A well-balanced legal marketing strategy is a necessity for law firms, not only to grow their practice, but to differentiate from an ever-expanding pool of competition.
Herein lies the main paradox of legal marketing and advertising…
Wanting to outpace competitors while growing a brand, but needing to keep the lights on, law firms typically divert marketing resources away from long-term strategies, in favor of short-term results.
What other common issues are impacting legal marketing success today…
Marketing activities are typically misaligned with business goals.
There’s a failure to measure anything, or clearly define success.
There is too much focus on tactics, none on strategy.
There is not a closed-loop system that connects marketing activities to revenue.
Benefits of a Balanced Marketing Diet
With the goal of building law firms that exist past their most recent ad campaign, the Consultwebs Legal Marketing Nutrition Guide helps law firms visualize a marketing strategy that balances Brand Growth and Sales Activation.
Most legal marketing budgets are solely focused on, and measured by, short-term sales uplifts.
While smaller advertising campaigns create spikes in revenue (indeed they appear successful at the moment), brand-building marketing activities, which can ensure the long-term sales growth of the law firm, are completely ignored.
This “short-termism,” which happens to be rampant across all industries, has been studied at length by the foremost minds in marketing. In their IPA report “The Long & Short of It,” marketers Les Binet and Peter Field illustrate this concept, very simply, with the graph below.
The Solution: Legal Marketing Nutrition Guide
Client Experience, Intake Optimization, Call Tracking, Good CRM, Strong Branding, Original Photos, Partnerships
SEO, Responsive Web Design, Claimed Citations, Link Building, Highly-Engaged Social Media
Strategic Digital Advertising, Newsletter, Funnel Content, Managed Social Media, PPC
Scholarships, Event Marketing, Sponsorships, Automated Social Media, Stock Photos
A healthy legal marketing diet should consist of activities and practices that fulfill short-term energy demands while increasing brand longevity. DISCLAIMER: This is not prescriptive, nor is it an “either-or” scenario. Can a human forgo eating plants and live off Twinkies? Sure… for a while.
Our aim is to visualize and engineer a robust law firm marketing strategy that builds a lasting legacy AND fulfills day-to-day demands.
You can have the flashiest ad campaign in the world, but if you don’t have strong foundational marketing protocols in place, you’re only going to experience the short-term lifts, without the added benefit of longer-term growth.
Foundations are legal marketing practices that have to be in place before fancier tactics get the phone to ring uncontrollably. Is intake optimization something you focus on? Do you have call tracking in place, lead scoring, and opportunities to review calls with staff for training purposes?
Do you have a good Client Relationship Management system in place to connect intakes to cases signed?
Are you measuring the client experience at your firm? This is foundational first, because all of your messaging/advertising, pain points, and case management issues can be discovered by a well-timed survey. And second, we hate to break it to you, but your law firm’s “brand” is not what you say it is, it’s what your clients say it is.
These are just a few ideas of foundational marketing activities that, as part of a well-balanced legal marketing strategy, help grow your law firm’s brand and revenue.
Activities: • Client Experience • Intake Optimization • Call Tracking, Good CRM • Stong Branding • Original Photos • Partnerships
Once you take your legal marketing health seriously and you’ve embraced brand growth, you’re ready to add more nutrients to your diet.Nutrients are legal marketing practices that connect sales activity to foundational health.
Is your law firm’s website responsive, fast, and designed for conversion?
In regards to link building and creating a strong SEO signal for that website so it rises in prominence over time, what’s the strategy there?
Will a highly engaged social media strategy authentically support brand growth, attract clients, and potentially reduce digital ad spend for your law firm? You’ll never know till you try!
Activities: • SEO • Responsive Web Design • Claimed Citations • Link Building • Highly-Engaged Social Media
With the concepts of foundational brand health and marketing nutrients onboard, we can begin diving into more complex advertising tactics focused on sales activation.Fundamentals are legal marketing practices that expand your law firm’s influence and reach into your local online community.
Investment in a strong and steady PPC campaign on behalf of your law firm, connected to funnel content that drives clients to your website, is a great example of a fundamental
As we begin to favor sales activities over brand growth, legal marketers at this stage may think of outsourcing. Managed social media campaigns can help maintain a presence online to keep the signals flowing but may lack some of the brand veracity of full engagement.
Activities: • Strategic Digital Advertising, • Newsletter • Funnel Content • Managed Social Media • PPC
Complex campaigns are legal marketing practices that are less about growing your brand and more about your law firm’s perception in local offline communities.Event marketing, sponsorships, and scholarships are all great ways to connect with your local community and gain exposure.
With a strong foundation of marketing health, complex campaigns can be very impactful for your law firm.
However, law firms that forgo some of the critical brand benefits mentioned above, like a good CRM, strong Web presence, and highly engaged social media, will not have the digestive processes in place to take full advantage of campaigns.
Activities: • Scholarships • Event Marketing • Sponsorships • Automated Social Media • Stock Photos
Now almost wholly focused on short-term results, temporary boosts are legal marketing practices and tactics seeking to gain exposure, capture leads, and move onto the next campaign.Gated content or webinars can be powerful marketing materials, providing value both ways for potential clients and a law firm.
Brand gifts and swag items are always a hit.
And if run efficiently, intake and other aspects of case management workflow can be automated to decrease overhead.
Once again, as part of a complete marketing breakfast, boosts can be beneficial to your law firm’s brand. But without a balanced plate, activities and tactics at this level tend to leave little or no lasting impact on your firm’s legacy.
This is, oddly enough, the aspect of legal marketing and advertising that gets talked about the most at conferences and seminars. The Super Bowl ads, the viral successes – the quick hits.Quick hits are legal marketing tactics that have two jobs – snag maximal exposure and activate sales.
If you want to pay to get to the top of Google, it can happen with scorched earth PPC.
If you want to buy mailing lists and have your law firm’s flyer show up in thousands of potential client mailboxes tomorrow morning, it’s possible.
And if your firm wants to create the next Ice Bucket Challenge viral video, then be our guest.
The chances of these tactics succeeding or failing for your law firm are equally high.
If the quick hit works, it brings a rush of sales activity and, wrongly, becomes the template for future success.
If it doesn’t work, sadly, it will be taken as another example of why advertising just doesn’t work for your firm.
Most importantly, quick hits either have no lasting effect on your law firm’s brand, or, if utilized incorrectly, they irreparably damage it.
With a goal of helping law firms visualize and engineer a robust legal marketing strategy that both fulfills their day-to-day energy demands and builds a lasting legacy, let’s compare what’s on the plate of two different hypothetical law firms…
Law Firm A is well balanced with almost 75% of marketing activities going toward Brand Growth and 25% dedicated to Sales Activation.
Law Firm B is almost solely focused on Sales Activation, with a very small portion of their marketing activities designated for Brand Growth.
Now, considering all we just learned about legal marketing health, nutrition, and brand longevity, which law firm would you view as the biggest threat? Because the truthful answer to the question above is the law firm that you hope to build.
Consultwebs can help you get there.
Would you like to learn what your law firm’s marketing plate looks like? Contact the legal marketing experts at Consultwebs to find out today!
What Percentage of Your Marketing Investments are Dedicated to: