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Increasing Law Firm Brand Awareness

Susie Hood

Increasing Law Firm Brand Awareness | Hitsearch

In recent years, law firms have recognised the need to increase the digital awareness of their brand more and more, with the end goal being to alert more potential clients of where to go when they have a legal issue. What was once a word-of-mouth reliant service, now needs to have an online presence in order to achieve their goals and objectives, whether that’s an increase in enquiry form sign ups, a steady rise in referrals or more accepted cases. If the digital marketing strategy that your law firm currently has in place isn’t quite working as you thought it would, perhaps it’s because it’s simply too sales focused. It’s time to make people more aware of your what your law firm is all about, by increasing your brand awareness online and offline. In recent years, law firms have started to increase their marketing spend in order to stay ahead of the game, with brand awareness becoming an essential important tactic in the need to stand out against competitors.

What are the main benefits of increasing brand awareness for your law firm?

Brand awareness is a fantastic way to enhance the visibility for your law firm, along with increasing demand for your services. Although we can’t guarantee that an increase in brand awareness will directly generate leads, it lays the foundations on which to build effective lead generation. Brand awareness builds up a trust for your brand that can be vital, especially in the legal industry where you need clients and potential clients to trust and be comfortable with your products and services. At the end of the day, consumers are more likely to buy and use brands they have heard of before, so it’s time to get shouting about yours.

How do you increase law firm brand awareness?

Increasing brand awareness for your law firm will take a coordinated strategy or online and offline marketing activity. With the goal for your law firm to get noticed and remain at front of mind for potential new clients, we look at the tactics that you can use to increase brand awareness.

Take the time to discover what your brand is

Whilst you may have a perfect logo and an inspiring mission statement, it’s definitely worth remembering that your brand is also heavily defined by the people who that have experienced your firm and what these clients then say about it. According to Pilmma, word-of-mouth referrals are cited as the number one driver of new business for law firms, yet very few law firms actually do enough to influence what these mouths are saying. In order to really utilise your satisfied clients to improve your brand, why not ask them directly what makes you special? Ask them what makes you unique? You can gather client feedback from the use of direct contact via phone or email, Twitter and Instagram polls or online surveys and then use this information about client perception to really help shape your brand. A brand defined by client experience can really help you stand out amongst competitors and therefore receive the referrals that they are missing out on – it’s win/win.

Differentiate your offering

Being noticeably different from other law firms can be a challenge but isn’t impossible. You can try:

  1. Taking time to work out what your USPs are and decide how to communicate them across all of your channels and content consistently
  2. Being bold with your branding. Try to make it distinctive, rather than sticking to tried and tested designs and themes done to death by other law firms. You can find a way to effectively portray your professionalism without it having to be dull!
  3. Using a tone of voice that resonates with your target audience – test until you hit the responses and engagement that you want

Understand your audience and where they hang out online

Part of developing data-led legal personas is not only working out who your potential new clients are in each major area of your business, but also what their online and offline habits are – so that you know how best to reach them. For many legal firms, especially those offering B2B services, this isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. Some of the channels you might want to consider may include:

Online

    1. Trade websites or media
    2. Forums or Facebook groups
    3. Other social media channels

Offline

      1. Exhibitions or trade shows/events
      2. Networking events or sessions

Search marketing is as important as ever

Making sure that your brand is prominent when potential clients search for your areas of expertise, the names of key individuals who work for you and for people looking specifically for your firm, is an essential part of making sure your company name is remembered. The vast majority of Google users will naturally perceive the top organic results to be leaders in their field.

The bad news is that there aren’t any short cuts to effective legal SEO and it’s a highly competitive market. An experienced legal digital marketing agency can help you stand out from your competitors and show potential clients why you are different.

Use targeted but memorable ads

Most law firm advertising strategies are designed simply to shout about all the amazing things a particular law firm can do, but instead of desperately trying to convince your audience that they should be choosing you, why not use your adverts to create memorable messaging instead? Think about whether your adverts are unique to your law firm, do they stand out? Do they explain how your law firm delivers on its brand promises in a compelling fashion?

Frequency and reach are important considerations, along with remarketing to those who have previously visited your website. This reminds your audience of your brand and reinforces the values of your firm and the things that make you stand out.

