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It goes without saying that you can’t run a law firm without clients. That means that advertising, creating awareness of your legal firm, and finding clients is a key part of your job — whether you like it or not!
A successful attorney advertising strategy for your law firm helps you to increase brand visibility and stand out in the oversaturated legal market. However, getting started with attorney advertising can be daunting, especially for new firms.
Luckily, we’re here to help make the process less strenuous and more successful. Check out these six easy tips to help you get started or strengthen your lawyer advertising campaigns.
Choose the Right Channel
Between the numerous marketing channels that exist on and offline today, you can get caught up in tough decisions before you even start an ad campaign! Choosing the right channel is not easy, and it can be the difference between your practice’s success and failure.
When picking a legal advertising channel, ask yourself these three questions:
- Who are your customers?
- Where can you find them?
- What is the best channel to reach them?
We believe that digital advertising, in particular Google Ads, is the premier channel for lawyers to advertise. With nearly four billion users, Google is the most popular of search engines. Google Ads reach up to 90% of internet users and generate a 200% ROI.
The biggest pro of Google Ads is that they show up right at the point when someone is looking for your services. You can also monitor your ads’ progress to gain valuable insights into what is working and what is not.
Other channels like Facebook can provide some value, but in our experience they are not as productive as Google Ads. Facebook can help you engage with potential clients and communicate with the communities you serve. Also, it can be a great platform to establish trust, manage reputation, and establish thought leadership in your industry for your law firm.
But when it comes to advertising, Google has it beat. And don’t even think about other passive advertising channels like print, TV, or billboards!
Get Laser-focused on your Target Market
Attorneys tend to drift towards specific niches depending on the cases they want and the size of their firm. Some attorneys specialize in high-settlement truck accidents, while others prefer disability claims or run-of-the-mill slips and falls.
The key to any successful ad campaign for lawyers is knowing exactly who you are trying to reach.
For instance, even if a lawyer practices personal injury law, running ads for ‘Personal Injury Lawyer in CITY’ may be too broad. You are typically better off using a specific case-type within the category. It can be ‘Auto Accidents Lawyer in Georgia,’ ‘Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Florida’ or ‘Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Colorado.’
It is another best practice to spend time identifying the best geographical areas for your ads to show. You can target down to the zip code, making it easier to find the clients you’re looking for.
Another tip (possibly for more experienced ad users) is to consider using negative keywords so that Google does not waste your ad dollars on expensive clicks that don’t meet your business goals.
Use Landing Pages
Using a landing page is another best practice when it comes to law firm online advertising.
A landing page is a website page for a specific marketing campaign that aims to convert site visitors to leads.
Typically, it provides something a visitor may be interested in, such as an e-book or case study, in exchange for contact data. Importantly, it is also focused on a specific practice area or case type, so it is immediately apparent to visitors that you can help them.
Collecting contact information via a landing page can help a lawyer or law firm nurture leads and bring them through the purchasing funnel to become a client.
According to HubSpot, landing pages have higher conversion rates than regular website pages. They deliver an average conversion rate of 9.7%, meaning that you get many leads to nurture into paying customers. A landing page boosts conversions by inspiring specific actions and getting rid of distractions.
Profitable attorney advertising leverages landing pages. Specialization is the key to turning clicks into customers. When a visitor clicks on an ad, they want to be taken to someone who’s an expert at exactly what they typed in. As such, keep a tight handle on the information you provide here, or the consumer will drop off thinking they haven’t found the right lawyer or law firm.
For instance, if someone clicked on an ad that says, ‘Book a consultation with an auto accident lawyer today,’ it is obvious what they are looking for. It’s not ideal to direct this person to your homepage where you discuss services other than auto accident law. They may be distracted by other services you provide or may want to explore your ‘About Us’ page, for instance.
While all these are valuable actions, they don’t necessarily push the visitor towards scheduling a consultation. Rather than send a visitor to your homepage and hope they will find what they are looking for, send him to a landing page customized to the ad campaign. It should have the same language, value proposition, and call-to-action as your ad.
Build a Tight Funnel
A marketing funnel is a model showing the customer journey from the awareness stage – when the customer learns about your practice – to the purchase stage when he or she actually purchases your service.
A funnel helps you identify what you can do to influence prospective clients at certain phases in the buyer journey until they convert into customers.
