If your law firm is looking to increase their marketing footprint it’s now more important than ever to ensure your marketing approach fits your law firms’ ambitions. In a market that has to contend with increasing regulation, pressure on fees and countless competition, it’s vital law firms target prospective clients demonstrating their expertise and building on brand awareness.
With just one online search, many law firms, offering what appears to be the same solution, will appear. How can you ensure your firm stands out from the crowd?
Get it right first time: make sure your online journey works on all types of devices and search engines; you’ll be surprised how many customers search online using smart phones. (Statistics from Ofcom state 66% of UK adults use smart phones to access the internet.) If your website isn’t compatible and can’t be read on these, you’re effectively closing the door on new work.
Distinguish your brand and values: first impressions are long lasting and while customers want value for money, they also want to deal with an organisation that’s professional, efficient, and has clear values. Brand perception is formed in a matter of seconds, so getting your website right before the online journey begins is key.
Be responsive: the internet is all about speed and customers searching for legal services want a quick response. I’m not saying that legal services should be distributed like a product through Amazon (the complexity of many legal issues won’t allow for such commoditisation). However, once the client has identified your law firm and taken the time to make contact, the immediacy of return contact is vital to reduce the risk of them looking elsewhere. Providing a responsive online journey will only enhance the perception of your brand.
Be Google’s number 1 with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): there is little point in an online journey designed for customers if they can never find you. As an online customer how often do you ever get to the fourth page in search engine results? I’d argue more often than not… never!
Therefore knowing your customers search terms and implementing these throughout your website is one of the most important aspects. This is really effective when applied with rich (good quality!) and well organised content on your website. Law firms applying these characteristics are better placed than those who don’t to achieve high search engine results.
Is Facebook just for fun? Having a clear social media strategy and understanding the channels your customers visit will enable you to target clients more effectively. It’s important to remember the content you want to promote may be different to what your customers want! By monitoring behaviour you’ll be able to build a better picture of the type of content that engages and converts your customers.
Innovate to populate: do something unique or provide your customers with a service which is unparalleled. If you do something that no one else is doing (and do it well) you will find new customers who might not have heard of you before. They are likely to come via one of the most underrated forms of marketing - word of mouth. So it’s also worth remembering that customers listen to each other, read reviews and look at social media reputation. Even in a digital age word of mouth is important.
A stand out law firm will have a well formed online and offline marketing strategy fully aligned to its business objectives. This will not be digital activity for the sake of it but a digital footprint that is fully integrated into the business – as the legal landscape changes so too does digital marketing - evolution is key.
Senior Marketing Officer – Richard Bennett