As a lawyer, you most likely excel in many aspects. From communication to analysis, there is a broad range of skills required to practice law successfully. One of the skills that you may not have had the chance to hone is marketing. More specifically, online marketing. I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to have to learn how to utilize PPC/Adwords & social media marketing to allow your law firm to thrive in this day and age.
Online advertising can be a daunting task if you allow it to be. We’ve got you covered with our all-in-one guide to help you utilize the wide advertising space, that is the internet, to grow your law firm. Check it out below.
Why Advertise Online?
You may be hesitant to take your marketing efforts to the internet. After all, traditional print advertisements have stood the test of time. While traditional ads will always have a place in the marketer’s toolbelt, you will be missing out on a huge demographic by choosing not to advertise online.
Online marketing has grown immensely over the years in terms of both overall usage and options available to marketers. If you’re still on the fence regarding making the jump to online marketing, have a look at the chart below.
The chart above represents the percentage of Americans who are internet users versus the percentage of Americans who are not internet users. If the trend continues, we expect the percentage to slowly but surely increase within the next few years.
Now, I hear you. You may argue that 100% of Americans have encountered print ads in their lifetime. That may be true. The physical nature of print ads inherently comes with limitations. With online ads, you can advertise to people across the country, if you wish to do so due to their digital nature.
Best Ways to Advertise Online
There are many ways of advertising online, with some methods more effective than others. For law firms, the most effective marketing methods you want to focus on are PPC campaigns via Google Ads (formerly Adwords) and social media.
What Is Google Ads?
Google Ads, formerly known as Adwords, is Google’s advertising system. If you’ve ever used Google search (most of us have), you may have come across a few search results that specify themselves to be advertisements. Ads such as these have been set up via Google Ads.
If you’ve ever seen an advertisement that seems to be extremely accurate in terms of its targeting, it was probably set up via Adwords. Google is, by far, the largest search engine out there. With that said, it also has the largest database of the interests and search results of millions of people. That’s how Google can get extremely relevant ads in front of just the right people.
The beauty of Google Ads is that it can work with almost any budget, thanks to its PPC structure. If you want to learn more about PPC, we’ll go in-depth in the next section.
What Is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s a pricing structure for buying online advertisements. The concept can be condensed into three simple steps:
- You bid on keywords and phrases which are relevant to the kind of traffic you wish to attract.
- Websites and related search results show your advertisement.
- You pay every time someone clicks your ad and visits the associated website.
Pay-per-click is a budget-friendly and cost-effective means of expanding your target audience within a limited amount of time. If set up incorrectly, pay-per-click expenses can quickly build-up, without much conversions to show for it. We’re going to show you how to approach PPC ad campaigns strategically. Would you like to have more customers walking through your (digital) door?
6 Steps to Set up Your First Ad Campaign
To get the best return-on-investment for the money you’re spending on your ad campaigns, you’ll need to set up your advertisements strategically. Simply put, there is more to advertising than just throwing money at companies to buy their advertising space.
1. Target the right regions.
With Google Ads, you can easily advertise in front of millions of people across the globe. What use would that be for a local law firm? If your law firm is based in the United States, you probably won’t want to spend money advertising to clients in, say, Chile. The laws are vastly different and that demographic is outside of your practicing jurisdiction.
If your law firm is larger, you can set up your ad campaign to target users within the entire United States. If you’re just starting with your private practice, you can easily adjust the targeting radius from Google Ads’ settings to target a specific city or county.
2. Focus on search intent.
Ask yourself why you are setting up this ad campaign. By answering this question, you can more accurately determine what kind of keywords you should utilize in your advertisements. What kind of customers are you trying to target? There are three main user search intents to keep in mind.
- Navigational. Perhaps users have searched for a specific brand or organization. These are often referred to as “branded searches.”
- Informational. In other cases, users may be looking for answers to a specific question they have in mind, regardless of who gives them the answer.
- Transactional. It’s highly common for users to perform Google searches with the intent of purchasing a product or service. These users have high transactional intent.
