What Is Law Firm Digital Marketing?
Law Firm Digital marketing is essentially marketing done online. This includes all marketing efforts that involve using the internet or electronic devices. It spans websites, email, search engines, and social media with the goal of connecting with potential customers as well as current ones.
The Role of Law Firm Digital Marketing
The role of law firm digital marketing is the same as any other type of marketing, with the critical distinction that it occurs online. Traditional marketing can include physical and print ads and phone calls. Meanwhile, digital marketing could consist of interactions, paid advertisements, and strategies to increase visibility using websites, social media, email, video, and more.
The goals of digital marketing are the same as those of traditional marketing: sales and brand awareness to your law firm.
In today’s world, having a lawyer website, which is one small part of digital marketing, is expected for all companies. If you do not have an online presence, potential customers will think poorly of you, and you simply will not be competitive.
Digital marketing for lawyers can be incredibly complex and time consuming due to the various strategies and techniques associated with it.
The digital nature of online law firm marketing makes it easier to get detailed analytics about your advertising in ways that you would not be possible with traditional ads. After all, you can only estimate how many people see a print ad or billboard, and how long they look at it. With digital marketing, however, computers can gather data such as unique views and the length of the views on your law firm’s website.
What Law Firm Digital Marketing Looks Like
Within your law firm, digital marketing is a combination of digital channels and tactics that let the brand connect with its customers online, since that is where customers spend their time. It appears as a combination of online branding assets like your website, website content, online brochures, email marketing, and digital advertising, social media and more.
For the best chance of success with your digital marketing campaign, it should have a clear goal, and each of your marketing strategies should bring you a step closer to that goal.
For example, email marketing could involve creating email campaigns that provide additional information about the company for those who downloaded an e-book. Or content marketing could be blog posts that help generate leads. Or social media marketing could promote blogs and make other relevant posts on the company’s official social media accounts.
To explain digital marketing better, take a look at some of the most common types of law firm digital marketing.
Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves creating and promoting content to generate leads, grow traffic, increase brand awareness, and attract customers to your practice.
Blog posts are among the most common types of content marketing by law firms, and they can be highly effective. By creating quality articles on a blog, you can generate organic traffic while also establishing your expertise in the industry. The increased traffic can help with conversions while displaying your knowledge helps with trustworthiness of your law practice.
Whitepapers, PDFs, and E-books
Long-form content such as whitepapers, e-books, and downloadable PDFs are yet another way of delivering content to your website’s visitors. These can supplement the blogs in terms of establishing your authority and knowledge in the industry to boost your reputation.
It is common to use this type of download as an incentive to gather contact information and generate leads. Many companies offer a free download when you sign up for the newsletter, for example.
Not all content marketing has to be written content, and infographics can also be incredibly useful. This type of visual content lets viewers visualize a concept. Some people learn better visually, so including infographics can help you attract a wider audience to your website. Additionally, if you create a powerful infographic, it may be widely shared on image-based platforms, like Instagram or Pinterest, or even by other companies in your industry. An example of an infographic would be an overview tot the “5 Things to do if you have been involved in a car accident.”
Email marketing is one of the most popular ways that law firms communicate with their exiting or prospective clientele. Email is commonly used for promoting content, events, and discounts. It is also an effective method of getting people to visit your website.
Your email marketing campaign can include a range of email types, such as customer welcome emails, blog subscription newsletters, follow-up emails after a download, tips or advice to nurture customers, and promotions for loyalty members.
Inbound marketing is a type of marketing that you do to attract, engage, and accommodate clients. It can include all of the other digital marketing strategies mentioned here, with the goal of making an experience that supports the customer.
To put the idea of inbound marketing in perspective, compare it to traditional marketing. Remember that the idea is that inbound marketing helps or works with your customers. For example, traditional marketing would be pop-up ads, commercial advertising, or email spam. Alternative inbound marketing methods would be blogging, video marketing, and email contact lists with interested subscribers.
With marketing automation, you use software to automate some of the basic marketing operations. This is a common way to increase the efficiency of repetitive tasks. All of the following can fall under the heading of marketing automation.
Campaign Reporting and Tracking
Marketing automation makes it much easier to track the various moving components in a campaign, especially when numerous people are involved, as well as multiple websites, calls, emails, and pieces of content. Automation can help keep all of these components organized. It can also help you track campaign performance based on the relevant components, providing analytics.
Email automation makes it possible to send emails quickly and automatically to those who subscribe to you. Automation of this sort can make it easier to grow and shrink the contact list to ensure that only those who want to receive your newsletters.
