Digital marketing: Six digital marketing myths that hold law firms back
By Kevin Vermeulen
Keeping up with trends in digital marketing is already a fairly tall order for any busy law firm. However, with the landscape in a constant state of flux, staying on top of the latest tactics and methods is only half the battle.
Legal marketers must also be aware of misinformation and misconceptions that could impede their online efforts and significantly lower their ROI.
Here are six of the top digital marketing myths holding law firms back.
Only BigLaw needs digital marketing
The idea that digital marketing only benefits larger law firms is, without a doubt, the most damaging myth that continues to circulate today.
In fact, quite the opposite is true.
Digital marketing offers small and mid-size firms an incredible opportunity to raise brand awareness and connect with a larger pool of potential clients than they would otherwise reach. Best of all, it doesn’t take anywhere near a BigLaw budget to see results. Most smaller firms should realize a desirable ROI by directing a small percentage of their overall revenue toward digital marketing.
Having a website is all it takes
While it’s true that a well-designed website should form the foundation of any law firm’s digital marketing efforts, even the best site won’t deliver much in the way of new business if prospects don’t find it when they’re researching for legal services. Strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), content creation, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and social media ensure a law firm’s website is discoverable, no matter how crowded the internet becomes.
It’s also important to remember that, like all things digital marketing, website design and development best practices are constantly evolving. Because what’s working today could well become ineffective, or even harmful, over time, it’s essential for law firms to plan and budget for periodic website redesigns.
Pushing out content will be enough
Providing a target audience with content is an essential component of digital marketing. However, firms that simply create content for the sake of creating content usually end up spinning their wheels.
The key to truly effective content marketing is to focus on well-researched, high-quality (over quantity) content that highlights a firm’s expertise and provides potential clients with valuable information they want and need. Instead of putting so much time and effort into volumes of content that won’t meet the needs of their target audience, law firms should seek to connect with a wider audience by promoting and repurposing exclusively top-notch content across social media.
A too-large audience makes digital marketing meaningless
With billions of people worldwide browsing the internet daily, many firms seeking to reach a narrower geographic audience or specific demographics wrongly assume that digital marketing doesn’t make sense for them. However, the reality is that today’s platforms offer a multitude of ways to segment an audience and target efforts to precisely those a particular firm needs to reach.
Because of these highly selective targeting capabilities, digital marketing tends to deliver a superior ROI than more traditional methods, which simply target anyone and everyone exposed to a marketing channel.
Law firms won’t find their target audience on social media
Many law firms also don’t expect to find their target audience on social media, which they assume draws a younger demographic unlikely to be in the market for legal services.
Fortunately, that’s not the case at all.
Not only are 75 percent of Gen Xers active on social media, but the average boomer also spends almost two hours daily on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. And as the leading platform for professional networking, LinkedIn offers firms an unparalleled opportunity to connect with key decision-makers at organizations and companies across a range of industries.
Email marketing is a waste of time
Because email marketing has been around for so long, it lacks the glamor and buzz surrounding many newer, cutting-edge tactics. That has led many law firms to mistakenly assume that email marketing isn’t worth their time.
But the fact is, when approached thoughtfully, email marketing is an effective means of communicating and building relationships with database contacts. Add marketing automation software and cutting-edge lead-nurturing tactics into the mix, and today’s legal marketers can achieve a level of email customization that was unheard of not all that long ago.
Every law firm can reap enormous benefits from digital marketing, regardless of size or niche. By leaving these myths and misconceptions in the past, legal marketers will be better positioned to leverage the latest digital tools and tactics effectively and ultimately realize a superior ROI from their efforts.
Kevin J. Vermeulen is a partner in Good2BSocial LLC, a digital marketing agency that focuses on law firms and companies in the legal industry. He can be reached at [email protected]