A Traditional Marketing Peg In An Online Marketing Hole

screw-106359_1280Because Search Engine Optimization, content marketing, and internet marketing are so new in comparison to those channels that have enjoyed decades of usefulness, the chances of committing a costly error are greater.  The most common error is applying the same standards to modern internet marketing channels as you’ve applied for years on traditional channels.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve fallen into this trap, as businesses far and wide, small and large, have all committed marketing errors.  What’s more important is being able to make a proper assessment of your work and determine if an error has in fact been committed.  If your return on investment isn’t where you’d like it to be, whether because you’re not getting web traffic or because the persons who visit you don’t convert to clients, then one of the best things you can do is simply figure out what’s wrong.

To do that, you can start by checking out a new report from iMedia Connection.  The author highlights some of the reasons that a marketing effort can fail.  The reason we like articles like this is that they can be an eye-opener for businesses, law firms included, that haven’t even realized their own techniques were holding them back.  Once you determine that a problem exists, it becomes easy to pivot toward the right way of doing things.

Today, we’re going to explore the common traps, some of them hinted at at the aforementioned link, that law firms fall into.  If you can correct these issues, you should find that your online marketing proves successful, perhaps even more so than your marketing via traditional means.

humpback-whale-431902_640A Whale Of A Sale

We think that the author’s first point at the link above is the most astute one when it comes to legal representation.  That is, when a law firm makes the jump to online content marketing, they just can’t help themselves from pitching their legal services at every turn.

It’s easy to see how this mistake is made.  For years, you’ve only had traditional channels to work with:  television, billboards, phone books, newspapers, bus benches, etc.  These types of ads are clamoring for attention with everyone else who has decided to advertise on them.  You need to make a direct call to action in order to get people to come to you.

That’s why these messages involve statements like, “Call us today to get justice!” or “We’re equipped to handle your case” or “The lawyers who care about your care.”  You have a limited amount of time to make your case for why a person in a tough legal quandary needs to contact you right away.

Content marketing doesn’t work in the same way.  Because content will primarily be featured on your own website (although sometimes it can be produced on third party sites where you have a guest column), the hard work of getting somebody interested in your legal services is already complete.  You don’t have to inundate them with messages to contact you because they’ve already initiated contact with you.

This is the hardest thing to get used to when you make the transition to online marketing.  When a person reads your blog or the description of a practice area, they’re looking for information about a given legal situation.  They’re not looking to be advertised to.  That would be like walking into a fast food restaurant, asking the person at the counter what ingredients are in a given menu item, and being told, “There’s cheese, lettuce, and special sauce.  Order this burger now so that your hunger can be sated.  Our burger is the best burger on the planet, and the only way that you’ll be satisfied is to eat this burger today.  WHY AREN’T YOU EATING THE BURGER YET?!”

The client is already in your sphere of influence.  At that point, all they want is information.  Use your blog and your website as a means of providing answers they can’t find anywhere else.  When they see that you have the knowledge to help them, and that the knowledge isn’t hidden behind a consultation form or a contract with the firm, the persons who need a lawyer will turn to you.

In this way, you let your skills do the talking for you.  This enables you to get in the good graces of prospective clients, plus it allows you to rank for keywords that will bring even more clients your way.

cms-265125_1280The Daily News

Another tough adjustment for law firms is coming to the realization that marketing on the web isn’t a one-and-done proposition.  That’s quite different from traditional channels.  When you produce a bus bench ad, for instance, you create the ad and it’s done.  It stays up so long as you keep paying for it to be featured there.  And you can use the same ad all across the city.

On the web, if you create an ad or a piece of content today, you have to have new content ready to go tomorrow.  That applies to both paid and organic channels.  On an organic channel like your blog, you must have new legal insights at the ready every single day.  When a person sees that your blog gets updated with new content daily, they’ll trust that your law firm is current on the latest happenings.  And you never know which of those latest happenings will be the very subject that takes a future client to your site.

When you’re not updating regularly, you’re not giving yourself enough opportunities to rank for keywords.  If you want a #1 ranking for a term like “Sarasota divorce lawyer,” then you had better produce a lot of content about divorce in Sarasota.  You can’t do that if you’re not constantly adding to your web content.

Ads work the same way.  On platforms like Google and Facebook, you can choose precisely how much you pay for top placement and for how long that lasts.  One online ad typically doesn’t last as long as a traditional ad will.  You need new ads at the ready at all times, and you need them for a variety of subjects so that you’re reaching all sorts of prospects in need.

Take Two

If you know that these issues are plaguing your law firm, the time to change is now.  The longer you wait, the tougher it will be to get to the top of the online heap.


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Posted In: law firm marketing