Law has traditionally been a relationship based business, which means most firms rely heavily on referrals to get clients. Referrals are great, but they’re also unpredictable, and it’s hard to build a business on an unpredictable marketing channel. To really grow your firm, you will most likely need to implement some additional marketing strategies. But where do you begin? Should you send direct mailers? Buy clicks on Google? Advertise on the radio? Put up a billboard? Do SEO on your website? It’s tough to navigate all the possibilities and know which marketing method is best for you. In this post, we’ll explain 4 reasons why marketing a law firm online can be much more effective than offline to help you narrow down your options and pick the best marketing strategy for your firm.
1. Reach More Prospects
If you have read our post about the law firm marketing funnel, you know that the goal of marketing is to reach as many eyeballs as possible, and then convert those eyeballs into leads when they are captured into your system for qualification, selling, and client intake.
When it comes to reaching the most eyeballs (i.e. the top of the marketing funnel), online marketing tends to be much more effective than offline.
Offline marketing channels are limited by things like the size of your network (in the case of referrals), or your precise location (in the case of physical ads). But with online marketing you can theoretically reach anyone on the internet, regardless of where they’re located or whether you have had any interactions with them in the past.
This can open up a whole new world of potential clients who otherwise may never encounter your law firm.
2. Attract Better Clients
Regardless of what kind of law you practice, you’ve undoubtedly dealt with a few problem clients. For your own sanity, as well as the continued success of your law practice, it’s a good idea to screen out clients who are not a good fit as early on in the process as possible. Ideally, before you’ve even spent time interacting with them.
What does this have to do with online marketing? Well, generally speaking, clients who find your law firm online are likely to be a bit more tech-savvy compared to those who see your face on a billboard or a bus stop.
Tech-savviness is a good quality for a potential client to have because technology can streamlines critical processes, such as filling out intake forms, signing documents, and paying bills. Technology is also key in facilitating communication. All of these things will lead to a more seamless and satisfactory lawyer-client relationship.
On the other hand, less sophisticated clients who are not tech-savvy may prove to be harder to work with, be less responsive, or take longer to complete important steps such as signing fee agreements and paying their bills.
By marketing a law firm online, rather than offline, you should be able to attract a more sophisticated and tech-savvy group of prospective clients who will make your life easier and have greater appreciation for your work.
3. Precision Targeting
Both Facebook and Google have developed incredibly powerful, data-driven advertising platforms to enable advertisers to measure buyer intent and precisely target groups of people with relevant marketing messages at the perfect time.
If someone is driving down the freeway and sees your billboard on the side of the road, what is the likelihood that they recently were injured in a construction accident and would be looking to sue the party at fault? Probably not very good, as you can imagine. And even if they were in an accident, what are the odds that they also notice the billboard and have time to take down your number to call you before they drive by?
Compare that to a situation where someone types into Google the exact words “construction accident lawyer Los Angeles.” Now you know with almost 100% certainty that this person is actively looking for a lawyer who focuses on construction accidents in Los Angeles.
Showing an ad to this person would be an excellent idea. And the great thing about Google PPC ads is that you can advertise to that person at that exact moment. That is what we call precision targeting.
Facebook also provides some incredible targeting capabilities. For example, if you’re an estate planning attorney, you could target people aged 35-45 who live in your town, have children, and work at a high paying job. You could show them an ad containing a downloadable guide to wealth preservation.
You should also check out our guide on Facebook retargeting ads for more information about the power of targeted online advertising.
4. Better Attribution and Reporting
The number one reason why online marketing is so much better than offline is the data attribution and reporting capabilities that it provides.
Consider how difficult it would be to gather any data when you advertise on a billboard. At best, you might be able to estimate how many cars drive by per day, or potentially how many calls you received if you set up a custom phone number that is trackable. But you don’t know how many people saw the ad or what percentage of people called you in response. It’s difficult to measure the ads overall effectiveness.
With online advertising, you get a wealth of valuable data to help you analyze each step of the marketing funnel. How many impressions did your ad receive? What percentage of the people who saw it actually clicked it? Of the clicks, how many people went on to view the “contact us” page on your website? And finally, how many of those people filled out the contact form and became an actual lead?
Online advertising can answer all of these questions and more with relative ease. These data points are critical when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of an ad campaign, and ultimately calculating key performance indicators such as your ROI.
The world of marketing is vast, and it can be difficult to wrap your head around in the midst of running a law practice. But, if you are looking to grow your firm, some form of marketing is a necessity.
Marketing a law firm online offers many benefits over more traditional, offline marketing methods, such as the ability to increase your reach, attract more tech-savvy clientele, and deliver ads to highly targeted prospects that are in need of your services.
But above all, online marketing is the best option because of data. When you make data driven marketing decisions, you can invest into marketing with confidence, knowing that you’ll recoup your advertising budget and more.