Every law firm must bring in new clients, no matter in which area of the law they operate. The problem is figuring out how to get new clients – the solution consists of one of two options:
- Word of mouth
- Using a complete advertising and marketing strategy
Since each attorney and law firm is as different as the industry in which the lawyer practices law, putting together a legal marketing strategy is key, and dependent on two things. These are the area of law in which the firm practices, and the knowledge of the marketer handling the strategy. These factors can change with each law firm, but the one thing that doesn’t is that each legal marketing campaign requires a marketer who brings a higher level of sophistication to the table to match that of the firm.
Success Depends on Off and Online Strategy
The most successful law firms employ lawyers who can provide their clients service that goes beyond what the client and the criminal justice system might expect. Each strategy must account for the firms’ reputation and brand while catering to the specific clientele the firm serves.
An experienced Internet marketing firm understands its first job is to evaluate and research both the law firm and the firms’ clientele to determine the target audience. Then the Internet marketer must use the research to tailor a campaign that makes best use of the law firm’s unique brand and reputation while determining how to best serve potential clients.
Traditional offline advertising and marketing strategies include such channels as newspaper and classifieds advertising, magazine advertising, billboards, and television. The number of people to whom marketers target their advertising is typically limited to the strict local area in which the marketers place the advertising.
On the other hand, internet marketers utilize a combination of strategies that include SEO, SEM, and SMM, among others. The number of people to whom Internet marketers target advertising is limited only to the number of people online. According to a U.S. Census Bureau report from May 2013, the number of people online in 2011 is just over 71 percent of the U.S. population, and that number is climbing each year.
Targeting your Audience
While the audience Internet marketers can reach is much wider than that of traditional marketers, because of the prevalence of other businesses advertising online, the chances are extremely small that the right portion of those 71 million people will actually see the advertising, let alone respond to it favorably and initiate contact.
Internet marketers have developed an entire industry that revolves around law firms in order to cater to the specific requirements that the legal industry invokes. The legal marketing subset uses many of the same techniques that any other marketing strategy does, but those used in the legal industry are tailored specifically to serve the law firm and the area of law in which the firm practices.
Product liability law firms are in business for a reason. Medical liability lawsuits are a reality in today’s privatized healthcare system. Just take a look at the number of mesothelioma lawyers looking to recover damages for plaintiffs exposed to asbestos. The corporations on the other end of these lawsuits will need a variety of marketing strategies, including SEO and reputation management, in order to combat the negative press from court proceedings that can drag on for years.
Some of these techniques include:
Lawyer websites: Websites tailored to specific law areas with areas to display credentials, education, and testimonials, among other things.
Social media for lawyers: Social networks created specifically for lawyers and potential clients allow both to communicate by asking and answering questions, lawyers publishing expert articles, and being verified by the sites.
SEO and SEM: While the principle of SEO and SEM won’t change for law firms, the way the SEO and SEM strategies are put together will change depending on the firm, offering a more targeted advertising campaign both locally and nationally
Brand reputation and management: A client oftentimes bases his or her decision to hire a lawyer based on that lawyer’s reputation or that of the firm. A single negative client review or a single reprimand from the local Bar Association can deter clients from hiring a firm. Internet marketers who specialize in brand management for lawyers have to deal with the bar Association and other legal areas in order to help lessen the impact of the negative marks.
This is a crucial step in brand management and the overall legal marketing strategy.
Because lawyers provide a uniquely complex service, the marketing strategies used to advertise law firms must be equally complex. This is why the most important step a law firm or lawyer can take to advance his or her business is to hire an Internet marketing firm experienced in legal marketing strategies.
Doing so is the best way to ensure the right people see and respond to the advertising, not to mention the only way to ensure the right people complete the goal – becoming clients and spending money with the firm.