Is It Worth Your Law Firm Investing In Paid Advertising?
Is there a place for paid advertising in a world where blogs, podcasts, and social media have the potential to generate a waiting list of high-paying clients?
In our earlier blogs, we discussed the importance of branding and marketing. Now we’re turning our focus to advertising. The way that people consume information has changed. They are far more involved and engaged in research, and they want to know more about you and what you do before they initiate an approach.
Without the right foresight, advertising online, on TV, radio, in newspapers, publications, or on billboards wastes your time and money. By the end of this article you will be able to gauge whether paid advertising is right for your law firm, and if it is, how to make it effective.
We’ve seen a shift in the way that clients want to be supported by the legal industry. They want to access documents online at a time that suits them. Advertising has also changed significantly. When Dave Zumpano, co-founder of Guidr, first began to pay for advertising, he bought the back cover of the phone book, which would be an insane tactic today. People want to see an online presence that they can trust is up to date.
However, there are now all sorts of new ways that people consume content. They might want to listen while they go to work or walk the dog, read on their iPad or their phone. Videos are increasing in popularity. If you don’t keep up, your firm will suffer.
Before you consider paying for advertising, think about what you could do that is powerful, and free.
- Implement a robust process for new business referrals (if you look after and inspire your team, they’re usually a great magnet!).
- Actively encourage your team to create and share valuable content. One of my previous businesses won a seven-figure contract based on a blog. It gets you noticed, and it helps prospective clients get to know, like, and trust you so they can gauge if you’re the right person or firm to meet their needs.
- Consider what else you could do to increase visibility. Could you host a regular free “lunch and learn” where you offer a mini presentation on a specific topic of interest to your clients? This creates another opportunity to blog, podcast, or create a vlog about the event.
7 ways to increase the impact of paid advertising
If you want to pay for advertising, our Head of Marketing, Lisa Roser, has the following recommendations:
- Make advertising part of your overall strategy.
- Put the right infrastructure in place.
- Identify your target audience.
- Set clear objectives and messaging.
- Decide on the best advertising medium.
- Track the results.
- Be proactive, not reactive.
1. Make advertising part of your overall strategy
Advertising can generate awareness, but if you coordinate it with other elements of content marketing (blogs, podcasts, books, vlogs, up-to-date social media), it’s even more impactful.
2. Put the right infrastructure in place
People love to consume information. When a prospective client sees or hears your advert, they’re likely to go online to find out more about you or your firm. Make sure your website is current and congruent with what they’ve just seen or heard. Do you have a big enough team in place to deal with new enquiries or to onboard clients?
3. Identify your target audience
Get clear on your ideal client. What problems are they facing? How can you help them? What do they need to hear from you? What do they need to see or hear to know you can assist them?
4. Set clear objectives and messaging
Based on the needs of your target audience, establish your ultimate goal through advertising. How many warm leads or customers would be a good return on your investment? And, remember that with the right infrastructure in place, new business could lead to additional referrals (which is why it’s useful for paid advertising to be part of your overall strategy).
5. Decide on the best advertising medium
Once clear on target audience and objectives, you can make an informed decision on whether to use TV, radio, print, billboards, or digital platforms. If you want to be noticed by the millennials, go digital, but if you want to appeal to the 55+ demographic, morning radio is a sweet spot!
6. Track the results
To avoid repeatedly wasting money on advertising, you need to measure new business that comes as a direct result of your campaign (whether that’s digital or in print etc).
7. Be proactive, not reactive
As mentioned in #1, advertising works best as part of your overall strategy and when it’s a well-thought-out campaign. Throwing money at advertising because your business is not performing well will not provide the right results. If your law firm is already losing business, you need to go back to basics and re-evaluate your infrastructure, your core message, and target audience. With those foundations in place, you can then build an overall strategy to attract clients and deliver a high level of service.
I hope you found Lisa’s tips insightful. You can successfully build a brand and business through content marketing, and bolt on paid advertising if that’s what is right for your firm.
At Guidr we are passionate about supporting law firms to do what they do best while maximizing the opportunity to attract new business. We’ve developed an online platform that shares legal documents and offers the expertise of local law firms. Our book, The Digitization of Law: How to Transform Technology Disruptions into Abounding Opportunity, shares a wealth of information to support you to keep up with the way the world is changing, and to make the right decision for your business and your clients.
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