Advertising is an audio or visual form of marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Think a megaphone, one to many.
A successful law firm advertising campaign will spread the word about your firm and the services it provides, attract new clients, and generate sales.
There are a variety of channels to choose from when you are figuring out your ad spend.
In this article we will give you a quick break down of some of the channels to put your law firm’s advertisements on, offer some tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years, to help you maximize your advertising dollars; we’ll go over ways to create your own ads, and tell you some of the ways you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your law firm advertisements.
The goal of this article is to get you up to speed on modern lawyer advertising techniques. If you have any questions about this article or want more information about advertising for attorneys, don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly.
Before we go any further let’s get you familiar with some terms, you’ll be hearing throughout this article and some you will run into when you’re planning your firm’s advertising campaigns. If you want to make great ads, you need to learn how advertisers talk.
Visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid (“organic”) search results are considered organic traffic. Organic traffic comes to your law firm’s website after using a search engine like Google or DuckDuckGo. Investing in SEO, improving your website design, and staying active on social media can all help you boost your organic traffic
Are visitors that found your site because of paid advertising, hints the name.
An impression refers to the point in which an ad is viewed, or displayed once on a web page. The number of impressions of a particular advertisement is determined by the number of times it appears in front of someone’s eyeballs. Be aware, that an impression doesn’t mean someone actually read your ad, it just means it appeared in front of them.
The completion of a desired goal by a consumer. Filling out a form, calling your office, or making a purchase. Conversions contribute to large organizational goals. The percentage of total visitors that convert is called your conversion rate.
Click Through Rate (CTR):
This is the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad has been shown. The CTR percentage allows you to measure the engagement with your ad. The higher the percentage, the higher the engagement. You should be comparing your campaigns with industry standards for each channel you are on to compare their effectiveness. Also, you need to keep in mind that the size of your ask will affect your CTR, e.g., asking someone to watch a video is a smaller ask than asking them to fill out a form.
Formula: CTR percentage=(clicks/impressions) x 100
A target audience is the intended audience of a marketing campaign, or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message.
Return on investment is the ratio between the net profit and cost of investment resulting from an investment of some resources. A high ROI means the investment’s gains compare favorably to its cost.
Your call to action is your “request” and the users next step after seeing your ad. Examples include: “Learn More,” “Contact Us,” or “Watch Video.” Any piece of lawyer advertising material you put out into the world should include a clear CTA. You will base the success of your ads on the number of people that followed through with your call to action.
Key performance indicators are the key metrics you plan to measure. They are your indicators of success and should influence which advertising campaigns best align with your goals.
Pay Per Clicks is the cost for each click your ad receives. Keep in mind that if one person clicks on your ad four times, you will be charged for four clicks.
Formula: total cost =(clicks x PPC)
Cost Per Lead:
CPL model means that you are only paying for leads that are delivered to you through your ad campaign. Examples include when potential clients fill out a form, subscribe to your blog or provide an email address to receive more info. The CPL cost model is very competitive and is not guaranteed to deliver in full.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) affects the visibility of your law firm’s website organically through search engines unpaid (free) results. Good SEO gets you to the top of a Google search results page. There are several techniques you can use to improve your ranking, such as, writing quality content on a consistent basis and using targeted keywords. SEO doesn’t really fall under the advertising umbrella, but it’s worth knowing the basics for your overall marketing strategy. If you are curious about SEO (and you should be), you can check out our full SEO for Attorneys Guide.
Split or A/B test:
An A/B or split test is a marketing technique that allows you to optimize your advertisements. In an A/B test, you’ll take a small percentage of your total audience, split them into two groups, and use them to test a variable (e.g., ad copy, image, targeting). The end goal of an A/B test is to see which of your advertisement (or any piece of marketing material) converts better. After your analysis is complete, you’ll want to record your findings and roll the winning variant out to the rest of your remaining audience.
The writing that’s makes up your advertisement.
Channels are the places that broadcast content.
Targeting the right people
When you are creating an advertising campaign, regardless of what mediums you are considering, the first thing you need to think about is, “who will I be speaking to?”
The better you can define your target audience the more likely you will be to create a message that resonates with them, which will increase your chances of making a conversion (making a sale, retaining a client, etc.). Defining your law firm’s target market will also help you figure out which marketing channels you should invest in. You’ll want to place your ads on channels that have a high concentration of your target market.
Audience targeting is broken down into two broad categories: Demographics and Psychographics.