Lead Nurturing Workflows
It is a very long process to generate leads and convert them into customers, but this can be automated to some extent. An example of automated lead nurturing workflows would be to send specific emails or content to leads once they act, such as downloading and opening your e-book.
Scheduling Social Media Posts
One of the keys to growing your online presence, especially on social media, is to post regularly. However, it is very time-consuming to post at set intervals manually. Automation via social media scheduling tools lets you create and schedule the posts or content ahead of time, letting you focus on creating more content or other aspects of marketing instead of taking set breaks from other tasks to post.
Think of online PR as the digital equivalent of traditional PR. It is the process of gaining online coverage from content-based websites, blogs, and publications. There are multiple potential channels that you can turn to for this part of your digital marketing strategy, including:
Engage With Online Comments
We have already established that you need a blog and a reliable website to further your reputation and brand awareness. Take this a step further and encourage comments on the posts you make, then respond to them. This type of engagement will make your brand seem more human and approachable. It is also a convenient way to generate productive conversations.
Follow the same practices on social media, responding to comments, and encouraging engagement. On social media, it will have another benefit, which will be increasing your likes, comments, or retweets. That will boost the reach of your brand and show potential clients (and even potential investors) that your company is popular, encouraging more interest.
Engage With Online Reviews
You are probably aware of the significant impact that online reviews have on your company. Part of online PR responds to and engages with these reviews, including both good and bad reviews. No matter the direction the content of the review takes, taking the time to participate, even in a small way, can help humanize your brand. It can also help with reputation management, especially when you can turn a negative review and win a second chance with the reviewer.
Reporter Outreach on Social Media
Social media is a great way to get in touch with reporters, as most maintain an online presence. An example would be talking to journalists on Twitter as a way to build a relationship with the press. Building up this relationship is crucial as it can bring in earned media opportunities that let you promote your business.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
With pay per click or PPC advertising, you pay the publisher for each time an ad gets clicked on for your law firm. There are multiple channels available for you to choose from, including:
PPC advertising with Google has you pay for the top spot on search engine results, with you paying Google for every click you get. These are those very top links that are labeled as “ad” or “sponsored.”
Facebook also offers pay per click advertising options. You can create a post, slideshow, image, or video and pay to have it appear on newsfeeds or your target audience. When setting up these Facebook ads, you would select the basic demographics of who you want to see the ads.
LinkedIn Sponsored Messages
On LinkedIn, you can pay per message, with the ability to send them directly to LinkedIn users based on your desired inputs for background and industry.
On Twitter, you can pay to place profile badges or posts, as well as on the news feed of your targeted audience as with Facebook ads. You can customize your posts to meet your specific goals, such as more followers, engagement, app downloads, or website traffic.
Law Firm Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Law Firm Search engine optimization or Law Firm SEO involves optimizing your website, so it has a higher ranking on the search engine results. Higher rankings result in more people clicking on your website. Ideally, you want to be one of the top links, if not the top one. Appearing on the second or third page of results reduces the clicks you receive dramatically.
SEO involves multiple strategies, and it can help with infographics, websites, blogs, and more.
On-page SEO refers to the SEO efforts that are visible on the website if someone were to look at it. One example is the use of keywords in content like blogs. Another is keyword phrases that answer questions to help your content appear in those answers.
As the name implies, off-page SEO refers to an activity that is off the page and not visible. The most important part of off-page SEO is backlinks or inbound links. Search engines will rank you higher if you have more of these backlinks, assuming they are natural. Overloading backlinks without context will be counter-productive.
There are multiple methods of earning backlinks, including creating high-quality articles or infographics that others will want to link to. You can also write guest blog posts on other websites. Off-page SEO can also include answering questions in forums and adding links.
Technical SEO refers to the strategies related to coding and files. Image compression, CSS file optimization, and structured data allow your website to load faster, which helps it rank higher.
Law Firm Social Media Marketing
As the name implies, law firm social media marketing involves using social media channels to promote your brand as well as your content. The goal behind this type of digital marketing is to boost brand awareness and traffic while also generating leads.
Law Firm Social Media marketing can include any social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Your social media marketing strategy can incorporate as many of these channels as you can comfortably manage. It is frequently better to have just a few social media channels and manage them well than to have more and handle them poorly. Just make sure that you prioritize the channels that your target audience is most active in.
Sponsored content is when you pay someone else, whether a brand or a person, to create as well as promote content to discuss your brand or service.
Currently, the most popular example of sponsored content is influencer marketing. In this digital marketing, you provide influencers with products and funds in exchange for publishing videos, images, or other types of posts on social media to promote your company.
Sponsored content can also include articles or blog posts that highlight services, topics, or even brands.
