Let’s take a look at some of the best legal marketing strategies to help attorneys and law firms acquire more personal injury clients.
Read along for an overview of online PI marketing, including scalable tips and ideas that deliver results — based on our years of experience working with law firms.
Personal Injury Marketing: A Primer
Every legal practice area is different, and the personal injury niche happens to be an insanely competitive one. According to IBISWorld, personal injury is a $38.4 billion industry in 2021 with 1.5% year over year average growth from 2016 to 2021.
With that much money being tossed around and millions of personal injury lawyers in the U.S., many attorneys are willing to try whatever it takes in order to take their share of the proverbial pie.
So, while no one will get physically hurt jockeying for clients in this cutthroat business, it’s certainly possible to drain your marketing budget OR miss out on the best opportunities if you don’t position yourself in the best way possible.
The solution that will give you a steady stream of clients without breaking your firm’s budget is to craft a clear and foolproof marketing strategy that separates you from the rest.
A foolproof strategy means you can’t spread yourself too thin trying to be everywhere for everyone to see. Take a pause before signing up (and footing the bill) for cheesy TV spots, plastering your face on billboards, and posting TikToks and Reels 24/7 on social media all at the same time!
Going after all of these strategies is ideal if you can afford them and if all these tactics generate revenue to your bottom line — which is definitely not always the case.
Unless you have really deep pockets for your marketing budget, it’s best to focus on repeatable strategies that provide return on investment (ROI). The key to effective marketing is to identify tactics and strategies that will generate the most conversions and revenue.
Even if you end up only using one or two tactics, as long as they work and grow your business, that’s all that matters. It’s all about leveraging what has the most impact over time.
The Problem with Traditional Advertising Strategies
Before we dig into the strategies you SHOULD focus on, let’s take a minute to review why some of the first tactics that come to mind — traditional advertising methods like billboards, flyers, or tv and radio spots — aren’t the best way to generate leads for most law firms.
Let’s take billboards as an example. On the positive side, studies show that 71% of people “often look at the messages on roadside billboards.” Many law firms have taken stats like this to heart and invested heavily in billboards — especially in the injury space, where car accidents are much of an injury law firm’s bread and butter. Doesn’t it make sense to be visible right there on the side of the road, with your name and number spelled out in letters 10 feet high?
Well, sure it does, IF your prospective client has a wreck right there or IF they happen to remember your information later on. Those are a couple of big ifs. To add to that, billboard marketing is hard to measure. Unlike digital law firm marketing (and particularly search engine marketing and PPC ad marketing), you can’t easily quantify how many potential clients come to your law firm because of a billboard. That means it’s hard to justify the cost of the billboard — whereas with digital strategies, you can see the cost of acquisition of each new client. And speaking of cost, billboards are pretty pricey with costs in the thousands of dollars per month.
That being said, billboards, radio ads, TV spots, and other forms of traditional media can be good for general brand awareness. If someone sees or hears the name of your personal injury practice often enough, you just might be the one to get the call when they or a family member are hurt.
But… don’t you want a little MORE out of your marketing strategy?
Don’t you want to be able to TARGET your ideal client, whether that’s a worker who gets hurt on the job, a person injured in a bad car accident, etc.? With a digital ad campaign, you can target prospective clients down to specifics like profession, location, income level, and more. You can even target timing so that your ads are online when your clients are, and you’re not wasting money when everyone’s offline.
Don’t you want to be able to MEASURE the results of your marketing campaign? When using SEO tactics, PPC ads, and other online strategies, there are tools that allow you to pinpoint the cost of each client acquisition. Then, you can tag that cost to how much revenue is generated from each client and make sure the numbers all make sense for your firm.
Finally, don’t you want to keep that market BUDGET in check as much as possible? Although a robust digital strategy isn’t cheap, it shouldn’t cost as much as billboards ($14k+ per month in urban areas) or TV ads, where you have to pay for ad production as well as the actual air time. SEO is a strategy where, with regular monthly investment, your efforts compound by themselves over time.