Demographics take into account tangible information about an audience:
- Age range
- Sex male, female, or (doesn’t identify)
- Education level
- Income level
- Marital status
- Family size
- Average age at marriage
Psychographics attempt to get inside a potential client’s head. Psychographics are applied to the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.
- What does a client worry about?
- What are his/her life goals?
- What do they care about/value?
- What are there opinions about big issuers?
- How do they wish they were spending their free time?
- What’s there preferred lifestyle and how does it compare to the lifestyle they are living right now?
The better you can define this the more likely it is that your messages will resonate with your audience.
Ideally, you will be performing research on your chosen target market and continually tweaking, testing, and refining your advertisements based on your findings.
Traditional media channels are old school outlets. Anything that doesn’t rely on the internet or social media to target and distribute messages falls into this category.
It’s hard to measure the effectiveness of traditional media channels, they don’t have the robust targeting capabilities of digital channels, and they usually cost more to implement. For these reasons, we typically recommend that our clients spend their advertising dollars on digital media channels.
That being said, traditional channels can still be effective if you know how to use them.
We can’t write an article about lawyer advertising without mentioning that side of the road staple—the billboard.
Billboards work well for personal injury, family law, and employment law cases.
I would not recommend buying billboard space if you run a corporate litigation practice, regardless of how good your face might look when its 50 ft tall.
If you do decide to create a billboard make sure you are keeping your copy to a minimum and making sure your phone number or website URL is memorable and large enough for people to see.
You will also need to invest in some serious branding, to make sure you stand out from the other billboards.
Top podcasts will have tons of information on their listenership. If you are looking to segment a specific market, these ads might work for you. Free advice, sports talk shows work well for divorce lawyers.
The show’s talent will typically help you craft your advertisement.
- Use an easy to remember URL or phone number
- If you advertise on more than one program, use a different phone number or web address, or special coupons to differentiate between each show. This will make it much easier to identify which programs are getting you the most bang for your buck.
If you have too much money burning holes in your pockets TV will help you get rid of it. TV ads are expensive. I would suggest spending your money elsewhere.
Magazines are excellent at targeting specific kinds of people. Magazines have the added benefit of hanging around places for a long time.
Direct mail/hard copy
Direct mail pieces are annoying, but when done correctly, they can also be effective.
- Send large postcards. Large mailers will stick out when a potential client stacks their mail.
- Understand that your mailer will be thrown away, so you need to convey all the essential information quickly, i.e., from the time it takes to walk from the mailbox to the recycling bin.
Direct mail means writing to customers directly. The more precise your mailing list or distribution area, the more of your target market you will reach. A direct mail approach is more personal, as you can select your audience and plan the timing to suit your business.
Catalogs, brochures, and leaflets can also be distributed to your target area. Including a brochure with your direct mail is a great way to give an interested customer more information about your practice areas.
New media (digital media) (online channels)
New Media means of mass communication using digital technologies such as the Internet.
Google ads is an online advertising service developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, and video content within the Google ad network to web users.
Advertising on Google or running pay per click campaigns is one of the fastest ways to get your ads in front of a lot of qualified leads.
Google ads give you a lot of tools to help your business grow. Everything from your location on google maps, reviews of your law firm, can all be controlled from your dashboard.
Google Ads handles a lot. We recommend that you take their online course to get familiar with everything you can do from the platform. We won’t be able to cover everything you can do with Google ads in this post, so for the sake of brevity, we’ll only talk about running ads on this platform.
When you run a Google search, you’ll notice that that the results at the top of the page have a small “ad” badge next to their title.
This ad badge indicates that the site didn’t make it to the top of the page because of the tireless efforts of an SEO expert and a content team. The ad badge means the site bought its top of page ranking.
You buy ad space on the top of Google by bidding on keywords. The more popular, specific, or lucrative the keywords the more money it costs to purchase them.
Say a keyword cost $5, whenever your website shows up due to a search of that keyword, and someone clicks on it, your credit card is charged $5. You can cap how much you spend on a specific word over a predetermined amount of time, e.g., you can choose to spend $500 a month on the keyword “Lawyer Advertising.”
Keep in mind that your lead lifetime value needs to be higher than what you spend on acquiring that lead. If not you’ll need to rethink your media spend and/or what you are charging clients.
One of the most useful tools in the online advertiser’s toolkit is retargeted advertisements.
You’ve definitely seen these. Notice how some of your previous searches are following you around online?
Retargeted ads are seen by potential leads who visit a specific page on the internet but don’t end up converting. This happens all the time. We utilize retargeting for a bunch of our efforts. Feel free to visit our website design page, start filling out the form, then leave. You’ll probably be hearing from us shortly.
