How to Digitally Market Your Law Firm (Successfully)
Digital Marketing has been around since the 1990s, following the creation of the internet and Web 1.0. Since then, the web has been a powerful tool for connecting businesses with potential customers.
Law firms benefit from Digital Marketing in a major way. Not only can law firms stay connected with existing customers and contacts, but they can attract high-quality clients and cases.
Want to digitally market your law firm and see real, tangible results? Here’s how.
1. Give your law firm a digital home
First, you need a “home” to which you drive potential clients. Of course, we are talking about your law firm website.
Your law firm website is one of the only platforms you “own” that allows you to publish your own content, capture your own leads, and track your marketing performance. And it’s one of the first places people go to learn about your business.
Whether it’s WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or another Content Management System (CMS), there are plenty of platforms upon which you can host and build your website. Many of these platforms provide free or low-cost templates to get you up and running.
If you have a bit more budget to throw down, you might decide to employ a professional web designer. A professional will be able to achieve a more polished look and apply the right functionality you need for your business.
Your law firm website will be the “home” to which you drive traffic from social media, ads, and SEO.
2. Optimize your law firm website
Once you have your law firm website up and running, it’s time to optimize.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process by which you optimize your website for search engine traffic. This means capturing people who are already searching for services like yours.
SEO is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for law firms. But, in order to achieve great results, you need a great SEO strategy.
In its simplest form, law firm SEO involves:
Researching the words (i.e. “keywords”) people use to find legal services
Including these keywords in the “meta data” and content of your website
Optimizing the technical aspects of your website (like site structure and speed)
Submitting your business to local directories and creating a Google Business Profile
Creating engaging, well-optimized website and blog content
There is a lot more to SEO than just these steps, so I’ve written How to Plan Your SEO Strategy here.
3. Create a digital content strategy
Content is the substance of your digital marketing strategy. It’s the words on the pages of your website. The posts on your social media channels. And the copy in your email newsletter.
But with so many content types, tools, and strategies whirring around, it’s easy to get off task. That’s why creating a digital content plan is your best bet for keeping organized.
Your digital content plan can be as simple as a Google spreadsheet or as fancy as a project management software; the purpose is simply to organize your content topics, materials, dates, and information. This will help you create content on a more consistent basis.
When creating content, think about:
What topics are of interest to my audience?
What questions might they have about our services?
What digital platforms do our potential clients use the most?
What news do we have to share about our law firm?
What industry trends should we highlight now?
What are some interesting, funny, or insightful topics to write about?
Overall, your goal is to create content that’s focused on the needs and interests of your audience. And to help you out, I have this entire Guide to Law Firm Content Marketing.
4. Market your law firm on social
Social media marketing can seem a bit daunting, especially with so many social platforms available. From Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter to TikTok, it may be hard to know where to start.
But that’s the thing: you don’t have to be everywhere at once. Sometimes, it is simply okay to start with one platform, learn the ropes, test different content types, and expand from there.
For law firms, we typically see Facebook and LinkedIn as popular places to start. These tend to attract a more serious audience (compared to the entertainment factor on TikTok or Twitter).
As part of your digital content strategy, you can plan your social posts in advance. Here are a few ideas:
Long-form posts (e.g “Here’s what I learned from a difficult case we had…”)
Question and Answer (i.e. ask your audience to ask you questions and you answer)
Interviews (article or video format)
Facebook Live video
Top Tips (e.g. “3 Things to Know When Writing Your Will”)
Legal memes, cartoons, or gifs
Photos of your team
Industry news stories
The list of ideas can go on and on! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your social content, monitor the results, and adapt your approach as you go along.
5. Grow and engage your email list
With your law firm website and social media marketing, you can begin to grow your email list. This can be through capturing sign-ups on your websites or by asking users to join your newsletter via social media.
Email marketing can be a great way to stay top-of-mind with potential clients. Keep your email list fresh with engaging content and you may attract new clients (or referrals)!
Your email marketing doesn’t just have to be a newsletter, either. You can send all types of content, like:
Again, the goal is to share content that your clients or potential clients will be interested in. Try to send emails at least once or twice per month to keep your list “warm”.
6. Keep up with your law firm blog
Blogging is largely underrated, especially in the legal field. Many legal professionals think people don’t want to read legal content.
But here’s the thing: people just don’t want to read boring legal content. They want to read interesting legal content!
Every law firm has its own unique voice, perspective, and personality. The more you can make that shine in your blog articles, the better results you’ll see from your content!
I recommend publishing to your blog at least once per month. Quality really is more important than quality here.
What you publish will depend on your practice area and the interests of your audience, but here are a few general ideas:
7. Invest in paid ads
If your law firm serves a competitive niche or service area, you might need to pay to play. Paid ads can be a good way to beat out the competition and attract more clients to your firm.
There are many types of paid ads: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and LinkedIn Ads, just to name a few. Most of these are considered “Pay Per Click” (PPC) platforms, because you (as an advertiser) pay for each time a user clicks on your ad.
The key to successful paid ads is in the targeting. You need to set the right targeting parameters (geographic area, audience demographics, keywords, etc.) to make the best use of your ad spend.
For example, if you are a family lawyer in Seattle, you wouldn’t want to target people looking for a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. You might want to target terms like “Seattle family law”, “Seattle WA divorce lawyer”, etc.
Similarly, with Facebook Ads, you will want to reach people who would be most interested in your services. For family law, this might be married parents aged 30-55 instead of college students aged 18-24.
PPC advertising can take some time to get right, so I’ve provided 5 Expert PPC Tips here. Of course, if you need more help, consider working with a professional advertising agency.
8. Consider hiring a digital marketing firm
As a small law firm, you can certainly take a DIY approach to your digital marketing. But, as you grow (and/or as your competition grows), you might need a little help. That may be the time to hire a marketing firm.
Marketing firms provide a range of services, from Social Media Marketing to SEO to Email Marketing and beyond. What you need will depend on your firm, your practice areas, your audience, and your budget.
I recommend researching marketing firms before hiring one. Read their reviews, look for case studies, check out their website, and see if anyone can vouch for their services. See how their own marketing levels up and whether they have worked with law firms before.
It’s best to find a digital marketing firm that has experience working with law firms, particularly in the area of SEO, social media marketing, and paid ads.
Digitally Marketing Your Law Firm is Easier Than it Seems
Digital marketing may seem intimidating, but the hardest part is just getting started. Don’t “analysis paralysis” keep you from trying a few strategies, tracking the results, and seeing what works for your law firm. You might be surprised at the results.
A Google search for law firm digital marketing strategies will yield tons of creative ideas. Try a few ideas, see what works, and ask what your followers want to see. And, bring your own unique personality into the mix so you stand out from the competition online!