Legal Marketing 2020: Your Complete Guide

legal marketing guide

For a long time, legal marketing teams relied on outbound marketing to drive leads. But, as digital marketing becomes increasingly ingrained in the way we search, and the way we shop, legal practices need to adapt to drive both inbound and outbound leads.

While you might already be using digital marketing channels like web or social, to drive awareness and business, how effective is it? We walk you through every channel you need to consider to both increase your leads, but ultimately, increase your revenue.

Editor’s Note: Want to get straight to the juicy bit? We’ve provided a table of content for you. Skip to ‘Using data to outperform your competitors’, to find out how we can help you generate more conversions, not clicks.

Or, dive straight in with a demo of our closed-loop marketing attribution tool.

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Challenges legal marketing professionals face

SRA restrictions

Back in December 2019, the SRA released new regulations limiting how law firms can advertise themselves to customers. The new regulation prohibits legal firms from making unsolicited approaches to members of the public to advertise legal services, unless they’re current or previous clients.

This guide will give you plenty of options to grow your brand, and your business, that adheres to this new rule.

 

Competitive landscape

Law firms are constantly springing up, or existing law firms are diversifying their offering. This means a more and more complicated market to get the competitive edge over. Luckily, understanding your marketing channels, and the true ROI of your campaigns will help you pinpoint what works well to drive new customers, and also, what doesn’t.

 

Low ROAS

With the growing number of law firms, competition on digital channels has grown too. PPC in particular has become increasingly difficult to get market share without spending extortionate amounts on keywords. And, when you’re relying on offline sales, and operating with long sales cycles, understanding the value of these keywords can be even more complex.

We’ll show you how to keep improving your return on investment so you’re getting the most out of paid advertising.

 

Long lead cycles

We’ve already mentioned it, but it deserves its own point! Long sales cycles in the legal industry make reporting difficult when you’re working with a 90 day cycle on most analytics tools.

Tracking the full customer journey, whether it takes a month, or a year, is essential to seeing your true ROI.

 

Offline conversions

Hand in hand with long sales cycles, are offline conversions. Online searches result in offline conversions, but tracking them and attributing them back to your marketing efforts is complicated.

This guide will help you optimise your legal marketing outputs and focus your attention on what you know works.

 

Getting started with legal marketing: what should be in your arsenal?

 

There are many channels that are perfect for legal marketing professionals to take advantage of. Before we look at what they are, and how they can grow revenue, here’s a few things to consider first:

 

Marketing funnel

If you’re a marketing professional, you’ll know what a marketing funnel, or buyer’s journey is and that you can’t market without one.

Understanding your users’ touchpoints is vital to deciphering which channels, content and campaigns are working best. Whether they’re driving awareness, supporting your user to consider your product or services, or even making the final decision, it’s vital to understand the role each channel and content piece plays independently and as part of a whole.

That sounds complicated, but we promise it isn’t.

Plot your buyer’s journey, or use the example from Hubspot below, and try to frame every campaign you do it against it, and how individual content pieces will work to drive a user towards the decision stage.

 

A strong website

There’s no point spending thousands of dollars on paid advertising, if the user experience on your site is poor. A strong website is essential to improving your legal marketing efforts. From increasing brand awareness to improving lead quality, a website filled with helpful content and strong calls to action can really help drive your user through the funnel.

And that’s what we want, right?

 

Client personas

One integral part of legal marketing is understanding your audience. Particularly for paid advertising, how can you target your ads or content, if you’re not sure who you want to reach?

Sit down with your marketing and sales team to try and draw up one to three client personas. Use demographic data of your current clients to find trends and use these to test future paid advertising campaigns. Even in your organic marketing, you can use these client personas to understand what questions your users might be asking, and create content that helps solve their problems.

client personas

 

Brand

Developing your brand is important. Increasingly, users are more interested in the people behind an organisation, particularly if that business is selling a service.

According to Sprout Social, 65% of consumers feel more connected to brands who have a robust presence on social. How is this relevant? Well, by creating a strong sense of brand across your digital and offline marketing channels, you can increase your bottom line.

Create a strong brand with a tone of voice guide to allow your team use relevant language to engage and persuade your audience.

 

Creating your legal marketing strategy

Understanding your channels : online

Web and SEO

Did you know that 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine? We all know what that means. If you’re not competitive on Google search, then you’re not going to drive business.

