The role of marketing within law firms has changed. In a world that has become increasingly digitized, the way our employees and customers experience us is wildly different than it was just two years ago.
For the firms that have adapted to this digital revolution, the marketing rule book has been re-written, and those that haven’t have found themselves left behind.
We are seeing more of a shift towards building communities, social selling and adopting a digital-first mentality. Maintaining a presence on social media is still vital, but as a part of your marketing mix.
So, where does that leave us in 2022 and beyond?
Below are some of the key findings that will help your law firm marketing this year.
The Digital 100 data
We have seen The Digital 100 firms becoming savvier about SEO and firms gaining record followers because of their presence on social media. Linked to this activity, we’ve also seen increased views in response to video marketing (more on that later).
But, there is work to be done! Some of our data revealed the following:
- Five of the top 100 don’t have a YouTube channel. A presence on the platform is a vital part of video marketing for Law Firms.
- Firms have taken their eyes off old social.
- The top 100 have yet to take full advantage of new social opportunities e.g. newsletters, audio and cover stories.
- A lot of firms have given up on organic reach in favour of paid only.
So, what can be done to make a difference in 2022?
There’s opportunity in old social
Some might say ‘Facebook is dead’. Well, we respectfully disagree.
Consider these two statements.
- Facebook ranks as the third most visited website in the world, even today.
- People are very proud of where they work and will often share content with their network.
Facebook is used differently across the world and you should be mindful of any cultural differences. But, let this also work to your advantage, what you disregard may land better elsewhere.
We recommend you look at the posts that perform well and experiment to see what happens when you tweak certain elements.
Organic vs paid
Many firms have given up on organic reach in favour of focusing on paid advertising. But, there are still many ways to benefit from organic reach.
Once you have created and published a fantastic piece of Evergreen content, you’re not done! This approach does take time, but ‘set and forget’ leaves money on the table.
Look at Hubspot, their content is constantly renewed, refreshed and refined. Content that was created in 2019 is refreshed in 2022 so you know what you are reading is fresh and relevant.
Effectively, if you don’t get your organic reach working for you properly, you will get taxed when you come to paying for reach. So, do we suggest you focus just on organic reach? No, it’s a balance between the two.
Draft something, see how it’s received, ask questions, add to it, refine it, add faqs. Primping and refreshing your content is so worth your time.
Share it, but say something about it
“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”
― T.S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood
It’s very easy to share an article from your law firm with your network. But what value does that add to your network? How do you feel about it? Why should your audience care? Why are you sharing this?
Why not take a shared update from another lawyer/blog post/press release etc and add your authority to it?
Being able to share relevant content with an added layer of you is a great way to build both credibility and your personal brand.
Social selling and narrowcasting
‘Hitting the phones’ is no longer enough, when it comes to sales in 2022, you need to be an all-rounder and use the data and opportunities that are readily available. So, what does social selling mean?
Using social media to find prospects, build brand awareness, and build relationships with potential customers.
And ‘narrowcasting’? Well, it’s the opposite of broadcasting. With narrowcasting you target specific groups in specific places (in person and online).
In a sales context, this means always keeping your end user in mind when creating content on social media. What problem are you solving for this particular customer?
Social selling also highlights the difference between posting and commenting. We all know that person who only posts about themselves. If you only ever broadcast, it’s always about you. Engage with your community, add value first.
When social selling is done well, it keeps your audience warm and helps you qualify marketing leads.
Making the most of mobile
If you’ve not visited your own site via your mobile recently, we’d encourage you to have a look. How quickly is it loading? Are any of your pages cropped, are there any buttons missing?
It sounds dry – and it is – but how many times have you x’d out of a window because it was just too hard to get the information you wanted? Your website and social content needs to be frictionless.
Potential customers unconsciously form opinions about your firm based on the mobile-friendliness of your content. If it’s too hard to navigate on their phones, they’ll most likely spend their money elsewhere.
Whilst we’re on the subject, what does your email marketing look like when read from a mobile? If you’re unsure, start with the following:
- Limit image size to 600-700px on desktop, and 320-385px on mobile.
- Design the email so users don’t have to pinch and scroll to read.
- Use short paragraphs and bullets to make your content as scannable as possible.
As well as how it looks and functions, of course your messaging needs to be on point. Which leads us to…
Intent based email marketing
To nurture your email list effectively, you need a clear understanding of your prospects, their interests, and where they are in the buying journey.
It’s not enough to assume your buyers are all at the same stage in their buying journey and simply direct readers towards your practice website.
It’s time marketers focus on their biggest business goal: finding buyers who are ready to buy. To that end, it’s helpful to know who’s searching for your solution—and who is potentially in-market. Intent monitoring is the answer, and it’s a top trend that we anticipate will grow in 2022. When combined with actionable insights, it offers a powerful way to impact business growth. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
So, what does that mean from an email marketing perspective?
Intent-based email marketing is an approach that targets prospective buyers as soon as they show interest in a particular topic. The email simply references the prospect’s interest and provides relevant content.
Video marketing for growing your firm
It’s well known that video has been an emerging trend for the last 10 years, but people are still watching more video online than ever before.
Firms that use video marketing as part of their strategy build loyal followings, build brand equity and convert the most customers. When it comes to creating awareness of your brand, a video is an excellent way to build trust.
Not convinced? Here are some stats we hope might convince you:
- Businesses that use video marketing grow their business 49% faster than those that don’t
- When videos are shared on LinkedIn they are 20 times more likely to be shared
- Video on LinkedIn gets 3 times the engagement compared to a text post.
Where should I put my videos? We suggest LinkedIn and YouTube (we assume they’re already on your website).
I have a graduate channel, is that ok? No, we’re afraid not, you need a main channel.
But, I’ve created content on LinkedIn already? Great, you’re at an advantage, get it loaded on to YouTube. Whilst you’re at it, share any recent webinars and events you’ve held.
What do I post about? Think about the questions your prospects ask you the most. What are the biggest problems you solve? Make a video about that.
Do I need captions? Yes please. For accessibility and for secret scrollers at work (with the sound off).
Make your marketing minutes count
Whether you’re an in-house marketer or a founder, marketing has changed for all of us and it will continue to do so.
Buyers today are shrewd and connected. Once upon a time, customers might have hoped you have what they want, today they expect you to have it.
The good news is that with more tools and insights at our disposal than ever before, we know what needs to be done to effectively market your firm.
The bad news is that it takes experience. Just as your fee-earners protect their billable hours, so should you.
If you’re a founder and reading this has made you think about marketing in a different way, we’d love to talk. It might be that the best use of your time is outsourcing this type of work. Get in touch here.