Many law firms struggle with their marketing strategy, as it can be difficult to design and create marketing campaigns while still maintaining a professional business identity. However, in the constantly evolving Australian legal landscape, a strong marketing plan benefits every law firm, from boutique to top-tier, writes Rafe Berding.
The emergence of new technology and increased focus on innovation is delivering challenges and opportunities at every corner, and successful law firms are catching on. As technology changes the way that we offer legal services, it also creates new forms of competition and changes client expectations about how we do business.
Staying on top of the latest ways to reach clients and showcase your unique value proposition will leave your firm in a strong position for growth.
Social media and websites
Having an online presence is critical for any business, no matter how large or small, and your website and social media channels should reflect your brand.
As Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter have millions of active Australian users, distributing consistent and engaging content via these platforms is vital. A mix of thought and industry leadership, product and service announcements allow you to tell the business story and keep your clients informed. In return, your business will earn their respect, trust and the opportunity to win new business.
A highly effective example of this is a social media campaign by Pillsbury Law, who released a recruitment video on their social media channels called The Interviewers.
The video featured the organisation’s employees discussing what they like and don’t like when they interview job candidates. The video is short, unscripted and very casual, with the employees laughing and joking throughout.
It successfully demonstrates how a clever social media campaign can shift the traditional view of law firms as ‘serious’ and ‘boring’ to fresh and young, and thus become widely shared on social media.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
There’s no point in having the best website and social media platforms if no one sees them! With approximately 90 per cent of consumers using search engines to research a product or business, having your business’ website or social media pages appear on the first page of search results is integral to generating new leads.
Canadian law firm Blaney McMurtry recently won an award for their website overhaul. They hired a copywriter to rewrite large sections of the website, reduced the amount of legal jargon and made it mobile-friendly. These effective changes made the website far more accessible for prospective clients and the new copy improved its search engine rankings.
It’s important to ensure that your communication strategy reflects the goals and priorities of the business. In every aspect of marketing, your company’s values and goals should be clear and coherent.
For a communication strategy to work, consistency is crucial. This means ensuring that the same themes are reflected across all of your company’s social media channels and website, as well as any marketing campaigns or collateral. If this doesn’t happen, your audience will likely find your company’s brand inconsistent or confusing.
A creative example of this is a recent Christmas campaign by a law firm called Levenfeld Pearlstein. Instead of sending out a traditional Christmas card or modern e-card to their clients, the firm sent them a locked box. On the front of the box was a link to a video on the firm’s website, which explains the work of the charity Chicago’s Community Kitchens (CCK). The firm supports this charity as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility program. At the end of the video, viewers were provided with a code to unlock the box from one of the law firm’s partners. Inside the box was chocolate, which had been created by those working at CCK.
By putting a creative spin on the traditional Christmas card, the law firm demonstrated their commitment to charitable initiatives and raised money for a good cause, as many people who viewed the video chose to make a donation to CCK.
From a marketing perspective, the law firm was also able to increase their website traffic, familiarise people with their website and connect with clients in a very memorable way.
The future of legal marketing
Today’s technology is indelibly changing the way we do business, from the services we offer, to pricing structures and how we prospect for new business.
Equally, our customers’ behaviour is dramatically changing, from their initial contact with us to the way they communicate with us as our relationship develops.
By leveraging the latest digital tools in conjunction with tried-and-tested marketing strategies, you can ensure your business is in the best position to be present, reachable and relevant.
Rafe Berding is the head of brand and communciations of GlobalX.