to you – or become a repeat client when applicable. When these steps are taken, you don’t have to go out and search for clients. Instead, with inbound marketing, prospective clients come to you.

What goes into an inbound marketing strategy?

Content

Arguably, the most important piece of your inbound strategy is the “magnet” you use to attract newcomers to your website. This is where content marketing and long-tail search phrases often come in. Having a blog that addresses issues that your potential clients will be interested in is a great attraction tool, enabling them to find help right away when arriving from a search engine query.  

At Consultwebs, we realize the importance of compelling, informative content.  Our content team consists of three licensed attorney writers as well as other award-winning writers. One of our clients, the Joye Law firm, a Charleston, South Carolina personal injury law firm, reported a 400% increase in cases in 2012.  Kenny Harrell of the Joye Law Firm told us that he felt that the stellar content was an important factor in their increased case numbers.

Personality

Have you ever called a business only to be greeted by the sound of someone who woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Maintaining a congenial attitude goes a long way toward converting prospects during the intake process. Even after signing a new lead, it is important to always make your clients feel comfortable and important.

Ultimately, your clients’ delight depends on the results you produce for them. However, outside of the verdicts and settlements, maintaining relationships with your clients through appropriate outlets will keep you top of mind when they or a friend need an attorney.  Additionally, they can provide positive reviews and testimonials that can increase your rankings and case load.

Testing and Measuring for ROI

“A staggering 34% of businesses cannot or do not calculate ROI in 2013… marketers who “get” inbound marketing are producing solid bottom-line results, while companies earlier on the learning curve are still sorting out analytics.” – HubSpot

Has your law firm been tracking its data and marketing ROI? What’s your average cost per lead? Cost per case? How about those stats for PPC vs. YellowPages? If you don’t know, you could be spending money in the wrong areas and not maximizing your firm’s return on investment. Calculating and monitoring your ROI helps you keep control of your marketing budget.

Testing is also a component of the process of generating positive ROI. Because your user base is defined by your geographic location and practice areas, in addition to a slew of other factors, it is important to test your legal marketing strategies even if they have been defined as best practices. In case you’ve doubted the need for testing before, you might be surprised to know that companies who test their inbound marketing strategies are 75% more likely to show ROI than those who don’t.

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