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Susie Hood

Legal Marketing Services: Grow Audiences & Increase Leads in 2021

Legal marketing has changed significantly over the past few years and this accelerated even more during 2020. Digital marketing has been growing for some time as the leading channel for professional services and necessity has driven this to the extreme recently. COVID-19 has meant that exhibitions, networking and in-person events are simply not an option and print distribution has been majorly disrupted by readers working from home. Digital channels are there to fill that void, but can only be effective if law firms embrace digital transformation fully to attract new clients and extend their reach in different ways.

Digital Legal Marketing Services

There are a LOT of options when it comes to online marketing for law firms, presenting a great opportunity for those who are prepared to try things they might not have done before. The great thing about digital marketing strategies is that tactics are often complementary, and the channels can all work together to achieve the eventual goal. A new client might only get in touch with your law firm after coming into contact with your brand across multiple channels in different locations and on different devices. Understanding this user journey and how to best meet the needs of your potential clients online is a key foundation of any effective strategy.

At Hitsearch, we’ve been assisting lawyers with their digital marketing efforts for 15 years and we’ve identified eight killer tactics that work together to increase brand awareness, attract a bigger audience and grow leads from digital marketing activity.

1.    Content marketing in the legal sector

Great content is crucial to be seen in a digital world and needs to be positioned strategically across your website, social media accounts, any press communications and any other outbound marketing tactics, like email newsletters.

Everyone is a publisher in 2021! It gives your law firm the opportunity to reach thousands of potential new clients through your owned media. In order to be successful, however, you need to approach your content with the rigour and attention to detail of a professional publisher or broadcaster.

This means planning your content weeks (if not months) in advance and timing the release across digital channels for maximum effectiveness. It’s also vital to ensure consistent messaging across everything you do, with a consistent tone of voice and branding. This helps ensure that all of your content is working together for the same goals.

2.    Search engine optimisations for law firms

We found more than half a million Google searches related to information about legal firms in the UK are carried out every month. Around 80% of these relevant searchers will click on organic results and it’s essential that law firms make a long-term commitment to SEO in order to have a place at the table.

This means evaluating your website technically, producing great content that is optimised to attract the right people, improving user experience and displaying positive trust signals. These elements combine to help you stand out in what is a very competitive marketplace and require a blend of technical knowledge, excellent content producers, the ability to analyse and find insights in data and the understanding to evolve your strategy as you go.

Results don’t happen overnight with SEO. It absolutely takes a long-term commitment to succeed and needs to be carried out alongside activity across your other channels for maximum impact over time. Any solid SEO strategy should focus on your visibility in a number of different areas because there are different types of searches for law firms. See our post on effective marketing for solicitors for more information on the below types of searches.

  1. Brand searches – people searching for your law firm by name
  2. Geographical searches - people looking for legal services near them
  3. Specialism searches – people looking for specific legal services
  4. Question searches – people looking for answers to their legal questions
  5. Recruitment searches – people looking for a job in a law firm

3.    Social media for law firms

Social media use, whether you’re a law firm that deals with B2B or B2C clients, is crucial. Professionals are usually on LinkedIn, and the other social media platforms will usually reach a significant portion of any consumer base. It’s important to consider a number of things when formulating a social media strategy to fit into your wider law firm marketing strategy.

  1. Only publish content that aligns with your overall marketing aims and fits in with your other channel activity
  2. Create posts that encourage debate, start a dialogue or prompt engagement from readers. This will help to extend your organic reach on social platforms and also help users to see something of your brand ethos and personality
  3. Accompany posts with compelling imagery that will help them stand out – standard stock images are a last resort
  4. Identify and use hashtags that are already being used by other relevant users. Don’t try to start your own. This helps your content to reach ready-made audiences
  5. Comment thoughtfully on trending topics – this will help your brand to be seen as an active member of the online community and demonstrates thought leadership
  6. Monitor your accounts for engagement and get involved with the community conversations
  7. Include website links as your calls to action when possible and relevant. Directing people to your site to complete specific actions can help not only to move them down the conversion funnel but can also mean you can retarget them down the line.
  8. Ask relevant accounts to share your content – they can help you get into a whole new relevant audience
  9. Turn your employees into advocates by encouraging them to share and engage with your brand social media posts when appropriate. This can help maximise organic reach on platforms like LinkedIn.

4.   Pay Per Click advertising for law firms

If 80% of people making legal-related searches each month end up clicking on organic results, that still leaves 20% who click on paid ad results.

The click-through-rate from search ads can be high, as the various platforms make it quite difficult to tell the difference between paid and organic results, which can work in your favour if you ensure you carry out ongoing SEO activity alongside paid advertising.