Although not everyone agrees, many also consider Instagram advertising and Facebook advertising to be native advertising, since the advertisements appear very similar to the sponsored or paid content.
Now that you have a better idea of the various strategies involved in digital marketing, take a moment to understand what a digital marketer does.
Law Firm Digital Marketing drives brand awareness as well as lead generation across channels, including paid and free ones. Channels used range from the company website and blog to display advertising, email, and search engine rankings.
Key performance indicators (KPIs)can be used to track the progress of your law firm’s digital marketing strategies. These KPIs effectively measure the performance across marketing channels.
The best KPIs to measure will depend on the channel and the strategy used. For example, a law firm would measure “organic traffic,” meaning the traffic that comes from Google searches.
Analytics and Metrics in Digital Marketing
The following are just some of the types of metrics and KPIs that you can track as part of digital marketing to measure ROI.
Attribution modeling refers to the process of using technology and tools to trace sales back to the very first digital touchpoint that a customer had with your company. The goal behind attribution modeling is to spot trends in how people research then buy your products or services.
You can then use that information to efficiently target your resources and focus your efforts on the areas of your marketing strategies that require more attention. This information can be incredibly valuable by letting you know what strategies in the sales cycle do not work as they are and require adjustment. In other words, you can use attribution modeling to align your sales and marketing with the goal of improving the journey of your customers throughout the buying cycle.
Content Performance – Incorporating Lead Generation
Tracking metrics for content that you create is one of the many advantages of digital marketing over offline marketing.
For example, compare a physical brochure that you mail out to one that you have digitized. With the physical brochure, you would know how many you send, but have no idea how many people even opened it, let alone how many read and kept it.
By contrast, if it is a digital brochure on your website, you can see how many people have viewed it. That will let you adjust your strategies in the future based on the information you gathered.
You could even take this a step further and allow a free download of the brochure in exchange for contact information like an email address. This would let you not only get valuable analytical information but also generate leads, neither of which would be possible with a physical brochure you mailed.
Analytic software designed for digital marketing lets you view information such as the number of people who saw your homepage, with data available in real-time. Depending on the program you use for analytics, you will be able to view much more detailed information than the number of visits. You can also view information on where visitors came from, the devices they used, the number of pages they visited, and how long they spent on each.
You can then use this analytical data to prioritize your marketing efforts. You can likely assume that channels that bring in a lot of visitors require less of your digital marketing efforts than those that bring in fewer visitors. Think of this as a way of easily finding the weak areas so you can focus on those.
The ability to track website traffic is a significant advantage over traditional offline marketing methods. After all, it is tough to follow how many people saw an advertisement or which one they saw before making a purchase or talking to a salesperson if it does not occur online or on a device.
Take your website analytics a step further and use the information to help you identify patterns and trends in behavior or people before they get to the last stage of the buying process. This would let you target your efforts by making informed choices as to the best methods of attracting potential clients to your website at the very beginning or top of your marketing funnel.
All Law Firms Can Benefit From Digital Marketing
If you are wondering whether your law firm can benefit from digital marketing, the answer will be yes. That is because digital marketing is a useful strategy for any business, regardless of what it sells or the services offered. While every business can benefit from a digital marketing strategy, there are differences in how you should implement that strategy based on your law firm and client demographics.
How Long Does It Take to See Results with Digital Marketing?
Because of the availability of analytics, you will start to be able to track results much sooner with digital marketing than with offline marketing. Even so, the time frame in which you begin to see results depends on your campaign’s effectiveness and scale.
The more time you put into planning before launching the digital marketing campaign, the more likely it is to be productive quickly. In this case, you will likely start seeing results within about one to three months, but that can vary based on industry, demographics, and strategy. That timeline, however, only applies to organic digital marketing methods.
Paid advertising can speed up the process significantly. However, because you will need to keep paying to continue those results, it is wise to combine paid advertising as a short-term strategy with organic methods like SEO and content creation for long-term strategies.
Digital Marketing Budget – How Much Do You Need?
Your budget will largely depend on your chosen strategies and whether you plan to outsource.
If your focus is in inbound techniques, such as content creation on your existing website, social media engagement, and SEO, your budget will mostly be time spent. Of course, if you want to ensure the best results, you will likely want to outsource the work to professionals, which will cost something. However, if your budget is tight, you can start with in-house efforts and turn to professionals when your budget allows for it.
Would you like a free consultation?
If you are interested in discussing your digital marketing needs, we would be delighted to speak with you. We offer a free site audit along with a free consultation. We want your digital marketing efforts to be successful and we are here to help.