When used properly, PPC can be a fantastic tool for increasing brand awareness and whether your law firm is just starting out or is well-established but is looking to increase their audience, we would recommend paid search and paid social ads to be a part of your brand awareness strategy. With platforms such as Facebook literally housing millions of accounts, Facebook ads are well-worth considering when it comes to brand awareness through advertising. There are many different ways to use the platform to reach your target audience (age, gender, page likes, behaviour etc) and you can also use their branding options to generate that stand-out compelling ad mentioned above. From single images to carousels and slideshows, you can really use these ads to make sure that your potential new clients are aware of your brand and that your message sticks.

law firm brand awareness 1Image shows some of the targeting options offered by Facebook. 

According to Sprout Social, their 2019 index found that 44% of consumers have reported an increase in their personal social media usage, showing the importance of a strong social presence for increased brand awareness. The American Bar Association also found that 35% of lawyers that use social media professionally have been able to gain new clients as a result in the US. law firm brand awareness 2

Chart shows what percentage of respondents in the previously cited Attorney at Work survey use social media and what for.

Another benefit of using social media advertising to increase your brand awareness is in generating social shares. On Facebook, payment is only required when someone from your target audience engages with your ad – if they click through to your website, then you will have to pay for that click. However, if they share your ad and it reaches thousands more, you won’t have to pay for these additional views – which can be a powerful help in amplifying your brand message. In the same way, Instagram advertising is also a fantastic way to elevate your brand’s image – particularly if you’re looking to appeal to a younger, more heavily mobile audience (which may work for certain sectors in particular). Instagram ads can be a great option if you want to reach people beyond the Facebook network but still have the same strong targeting.

Display thought leadership on subjects that matter to your clients

Having a defined opinion on subjects that relate to your firm’s services can make you much more memorable to potential clients. Whether it’s new legislation coming out, things in the news or other current affairs, displaying thought leadership can be really valuable. Communicate this over all your channels, which may include:

      1. Your firm’s website blog
      2. Your social media channels
      3. PR – if not a full release then can you push out expert comment/quotes to media who are creating content on the subject
      4. Guest editorial articles in industry titles

Don’t constantly blast the sales message

Once you have established some good advertisements to really drive awareness towards your brand – the hard work starts. How are you now going to interact with your community? Is your activity on social media engaging your customers and showing them exactly what you claim to make your firm unique? Are you interacting and engaging with your target audience regularly? This could be anything from sharing company milestones to celebrating company wins and staff anniversaries. Engaging with your audience gives your brand an element of vital humanity – because it’s all very well grabbing the attention of your audience, but are you going to hold onto it?

Repetition (within reason) is key

Whilst creating compelling advertisements is a must, consistency is also key to driving brand awareness for your law firm. In order to build brand awareness, you need to stick in the minds of your potential customers - and repetition is how you do this. Don’t forget, advertising and creating a memorable brand takes time, but stick at it, and the results will speak for themselves. Don’t repeat things so often that you’re annoying though – find the right balance to see the best impact.

Remember, you can’t measure everything

Yes, sales figures are a lot easier to put a measurement against than just ‘brand awareness’ which can often come across as a bit vague. A brand awareness strategy may involve advertising, surveys, videos, newsletters, social outreach, video creation, newsletters and other creative campaigns, so surely you should be able to put a measurement against that? Not always! According to Charles Gaudet from predictable profits, solid marketing strategies only contain 80% of measurable activities (CTAs that are trackable and scalable) and the unmeasurable 20% comes as a result of brand awareness marketing (things that help to form relationships with your target audience and just generally strengthen your brand over time). Of course, measuring your marketing activity does contribute to success, but it’s knowing what can and can’t be measured. Whilst it is difficult to measure ‘brand awareness’ there are a few things that can be accounted for that may have occurred as a direct result, and these include: studying a growth in direct traffic, studying a growth in referral traffic and measuring engagement on your social media activities (post insights etc).

You can also carry out regular surveys amongst your target market to help measure brand recognition and any recall for specific messaging that you have put out.

Investing in your brand building right now will translate to significant gains further down the line. With affordable online visibility platforms that are effective at allowing your company to be seen and heard, at your fingertips, increasing your brand awareness is just a few clicks away.

Find out more about increasing brand awareness for your law firm

At Hitsearch, we’re a digital marketing agency that don’t believe in one-size-fits-all when it comes to strategy. Whether we’re doing SEO for solicitors, paid media or PR activity for law firms, all of our strategies and creative ideas are tailored to individual clients and their target market.

If you want to find out more about our law firm marketing services, we offer a free 15-minute consultation with one of our legal marketing experts. In this short session, we can offer bespoke insights on how you can better meet your marketing objectives and scale up your quality lead generation and ROI.

Call us on 0800 011 9715 to find out why we’re regarded as a leading marketing agency for the legal sector.

 

If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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