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 focussed. It’s time to make people more aware of your what your law firm is all about, my increasing your brand awareness online. 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.
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.
With the goal for your law firm to get noticed and remain front of mind for potential new clients, we look at the tactics that you can use to increase brand awareness.
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 a win/win.
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?
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.
Image 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.
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.
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?
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.
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 your social media activities (post insights etc).
Investing in your branding 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. If you would like more information about the best tactics when it comes to increasing your law firm’s brand awareness, then please get in touch with the team at Hitsearch today.