Lawyers are allowed to advertise their services. They need their adverts to be “truthful and not misleading,” but the constitution protects the right to advertise. However, due to the inherent risks of advertising and the impact of misleading advertising campaigns by lawyers, the American Bar Association has some set criteria for what legal practice marketing should be. Dignity is the key takeaway, with their statement that all adverts by lawyers “should be suitable to the profession.” Of course, this can leave a lot of space for thinking outside of the box, as long as you stick to being honest. When modern marketing and advertising is proving to be more effective when it comes to profit-generation and providing value, it means your law firm advertising can benefit significantly from the right campaigns.
The Advertising Shift
Traditional methods of advertising were usually tangible but have shifted to a more digital approach. It is now less about pushing your advertising message, and more about consumers themselves deciding on what to read, watch, and become attached to.
It can make it very challenging to get the right mindset for advertising legal services.
If your law firm still advertises their services on park benches and the Yellow Pages, then there’s a good chance that you are wasting a large chunk of your advertising budget. Older, traditional advertising like the Yellow Pages have become obsolete, and the best law firm advertising needs to adapt to the digital world. Of course, magazine adverts remain a valid option, but they can pale into insignificance when compared to the power of online advertising for lawyers.
Growing Your Business
All attorneys will want a robust and profitable list of clients. As advertising has made a shift to digital, that has led many law firm advertising campaigns to fall short. Digital advertising has now become a much larger market than magazine, newspaper, radio, and TV advertising. There are several reasons why, and those reasons are the answer to the question of whether law firms should advertise their services. They include:
● Targeted Advertising: Thousands of people might see a sign on a bus, but it might only attract a single client. Digital advertising means that you can narrow down your audience so that you can create hyper-focused advertising campaigns that will resonate with the people that need to see them. Being seen by the right people at the right time can have a massive impact on your profits. This improves your advertising ROI and can have a dramatically improve your firm/client response rates.
● Effectiveness Tracking: With a newspaper ad, you have no idea how many people have seen the advert or how many clients came directly from seeing it. With digital advertising, you can track its effectiveness in real time. That means that you will know if your ad campaign is working, and what needs to be changed if your attorney advertising ideas aren’t proving as useful as you hoped.
● Engagement: Traditional advertising was a one-way communication channel. Digital advertising allows you to engage with your audience. If someone comes to your social media pages or website or sees you ranked highly on Google, then you can immediately establish your value and credibility. That turns you into more of a resource for your clients than a brand desperate for revenue.
● Falling Behind: The fact is that lawyers are already using advertising to attract new clients. If your law firm is not yet committed to law firm advertising, then your competitors probably are. It means that they are getting all of the benefits, moving forward and growing, while your firm continues to stand still.
The Billboard Conundrum
Lawyers have been using billboard advertising for so long that it has become something of a tradition. No discussion of advertising for lawyers is complete without talking about the modern billboard. Although traditional media advertising for attorneys is mostly defunct, the billboard still has plenty of value.
For firms that focus on personal injury, family law, or employment law, the billboard can still be an effective means of attracting new clients.
It does mean, however, that the effectiveness is difficult to track and that can make your ROI almost impossible to define. Firms that focus on corporate law do not traditionally do well with billboard advertising, so those firms certainly need to focus on the digital.
Modern Advertising for Attorneys
Once you decide to work on a more effective advertising campaign, you will need to address where you’re planning to advertise your legal services. You certainly have a range of options. Your decisions on where is best for you to be promoting legal services will depend on your legal niche and target clients. Some of the options to consider are:
● Podcasts/Radio: You’ll need to ensure that you have some quality branding in order to stand out, but the modern digital podcast can be very valuable as an advertising tool. Don’t try and buy advertising time though. Instead, become an expert that is invited onto the show to discuss relevant topics. This establishes your professional credibility and can be a compelling brand-building strategy.
● Google Ads: These are Pay Per Click campaigns that offer a good ROI. They are not the only area to focus on when it comes to search engine visibility, but a well thought out Google Ad campaign can yield very positive results.
● Social Media: This can be a huge task to face, but social media marketing and advertising for lawyers can be very useful. Organic traffic is the goal, but even on platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you can pay to have more people see your legal advertising.
These are the necessary first steps to explore when thinking about improving your law firm advertising. Other avenues to investigate include content marketing, SEO strategies, and even YouTube videos. Your advertising can be a very powerful tool. The more that you understand just how modern advertising has transformed into a very effective way to generate more profits, the more you’ll want to start making changes to your current advertising strategy.