Legal marketing is unique in many ways. It differs immensely from B2C marketing, and even from B2B marketing. We’ve put together a quick guide on online attorney marketing for legal marketers to review. If you’ve practiced legal marketing for a long time, some of this information might be a refresher. For more recent marketers, you’ll likely see some new information. No matter how proficient you are at legal marketing, you’ll hopefully come away with some new ideas and inspiration!
B2B vs. B2C Marketing
The type of marketing you’ll engage in is dictated by your target market. The strategies differ as well as applications, channels, and more. It all comes down to your audience and how you communicate with them.
B2B marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of people who purchase goods or services on behalf of their organization (rather than for themselves, personally). Things like office spaces, printing fulfillment, or accounting software all fall under B2B. When individuals seek legal counsel on behalf of their company, that falls under the B2B umbrella.
B2C marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of an individual who purchases goods or services for themselves. In these cases, the individual is the customer (or client). Examples are personal injury law, criminal law, immigration law and family law. If your law firm’s ideal clients are individuals that obtain a lawyer to provide personal services, your strategies will be more aligned with B2C activity.
B2B Marketing Strategies
Though B2C and B2B marketing tactics differ greatly, in many ways they intersect. Additionally, no two marketing strategies are exactly alike, no matter who you are advertising to. First, take into account the common buyer’s journey:
Before diving into executing various strategies, make sure you keep that important phased approach in mind. Then follow a few steps:
- Decide on brand positioning. This is the who, what, when, how, and why of your law firm’s identity. What sets you apart from competitors, and why should people pick your firm?
- Find your target audience. Who is really looking for your firm’s services? From here you can narrow audiences down to client personas for more in-depth research and communications.
- Complete a competitive analysis. Review the market and see what other firms are up to. What do they offer and what marketing tactics do they use?
- Consider various marketing channels. As you research your audience and your competitors, you’ll see various types of channels being used. Build out your own strategy using a variety of tactics such as :
- Email marketing
- Digital and search marketing
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
Exploring Online Attorney Marketing Channels
As you build out your own strategy, seek to diversify your marketing portfolio. Let’s expand on some common legal marketing mediums.
This is a tried and true method of reaching people and strengthening relationships. However, it’s important to remember that people tend to have full inboxes these days – so make sure your messaging resonates by focusing on areas that really matter to your audience (like time, money, etc). Write compelling subject lines, keep a single call to action in your email, and make sure your email designs are responsive to get the best response.
2. Digital & Search Marketing
Every law firm (whether B2C or B2B) needs to have an online presence. A combination of paid ads, search engine optimization, your website, and any other place your firm is present online all make up your digital marketing. This is another area where defining your target audience ahead of time is crucial. From there you can design a website, optimize your various digital channels, invest in PPC campaigns, and focus on SEO.
3. Content Marketing
When it comes to legal marketing, the audience is focused on expertise and a desire to be educated, and driven by logic. Research shows that 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get information from an article, rather than an advertisement. Content is a tool that can appeal to this factor. A content marketing strategy doesn’t interrupt someone’s day – rather, it provides valuable information to the audience. Content efforts are also critical for SEO and lead generation and are most successful when the material is aligned to phases of the client journey.
To gain a more in-depth understanding of content marketing, check out this free eBook: The Law Firm Guide to Content Marketing.
4. Social Media
Extensive research has shown that a majority of the most senior and influential buyers use social media when making a decision. Social media is certainly not just for consumer brands, and your firm should create and cultivate a presence on this channel. It’s a powerful tool for building brand awareness, humanizing your firm, sharing content, and highlighting the expertise that future clients are looking for.
7 Marketing Trends to Watch This Year
What are most marketers focused on in 2022? HubSpot did an extensive report based on the challenges, opportunities, and initiatives that most B2B marketers are focusing on in 2022. Here’s what they discovered:
- Marketers state that ‘measuring the ROI of marketing activities’ will be their number one challenge in the coming year.
- About half of the marketers surveyed plan to develop more case studies (a tactic that is particularly important for legal marketers).
- The largest overall goal for any marketer is to “increase brand awareness”.
- Audio content and podcasting are increasing in today’s landscape, but marketers should make sure they are worth the time for their particular firm.
- Optimizing load speeds is likely to be the most effective SEO tactic for most marketers in 2022.
- LinkedIn is likely to be the most popular video channel for B2B.
The bottom line is that your marketing will be most effective when it’s created with your unique audience in mind. No matter who you target – businesses or individuals – communicating how your firm can truly help them is key when it comes to online attorney marketing.