With all that in mind… Let’s take a look at what a successful digital marketing strategy could look like for your firm.
Key Elements of Your Personal Injury Lawyer Marketing Strategy
So, if traditional marketing isn’t it, what does a successful digital marketing strategy for a PI firm look like?
Based on our experience helping attorneys across the country increase the number of leads, here’s a quick outline of our best personal injury marketing plan.
Each of these elements helps to position your personal injury law firm in a such a way that your target audience will clearly see you.
Nail Your Personal Injury Law Firm Website
A site that contains all information about your business and prospects can visit online anytime is an indispensable part of your law firm marketing efforts. Unlike other online properties, a self-hosted website allows you to have complete control of not only your marketing but also assets you can leverage to achieve your desired goals (more on this later).
SEO-Optimized Content for Personal Injury Lawyers
One of the main assets of your website is articles. As you’ll find out later, these are content pieces that can help answer people’s questions about personal injury and promote your services at the same time.
If your intent is to turn visitors into leads and clients, you must create well-designed landing pages to convert as many visitors as possible.
Social Media Accounts
These are social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. tied to your business so you can create touch points from these various channels and build trust with potential clients.
What Are Your Marketing Goals as Personal Injury Lawyers?
Now that you see the dominant digital strategies used for personal injury law firm marketing, it’s time to identify the possible goals you have for your upcoming campaigns. Ideally, the purpose of marketing is to get as many clients as possible. However, not all prospects are ready to become clients. You have to understand that marketing works alongside a sales funnel. Each funnel must contain different stages that identify where your prospects are. Below is an example of a sales funnel: Source: Medium This goes to show that your prospects could be at different stages from each other. Therefore, in line with your goal of closing more clients as PI attorneys, you need to find a way on how to bring all of them down to being clients. Below is a simplified approach to developing your sales funnel using the elements we identified earlier for your marketing strategies.
Increase Website Traffic
This will serve as your top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) stage. Your goal here is to reach out to people who may be looking for personal injury law firms and lawyers but don’t know yours exists. To get them to notice you, you must create assets from your website or social media that show your expertise and knowledge about the subject.
As your middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) stage, you must connect with people who already know about your service but are unsure of whether to hire you as their personal injury lawyer.
People in the bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) stage are ready to hire you as their PI attorney. It’s just a matter of making yourself easy to find online and demonstrating that you’re the perfect person for the job.
Personal Injury Attorney Marketing Ideas
Now that you have your stages in place, you must identify the right tactics to use for each stage to form your marketing campaigns. In this section, we will talk about the top law firm marketing ideas and tactics you can use to fill out your personal injury lawyer marketing. We’ll also discuss different tools you can use to help carry out the tasks under each tactic.
Search Engine Optimization
The goal of search engine optimization (or SEO for short) is to rank on the first-page of Google’s organic search result. To do this, you must be ready for a battle. PI keywords are THE most competitive real estate in the search engine results (SERPs) of any practice areas. We know from speaking with other agencies that personal injury firms in competitive markets are spending a minimum of $10,000 per month on SEO services.
If you can accomplish this, you’re headed for more traffic and a lucrative stream of conversions.
Stealth SEO for Personal Injury Law Firms
If you’re just starting out or don’t have the budget to spend millions of dollars on marketing, it can feel hopeless. But, there is a way to punch above your weight and carve out a segment of the market. To do this, you must find low-hanging fruit keywords to optimize on your site pages, also known as long-tail keywords. In doing so, your website can rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) to generate the most click-throughs and traffic, leading to greater conversions. For identifying this keyword type, you need a tool that will show you different keywords related to PI. From here, you can filter the results according to monthly searches and difficulty.
Stealth Tip #1 – Find a niche within PI and focus your efforts. The big players have the budget to go after every segment, but you don’t. Pick one area like dog bites or ride share and run with it. You may not be able to get marketshare across all practice areas, but if you’re a leading voice in one area, you still stand to gain significantly.
