There’s no denying the progress of technology and information, and that both have changed the landscapes of various industries — including in the practice of law. One such aspect of that ever-changing landscape is internet marketing for lawyers.
Law as a Practice and as a Business
After years of studying, practicing, and racking up experience as an assistant researcher, clerk, and co-counsel, you’ve finally made it. You’ve won cases and impressed judges and fellow lawyers with your moving arguments in court.
The question is if your target audience knows about you. Do they know of your accomplishments or the areas you practice in? Do they know to turn to you for assistance of the legal kind? If this isn’t the case, your legal career could be in trouble.
You need to make sure the right people know about you and the skills you have to offer. Connections within the justice system and other relevant public offices are good for your career but don’t forget to connect with the public, as well. They are, after all, your future clients.
These days, a lawyer should not just be skilled in the courtroom; he or she should also be savvy in all areas of his career. The treatment of the legal profession as a business is not new, but it has sparked debates as early as the days of Julius Henry Cohen, the influential man behind the iconic book, The Law: Business or Profession?
If you want to explore the deeper connections between business, law, and policy, read the book. For advice on how to apply business marketing principles to your law practice, read the rest of this article.
The Challenge for Today’s Lawyers
While automation and artificial intelligence (AI) cannot replace a lawyer, several aspects of a practice can be enhanced through automation. In fact, research from MIT suggests that technology can replace 2 percent of a lawyer’s workload every year. That’s good news for a law practice, but only if the automated services remain exclusive to its offices. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
The ease of automation has enabled people without legal backgrounds to obtain documents like tax forms without help from lawyers. Services that could have added to your bottom line are now available for much lower prices — and some are even free — online.
Can you compete with that? Fortunately, the answer is yes. To do so, however, you may need the help of digital and internet marketing experts. Here are two good reasons to partner with these professionals:
First, you must step up your game and compete with the other players in your field. You’ll be competing not just with other law practices, but also with websites that offer cheap, DIY legal documents online. You’ll quickly find that there aren’t enough hours in the day if you were to manage your internet marketing as well as handle your normal caseload.
Second, you can keep up with the intensifying competition if you optimize your internet marketing budget. It means expanding your advertising strategies and not just relying on a single outlet for exposure (e.g., television advertisements).
Television Advertising: It Still Works, But at a Steep Price
Marketing experts say television advertising is still a viable strategy for the legal industry. Hence, television ads showing suited lawyers sitting dignified behind their desks and talking about their tough stance on protecting and asserting your rights will likely continue airing.
As effective as they are in making an impression on the public, however, TV ads are no longer optimal for small-scale law firms because of their astronomical costs. Consider this:
- $892 million – The amount lawyers and law firms spent on television ads alone in 2015.
- $200-350,000 – The cost of producing a television commercial.
- $183,730 – The average price for a 30-second spot during a television program.
- $728,434 – The average price for a 30-second spot during the 2017 NFL broadcasts.
These are the figures a law firm would be looking at if it were to advertise its services nationally. The rates could go down for regional and local TV ad exposures, but the values are still nothing to scoff at.
Your Clients’ Changing Behavior
Customer behavior has changed with time. These days, when people are interested in a product or service, they don’t go to the mall or talk to sales representatives. The first thing they do is read up on the product or service and check reviews on the Internet. Research shows that 97 percent of consumers look up local products online before buying anything, in fact.
A similar trend is observable in the legal industry. Google reports that 96 percent of people, especially Millennials, use the search engine to find answers for law-related questions and get legal advice. About 74 percent of these Internet searchers end up calling the law firm; and 87 percent of the people who called an attorney end up hiring them.
Internet marketing is necessary for law firms that want to be visible to target audiences. Online visibility by ranking high in search produces traffic, which then increases leads, conversions, and revenue. This is a simplified version of the process, but in the hands of an experienced marketer, it’s possible to check every item on this list.
Internet Marketing for Lawyers: Promising Strategies for 2018 Onwards
Whether you’re an established law firm or a new practice that’s just starting out, internet marketing can serve your bottom line well.
These five strategies are the most promising for the legal services industry. If you’re not doing these marketing strategies yet, now’s the best time to start.
Lawyers across the country now have personal websites or websites for their law firms. To stand out, yours has to be well-designed, mobile-friendly, and optimized. It should also have accurate and complete NAP information, which must be consistent with all your other online accounts and listings. These are the bare necessities for local SEO.
LinkedIn is the leading social and information sharing platform for people in the legal services industry. Surveys show that professionals and corporate counsels use it to find and hire law professionals. Lawyers and firms can also use other social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to engage with the public.
As television advertising gets more expensive, small firms can opt to publish video marketing materials online instead. Video marketing is viable for lawyers because 90 percent of consumers say videos influence their buying decisions. Moreover, a video on your website can help increase your click-throughs from Google SERPs and increase conversions by 80 percent.
If you want to increase traffic to your website and get leads fast, PPC advertising is your best option. With it, you may place text and banner ads on Google SERPs and other websites. You only get charged for each click your ads get, so it is an optimal way to spend legal marketing funds.
Search engines rank websites based on the quality and relevance of their content. Similarly, potential clients form impressions of lawyers based on what they see on the latter’s sites. By producing high-quality, informative articles on law and legal services, you can impress both Google and prospective clients.
If none of these strategies sound familiar, it’s a sign that you need to hire experienced internet marketing experts to lend a helping hand. Doing so relieves your staff from the workload and allows your entire practice to focus on helping clients and winning cases instead of chasing leads, both off and on the Internet, instead.
A savvy lawyer would put a business cap on and capitalize on digital and Internet marketing strategies on top of TV ads. He or she would recognize the necessity and convenience of delegating marketing duties to third-party experts. Unless a firm makes enough to support in-house marketing specialists, hiring a digital marketing company that specializes in marketing legal services would be a practical choice.