Sponsored articles (advertorials)
Sponsored articles, when done ethically, are advertisements that also function as informational articles.
The main difference between a sponsored post and a regular article is that you have to pay for a sponsored article to be featured by a media outlet.
The biggest thing to remember about sponsored articles is that even though you are paying for your content to be posted on by a media outlet, you still need to offer value to your audience. If you don’t then, they won’t read your piece, and you’re money will go to waste.
So write about things that are relevant to your field. You can still offer your contact info and let potential clients know that you operate a law firm and that you are available to answer their legal questions.
Facebook, Inc. says one out of every five minutes spent on mobile is either on their site or their sister site, Instagram.
It can be difficult to get organic traffic on Facebook, but as is the case with all media channels, you can pay for eyeballs (impressions).
Paying for placement on Facebook platform lets you put your law firm in front of your target market.
Facebook gives you the option to choose from a variety of ad types; each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Promoted posts, for instance, look just like regular posts from your Facebook page, but are more likely to show up in a user’s feed.
Display ads can also be inserted into the feed in the form of videos, slideshows, or photos. You can even advertise your law firm within the standalone Messenger app.
Changes in organic visibility mean that more people are competing for paid ad space. This can increase costs and can make it harder for your ads to stand out.
Facebook has also changed how they handle ads that directly invite engagement through phrases like “click here” or “join now.” Calls to action are powerful advertising tools, but you need to be careful about how you use them on Facebook.
Also, be aware that Facebook ads don’t like you to use large amounts of copy on your graphics. You’ll need to find images that illustrate your point.
Twitter remains a key platform for individuals, influencers, and brands. There are approximately 500 million tweets every day. This high volume of traffic can also make it hard for your Tweets to get seen.
Twitter ads are a way for your messages to break through the clutter. Using Twitter ads will put your firm in front of a large number of prospects.
Two-thirds of Twitter users say they’ve discovered a small or medium business there. Offering your legal expertise on Twitter for free is a great way to attract potential paying clients.
Twitter ads come in many forms. The simplest is the Promoted Tweet. These are just like your firm’s regular tweets with one big difference: they can be seen even by people who do not follow your firm. Like regular tweets, they can be retweeted, liked, and replied to. Promoted Tweets are a great chance to start a conversation with potential clients.
Promoted accounts put your entire firm’s account in front of potential users to gain new followers. Twitter users are very open to this sort of advertising. 85% say that Promoted Accounts helped them find new products and services.
Linkedin’s ad features are similar to Twitter’s and Facebook’s. You can target your ads by, location, demographic information, interests, etc.
What makes LinkedIn different from other social networking sites is that the platform caters to working professionals. This makes LinkedIn the ideal channel for targeting high-level business executives and decision makers.
You need to be aware of the language you use and the tone you take on different social media channels. What works on one may not necessarily work on the others.
We’ve found that a more formal tone accompanied by hard data works well for LinkedIn ads whereas the audience on Reddit prefers a more conversational tone and a more emotional message.
To advertise on Youtube, you’ll need to create a video or a banner graphic.
You can target your ads to appear on specific videos that are of interest to your potential clients. For example, if you are a family lawyer, you might want to invest in youtube ads that appear on videos like “how to adopt a child from another country.”
Reddit is the world’s largest online forum—it was built for discussing, communicating, and sharing thoughts and opinions.
Reddit gives advertisers the ability to target users via subreddits—niche communities often related to specific interests. This is where you’ll find specific, engaged, and often influential audiences.
We have a lot of success running plaintiff acquisitions for class actions campaign form this channel. Reddit’s targeting makes it easy to find interested parties.
Calculating Media Buys
This is a fancy way of saying that you need to figure out your budget and allocate your spend to high impact channels.
You can accomplish this by doing your research. If you’ve done your homework, you should know when, where, and how to speak to your audience.
At the least, you should start with a hypothesis that you want to test. We suggest testing different combinations of channels and messaging until you find a good mix.
Ideally, you will always be testing and improving.
If you are not measuring you are not improving.
Every outlet you choose to advertise with will be able to provide you with insights that will be able to inform your decision making.
You need to be keeping track of how much you are spending on advertising channels and what kind of return on investment (ROI) they a giving you.
If you want to take a deeper dive into ways to track your advertising efforts and calculate your ROI, check out our Law firm Marketing Guide.
Advertising your law firm doesn’t need to be a daunting task.
With the right planning, you too can create, launch, and measure successful lawyer advertising campaigns.
If you have any questions about law firm advertisements, campaigns, or would like to share some of your success don’t hesitate to contact us.