We’ve already talked about how a strong website helps improve legal marketing. But what about SEO?

Understanding your niche and creating content like blog posts, to drive SEO traffic, is the best way to improve your leads. Create content for each stage of your buyer’s journey. Answer questions your consumers are searching in the awareness stage. Use competitor analysis to reinforce why your service is best in the consideration stage. Create compelling offers and calls to action in the decision stage.

 

Live chat

Often thought of as a purely customer service-based function, live chat is actually a great way to grow your legal leads. By providing multiple options for your users to contact you, you’re automatically increasing your chances as they can pick their preferred option. Some users are put off by submission forms, while some are put off by phone calls.

And, in this climate where internet users expect immediate responses, live chat is the perfect medium to qualify potential leads and convert them into an opportunity.

 

Paid social advertising is a great way to grow and develop your brand. Now you know who your preferred clients are, thanks to those personas you created, you can use that data to create targeted ads. Use demographics alongside interests and search intent to make your ads more likely to be seen by a relevant audience. While this might decrease volume, it’s likely your click-through and lead generation rate will increase.

Not sure you’re getting your ROAS (return on ad spend)? With tools like Ruler Analytics, you can attribute both online and offline conversions directly to your social ads. Our technology will track anonymous users every time they interact with your site (whether they click on a paid social advert, or find you via Google search). Find out more about how it works and how it can help you optimise your paid social adverts.

 

Pay-per-click

PPC and display advertising is a great way to improve your legal marketing and get your brand seen by relevant users. By setting your ads against targeted keywords, you can share your services with people actively searching for them.

Remember, 96% of users are searching for legal services on search engines. So, if you can’t get to position 1 through organic traffic then PPC is a great substitute!

Already using PPC ads, but not seeing a good lift in conversions or revenue? We share 8 simple strategies to improve your PPC lead quality.

And with marketing attribution tools like Ruler, you can see exactly which ads, and keywords, are driving the most conversions (not clicks). Find out more about how to connect your sales data to your marketing.

 

Google My Business

Google My Business is an absolute must for legal marketing professionals. 85% of users surveyed by Google said they use maps to find local legal services. With a growing need for local content, this is a great way to target your community market.

And GMB has some great features. Firstly, you can manage the information users see from opening hours to phone number. You can also interact with your customers through reviews and questions, which will help potential customers viewing your business make a decision. And also, you can also post updates and offers on your Google My Business listing which is a great way to tempt potential customers further down the marketing funnel.

google my business

 

Email marketing

Email marketing is a great way for legal marketing professionals to generate business from new and existing customers. Just like every other industry, email marketing has varied results depending on the level of effort you put in. Testing, segmentation and personalisation are three things you must integrate into your email strategy to get the most out of it.

 

Legal directories

One easy way to grow your SEO, and also your business profile, is through legal directories. Some directories are free to list in, others you have to pay. However, there are global directories that, if you pay for, will get you featured in major directories across media outlets around the world.

This is a fantastic way to bring new users to your site, that you can later remarket to, and drive down the funnel.

 

Organic social media

Social media isn’t going anywhere. If you’re not at least using Facebook for your legal firm, then you’re missing out on a huge built-in audience. Whether paid or organic, social media can become a great channel to drive traffic, and leads.

Another tip is to get your leaders on social media too. Whether that’s LinkedIn, Twitter or even Instagram, staff advocacy is a great tool for improving your legal marketing output as you’re using the power of people to drive conversations about your business.

 

linkedin staff advocacy

 

 

Understanding your channels : offline

Offline marketing tends to include things like billboards, TV and radio ads and PR. While they are vital channels to explore when looking at growing your brand awareness, they tend to perform worse for conversions given the demand for digital.

If you have the budget and the man-power, then a mix of digital and traditional marketing channels should be utilised. Looking at our buyer’s journey again, traditional legal marketing outputs are great at establishing your business as a trusted market leader, or the awareness stage.

Once your potential consumer is aware of you, digital channels are a great resource for driving them through the marketing process.

 

Measuring your marketing

Tracking online and offline marketing

There are a whole host of marketing KPIs and metrics you’ll need to consider when looking at your marketing outputs. If you want to know more about how to measure your marketing, we shared the most common metrics that can be applicable to your legal marketing too.

