Don’t Just Advertise To Clients; Engage Them

ring-441783_1280In the past, the only attorneys who dealt with engagement were those tasked with drafting a prenup for couples that have just agreed to tie the knot.  But when it comes to marketing, engagement is precisely what you need if you’re going to experience any degree of success in the current marketplace.

The idea of engagement is still a relatively new one.  When you produced an ad for the phone book 20 years ago, you didn’t worry about whether or not your audience was “engaged” with that ad.  You wanted to grab their attention and prompt them to give your law firm a call.  You needed them to engage with their phone so that they’d be put into touch with you; the ad acted solely as a springboard.

Today’s consumer, however, is a bit of a paradigm.  They’re a bit fickle when it comes to the messages they’re exposed to, because there’s just so darn many of them.  An individual is inundated with marketing throughout their daily lives; they’re virtually inescapable.  If the person sitting across from you at the dinner table has a brand name emblazoned upon their shirt, that’s a marketing message!

While most messages get overlooked, the average consumer is more willing than ever to interact deeply with those messages that appeal to them the most.  They may not respond to every ad that’s sent their way, because that’s impossible, but those they do respond to will stick with them for quite some time.  They ignore what they don’t need and have an incredibly positive experience with those that offer them something useful.

As a lawyer, it’s up to you to cut through the glut of excess marketing with a message that will cause engagement among your most rabid client base.  You won’t win over everybody, but you don’t need to.  Rather than a nonplussed response among a large group of people, you want to aim for an enthusiastic response among those most likely to enlist your services.

connect-20333_640Establish A Connection

A new article in Venture Beat highlights how companies can go about making a successful shift to engagement marketing.  You’ll want to take a look at that, as it points to the ways that audience behavior has shifted dramatically in recent years.  Because that behavior has changed so much, you can’t hope to stay on an old-fashioned track and expect your acquisition numbers to stay the same.

The shift toward engagement starts now, and it begins with a bigger investment in online marketing than perhaps you’ve ever been willing to make before.  The client journey is fractured, and any marketing effort that doesn’t take into account every possible element of a client’s experience is doomed to lose at least a few clients.

That’s why we never advise a law firm to ditch their traditional marketing efforts entirely.  Those are still valuable, they just offer that value in a different way. They’re phase one of engagement, but that’s precisely what they are:  a phase.

You have to understand how a prospective client behaves when they see your traditional ad with its call to action.  You may call upon them to contact your firm right away, but that’s usually not the action they take.  Instead, you’ve only begun the client acquisition process.

Every traditional ad should include a link to your website and stress the name of your law firm again and again and again.  There’s a reason for this:  you give them the web domain so that, if they so choose, they can visit your law firm immediately.  But you stress your practice’s name repeatedly so that they can still engage with you even if they conduct a more basic search for something like “personal injury lawyer” on Google.  That’s so that they’ll be reminded of your ad when they stumble upon your name in the search results.  You want to put awareness to good use.

Of course, engagement really begins when a prospect visits your website.  This is where you want to reel a person in, giving them more than just a basic description of your law firm and its services.  You should be willing to use a blog and an FAQ page to explore every possible facet of the law.  Produce infographics and videos that further impress a prospective client with your knowledge and abilities.  Offer surveys about liability that people can answer to determine if they might qualify to file a claim.

The more interactive you can make things, the better.  Have a consultation form ready to go, or even better, have a chat window pop up that asks a person if they want to speak with a lawyer straight away.  Not everyone will, but some might jump at the chance to speak immediately with a legal professional.

Include social icons to give people the chance to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  Establish a retargeting campaign so that your ads follow a web visitor throughout their travels on the internet.

All of this bolsters engagement.  If a person doesn’t feel like they’re being catered to, you could lose them, and you certainly don’t want that.

adult-21679_640A Reevaluation Is In Order

We’ve described some of the things you need to ensure engagement, but perhaps the first thing you need is some soul-searching.  You must be willing to take a look at your current efforts to see if you’re really doing all that you can to engage your audience.

Do you offer people the chance to explore your site, or is it fairly threadbare, filled instead with constant invitations to contact your law firm?  That’s good to a point, but if someone wants more information without contacting at attorney to get it, you have to give them that time to make a decision, and that requires engaging content.

Do your traditional ads only contain a phone number rather than a number along with a website?  That’s a shame, as you’re preventing a person from taking the journey we described above.  Are you missing a retargeting campaign that can regain the people that have left you?  Out of sight, out of mind, and if you’re not always in sight, that person in need of a lawyer will forget about you quickly.

Get Engaged

You owe it to yourself and your clients to keep them attuned to your message rather than letting them meander over to an inferior lawyer.  And you need engaging marketing to do that.

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Posted In: law firm marketing