As technology and marketing trends continually advance, lawyers may have some trepidation when it comes to making certain decisions for their practices. You may think that there’s no reason to implement new marketing initiatives and therefore feel inclined to stick with the status quo. However, by not staying on top of consumer demands and implementing new technology, your law firm will not be able to properly engage with potential clients, which will result in lost opportunities in capturing leads that directly affects your bottom line.
You may have the best attorneys and staff around, but without utilizing marketing best practices, your firm will be missing out. What firm wouldn’t want to make the most of their marketing spend and see results? With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top five legal marketing myths and learn some insights about how to strengthen your marketing strategy and grow your business.
Myth #1 I Don’t Need New Commercials, Television is Dead.
With a plethora of streaming options such as Netflix, Hulu and On Demand programming, it may seem as though traditional television advertising is losing traction. However, on average, Americans watch nearly 8 hours of TV per household each day.
Television commercials are an important tool in your marketing mix that can articulate your law firm’s messaging in a way that is tailored to your unique target audience, and is presented through the engaging medium of video. In order to stand out from the competition, every aspect of your commercials, including the messaging in the scripts, commercial theme, the design of the set, graphics, talent and more should be high-quality and align with your firm’s values, branding and voice.
That’s why it’s essential to partner with an experienced television advertising agency that bring years of legal marketing expertise and creativity to the table. You and your firm should be involved in the creative process from the beginning to ensure the end product will be a high-quality commercial that will resonate with your target audience. Although commercials can serve various purposes, including brand awareness, the most direct goal is to compel viewers to call the firm.
However, producing the videos is only one component of the process. Once the commercials are filmed and edited, you need an effective, and well-targeted media plan to ensure your commercials are placed on leading stations and programs in your specific market, which correlate with your client demographic for optimal reach.
Hint: Look for an experienced agency that offers end-to-end TV production from theme conceptualization to production to media placement. That way, you will have a trove of high-end TV commercials on a variety of practice areas that stand out from your competition. Featuring fresh commercials each year will help engage with your target audience and increase the number of cases you sign each month.
Myth #2 I Don’t Need a New Website, the Current One is Fine.
Your website is a hub for your law firm’s marketing, which is why it’s critical that it is designed in an organized, modern and aesthetically pleasing way. Your website design and messaging should cohesively represent your firm’s branding and mission, convey your differentiators and include clear calls to action.
Although you may think your website design and copy is fine, today’s consumers are demanding sleek websites with engaging messaging and content. This is what will build trust and elicit action.
In fact, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if they believe the layout or content is unappealing. That’s why if your website design is cluttered, outdated or not engaging, it’s likely that is the reason why potential clients are leaving your website in the research phase, and going to your competitors.
But it’s not all about looks. In addition, the website should offer an optimal user experience.
The website should be easy to navigate, whether potential customers are perusing your site on a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. Did you know that approximately 57% of all web traffic comes from smartphones or tablets?
After designing a new website, with high-quality images and rich content, the last thing you want to happen is to have a potential client visiting the site on his or her phone, and not be able to properly view and engage with the site. 52% of users stated that a negative mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company. That’s why your website must be optimized for all devices.
Hint: Look for a marketing agency with a proven track record of designing modern and engaging law firm websites that offer an optimal user experience, with easy-to-navigate menus, helpful and informative messaging and visual elements that capture potential clients’ attention. The websites must also be optimized for mobile, meaning your site will look great, no matter what device potential clients are using.
Myth #3 I Don’t Need to Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
As a lawyer, you may think that spending money on a quality SEO strategy isn’t necessary. If you have television commercials, print advertising and a new website that looks great, why invest in SEO?
Think again! A robust SEO strategy is essential in today’s law firm marketing landscape in order to remain competitive and win new clients. In fact, 96% of people use a search engine when seeking legal advice, and 74% of potential clients begin their search online and contact a firm via phone, ideally leading to a case conversion.
