Like many other industries, Australia’s legal landscape is constantly evolving. In order to stay relevant, law firms have to keep on top of the external factors that impact their industry and the overall environment that shapes consumer behaviour.
The innovation of technology has lead to humans collaborating with machines, manual tasks becoming automated and a change in traditional career paths, as well as new jobs being created. For the legal sector, this has been particularly difficult as law firms are typically very traditional in terms of hierarchies and operational factors such as manual research and time-based billing.
It is more important than ever for these companies to innovate and make the most of the technologies that are available to them. The same can be said for their marketing strategy.
Law firm marketers have to master the same range of platforms, channels and strategies as other marketers to run their campaigns. In addition, they have to sell legal services, which is extremely challenging for a number of reasons.
Why Is Law Firm Marketing So Difficult?
Educating the Client
Educating consumers is necessary for every industry, but is particularly important when it comes to legal services, where clients have something at stake, such as their money, freedom or reputation. If the client doesn’t fully understand their situation and the legal services that they need, it can have catastrophic consequences.
By creating educational content and distributing it among prospects, law firms can lower potential barriers and ensure that clients feel as though their have been well informed.
Resistance to Marketing Tactics
It can be difficult to get the whole business on board with a law firm marketing strategy. Traditional law firm marketing is very dependent on networking, so convincing lawyers that any marketing strategy is worthwhile can be challenging. Many lawyers are still stuck in their ways and think that their tried and tested networking tactics are the only way to bring in new clients. As such, any marketing strategy that is proposed should be well considered and targeted with outlined KPIs that will help the C level executives measure its success.
A Pew Research Study showed that lawyers were considered to contribute the least to society, of the occupations listed. This is, of course, completely inaccurate as lawyers spend their time fighting for rights and laws. However, as they were traditionally aggressive marketers, the industry got a reputation as an ego-based profession, with consumers viewing lawyers as arrogant and self-centred.
The best way to overcome this is to be transparent with marketing and clearly define the types of cases and clients you want. This ties into educating your clients.
How to Overcome Marketing Challenges in Legal Marketing
The key to any successful marketing strategy is to differentiate your offering from your competitors through your unique selling proposition. This comes from understanding your client’s motivation and buying behaviour to identify the most effective marketing communications.
Ensure Your Marketing Is Measurable
As mentioned above, you will likely have to convince your managers that your campaigns are working. Without metrics, this is not possible. Measuring the performance of all of your campaigns also helps you assign your budget effectively between channels and optimise campaigns that are working well.
Google Analytics is a free tool that can give you access to all the data you could need to inform your online campaigns. The program can arms marketers with advanced metrics and data about website traffic. It gives granular information about how users interact with your site and the channels that got them there, which is invaluable in informing wider marketing strategies as well as specific changes to pages and elements on your site that can impact results.
Create a Content Marketing Strategy
High-quality content is vital for an effective law firm website. This can be in the form of both written content such as articles, blogs and white papers are well as visual content such as infographics and video. All content should be informational and aimed to educate clients on the services you provide so that they can evaluate whether you are a viable option for them.
Content should also be written in a way that engages readers and moves them further through the buyer journey. In order to define content that is most effective in doing this, you can look at the current articles and pages on your website to see which are working best for you. Going forward, you can then use this knowledge to create a range of content around the topics and themes that are of interest to your audience.
Encourage Referrals & Up Sell to Existing Clients
Customers will often trust one another’s opinions far more than those of the companies trying to sell them products. It’s no surprise that someone who’s trying to sell you a product or service will be eager to tell you just how wonderful it is, thus, referrals appear far more genuine. Individuals typically will not have their own ulterior motive and, instead, are purely sharing their personal experience and thoughts.
Referrals can come in many forms, whether it’s individuals creating videos where they share their thoughts, written reviews, word-of-mouth or the like. Promotions of this nature are driven by highly passionate existing customers, who are drawn to sharing their personal experience in a bid to assist others in making a purchase decision.
Without personalised content and nurtured leads, you’ll likely struggle to create brand advocated who generate trusted referrals. Thus, it’s crucial that you focus on establishing meaningful, value-driven relationships with customers that make them feel understood and recognised.
The way you respond to a customer who has had a poor experience with your brand can be all telling in this sense. If a customer is unsatisfied at any time during your service to them, but you handle the situation promptly and with their needs in mind, they may come out even more impressed with your brand than before. This can, in turn, motivate them to share their experience with their friends or online, generating valuable referrals for you. Find out more about what it takes to create an exceptional law firm marketing strategy today.