By targeting lower-competition keywords that lots of people search for, you can maximize your chances of ranking on Google search results. Below is a short-list of keyword tools you can use for this purpose:
- Google Keyword Planner – free tool to help you find keyword suggestions and their respective range of monthly searches. Good for basics, but not very accurate.
- Keywords Everywhere – provides more keyword data such as more precise search volume, keyword difficulty, and more.
- Ahrefs (Our pick, it’s the best) – more than just a keyword tool as it can power your entire SEO campaign with features for link building, competitive research, and others.
Once you have the keywords, you have everything you need to optimize content to fill out the different stages of your sales funnel. For TOFU, you can create articles and informative guides about topics they might be asking regarding personal injuries. Here, you can showcase your knowledge and expertise in the subject by writing excellent content that answers the questions of your audience.
Case Study: The Amazing Earning Power of SEO
SEO is a powerful tool for personal injury attorneys because it’s a limitless strategy. Unlike advertising, you hold the keys to your organic search visibility. As you write more, your visibility generally continues to increase over time. You can also use this medium to cover a wide-range of topics beyond the most obvious keywords used by personal injury attorneys. And with the huge ROI potential of many personal injury cases, you only need a couple of big wins to make it all worthwhile. We’re going to look at Conosocienti & Ledbetter who were able to secure a big payday from a single case.
The Challenge As everyone knows, personal injury law is THE most competitive practice area. PI firms are routinely spending above $10,000 per month on SEO to be on the first page. In a city like Atlanta, this is no different, the competition is fierce. So, how can a firm that split their time between criminal and civil compete with some of the major players in the area who dedicate millions a year to marketing?
The Payoff We helped Conoscienti & Ledbetter earn $142,000 from a single case! All through SEO. The key is to niche down into areas that may not get as much attention by the big boys. In this case, we were targeting ride share accidents. We found the most popular keyword on the Internet and constructed a page that made it on to the first-page of Google. The point here is that you don’t have to be #1 for “Auto Accident Lawyer in CITY” (typically the most competitive keyword out there) to get results. Be crafty, be first to market when a new trend is happening in the market and you’ll be able to reap the rewards! For MOFU and BOFU, you can optimize landing pages for their respective keywords. You can get your pages with the intent of getting visitors to join your mailing list by signing up for your opt-in form. Even better, you can rank your high-converting landing page that turns visitors into clients with calls-to-action such as your phone number for a consultation call or a contact form they can fill out.
Local SEO for Personal Injury Law Firms
Aside from these, you need to worry about local SEO for law firms as well. Since you’re competing against PI lawyers and law firms in your state, you need to set up shop using Google My Business. By claiming your GMB account, you take control of your local search presence. From here, you can do the following:
- Set up your business NAP (name, address, phone number)
- Publish Google posts and photo ala social media
- Answer questions from people about your personal injury practice
- List down the different practice areas you or your firm is offering
- Collect and respond to customer reviews
By managing your profile this way, you can make your business profile appear on Google’s local-3 pack and get even more clicks and inquiries about your services.
Unlike other tactics, paid ads require you to set a budget to launch the digital marketing campaign. Once the budget is depleted, you can replenish the funds until you run out. There are different types of paid ads. The most common one is the ads that appear on Google SERPs just before organic search results. Also known as the pay-per-click (ppc) campaign, you must bid for keywords that you want your ad to appear on Google search. Each keyword corresponds to a particular amount when users click on it. For instance, if the keyword bid costs $1, then you pay Google $1 per click. Current click costs on Google are OUTRAGEOUS.
