As the legal market moves online, many law companies are figuring out how to use digital solutions to market their businesses. Through online marketing, law firms are hoping to reach possible clients and get them to buy into their service offering. But many law firms are still struggling to strike the right balance in making online marketing work well for them. For legal businesses, digital marketing can be a lot to handle. But let's start by looking at some of the mistakes that law firms are making, so you can avoid them when creating your own strategic digital marketing plan.
1. Not identifying your perfect customer
One of the hardest things about legal marketing is not knowing who your dream client is. If you don't know who your best customer is, the time and money you spend on marketing is basically wasted. As with any marketing plan, your firm needs to think about the client you most want to reach. The best thing about today's digital channels is they can be targeted making it possible to reach the right people who need your particular services, at a specific time.
2. Not focussing on client-centred content
Regular, educational content creation is very difficult to curate. It needs to be accurate and strategically meet the pain points of your clients. If law firms don't show that they are the best in their field by giving clients useful information, they could lose out to the competition. This makes it essential to have legal and marketing experts writing the best and most useful content for your digital media channels. A good way to manage this process is to create a marketing team to gently steer your team and create strong legal content that covers every step of the client's journey.
3. Not paying attention to branding
Lawyers should not only focus on marketing themselves but on marketing their law firm’s brand. The more well-known a brand is, the more likely it is that present customers will tell their friends about it. Core to this is keeping your clients top of mind. Maintain stability in how you talk to your customers, whether it's about getting good work done on time or giving great customer service. Ensure that your positioning is strategic, consistent and accurate and cleverly shows how your company solves specific kinds of problems and not just general ones. All this information should be strategically spoken about online, in order to underpin your brand’s image and build a strong brand awareness.
4. Your site is old or outdated
Modern companies need more than just a website to keep up with the competition in today's digital world. Potential clients will judge how serious your marketing and communication efforts are based on how busy you are online. If your website looks like it's been abandoned or hasn't been updated in a long time, it sends a poor message to current and potential clients that you might not be a trustworthy business. A website that is slow doesn't respond to clicks, is hard to navigate, and isn't made for mobile devices gives the idea that you aren't keeping up with maintenance. It also makes people wonder if your site (and service) is safe. Remember that all types of businesses can benefit from having a trustworthy online profile. Think of your website as a virtual office for your law business. You want to bring in possible customers by giving them good experiences and useful information that answers their questions. To do that, you need a website that is well-maintained and up-to-date.
5. You don't look at social media
Today, a business can lose a lot of money if it doesn't use social media marketing. Even non-technical fields like law aren't an exception. People can't imagine their lives without social media. It's where they share and get news, have fun, shop, and even make money. Because of this, one of the worst things your law company can do is not use any platform. Another mistake is thinking that Facebook is the only way a business can use social media. The best thing about using social media for marketing is that there are so many sites to choose from, so there is one for every business type. For example, if you want to reach a more professional audience, you might want to start a LinkedIn page. Remember to keep your ideal client in mind and make sure you are engaging with them on the platforms they frequent.
6. You don't ask for reviews from the public
Referrals are still an important part of how law firms do business. Before, people would tell their friends about a business. Now, you can find them in reviews and comments on the Internet. User-generated content (UGC) includes things like recommendations and comments from people who use the Internet. UGCs help a company look more trustworthy because they come from real users. No team in the company is in charge of selling UGCs or has anything to do with them. Instead, they come from real experiences that have been turned into content and shared on multiple channels. After using a product or service, a lot of people write reviews about it online. Most of them don't, though. So, you should always ask your satisfied customers to leave a comment on your pages or on their own sites. You can put some of the good ones on your website as social proof to help improve the overall online picture of your brand.
The bottom line
Digital marketing is essential for law firms. It is a primary source of marketing and often the first port of call when clients are shopping around for legal representation. Because lawyers aren't typically ‘techy’, they are not savvy when it comes to online activity. But this leaves a lot of opportunity for the competition to sneak in and steal potential competition. So it is essential that law firms avoid these six common mistakes when it comes to their digital marketing plans, and pay careful attention to growing their online presence in these important ways.