Is Marketing for Law Firms a Cost or an Investment?
Let’s be blunt, marketing has become a necessity. It’s no longer a nice-to-have, as it has turned into more of an expectation than it is a cool addition to your business plan. Let’s explore this a little further.
There’s inflation from both sides of the business spectrum of law: from the competitors’ side and from the perspective of your prospects’ expectations. On the one hand, the ABA states that 82% of respondents say their firms maintain at least one form of social presence; this is the highest since 2016, and the number is expected to continue increasing. On the other hand, 81% of users search for a product or service online. While different statistics reiterate the importance of having a digital presence, it is clear that firms opting for marketing strategies have a better shot at seeing their business thrive in the competitive legal environment.
Nowadays, we live in an uber-connected society, and connectivity is a must. A firm’s online presence can either make or break relationships in the long run. The firms that decide to invest in their online presence know that there are many benefits of doing so, such as:
- Raising awareness of their firm.
- Meeting clients where they currently are today – online.
- Generating new business opportunities.
- Building credibility.
- Expanding the client base.
And the list goes on. The growth of digital is evident. By the year 2023, it is estimated that digital will surpass two-thirds of total media spending. And if you’re wondering, what about traditional marketing? eMarketer states that in the year 2019, digital marketing surpassed traditional advertising.
With all this said, it’s clear that marketing is turning from a “nice addition” to a must-have. However, you may be wondering, “Well, this is good to know, but what are the main reasons why it’s a must for my firm?”
The Top Reasons Why Law Firms Need Marketing
We’re going to say it right off the bat: a great marketing strategy isn’t meant to cost you money in the traditional sense. It is intended to make you money! Let’s paint the picture. If we asked you to give us $100 and we told you we could get $500 back in a month – would you invest? After a conversation on how that would happen and what the associated risks are, as well as mutual agreements and what flies and what doesn’t, we could bet that you would say yes. This is the same in digital marketing. To enjoy (and get the most of) the fruits of your labor, you need to take some premeditated risks to secure your future’s safety today and tomorrow with a robust digital presence. That is possible when you think of marketing as an asset you’re investing in for your future rather than a monthly cost.
Reason 1: Digital marketing efforts will only keep on growing.
Trends and technology aren’t stagnant. They’re constantly evolving, and so is the user. Hubspot has found that many businesses actively invest in digital strategies, e.g., 63.57% invest in SEO. Just think back to the many times you had to ‘Google’ a service, a product, reviews, navigational routes, etc. Your clients are no different – they’re also searching online. According to wordstream, clients search the web for three main things: navigational (users looking for a specific site), informational (users looking for general information), and commercial (users looking to buy). To guarantee you meet the clients where they currently are in their search query – you’ll need to give your content a fighting chance with the help of SEO and PPC.
Reason 2: Other firms are jumping onto the digital bandwagon.
The legal industry is already competitive enough, and the firms staying ahead know that marketing is a fundamental part of their winning strategy. According to the ABA, 39% of firms will keep emphasizing their marketing in the following years, and 33% will increase their marketing efforts. Those investing in digital marketing know it requires specialized strategies such as PPC, SEO, social media content strategy, etc., to get the best results. If your competitors are already implementing such strategies, it’s even more critical your firm finds a way to stand out amongst these competitors.
Reason 3: Clients want personalization.
Great marketing sets your firm up for success – it also meets your clients in all customer journey stages. It’s possible to do so with the help of personalization. When improving the personalization aspect of your firm, you build better relationships and create the best experiences, which in turn also brings you a higher client retention rate in the long run. In the U.S., 90% of consumers find marketing personalization appealing, making them more likely to return to the website afterward.
Reason 4: Unlimited yet precise form of reach.
The beauty of digital is that it transcends the physical office space. It also helps you connect with more people. Specifically, it connects you to more people that are in immediate need of your specific services.
For example, let’s say you have a personal injury firm specializing in truck accidents in Austin, Texas. To get the most truck accident cases in Austin and nearby locations, you’ll need to reach this specific niche, and how do you do that? With a site or the help of tools like Google Analytics, you’ll be able to analyze a diverse number of factors: geographic locations, demographics, interests, etc. With this information, you can determine your ideal target audience’s behavior and focus on reaching them.
Reason 5: Get the most out of your marketing dollars.
Last but not least, businesses can measure and control their marketing expenses when using digital platforms to promote their services. While implementing a digital strategy is the first half, the second half is measuring its effectiveness and optimizing your efforts based on these results. The reality of digital marketing is that without proper expertise and a team of experts looking over your investments in areas like PPC (pay-per-click), your wallet could suffer, and that is 100% preventable.
To successfully evaluate the impact of your marketing campaigns, it’s required to aggregate and make use of all the digital marketing analytics tools linked, e.g., Google Analytics and Hot Jar, to name a few. Overall, marketing that’s data-driven helps you pinpoint what works and what doesn’t.
What Do Potential Clients Need Nowadays?
The priority with marketing is to think back to: what do prospects want and need today? Although the wants and needs vary between firms and their customers, what people want to see from businesses is all interrelated with digital marketing. The following are marketing trends you’ll want to consider adding to your marketing portfolio:
- Videos and live streams: Visuals are the most powerful elements you can leverage. The average user wants to see more videos from firms, and it’s estimated that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic.
- Personalized content marketing: Although we’ve previously mentioned the importance of personalization, it simply cannot be stressed enough – clients don’t want to be a number. They want to be remembered by their name and their shopping preferences. For example, law firms have started generating more content than ever before in the past two years, and many want to place themselves as a go-to source for information. But, all too often, the content might be generic and doesn’t directly serve their specific audiences. Segmenting your audience and creating personalized content for each segment is your way to go to prevent this from happening.
- Cross-device marketing: Smartphones and other interconnected devices are gaining popularity. 85% of Americans go online on a daily basis. This means that the marketing strategy your firm needs should be optimized to fit whichever platform your audience is visiting from, whether they jump from mobile to desktop to tablet or any other combination of the three.
Why Survive When You Can Thrive?
To take advantage of all the online resources and get the most out of it, it’s best to think of marketing as an investment rather than a cost. Just think back to the $100/ $500 example – the investment you decide (or don’t decide) to make today will impact your business tomorrow.
While we have provided a thorough explanation of the shift in digital trends, each firm has different wants and needs. If you are investing dollars in marketing, the best route you can take is to get the help of experts that’ll be by your side. Besides removing the daunting tasks and headaches, teaming up with experts means all your bases are covered: from PPC, SEO, content marketing, social media content creation, web design, public relations, and so much more.
Understanding the importance of law firm digital marketing is the first step and implementing and analyzing all combined efforts is the second half. Want to know more about how digital marketing impacts firms today? Have any questions about your marketing plan? Want to get a head start? We’re always here to help.