Case Study: Negatives are Your Best Friend
If you are a glutton for punishment, consider starting a Google Ads campaign for your personal injury law firm. Click costs for personal injury-related terms were already through the roof, but then COVID-19 hit. Fewer people on the road meant fewer accidents and you guessed it, fewer cases. We used to think that a $100 click was insane. But, those were simpler times. We are now routinely seeing one single click for an auto accident keyword going for above $300! How can a personal injury firm actually see a return on their investment with these click costs? The answer is having a well-constructed advertising campaign. Our Approach Google Ads is one of those things that is sneaky difficult. You may be thinking it sounds easy enough to put in some words, pay for clicks and count the cases. But, it’s way more complicated than that. Google Ads can be your ally, but they are not your friend. They want to show your ads to anyone on the planet who could be remotely interested in your services. Without strict controls, you’ll pay thousands of dollars for bad clicks. These are the key parts of a successful campaign:
- Utilize a large, well-developed negatives list
- Set strict location settings so ads only show you in your area
- Develop ads based off existing campaigns with high CTR
- Use landing pages with obvious calls-to-action
- Only show ads when you are next to your phone
How Did it Work?
We were able to deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue for the firm at a respectable cost per acquisition. To be fair, it took some time to hone-in on the right configuration, but that is typical with an ads campaign. After we got rolling, the conversion rate started to jump and lowered the cost per acquisition. Google Ads can be an extremely sustainable and profitable tool for personal injury lawyers. Make sure you have a good team managing your campaign or you could on a runaway train before you know what happened! Another popular type of ad is found on social media, in particular Facebook Ads. Unlike Google Ads, you need to identify the demographics of the users whom you want to see your ad. The campaign will last for days and will appear on the user’s feeds. Similar to Google ads, your campaign depends on the budget you allot for the ad. While you won’t pay per click, your budget dictates the reach and duration of your ad campaign. Paid ads are expensive since you’ll have to shell out cash from the onset. This reason is why this tactic is best used to target your audience in the MOFU and BOFU stages. Source: Wishpond Finally, both paid ad types complement each other so it’s best to use both at the same time unless of choosing one over the other.
Social Media Is an Unproductive Law Firm Marketing Strategy
Due to the volume of people on social media, it’s expected that your personal injury law firm has a presence across these channels. Some personal injury lawyers swear by social media, but our view is a little different. We have our preferences, but we’re also agnostic as to where you can cultivate business. You have to identify the best channels for reaching out to your prospects. According to an Attorney at Work study, Facebook and LinkedIn are the most effective for bringing in new business (31% and 27%, respectively). From here, you need to set up your social media marketing strategy that hits on all the stages of your sales funnel. We’ve already discussed the use of social media ads to convert visitors into clients. Here, you can use social media to increase brand awareness and visibility to help familiarize your audience about your knowledge as a personal injury lawyer. First, you can leverage social media for sharing blog posts about personal injury in general that you’ve written or was written by someone else. Also, take this opportunity to engage with your contacts by asking questions, replying to their comments, and others. The idea is to open lines of communication where your target audience can engage with you. When it comes to finding prospects, you can perform social media listening to hear people talking about your topic online. Then reach out to and engage with them in the hopes of turning them into followers, if not clients. You can do this manually by searching for your topic on social media sites. But to automate the process, use tools like Awario, BrandMentions, and the like to gather posts across different social platforms and answer each.
How you present yourself to the public with your personal injury law firm marketing strategy will determine your success as a personal injury lawyer. While we’ve discussed the key principles that will govern your marketing plan, you need to understand one last thing: Niches = riches. In other words, you must focus on your core competencies as personal injury lawyers. Don’t waste your time promoting yourself as something you’re not. Use the tactics above to help you flesh out who you are as a personal injury lawyer to help get more leads and clients your way. Finally, once you get the ball rolling with your marketing campaign, don’t stop! To be fair, things will get difficult quickly. There will be times you won’t be able to hit your goals as you run out of budget to fund your marketing campaign. From here, it’s easy to submit to failure and fall back to old habits. However, getting your personal injury law firm marketing right takes commitment and perseverance. You can’t expect people to hire a lawyer who can’t even fight his or her way to land clients. Take this as an opportunity to show your grit and relentlessness as lawyers who won’t quit until they win.