Should Your Law Firm Create a Digital Marketing Plan?
The short answer? Yes, your law firm should absolutely create a digital marketing plan. Think of your marketing plan as a way to get to your overall business goals. Your goals are the treasure, and your marketing plan is the treasure map. Here are a few reasons having a plan will set you up for success:
1. It takes the guesswork out of your promotional activities
2. It lays the trackable groundwork for growing and scaling your law firm
3. It helps you ensure your marketing and sales teams are working towards the same bigger-picture goals
4. It allows you to track your marketing return on investment, which ensures you won’t waste money
5. It helps you set a marketing budget
6. It helps you target the right clients
Now that you have a few reasons why having a marketing plan is a gamechanger, let’s walk through how to craft a digital marketing plan that works for your law firm.
1. Make Sure You Know Your Brand
Knowing who you are and what your law firm is providing to your target clients is the first step. This should be a thoughtful step that you spend some time thinking about, as it’s the basis for your marketing plan (AKA your treasure map). If you’re stuck on where to start, hiring a digital marketing agency is advisable. An outside party can see attributes and obstacles that you can’t see because you’re so close to your business.
Branding isn’t just about your business cards, logo, and letterheads. It’s about distilling your overall mission, values, and differentiators into an understandable, clear, and compelling message. There are three questions to help you start crafting your law firm’s unique brand:
1. What – What services do you offer to your clients?
2. How – How are you different from your competition?
3. Why – The reason you are passionate and why you exist.
These questions make up The Golden Circle Model, developed by Simon Sinek. Simon explains a brand this way: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
To apply this exercise to the legal industry, think about what sets you apart from your competitors. What value do you bring, and what do you do better? What’s your niche? Are you a foreclosure attorney who offers a warm and friendly safe space to clients who are constantly being hounded for money and experiencing likely the most stressful scenario of their lives? Are you a family lawyer who helps stay-at-home mothers going through divorce or child custody battles? Should your clients count on you because you have a track record of success, advocating for your target audience?
Taking some time to think about the above questions and scenarios can help you better understand your niche, values and differentiators, thus better communicate your brand to your target audience.
2. Demonstrate Credibility and Authority in Your Practice Areas
To have a marketing plan that delivers results, you must incorporate passive and active strategies. Both help you build credibility and authority, which will ultimately bring in more clients. An example of passive marketing is a great website copy that outlines your expertise and services in a compelling way for your target audience. These are “passive” because they are there not to directly convert website visitors into clients but to facilitate the consumer journey on your site. Here are some ways to demonstrate that you’re the right attorney for your ideal clients:
1. Write content that educates your audience – This can be a blog (which we highly recommend), or it could be something like a case study that highlights your past cases and success in a specific practice area.
2. Display awards and certificates – Have you received awards that demonstrate your credibility and expertise in an area? Let your audience know by displaying them on your website because that’s the type of convincing they need in order to call your firm.
3. Client testimonials and reviews – This is another important element of building credibility. People love the online word of mouth, often seeking it out before they make the decision to contact a firm. Having great reviews on Google and relevant online legal directories, like FindLaw is a good idea.
3. Choose Your Practice Areas
Include all practice areas you service on your website and break it down for your clients. Remember in law school when you likely had no idea all of the endless areas of law that you know about now existed? Your clients don’t know either.
If you practice employment law, don’t just stop at developing a “labor law” landing page. Break it down as far as you can, so your clients 100% know you can help them. Some examples of how to break down employment law in your digital marketing plan or on your website are creating content for government employees, independent contractors, overtime pay and other owed wages, discrimination, and harassment, wrongful termination, worker’s compensation, whistleblowers, and retaliation, family medical and leave act, etc. If this sounds like a lot of content to write, don’t worry. You can hire a digital marketing agency, like Oamii, to help you develop the content and strategy behind it.
Another thing to consider when developing your marketing plan is understanding in your business which practice areas you want to focus on more– which ones are more profitable for you? Once you figure this out, ramp up the marketing in that area.
4. Choose Your Digital Marketing Tactics
Now that you have a working understanding of your brand and overall strategy, it’s time to choose your digital marketing tactics. This is how you will communicate your brand and strategy to your potential clients on various platforms. Here are a few channels to promote your firm online:
1. Search engine optimization (SEO) – If you take our advice and work on your website, blog, and case study content, remember to write it with SEO in mind. Research the keywords your clients are searching for and implement all necessary elements on your website to tell the search engines when to show your website. If you want to know more about this tactic, check out our SEO blog post here.
2. PPC/Online ads – If you have dedicated practice area landing pages, this tactic will help to get them out to your clients via targeted ads. If your SEO isn’t great yet, PPC is also a good way to help you show up in the search results.
3. Digital directories – There are multiple legal directories online today. Many potential clients use these platforms to find attorneys, so it can be a good strategy to add to your digital marketing plan. However, before you pay for a directory (some are paid, some are not), ensure that you consult a digital marketing agency. Some directories are not worth paying for.
4. Social media – Social media is a must these days for businesses. Most of the world is on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media helps your potential clients to find you, and it allows you to join the conversations and communities they are a part of online.
Let Us Help You Develop a Marketing Plan Tailored to Your Firm
There are many marketing avenues available today. Choosing the right strategy for your goals is key. If you’re not sure where to start and lack the extra time, give Oamii a call! We look forward to developing and implementing a marketing strategy (treasure map) that drives results for your law firm. Stop wasting time and dollars on marketing that doesn’t work, and set up a consultation with our digital marketing agency today. Please fill out our online contact form, or call us at 561-228-4111.