With the vast majority of clients using search engines to find a law firm and the fact that the web is an important touchpoint in the consumer journey, you want to ensure that your firm ranks high in the organic results on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
For example, if your firm is located in Boston and a potential client was recently in a car accident and is searching for “Car Accident Lawyer Boston,” you want your law firm to show up on the first page as the top one to five organic results on the page. This is critical as 75% of people will not scroll past the first page of results. That’s why your firm must rank high for relevant search terms.
An experienced legal marketing agency should develop a comprehensive SEO strategy to improve your search ranking. A full SEO strategy will include optimizing all web pages to include well-crafted title tags and meta descriptions to help your search ranking. Uploading fresh, usable and shareable thought leadership content is also important, which is why a blog strategy and strategy for visual content are also important components.
Hint: Look for a marketing agency with years of experience with successful SEO and digital marketing strategies that can improve your site’s ranking. The agency should also help you develop useful and shareable thought leadership content to be hosted on your site, which can help improve rankings and serve as informative, educational resources in the consumer’s research phase.
Myth #4 I Don’t Need to Track Leads. I Don’t Have Time.
With the volume of calls coming through to the office, hectic schedules and the urgency of signing and meeting with clients as soon as possible, it may be difficult to find out how a client or prospect heard about your law firm. However, this simple question is incredibly important in order to understand the consumer journey, as well as to determine the ROI of your marketing efforts.
During consultations with prospective clients, it is important for intake to ask how the caller heard of the law firm and enter this information into a database. In order to make data collection a seamless process, lawyers should consider investing in case management software. Using case management software can help streamline the data collection and retrieval process and ensure all vital case information is all in one centralized location.
Using case management software can help improve the accuracy of lead reporting. Therefore, when your firm’s marketing agency discusses strategies, the agency can understand how effectively each advertising element is working. This information is key to helping refine marketing strategies and understanding the ROI of marketing initiatives. In addition, your law firm will function in a more organized and effective manner.
Hint: Look for a marketing agency with a focus on helping improve your business operations and ROI. An agency that exclusively serves law firms and is knowledgeable on case management software can help you select the right one for your firm. You also want to ensure the marketing agency walks you through monthly reporting to help you understand where your leads are coming from and the value of your marketing campaigns.
Myth #5 I Don’t Need to Communicate with Old Clients.
While your attorneys and staff are busy handling cases for new clients, it’s important not to forget about previous clients. After all, referrals from past clients are an excellent way to secure new business.
Past clients are vastly important as they serve as brand ambassadors for the firm that can help potential new clients in their journey of choosing a lawyer. For example, past clients can write testimonials that can be featured on the website that give a glimpse into their positive experience with the firm. In addition, past clients can post Google reviews, which are highly valuable.
Yet, across many industries, businesses are missing the mark when it comes to connecting with previous clients. Even though past clients yield power as brand ambassadors, they are often forgotten.
One simple, cost-effective way to keep in touch is an email newsletter with updates from the firm, including new videos, blogs, infographics and more to ensure past clients continue to engage with your firm. In addition to providing rich content, the newsletter will help keep your firm top-of-mind, which is especially important if past clients receive the newsletter during a time when they can refer family or friends to your firm.
Another way to foster client relationships is sending a letter in the mail on the anniversary of the case settlement, stating that you hope they are doing well and they will always be part of the law firm family. The letter could also include promo items, such as a pen and magnet. This ensures that past clients know the lawyers are thinking about them and value them as both clients and people.
Hint: Look to partner with a marketing agency that offers various, creative ways to connect with your family of past clients to improve client relations and reputation management and increase referrals.
Start Building Your Firm’s Marketing Strategy Today
Are you looking to learn more about how to implement marketing strategies to increase your law firm’s ROI? Contact Legal Communications Group today. With more than 30 years of experience in legal advertising for personal injury law firms across the nation, we are dedicated to helping grow your firm.