Find out how to measure your marketing performance

 

From a legal marketing perspective, you need to be concentrating on the following two questions:

What impact is our marketing having on our lead creation? What impact is our marketing having on generating revenue?

 

Tracking lead generation

Legal marketers, currently, concentrate on their lead generation. That’s, ‘how many people filled in a form, or phoned our offices?’

There are two issues with reporting on lead generation only:

Call quality

While you might be tracking clicks-to-call from a mobile device, how many of those resulted in actual calls?

You might count 100 clicks to call in a month, but in fact, only 20 calls actually came through to your sales team.

And of those 20, only 10 fit your services and went on to become a client.

Don’t get us wrong. Counting clicks, impressions and lead generation metrics like clicks-to-call is important. But you could be using the 100 clicks-to-call as positive reinforcement on an ad campaign that only resulted in 10 clients, not 100.

Call tracking and marketing attribution can work together to ensure the quality of your calls is recorded. This means you can playback calls, to both monitor how your sales team are doing, and to see your lead quality. Call tracking with marketing attribution means that if a lead does convert into a sale over the phone, that data will be in your CRM, as well as your marketing analytics tools eg. Google Analytics or Facebook Ads Manager.

 

A lead doesn’t guarantee revenue

What’s your lead quality like? Chances are, you don’t know. Leading on from our previous point – if you create a lead as a legal marketer, and pass it over to your sales team, you don’t get full visibility of how that lead progresses.

Marketing attribution allows you to see, ‘ok, this month we generated 100 leads, and of those leads we generated this much in revenue.’ And you can break that data down by marketing channel, campaign and even keyword. This means you have much more insight into what makes a high-quality lead, meaning you can optimise your marketing to reach a lookalike audience.

 

Tracking case revenue

So, we bet you’re wondering how exactly tracking case revenue works? Well, it’s simple really!

Ruler Analytics uses code to track an anonymous viewer on your website.

When they convert, whether that’s by phone, form or live chat, we will ping all of the marketing data we have on that user, over to your CRM (whether you use Proclaim, Leap or Salesforce or another system).

Then, when they convert into a customer, all of the revenue data will be sent into your analytics software.

What does that mean?

It means two things:

  • You can see customer journeys right within your CRM.
  • You can see (based on revenue generated), what channels, campaigns and keywords are working best, right in your Google Analytics dashboard, Facebook Ads Manager, and more!

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Using data to outperform your competitors

So, now for the juicy bit. How can you use data to beat your competitors?

 

Understand your ROAS and optimise paid advertising

If you’re in legal marketing, chances are you’re using big budgets on PPC and paid social media advertising. While you’re tracking clicks, impressions and lead generation, imagine being able to see a real return on your ad spend.

Even if you have a long sales cycle, or if you tend to convert your leads offline, our tool lets you track your revenue directly back to the marketing outputs that generated it.

Once implemented, you might find an ad is generating a lot of leads, but not a lot of revenue. Imagine the power of that data that would allow you to get a higher ROAS and let your competitors bid themselves into a frenzy over a keyword you know doesn’t even convert?

And if you’re using smart bidding, Google can use our data on your offline conversions to get even more targeted with its bidding.

 

Market based on revenue, not clicks

Marketing attribution isn’t just useful for paid advertising. You might already be using GCLID on your Google Ads to get a better understanding of conversion rates on your PPC campaigns.

But what about your social media efforts? Or your email marketing? Impressions, likes, and open rates only get you so far.

Marketing attribution with a tool like Ruler Analytics allows you to assess every single one of your channels, both independently and holistically. And you can go beyond that. You can analyse your individual campaigns, running across channels.

This kind of data means you can find out what is working, what isn’t, and put your effort into what is. Proving digital marketing ROI is no mean feat, but tracking revenue generation is one metric you need.

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Want to know how to track ROI? We share the digital marketing ROI metrics you need to be tracking in your reports.

 

Do you want to find out how Ruler can help you develop your legal marketing? Grow leads, increase traffic but most importantly, increase revenue generation using smart data.

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Written by

Digital Marketing Manager at Ruler Analytics with experience in SEO, content marketing and social. After working both in-house for a travel firm and at an agency, I help people (who used to be me) attribute their revenue to their marketing efforts.