87% of people start their search for solutions online. 56% are using smartphones. Is your firm able to capture their attention? Boost your firm's brand online and grab a bigger share of the legal market with these digital marketing tips for lawyers and legal firms. Now is the perfect time to reap the rewards of boosting your online impact.
01. Pay attention to your brand
Never underestimate the importance and value of branding. A strong brand image is a powerful weapon. No number of persuasive ads or promotions can take the place of the effect that a well-established brand image has on the audience. The often-ignored foundation of any digital marketing strategy, it’s actually your digital brand that is capable of producing results months, even years beyond the returns of any specific marketing initiatives you implement.
Building brand equity is a time-taking, traditional and long-term process which often makes it a digital outlier. And while it may not produce the instantaneous results of a PPC campaign it is one of the most valuable “marketing” assets at your disposal. Forget to prioritise it at your own peril.
02. Build a strong website
Put your best foot forward. A slow, outdated or glitchy website is a sure fire way to deter potential clients. The best legal websites provide an effortless, client-centered experience while projecting a strong, clear brand. Avoid legal jargon and present your brand, services and expertise in a way that resonates with your target audience. Keep it clean, modern and minimal. Cramming too much text and information onto each page is a big no-no; use negative space to direct attention to headlines or sections that highlight key points. Use links to give your website visitors the option to read more about the topics and points that interest them.
03. Utilise SEO and know your keywords
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the key to gaining meaningful visibility online; the stronger your SEO efforts are, the higher your business and website will rank.
When your website doesn’t appear on the first page of search results, the chance of potential clients finding you drops significantly. Few people click “next page; Even less consider acquiring the legal services of the subsequent results! In this respect, deliberate use of targeted keywords and a bit of website management can go a long way.
When people visit a search engine chances are they know exactly what they’re looking for. By optimising your company’s website for specific keywords in your field, you’ll make yourself more widely available for this kind of targeted traffic. This is much more effective than say, pay per click advertising on social media networks, because the audience that sees those ads don’t always need your services. Relevant traffic is 10x more beneficial than irrelevant traffic.
04. Content is King
Regularly publishing original content to your website’s blog is a definite must-do. This content allows you to present yourself and your firm as an expert within your industry. Blogs are also one of the best tools to boost SEO and drive more traffic to your website. Use keyword research tools to discover which law-themed questions people are asking online. Publishing unique, high-quality information and opinion on particularly timely or relevant topics and questions is an excellent way to build thought leadership in your field. Thought leadership continues to be one of the most powerful factors influencing client acquisition and business growth in the legal sphere.
Lawyers need to maintain and develop their own ‘personal brand’. Clients will increasingly research individual practitioners and review their areas of expertise and experience. A good way to amplify content and articles that are published on a firm’s website is to share them on LinkedIn. Reach your network and take advantage of the opportunity for your expertise to be further shared by the people who read it. Last but not least, it provides an opportunity to direct increased traffic back to the company website, assisting in organic visibility and SEO.
05. Encourage reviews and testimonials
Client or customer reviews are absolutely essential. They’re akin to online marketing gold. Not only do they impact your rankings directly but they also provide for an excellent decision-making point for other prospective clients. Here is the secret -- do your job right, and do your job well. The reviews will be a natural quality assessment of your work. Of course encouraging or reminding clients to review your service with a well timed email can never go astray either.
In fact, the more reviews your law practice has, the more likely clients are to retain your services. To encourage more reviews, try crafting an email marketing campaign or social media campaign asking past clients for their honest opinions. You can also update your website with a lead capture form to secure more reviews.
06. Make time for Social Media
These days social media has a powerful influence over almost every decision known to mankind. It sounds funny when we put it like that, but it’s no joke! Virtually everyone uses social media in some capacity, your new clients included. Maintaining an active, professional profile on LinkedIn should be your first priority when it comes to negotiating your way through the social media matrix. Depending on the time/resources at your disposal, carefully consider whether it makes sense to have a presence on any other social platforms. If your clients and potential clients tend to congregate on one platform more than others, take that into consideration before spreading yourself too thin. Done right, your social media presence promises returns that definitely make the commitment required to maintain it worthwhile.
Take advantage of the opportunity to build a relationship with potential clients before they even walk through the door by showcasing your impact, your expertise and your happy clients through carefully curated, high quality content in addition to regular community building engagement.
07. Don’t be a stranger
Many firms thrive on repeat business but do little to stimulate an on-going, meaningful dialogue with existing clients. It’s important to evolve beyond the tired old monthly newsletter. In order to leverage the true value of your clients and unlock further referrals, consider implementing a segmented, personalised email strategy that nurtures existing relationships and keeps your firm 'top of mind'.