Get the most out of your legal marketing budget

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Traci Gentilozzi

U.S. law firms will continue to face economic uncertainty throughout 2018, according to a study published by a nationwide legal consulting firm. With this uncertainty comes mounting pressure to decrease overall law firm costs, while at the same time increase productivity.

Economic doubt is one reason why law firms – no matter what their size – need to be sure they’re getting the most out of their marketing budget. How can firms do this? By devising a marketing strategy which, when implemented, will increase the firm’s return on investment (ROI).

Here are some ways your law firm can get the biggest return on its marketing investment.

#1: Offer Quality Content

Content that is both informative and helpful is the backbone of any law firm marketing plan, which is why firms should always create new content.

According to experts, it is worth the investment to develop quality content that presents a law firm as an expert in a certain practice area. This can be accomplished by having the firm’s lawyers write the content (if they have the time), or by hiring a legal content development specialist (whether in-house or freelance).

The easiest way to offer quality content is posting videos and blogs to your law firm’s website. According to a recent HubSpot survey, firms that published 16 or more blogs every month saw an online traffic presence three times higher than firms that published only one or two blogs a month.

When producing fresh content, keep these things in mind:

• The more informative and understandable the content is, the more likely it is your followers will link to it or share it on their social media sites – in other words, don’t write in “legalese” (don’t use footnotes, don’t cite to a lot of cases, etc.).

• After writing new content, be sure to enhance it for search engine optimization (SEO) – a process where key words and phrases are inserted in the content, to help drive more traffic to your website, your blog, etc.

Law firms should also consider posting articles and blogs on external authoritative legal websites, such as HG.org. Articles featured in publications, both online and print, help establish a firm’s identity (see item #2 below) and develop trust with current and potential clients.

#2:  Establish A Clear Identity

In the crowded world of legal services, law firms must develop their own identity and differentiate themselves from the competition. In other words, law firm “branding” is essential.

Any successful legal marketing strategy needs to include continuous improvement upon the law firm’s existing brand. And if a firm doesn’t yet have a brand, then one should be created – and the sooner the better.

One example of successful law firm branding in Michigan is The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. Perhaps you’ve heard of these phrases: “1-800-Call-Sam.” “The Bernstein Advantage.” “Michigan’s First Family of Law.” And the newly coined “The Bernstein Biker Advantage.” These phrases, used on television commercials and on the firm’s website, clearly identify the firm and what it does.

#3: Create An Eye-Catching Logo

Studies show that nothing can be more powerful than a well-designed law firm logo. Firms not only need to be recognized by existing clients, but also need to catch the eye of prospective clients – which is why a logo should be both identifiable and consistent.

To achieve a logo that’s memorable, law firms should use a professional graphic designer or web designer. It’s worth the investment.

#4:  Integrate Your Brand

Once a law firm has developed a recognizable brand, that brand needs to be integrated into the firm’s website, as well as its social media and public relations strategies.

Other ways for law firms to integrate their brand:

• Participate in media interviews – print, television, radio, podcasts, etc.

• Participate in online educational seminars.

• Participate in and/or sponsor community outreach programs and fundraisers. 

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Attorney Traci R. Gentilozzi owns 360 Legal Solutions, PLLC, a company that focuses on legal content development and promotion for sole practitioners and small firms. She is also the editor of BRIEFS, the monthly publication of the Ingham County Bar Association. Reprinted with permission from BRIEFS.
 

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