No matter the size or scope of its practice, effective marketing is key to any law firm’s success.
But because the legal marketing landscape is constantly evolving, what worked well last year or even last month may not deliver the desired results today. Staying ahead of these changing trends is crucial, and so is developing a strategy that will allow a firm to wield these tactics effectively.
So how are today’s top legal marketing professionals helping law firms achieve their business development goals? Here’s a rundown of some of their favorite tools and tactics:
It’s all about inbound marketing
Inbound marketing builds brand awareness and draws people to a website by providing audiences with valuable experiences and content. These tactics allow law firms to connect and engage with prospects while they’re still researching legal services. Once the initial connection has been made, firms can begin leveraging content customized to each phase of the buyer’s journey.
A focus on the client experience
A law firm might have the most attractive website in the industry, but if it’s not providing potential clients with a quality experience that meets their needs, all those efforts will go to waste. Legal marketers should get to know their ideal clients by researching their current needs and those they might have in the future, then make a point of addressing their needs at every stage of the funnel.
Attorneys are developing personal brands
At the most basic level, law firms sell specialized expertise and knowledge in specific practice areas to potential clients who lack such insight themselves. That’s why thought leadership is essential to any law firm’s marketing plan. To nurture their personal brands, each attorney should be encouraged to author articles, attend events, speak on panels and engage in other activities that showcase their authority and expertise. As their stature as thought leaders increases, the firm will benefit from greater visibility and credibility.
Leverage each attorney’s social media presence
The digital world is increasingly social. That means a law firm’s social media presence, including its LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, has a crucial role in its marketing efforts’ success. But when planning a social media strategy, it’s essential that firms not overlook their attorneys’ personal social media presence, especially their individual LinkedIn pages. Those LinkedIn pages offer access to each lawyer’s professional network and provide excellent platforms for evangelizing their firm’s services. At a minimum, every attorney should follow their law firm’s company page – liking, sharing, or commenting on every post.
A move towards audio
When legal marketers think about content, they often focus on blogging and other forms of the written word. But “content” is a much larger category that includes audio. Podcasts, for example, have grown increasingly popular in recent years and offer a perfect format for any lawyer looking to showcase their expertise and position themselves as a thought leader. Relatively easy and affordable to produce these days, the right podcast can provide a target audience with a great deal of value and help firms attract a younger demographic that might not be attainable through other channels.
Making the most of video
Video also offers another opportunity to engage with an audience a law firm might not reach otherwise. With the availability of TikTok and Instagram Reels, short-form videos are now dominating the internet. Because this type of “snackable” content gets straight to the point and is easy to consume, short-form videos tend to attract new viewers. Of course, that’s not to say that long-form video doesn’t have its place. For example, when done well, an informative webinar not only acts as a great lead magnet but also helps solidify a positive brand image and positions a firm’s attorneys as thought leaders in their practice areas.
Engage in social listening
Prospects are more likely to share content that meets their needs. Legal marketers must keep a close eye on their social media channels and what’s happening with them, taking the time to reply to people, thank them for their comments, and answer their questions. The insights gained from this “social listening” will help marketers craft content capable of garnering shares and likes from their audience.
Create warm feelings around a firm’s brand
People want to work with organizations and businesses they like and respect. To create goodwill around their brand, law firms should consider hosting charitable events, creating longer videos that highlight their values, or sending real holiday greetings to remind people of their fantastic staff and culture. Taking a stand on important issues is also a great way to display a firm’s credibility and values, as long as it’s genuine and not done solely for promotional purposes.
Get the most return on investment
No one has an unlimited marketing budget, especially small and mid-sized law firms. Legal marketers must choose their outlays wisely and closely monitor their budgets to get the most out of their marketing investment. For example, repurposing content by converting a series of blogs on a particular subject into a free eBook or educational webinar is cost-effective and a great way to stretch those marketing dollars.
No law firm can expect to thrive without a cohesive marketing effort.
But to be effective, it’s not enough to merely stay abreast of the latest tools and tactics. Those techniques must be leveraged carefully and in a manner that aligns with a firm’s business development objectives.
A law firm that approaches marketing thoughtfully and intentionally will be rewarded with new business opportunities and an expanding client base.
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]