Even the best lawyers need to market their firm and its services to build a strong base of clients. But lawyers aren't marketers and running an efficient small business marketing strategy often isn't second nature.
If your firm wants to get more out of its marketing budget, here are three strategies to boost your ROI and your visibility:
1. Invest in Reputation Management
Research from FindLaw noted that 59 percent of customers use online reviews when choosing professional services and 57 percent of legal customers leave a rating on an online review website. Needless to say, this should be a focal point of your marketing. Start by asking for reviews from satisfied customers, even pointing them to specific reviews sites that are highly influential. Reach out to unsatisfied customers in hopes of reconciling with the negative reviewer.
It's hard to prevent negative content from hitting the internet, but law firms should focus on building a large body of positive reviews that drowns out the negative voices and takes control of the larger company narrative.
2. Adopt a CRM
Among lawyers, litigation tracking tools are an effective software that tracks the current status of all outstanding cases. It's a great option to keep tabs on clients, all of whom have their own unique circumstances as their case moves through court.
Even if you have a litigation tracking tool in place, it's smart to also invest into a customer relationship management (CRM) solution to manage your clientele and the small business marketing strategies used to retain their business. Citing a report from Bloomberg Law and the Legal Marketing Association, The American Lawyer reported that 68 percent of those polled already use a CRM while 62 percent use litigation tracking tools.
3. Don't Give Up on Offline Marketing
Digital marketing is extremely effective for reaching customers in select demographics and locations. The ability to target locally threatens to make traditional strategies like billboard marketing less valuable to law firms.
One critical difference is that digital marketing's ROI is typically much easier to track than the ROI of traditional campaigns. While you can see the impact a paid search ad has on website traffic, referrals and new clients, billboard ads can be much tougher to gauge. Even when they succeed in building brand awareness, that raised awareness often comes among an unfocused audience, only a fraction of which is prospective clients.
But if you've seen evidence that past billboard or other offline campaigns are driving positive returns for your firm, there's no reason to scrap them. Instead, analyze the factors contributing to their success. For example, is the billboard's placement particularly relevant to your target audience?
Law firms face unique factors when marketing to their client base, but building a strategy specifically for your industry and audience will help you maximize your marketing budget while compiling a more dedicated customer base.