Understanding Legal Marketing in 2017
Legal marketing can refer to everything from public relations, to cross-selling and advertising. It’s a method by which a law firm makes their brand more recognizable, and reaches out to people who might potentially use their services.
Marketing is typically tailored towards the specific clientele that a law firm is likely to work with. A family law company, for instance, will use marketing techniques that reach people struggling with family issues. A larger corporate law firm, however, will use marketing methods that connect with business professionals and corporate leaders.
Is Marketing Worth the Hassle?
The legal market in the United States is huge. There are over 1.1 million licensed attorneys throughout the United States, with tens of thousands of new lawyers entering the market every year. For this reason, lawyers and law firms are using a variety of new marketing techniques to reach new customers.
The legal market is a battlefield, and marketing can ensure that people who need legal services know who you are.
The Latest and Greatest Legal Marketing Techniques
Legal marketing is changing. Gone are the days when a law firm could effectively advertise their services through local newspapers and fliers. Now, firms across the United States are using innovative new techniques to establish brand recognition.
Social Media Marketing
According to an ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, LinkedIn is currently the most popular social media platform for lawyers, with 57% of all law firms maintaining a presence on the platform. 35% of firms also use Facebook, and a further 21% use Twitter. These social media platforms are an excellent way to reach new customers, who regularly use the platform to discover new pages and engage with friends.
Maintaining a Web Presence
70% of companies who maintain a web presence have generated new customers and cases through their website. A good website is a popular way of marketing a law firm’s services, and there are multiple ways people will find themselves on a website. Using content marketing, legal websites can drive traffic to their web page through search engines. By using SEO content, law firms attract people who are looking for a very specific service, in a specific area.
Social media can also drive potential new customers to a website, making the two forms of advertising important and complementary.
Studies have also shown that 74% of people who visit a law firm’s website plan to contact the site and take action.
Local Commentary Through Social Media
For smaller legal firms, providing web content and social media posts that relate to important local issues are a great way of raising your profile. Social media users will be happy to follow a law firm’s page, if they are providing information about local efforts. These pages will make people familiar with your brand, and they’ll remember you when they require legal services.
Advertising services can also be accessed online, through ad agencies and even through social media. Paying for advertisements online means having your branding and messages shown on websites related to legal services. If a person is researching the process of filing for divorce, advertisements relating to divorce lawyers in their local area will automatically appear. This can be extremely powerful, and efficient, for both national and regional law firms.
Social media platforms also provide advertising services, making it possible to expand a social media presence. Facebook advertising allows companies to pay for adverts to appear on the timelines of people of a certain demographic. Choose the age, location, profession, and interests of the people you want to target, and your image or video will appear on relevant timelines. It’s an effective form of advertising that requires no middle man.
Where to Invest Your Marketing Budget
According to a report by Forrester Research, the allocation of marketing funds between online and offline methods is changing. In 2014, 29% of a company’s marketing budget was allocated to online channels, while in 2016 that increased to 30%. The report suggested that by 2018, most law firms will be allocating around 35% of their overall marketing budget to online advertising methods.
The report also found that search engine marketing was taking up most of the online marketing budget, with videos and banner ads being the most popular form of advertising for law firms. Social media takes up around 15% of online marketing spending, though this is also expected to rise. In 2014, only 6% of the online marketing budget was spent on social media, which made up as little as 2% of the overall marketing budget. This is a growing form of marketing that is having a greater impact, as more people interact with companies through their social media pages.
Mobile marketing is no longer tracked, given that the Internet is now accessed across a wide range of devices. People interact with the Internet in largely the same way, whether they are using a laptop for a smartphone.
The data from Forrester Research shows that legal marketing is largely turning to the Internet to get results.
How Much Should My Law Firm Spend on Marketing?
Deciding how much your company spends on advertising can be done in multiple ways.
Using Sales Percentages
Some companies decide to take a percentage of what each client is worth to spend on advertising efforts. This method can be useful in smaller companies, but larger firms will typically see clients spending substantially different amounts of money. This means there are many variables that can make it difficult to manage over time.
Companies who are new to online and modern forms of advertising often mimic the successes of competing companies. By analyzing the marketing efforts of other companies, it’s possible to decide on a reasonable amount of money to spend on advertising. Over time, it becomes easier to tweak marketing budgets and refine your efforts.
Most companies also consider the amount of money they have previously spent on marketing. Comparing expenditure with success helps you come to a conclusion, though variables must be taken into consideration. These include the general effectiveness of previous forms of advertising used, as well as the quality of the material used for advertising.