With ads, you have control over the phrases used to trigger ads, the messaging used, the landing page and the budget, which can help you to attract a great chunk of traffic. A single click on an ad is unlikely to result in a qualified lead for your legal organisation, but it all plays a part in someone’s user journey towards becoming a client. It’s therefore essential that tracking is set up effectively to monitor clicks and segment people by what they do on your website and how they engage with it. This will enable remarketing and give you a better picture of channel attribution.

5.   Remarketing and retargeting for law firms

People very rarely convert on their first ever click to a legal website. It might take several visits and touchpoints across different digital platforms for them to make an enquiry and the process could take months overall. Remarketing and retargeting is a great tool to nudge potential new clients after they have visited your site.

You’ll need a solid tracking strategy in place so that you have the data you need on which pages an individual user has looked at and which goals or events have been triggered by them. This information will assist you in creating compelling display marketing campaigns that remind visitors of what they looked at on your website. You can use channels including Google and Facebook for this activity.

It’s a great way to help your law firm stay at front of mind for past website visitors and effective creative can help produce great engagement and enable meaningful conversations to occur. This can be a factor that helps you beat competitors to the lead.

6.   Digital PR in the legal sector

As well as seeing your brand in search results and on social media, your potential clients may well also be able to be reached via press activity that you carry out. This could be national press, regional press or trade media in the legal space. Featuring in these types of publications online can help your firm to be perceived as thought leaders and is great for increasing law firm brand awareness with your target market. It can help draw attention to a specialist area of law that you operate in, or boost the profile of a key partner or staff member.

Digital PR should always align with your SEO strategy to ensure that you’re getting maximum impact for the time and resource used. Links back from news and industry websites to yours carry search engine authority, and brand mentions can also have a positive impact by sending a signal that your firm is being talked about by authoritative sources. Effective digital PR relies on good relationships being built and maintained with journalists, editors, opinion formers and influencers in the legal sector.

7.   Lawyer marketing

Unlike many other industries, the legal sector is reliant on the profile of both the firm and the professionals that work there. Boosting the profile of the legal experts within the business can be a key part of the marketing approach, and many law firms find that their ‘people’ pages and profiles are some of the most visited areas of their websites. Showcasing expertise in specialist areas of law can make a huge difference to how you are perceived by your online audience.

Boosting the profiles of individuals is a tactic that can really help the law firm as a whole too, both with wider strategy and SEO for solicitors. On social media, they can publish their own take on the organisation’s content and industry news, helping to highlight their expertise and hopefully be amplified by other colleagues and others in their network too.

Giving key figures in your business their own profile page on your website can be a valuable asset, and helps put a face to a name when they give expert comments as part of digital PR or other brand building activity. This can also act as a good trust signal for those website visitors who value knowing a bit more about who they are speaking to before they make an enquiry in a specific area of law.

8.    Competitor Benchmarking

Digital marketing relies on making small marginal gains in order to get ahead of your competitors in the legal space. Tracking progress is possible if you use forensic measurement of performance and compare this to other law firms operating in the same specialisms as your business.

Monitoring key metrics on a monthly basis will help you identify long-term trends and highlight weaknesses in the competition that you can use for your firm’s benefit. It will also show any weak points in your own strategy and enable you to evolve your activity as you go to resolve these issues.

You can start to set up a benchmarking framework with these steps:

  1. Set up digital tools to measure on-site performance, social media, advertising results and channel attribution
  2. Determine your most effective conversion funnel for leads
  3. Measure phone calls that come from your digital marketing activity
  4. Measure competitor performance across metrics you can easily measure e.g. rankings, content published, reviews etc
  5. Monitor your own reviews, social media customer service touchpoints, email enquiries and of course, your website analytics to judge content performance and determine the content that drives the best leads consistently.

Legal marketing services to increase leads

A digital first approach needs to be thought about in a different way to traditional marketing advertising. It needs an ‘always-on’ mindset and both the internal marketing team and the wider business may need to be upskilled and educated about the benefits of this kind of strategy. They will all have a role to play in helping to amplify your marketing activity and content.

This is why we think that Hitsearch can help as your legal digital marketing partner of choice. We have 15 years of legal marketing expertise and have been evolving throughout that time to ensure we always stay on the front foot. Take a look at our case studies to see how we’ve helped other legal firms to achieve and exceed their business objectives.

We offer a free, no obligation 15-minute consultation with one of our legal marketing experts, who will use that time to offer valuable insights into your current strategy and highlight opportunities for growth. Call 0800 011 9715 to arrange your digital marketing agency consultation today.

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

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