There are few industries that are as traditional as the legal profession. Here, suits and ties are still the attire of choice, and senior partners sit at their mahogany desks surrounded by bookshelves containing leather bound tomes. Yet while the customer-facing side of the legal profession might appear unchanged, times are changing in the way they market their services. Survey data from iMarc found that one in three lawyer appointments starts with an online search. Today, success is dependent on a law firm’s marketing activities being firmly in the 21st century.
Credibility is everything
When a consumer is looking for car insurance or a mobile internet deal, the name and reputation of the provider might factor into the decision making, but it will be secondary to the price and the service on offer. When you’re looking for someone to represent your legal interests, however, reputation and credibility are vital.
This needs to be front and center in every law firm’s digital marketing strategy. Focus on the individuals and ensure that social media aspects like LinkedIn are comprehensive and clickable from the partner page on the website.
Authority is a metric that is familiar to anyone with even a little SEO knowledge. But from the above, it becomes clear that authority is doubly important for a law firm. Content marketing is a valuable tool here. The legal world is a rich source of material for blog posts, case studies and thought leadership articles that people will want to read and share.
Keep the flow of fresh content moving and don’t be shy about sharing it with the world on those social channels. But at the same time, remember that quality is more important than quantity. The days of 300-word blog posts are long gone, and the latest digital marketing wisdom is that long form articles – those of 1,500 words or more – are the ones that deliver value to readers and therefore enhance authority.
Starting from the ground up
The measures we have looked at so far are well and good for a law firm that is established and looking to consolidate its position in the search results. But what about those who are just commencing their digital marketing efforts? It’s no secret that authority takes time to accumulate, but legal PPC marketing is a popular way to kick start things.
Yes, it is expensive if you are going to do it indefinitely, but when done right, it is also highly effective. A paid ads campaign, targeted at relevant online publications, will generate clicks at a rate that cannot be matched.
Of course, the key here is identifying those sites, so it’s vital that law firms do their homework as far as client segmentation and identifying their target market is concerned, before sinking any money into any sort of advertising, especially PPC.