We are already about halfway through 2018, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to hop on the latest marketing trends. In fact, to stay ahead of your competition, you should constantly be keeping up with the latest and greatest in marketing. Whether it’s trying out a new strategy, optimizing your existing campaigns, or improving your analytics, just about every law firm can benefit from understanding the latest marketing trends. In this post, we review 5 hot law firm marketing trends in 2018 to get you up to speed.
1. Going Hyperlocal
“Local marketing” has been a buzzword for several years, but in 2018 it’s still as important as ever. With our ever-increasing usage of smartphones, location based apps and services continue to proliferate.
Mobile devices unlock a whole new world of possibilities for marketers. With a simple tap of a button, or better yet, a voice command to “Siri,” we can instantly search the web. find local services, get information, and read customer reviews from anywhere.
The latest trend is focusing on “hyperlocal marketing,” where businesses seek to appear in searches within a radius as small as a few streets or blocks. Hyperlocal is a direct response to Google noticing sharp increase in the number of “near me” type searches taking place from smartphones in major metro areas.
Hyperlocal may not be effective for a firm in a rural area, or a firm with long-term corporate clients, but nonetheless it’s important to understand just how location-oriented the marketing world has become.
Every marketing activity, website, social media profile, etc. that you create should have a focus on location. And you should even consider narrowing your focus to specific neighborhoods. For instance, having multiple SEO optimized website pages each targeting specific parts of your city could be a good place to start.
See our guide to local SEO for more tips about how to optimize your website for location-based searches.
2. Improved Data Collection & Analytics
Data used to be a tool reserved for major corporations and high-growth tech companies. But these days, with the rise of affordable cloud software, even small businesses are beginning to leverage their data to gain key insights and improve their growth strategies.
Data can tell you things about your business which otherwise wouldn’t be readily apparent.
For instance, you might not intuitively know which referral partner sent you the most revenue last month. And you almost certainly wouldn’t know how many of the leads that came through your website ended up becoming clients.
By simply using software to manage your business processes, this type of data can easily be entered into a database, and then used for reporting and analytics purposes.
As the legal industry continues its technology driven transformation, data will be the key to build a thriving practice. Now is a good time to review your data collection and usage practices, start tracking your KPIs, and find ways to get more value out of the data you collect.
3. Segmented Marketing Messages
As we have written about before, the key to effective marketing is developing messaging that resonates with your target audience.
At most law firms and other small businesses, the target audience can be somewhat broad. This presents challenges when crafting your marketing messages, which is why the latest trend is toward more and more granular segmentation.
What does segmentation mean? It means dividing up your marketing assets and tailoring them precisely to a specific subgroup within your overall target audience.
For example, if you serve Spanish and English speaking clients, you might have different websites in different languages. If you provide family law and estate planning services, you might divide up your email lists and send separate newsletters to each group of clients.
The idea is to very clearly define your ideal client personas and then craft your marketing to resonate with each different persona as well as possible.
4. Livestream Video Marketing
You may have noticed how just about every big social media platform now allows you to stream live video footage to all of your followers and fans. There’s Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, Twitch, and so on.
While some people might feel uncomfortable streaming themselves live, this form of social media is slowly starting to catch on as a marketing trend for business owners and marketers.
The reason why is because live video is a very engaging format. Unlike a pre-recorded video which can be played back any time, a livestream happens once and then it’s over, creating a strong sense of urgency for people to tune in.
The major social media platforms may also give you some boosted exposure when you start a livestream by automatically notifying all your fans or followers.
So how might you apply this to your law firm?
One idea could be to host a live FAQ session where you provide answers to people’s legal questions in real time. This could be an excellent way to provide some value to your prospects and build their trust, and best of all it’s totally free.
5. Focusing on Customer Experience
It might not seem like the “customer experience” is part of marketing. After all, by the time they become a customer, the marketing is over right?
Well, not exactly. Marketing certainly plays a huge role in acquiring new business, but that doesn’t mean it has to stop when you land a new client.
Today’s leading companies understand that marketing spans the entire client lifecycle. You must constantly market yourself to your prospective, existing, and even your past clients. And one of the best ways of doing so is by focusing on the customer experience.
Delivering a customer experience that really stands out from the crowd can do wonders for your business. It will lead to more referrals. It will help you get 5-star reviews online. And above all, it will help you build a brand for your law practice.
All of these things will help contribute to your law firm marketing and drive sustainable growth for your business.
Check out our guide on the importance of good law firm customer service for more.