At its core, marketing is about connecting with customers in the right place at the right time. In the age of the Internet, the right place is often online. This makes digital marketing crucial for law firms trying to grow. We get a lot of questions about what exactly digital marketing is. Here’s a quick breakdown of the who, what, why, when, and how of digital marketing for law firms.
What is Digital Marketing?
Sometimes referred to as online marketing, digital marketing refers to all marketing efforts that occur on the Internet. By using digital channels such as search engines, website content, email, and even other websites, law firms can connect with their current and future clients. Some people also think that inbound marketing and digital marketing are the same thing, but inbound marketing is actually a component of digital marketing. Simply put, digital marketing is about using online activity to meet your target audience where they are: online.
Why is digital marketing important?
These days, digital marketing isn’t a “nice to have” – it’s table stakes. Almost every brand these days has a website. Even if they don’t for some reason, they probably have a social media presence or even a paid advertising strategy.
Digital marketing and content is so common that today’s consumer expects it. In fact, they rely on various website content to learn about new services and decide which brands they want to work with. It is very difficult to compete in today’s legal landscape without a strong digital presence.
Some of the major benefits of digital marketing for law firms are:
- You can better target your audience and focus on those who are most likely to get your services.
- It tends to be more cost effective than outbound efforts, with more ways to measure ROI.
- Small brands can compete with big brands by using tactics that cost less.
- Tactics are highly measurable and it is easy to adapt and optimize the digital strategy.
- The quality of your leads will improve, and you can tie your digital efforts to your overall sales process.
- Marketers can interact with people at every stage of the funnel.
Who Should Try Digital Marketing?
The short answer to this question is: everyone. Many digital marketing tactics are inexpensive and free, so there are very few downsides. Plus, they’re easy to measure. This means you are more likely to get a good return on your investment and can adjust your tactics until you get the results you want. Moreover, many people search online for solutions to their problems. If you’re not detectable to them, you’re leaving a lot of opportunities on the table. The truth is, you’ll struggle to compete on any real level if you don’t engage in digital marketing.
When should you execute digital marketing?
There’s no bad time to start digital marketing. As soon as you have legal services to offer, you need to establish an online presence. Even if you only use free tools like social media and Google Analytics at first, do what you can to increase your web traffic and lead generation.
How does a law firm do digital marketing?
Now that you know exactly what digital marketing is, you probably want to know How? ‘Or’ What to do it. There is no perfect strategy for every business, but executing the following tactics is a good start:
1. Search Engine Optimization
The process of optimizing your website through on-page or off-page tactics in order to appear in search engine results. Multiple channels benefit from good SEO, including your website, blog, infographics, and more.
Related: SEO for eBook Law Firm Websites.
2. Content Marketing
The creation and promotion of content assets with the aim of generating brand awareness, website traffic and leads, and sharing expertise. Thought leadership such as blogs, white papers, e-books, or infographics are effective tactics for building trust and showcasing knowledge.
3. Social Media Marketing
Promoting your business and content through various social channels can increase web traffic and cultivate customer engagement. You can use a tool like HubSpot to connect channels and build a cohesive strategy.
For a more in-depth look at how to create a winning social media strategy, check out this free eBook: Advanced Social Media Strategies for Law Firms.
4. Pay Per Click (PPC)
With PPC advertising, you pay a publisher a fee every time someone clicks on an ad you host on their platform. PPC is common in search engines like Google, but you can also have them on social media like Twitter.
5. Native Advertising
Advertising that primarily promotes your business but is positioned as content and displayed alongside other content is called native advertising. An example would be an infomercial in an online legal journal.
6. Marketing Automation
Software solutions can help you segment your audience and then offer them various forms of marketing using if-then scenarios. Things like email sequences, social media posting schedules, lead nurturing workflows, and campaign tracking are all forms of marketing automation. (Check out this on-demand webinar on how law firms can use marketing automation for more information.)
7. Email Marketing
Email is an essential way to communicate with your audience. It is particularly useful for welcoming new customers, nurturing prospects and promoting events.
8. Online PR
Securing online coverage builds trust and credibility with your audience. Consider digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites where you would like your business to be featured. Tactics include outreach to journalists, encouraging online reviews of your business, and engaging with activity on your blog.
Check out this free webinar to learn how you can get your content noticed by the media.
9. Inbound Marketing
It is the practice of attracting, engaging and delighting your audience at every stage of their journey. Your goal is to get people to come to you, rather than stalking them. Inbound strategies can use a variety of digital channels, but the most popular are blogging, video marketing, and email marketing.
10. Sponsored Content
It’s when your business pays another brand or business to create and promote content that showcases your expertise or people in some way. Influencer marketing falls into this category, but simple blogging collaborations are another example.
Chances are you’re already reaching some of your customers online, even if you don’t think your business is actively doing digital marketing. You can probably think of a few areas where more attention could be beneficial.