For instance, someone at the top of the funnel who is exploring their legal options for the first time needs different information than someone who has decided they are ready to hire an attorney.
In a nutshell, you don’t want to spend money on ad clicks and advertising and marketing professionals if you don’t set yourself up to convert the leads.
It’s best to establish a comprehensive strategy for following-up and converting leads before you start advertising. This approach should include immediately calling the lead, leaving a message, trying another avenue like email if they don’t pick up, and following up again the next day and the day after.
When you reach out to leads, do not forget to include materials highlighting your firm’s benefits and ‘social proof’ – reviews from other clients.
Generally speaking, lawyers are not salespeople, and that’s okay. But, you need to put on your salesperson hat when it comes to converting leads. Sales often happen after multiple touchpoints, so don’t be afraid to follow-up.
Remember that it’s not always a linear path from interested prospect to great client. Focus on converting the maximum number of people by giving them multiple opportunities to come aboard.
Conversions can be defined in two different ways. In the most literal sense, it is when a lead converts to become a client. From an advertising-specific perspective, it is when a prospect becomes a lead.
When advertising, it is ideal to target the most high-quality prospects and convert them into leads, which should then yield high-value clients. Tracking these conversions plays a vital role in determining your return on investment (ROI).
First and foremost, determine what constitutes a conversion for your organization. For most law firms, this is a phone call. However, there could be alternative contact touchpoints, such as online form submissions, and any chat or text features you decide to leverage.
Second, proper setup and configuration of tracking is essential. For each channel or medium, there’s a method of doing this whether it is call tracking software, Google Analytics for website clicks, or something else.
If you choose to work with a legal marketing agency, be sure to clearly establish what your conversion goals are and make sure the agency reports to you on these goals.
Speaking of reporting, you should know where your conversions are coming from. How many were attributed to organic SEO? How many from Paid Ads? Of those, how many were phone calls vs. form submissions?
Many legal firms are content with top-level, noteworthy statistics, while others expect a more in-depth level of transparency. Depending on your needs and key performance indicators (KPIs), this data will better help you measure your overall ROI.
Anyone who has taken a golf or tennis lesson has undoubtedly heard this refrain before: follow through, follow through, follow through. Even after you make contact with the ball, the path of your club or racket can give useful info about whether or not you hit a winning shot.
One tennis resource recommends that “A correct follow through involves going at least three ‘frames’ out past the expected contact point of the ball towards the intended target.”
How does that relate to your advertising? Well, no matter how good your ads are, sometimes they just won’t score you a client the first time around. You may have to rely on additional outreach — going past that expected contact point — in order to turn the lead into a client for your firm.
We touched on this a bit in the funnel section, but it bears repeating. Prospective clients often need more than one touchpoint in order to officially convert and become a client.
Maybe it’s a remarketing campaign targeting visitors to your website who do not fill out your contact form or call you.
Or maybe it’s a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that reminds you to call people who contacted you via email and then disappeared. Or to email people who left you a voicemail.
Whatever it is, you should have a true SYSTEM in place for following through on each and every lead that crosses your path, digitally or in person.
A recent study of law firm responsiveness found that 40% of the law firms surveyed did not even respond to a test online inquiry. Of the firms that did respond, over half of them only called once to follow up.
Everyone is busy, and it’s easy to miss a call. Do you really want to let a prospective client go that easily?
We see many firms — especially smaller ones — that rely on an informal system of sticky notes, the receptionist’s memory, or a spreadsheet to track follow up. If you want to grow and scale your business, this simply won’t cut it.
You need a plan and a system that will help you respond to every inquiry and continue to follow through again if you don’t make contact with the lead right away.
Don’t do all the work to set up stellar ads just to let prospective clients slip away after they reach out to you! Systemize your follow through with a tracking and reminder system, an email list, call backs, or a method of your choice.
Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to not give up after the initial contact.
While law school never teaches the art and science of advertising, it really is an essential part of running a successful and profitable law firm. When done well, advertising increases competitiveness, enhances credibility, and attracts clients to your practice.
Choosing the right advertising channel, knowing your target audience, using landing pages, building a tight funnel, tracking conversions, and following through are vital to profitable attorney advertising.
Constellation Marketing is a friendly, knowledgeable source of information for lawyers who want to grow their practices.
Contact us for a no-risk consultation and see what high-quality, personalized marketing services can do for your law firm.