As a result, your ad copy and landing pages will depend greatly on the search intent of users you wish to funnel into doing business with you.
3. Write compelling ad copy.
Ad copy includes the titles, descriptions, and keywords you see in advertisements. It’s not enough that lots of people simply take a look at your advertisement. You want your advertisement to be compelling enough for users to take action and click on your link.
4. Utilize high-converting landing pages.
At this point, your compelling ad copy has finally led potential customers to land on your website. Like in most aspects of life, first impressions matter. Your landing page is the first page of your website your customers will see after clicking on an advertisement. It’s best that you immediately make it clear to them who you are and how you can help them.
The Benefits of Social Media For Law Firms
Effective advertisements do not have to cost you a dime. If you do not want to or simply cannot create advertisements via Google Ads’ PPC campaigns, you may be more comfortable getting your feet wet through social media marketing. We’ve listed down a few reasons why you may choose to take the social media marketing path.
- Create brand awareness. People are spending more time than ever on social media. We visit social media on our daily commute, at work, at home, etc. A strong social media presence enhances your credibility and legitimacy. If you think of your law firm as a business similar to Nike, Adidas, and Gucci, then you’ll have a better understanding of why building a strong social presence is essential.
- Engage your target audience. Social media such as Facebook and Instagram are powerful tools for more than just connecting with family and friends. People consume content and engage with brands on social media daily. Social media allows you to directly interact with prospective clients via direct messages, comments, etc.
- Establish thought leadership. Social media allows you to cement yourself as an expert in your field. By regularly posting content that brings value to potential clients, you establish credibility for yourself and win over the trust of clients.
Now that we’ve discussed how your law firm can benefit from establishing a social media presence, the only way to reap the benefits is to act. We’ve listed down some of the basics of leveraging social media platforms to win over more clients.
1. Get the basics right.
Before diving in and playing around with social media analytics, you need to master the basics of social media marketing. Here are some simple ways to get started:
- Choose an appropriate social media platform. By establishing a presence on every social media platform too quickly, you’re spreading yourself thin. It’s best to just focus on one or two social media platforms at first, and focus your efforts on building your presence there.
- Set realistic and measurable goals. Yes, social media can vastly increase your brand awareness and chatter regarding your firm. However, your social media page is unlikely to attract 10,000 new clients overnight. Be realistic and sensible with your goals.
- Develop a content strategy and calendar. Consider what kind of content your clients will find valuable and how often you plan to post.
2. Share original graphics with useful facts and stats.
Visuals play a critical role in social media marketing. Most social media users, myself included, are more likely to take more time on a post that includes some sort of graphic or image.
For starters, you can begin by sharing useful legal tips, industry updates, and statistics via charts and graphs. If you struggle with creative designs, consider using an easy-to-use design platform such as Canva.
3. Monitor conversations around your firm.
One of the primary uses of social media for law firms is “brand listening.” You can easily perform a quick search on social media to get a feel of the general sentiment regarding your firm.
You can identify both positive and negative conversations regarding your firm and utilize the feedback as points for improvement. If you believe a certain conversation requires intervention on your part via clarification, you can easily jump in on the conversation.
4. Create informative videos.
As mentioned earlier, people are more attracted to visuals, as compared to text-heavy content. Infographics can only convey so much information. If you want to take it a step further, consider shooting informative videos and sharing them on your social media platforms.
Videos not only make it easier to present information but also allow your audience to connect with you. Be sure to inject some personality into your videos to let your audience know how you differ from other law firms.
5. Share valuable blog posts and news updates.
Our last tip is to share valuable blog posts and news updates. Post consistently and share useful information. Not every blog post has to include a subtle pitch at the end. By regularly sharing information that people truly find valuable, they will more likely want to visit your social media page regularly.
As a result, in the legal industry, people don’t simply make decisions regarding who to hire solely based on how well-written your ad copy is. They need to know that you can fulfill whatever job they have for you. Establish credibility by giving out useful and free information for your social media followers.