Law Firms Need to Diversify Their Online Marketing Strategy
By now, you’ve probably gotten the message loud and clear. If your firm wants to reach today’s legal consumers, it needs to have a robust online presence.
A well-crafted website is essential. But that’s only one aspect of an online marketing strategy. Online marketing requires a diversified approach, reaching across several elements. And unlike traditional offline marketing, most of these elements can be leveraged without a lot of expense. What’s more, you’re probably already familiar with them.
But are you making use of more than one or two? What makes an online strategy effective is the interconnection between the various tactics:
- Search engine optimization (SEO). There are numerous strategies for making sure that your firm shows up in a legal consumer’s online search. Many of these techniques involve the way a site is coded, or the searchable keywords they incorporate. But many others depend on elements outside your site—elements that can drive traffic and increase your visibility with search engines.
- Social media. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn: You probably have a presence on at least one. There are numerous other platforms, but for most attorneys, what we’ve called “Social Media Classic” offers the best platforms for spreading the word. Regular (meaning recurring, not ordinary) posts containing useful information for your followers—particularly information related to your specialty—can help establish you as a source of legal expertise that’s credible and accessible.
- Creating content. The act of writing blog posts, white papers and articles provides more ways to establish that credibility and expertise in your practice’s specialty. They can also help boost your SEO when they’re done right.
- Paid social advertising. As we discussed recently, social media advertising doesn’t operate the same way that billboards, print advertising, broadcast commercials and Yellow Pages ads do. Whether sponsored or not, social posts don’t show up for every user of a given platform. But whereas broad exposure is the name of the game for billboards, social media advertising can be targeted to the precise audience you want to reach.
It doesn’t stop there.
On social media alone, there will likely be new platforms and methods for positioning your law firm. You might not be likely to reach potential clients via Instagram or Pinterest today, but it’s certainly possible that these platforms will be where future legal consumers will be found. Meanwhile, Google, Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media platforms are continually updating and making changes to their offerings and their algorithms. These changes may make it easier for your law firm to position itself or they may turn off a source of leads almost instantly. The point is, whatever online marketing choices you make, you must diversify your efforts. Consumer trends morph, technology evolves and algorithms face revisions. With many elements conspiring to determine your law firm’s visibility online, it’s foolhardy to build your business on any one approach.
Don’t just diversify. Unify.
While you’re diversifying your strategy, don’t forget to be consistent in your brand presence. Be sure to have a consistent look across all of your marketing platforms, online and offline. Obviously, your nameplate, slogan and mission should be identical; it also can be helpful to use, say, a consistent color palette across all of the visual elements in your campaign.
Not that everything with your firm’s name should be exactly identical, of course. Because of the format, an online ad will need to look a bit different from, say, a billboard. And your blogs and social media posts will be distinctive. But you do want your firm’s look and message to be consistent enough to stick in the legal consumer’s mind. Likewise, your online footprint must be consistent if you’re going to benefit from all this diversification.
Remember, in marketing, everything is connected. That’s particularly true with online marketing. You can think of your website as a main gear. But that gear won’t move unless there are other gears interlocking with it. Those other gears might be a blog, social media, SEO efforts or paid advertising. When they work together, they can drive the engine of your firm’s business growth. Purposefully adding more gears—and maintaining their operation—further expands your range of options and increases your firm’s chances of success in online marketing.