McClatchy Nov 30, 2022 12:01:00 PM

Getting Started with a Legal Marketing Plan

launching-marketing-strategy-for-legal-firms

Did you know that more than a third of potential clients search online for a lawyer? Or that 96% of people search online for legal advice? As this research suggests, having a legal digital marketing presence is no longer merely a benefit in the legal industry — it's a requirement to grow your client base and attract new leads. 

With a great legal marketing plan, studies show a strong online presence can benefit you in several ways by helping you:  

  • Grow 15-50% more than firms without an online presence 
  • Get seen by 76% of clients who check websites half the time and 22% who check every time before making contact 

To get started, here are our top tips for leveling up your legal brand marketing with a plan that generates results.

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Launching Your Legal Marketing Plan

The hardest part of any new endeavor is starting it. Here are our top tips for getting started with a legal marketing plan to get you ahead of the game and straight to reaping benefits.  

1. Know Your Audience  

Know your legal marketing audienceAll marketing begins with knowing your audience and strategically targeting them. You need to know who you want to reach so campaigns will revolve around your audience and pertain to their needs and interests. 

How can you achieve this? By informing the following with what you know about your ideal clients: 

  • How you talk to them  
  • Where you will find them  
  • What their pain points are (and how your expertise and experience can resolve them) 
  • Concerns to address and offer counterarguments for   

2. Build a Brand Story   

Brand building for law officesMany law firms have similar marketing, and they all sound the same. In an industry stigmatized by distrust and a bad reputation — reasons, Nat Law Review reports, contribute to 77% of their respondents not seeking a lawyer despite their legal issues — yours needs to stand out. 

So, what is a brand story, and why is it important?  

The overall narrative of your brand (that's you or your firm!) evokes emotional reactions. These will consist of defining what makes your firm unique and memorable —your Unique Selling Proposition — and building an original brand story around it to stand out from the crowd. It should be a specific, defensible trait that differentiates your law firm and also something your clients (and you and your partners) care about and support. Your story could be your cause, reason for becoming a lawyer, or other motivating factors as long as it resonates with customers and places an emotional purpose behind your firm. 

3. Establish Authority and Credibility

Establishing Authority with Legal MarketingAuthority and credibility are two of the biggest reasons to have an online presence, and it will require you to leverage the following in your legal marketing plan: 

  • Build a website — your design must look professional, be easy to navigate, and present a clear path to contact you 
  • Content marketing – develop quality content that drives traffic and educates prospects 
  • SEO – optimize for local SEO by writing for keywords and including internal links to make your site easy to find 
  • Social media — engage customers and provide social proof through reviews, testimonials, awards, and case studies 
  • Video marketing — launch promotional videos to present your expert insights, interviews, and educational material   

4. Leverage Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing for law officesAccording to the American Bar Association, a majority (80%) of law firms maintain a social media presence, with the most popular networks being LinkedIn (90%) and Facebook (39%). A third of those responses also reported retaining clients because of their social media presence. 

Many don't know that while LinkedIn and Facebook can certainly generate positive results, massively popular platforms like TikTok also connect clients with lawyers. Take, for instance, Breyer Law on TikTok, racking up more than 320,000 followers and going viral several times. This attention has brought their firm significantly more brand awareness, visibility, and trust. It has also made those followers (and likely others) feel more connected to them personally.  

TikTok is hitting it off so well for many lawyers and firms because video marketing can be a powerful tool. Fortunately, you can leverage this on LinkedIn and Facebook, as well! Create accounts on relevant social media platforms and begin creating content tailored to your audience (with appropriate use of hashtags!) to develop your presence.  

5. Try Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns for legal marketingEmail marketing delivers one of the highest ROIs in digital marketing! Studies suggest you can expect up to $36 or more back on every $1 you spend on email marketing. That is because it: 

  • Is an effective way to reach current clients and new prospects  
  • Establishes trust and credibility 
  • Can reach people at different stages of the funnel and encourage them to take the next step  

Start by curating a targeted email contact list and strategizing the content of your welcome email. Design your future emails to inform and entertain prospects by letting them know of relevant trends,  

6. Run Optimized Google Ads

Optimized Google Ads for Law OfficesDid you know that legal Google ads are ranked second for the highest conversion rates for Display (1.84% CVR) and Search (6.98% CVR)? You don't want to miss out on it! They drive qualified leads to your website/contact information while prospects actively search for your services. 

To get started, do the following: 

  • Define the search terms you should be targeting  
  • Create the right types of ads to target these keywords  
  • Create a professional landing page for each ad 
  • Constantly test and improve the ads and landing pages using A/B testing  

Having a great website is crucial to the success of Google Ads. The ad's purpose is to get people to click, whereas the site gets them to convert. Helpful and informative sites establish your credibility while helping your company grow. 

BONUS Tip: Reach out to McClatchy

Audrey Ehrhardt, founder, and CEO of Practice42, once said, "The key is, don't wait. Find a legal marketer who knows your practice area. Get out there and get the results you want." With McClatchy, that will happen! Our expert legal marketing team has vast experience and expertise in the legal industry, its audience, and the best practices for marketing to them.  

Reach out to our team to discuss your practice area and what it would look like to start a legal marketing plan with McClatchy. 

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