15 Marketing Mistakes Law Firms Make

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For every business, implementing an effective marketing strategy is important to growth, and law firms are no exception. While many lawyers today often neglect strategic marketing, developing and executing a successful marketing technique can be the greatest source of lead generation for law firms.

The world has gone digital and there are now numerous marketing channels that can increase awareness of your firm. However, now that businesses are spoilt for choice, it gets more and more challenging to decide what marketing channel to invest time, energy and resources into.

Although there is no particular marketing guide for law firms that can guarantee continuous return on investment (ROI), there are certain strategies that can be followed to avoid wasting resources.

Here are some of the common mistakes legal firms make when planning and executing a marketing strategy.

1. Poor marketing strategy

The first thing to do when planning a marketing campaign is to determine which marketing strategy would be the best fit for your business. There are numerous marketing channels such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), Facebook ads, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, content marketing, outbound marketing, email marketing and many more.

Most law firms don’t have marketing experience, and this can largely affect their marketing strategy. Therefore, one of the most common mistakes law firms make when marketing their services is choosing the right channel.

Implementing the wrong marketing strategy ultimately leads to wasted money and time, so law firms need to either spend time researching the best marketing channels for their business or outsource the law firm marketing to a competent agency.

2. Poor marketing knowledge

Most law firms view their marketing budget as an expenditure, and this is a totally wrong ideology. Marketing is simply an investment that is made to guarantee the continued success of your law firm.

The objective of every marketing campaign should be lead generation; however, most firms are quick to slash the marketing budget once there’s a decline in ROI. This is a mistake as in most cases, all that’s needed to improve the numbers is trying out a different marketing channel.

3. Failing to monitor the competition

Reinventing the wheel is largely discouraged as it most often leads to wastage. Therefore, rather than spending time and resources experimenting on new things, channel those efforts into studying your competition.

Your firm’s competitors have done most of the hard work and all you need to do is leverage on whatever information is available to you, such as keywords they rank for, content marketing strategy and social media monitoring.

Watching the competition can provide your firm with quick insight into your target audience and assist in your lead generation efforts.

4. Failing to implement a localized marketing strategy

According to a report, 66 per cent of individuals searching for a lawyer begin by searching online and about 70 per cent of those individuals will only contact lawyers who appear in the first three results pages.

This means that if your business fails to appear in these pages, you'll be losing numerous leads to your competition and spending more money on client acquisition.

Therefore, it is important to have a localized marketing strategy in place to consistently generate qualified leads for your firm every month.

5. Overlooking your online reputation

According to the 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, 97 per cent of consumers said they had read online reviews for local businesses, with 85 percent noting that they found online reviews as trustworthy as word-of-mouth.

Therefore, no matter how high your firm ranks for a relevant keyword, having a bad online reputation definitely makes it irrelevant. It is important to ensure that a tool is implemented to constantly collect feedback from clients and respond promptly to complaints.

6. Not optimizing your website for mobile

Google announced early last year that it had officially stopped ranking pages through its web crawler using a website’s desktop version, thereby emphasizing the need for businesses to have a mobile-friendly website.

Today, there are over 5 billion mobile-phone owners, with the number expected to increase to over 7 billion by 2023. Therefore, failing to optimize your website for mobile has drastic consequences on your marketing efforts.

7. Having a poor content strategy funnel

Today, the buyer’s journey has evolved.  Clients are now more literate, unlike previous times. In fact, the buyer’s journey is already completed 90 per cent of the time even before the client speaks to a sales representative or contacts a business.

Therefore, to make the most out of this change in behavioural patterns, legal firms need to adapt quickly and tailor their content more strategically to cater to more specific needs. Typically, law firms should begin by adopting the “bottom-up” method when creating their content and keyword strategy and have their content in line with every stage of the buyer persona funnel.

8. Poor follow-up culture

A large number of website visitors fail to convert to leads and the shocking part is, most law firms do absolutely nothing to fix this problem. 

However, retargeting campaigns can make a big difference by allowing law firms to reconnect with specific parts of their online audience who have shown a strong interest in their services.

9. Measuring the wrong growth metrics

When measuring marketing performance, it is important to use the appropriate growth metrics. One of the most valuable key performance indicators (KPIs) to look out for when presenting marketing reports is organic traffic.

One of the primary goals of an SEO campaign is to grow the amount of organic traffic on your website against keywords that don’t carry your firm’s name. Doing this will provide insights into how users who don’t know you are searching for your services.

10. Slow adoption of new law marketing trends

The field of marketing is never static; it is constantly changing. One of the biggest marketing mistakes legal firms make is sticking with the same marketing plan for several years.

However, if your firm is still stuck in the past in terms of marketing, this cannegatively impact your ROI. For this reason, marketing companies specifically targeted at legal firms always ensure that they stay up-to-date with the latest trends and let go of outdated techniques.

While it would be great—and, frankly, cost-effective—to just deploy an online ad that would run continuously for an unlimited amount of time and still generate new leads, unfortunately, this won't happen.

Therefore, it is important to review your marketing strategies at regular intervals and determine whether they are effective or not, making changes wherever necessary.

11. Poor lead management

This is arguably one of the most avoidable marketing mistakes by law firms.Quite a number of lawyers are guilty of failing to follow up with leads they've generated.

Marketing costs a lot of money. Therefore, it is important to prioritize every customer, as the only way to get your ROI is to convert them to a sale.  Considering the amount of work that needs to be done daily, there is a tendency for lawyers to forget an email or a meeting, or even lose a file.

However, lawyers must learn to take the initiative in properly managing the contacts they engage with by using the appropriate technological tools to track leads and make more sales.

12. Hiring the wrong marketing agency

Most law firms don’t want to be burdened with marketing activities as it is not a core service for them. Therefore, they often contract their marketing to an external agency.

However, it's quite important to choose the right agency as making a wrong choice can negatively affect your business—especially considering the fact that dubious marketing companies often overcharge for their services. To avoid being victimized, always go for an experienced marketing agency. It is equally important to read online reviews and request referrals from similar businesses. 

13. Failing to define your target audience

This can be regarded as one of the biggest mistakes lawyers make when marketing their services online. Failing to properly identify your target audience and their online behaviour leads to consistently poor lead generation.

All law firms need to do is spend time building a buyer persona journey at all stages of their decision making and  take it into consideration when implementing a digital marketing strategy. Create a vivid picture of what your ideal client would be by asking important questions about their age group, demographics and pain points.

14. Poor lead capturing tool

Another mistake law firms make when marketing their services online is to direct all traffic to their main website. Doing this can lead to a high bounce rate and poor lead generation, considering the difference in the content displayed in the ad and what's on your primary website.

Creating a landing page is the best way to adequately capture leads as it provides visitors with more specific content and action, eliminating the need for multiple clicks and distraction. 

15. Focusing only on the top half of the buying funnel

The aim of almost every marketing campaign is to increase brand awareness and ultimately increase sales. However, it is illogical to focus your marketing efforts only on channels used by supposed “high paying” clients.

For example, a food outlet spending millions of dollars on TV ads while neglecting street signs is making a poor choice, as the latter is where most customers are bound to be.

Therefore, law firms must ensure that their marketing campaigns are focused on achieving positive ROI before switching to a more complex awareness strategy.