Having a marketing plan for your law firm will define the plan you have to market and grow the law firm and how you plan to do it. Some people think that writing down a plan sounds complicated or is an unnecessary exercise. However, having a thought-out strategy for your marketing actions will help you grow your firm and save you money and time in the process. A marketing plan doesn’t have to be big to be effective, but you should still have one.
Components of the Marketing Plan
These are the most effective and most used components of law firm marketing that you may want to include in your plan.
For many law firms, this is the primary source of new business and marketing activity. People who know and trust you are more likely to refer their colleagues and friends as they need your service. Getting new sources of referrals takes some effort and time and you need to be active in professional associations, go to networking events, and present at CLEs.
Your online presence starts with your website. Many other components of the marketing plan, such as PPC, email marketing, and SEO, also tie back to your website. Even if you have a modest marketing plan and much of your business comes from referrals, you still need a modern and polished website. You want a website that is easy to use and navigate, mobile-friendly, has contact information and is search engine friendly.
The main part of your law firm marketing campaign should be content. Your plan should include creating content that is useful to others. Content is helpful for a number of your marketing goals, including getting more traffic to your website, engaging with your social media audience, and staying top of mind for your referrals with social sharing and email newsletters. Content helps establish your law firm as an expert in a given area. Potential clients will read your content before they call you and content does a lot for your credibility. It’s also a great way to generate new business. Great content will show up in search engines and be a way for potential clients to find your website. In order to come up with a plan for content, think about what kinds of questions your prospective clients have when they contact you for the first time. Each one of these questions can make a great blog article since many clients are probably googling these questions.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO and content are related. Google will constantly crawl websites for content and index it against different search keywords. SEO is the process of making the content you create found by Google and have it show up in the search results. SEO is part of your long-term marketing strategy and, as soon as you begin, it can take six months before you start to see results. When you do get results, you will keep getting leads on an ongoing basis as long you keep up SEO efforts, so it’s definitely worth including in your marketing plan.
Internet advertising, such as pay-per-click advertising, is advertising within the search engines. You pay to appear in these searches and pay a small fee when someone clicks on the ad. An effective campaign is more than just ads and, in order to define the search terms, you also need to have landing pages when someone clicks on the ad. You will need to test and improve upon each landing page and ad in order to ensure you have the best cost per acquisition. All this requires a plan. This type of advertising is something that can start giving you results almost instantly as opposed to SEO.
Email marketing, also called lead nurturing, has some of the highest ROI. Many people may find your law firm interesting but they’re not quite ready to hire a lawyer yet. If you get these contacts in your email database, then you are able to nurture these leads and give them relevant content until they are ready to start talking to your firm.
Social media may also have a spot in your marketing plan. At the least, you should have a company page on the major networks. You may include in your plan an effort to build followers or to use social media or distribute your content. Usually, social media can be an enhancer for other components in your plan.
Execution of Your Marketing Plan
Part of your marketing plan needs to define who is going to execute this so you can put each component into practice. For example, create a recurring calendar appointment in order to publish a blog post each week.
Track the Results
You are going to want to track the results of your marketing plan so that you can change what is not working. The only way you can know what isn’t working is to track the results. Learn if your leads come from SEO, PPC, or if they were receiving your emails before finally contacting your firm.
Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect, just get started and you can always add more to it later.