The Future Of Marketing Is Within Sight Today

future-175620_1280Last month was all about people providing their predictions for marketing and SEO in 2015 and offering tips on putting forth a successful strategy for the same.  But now that the excitement of the New Year has worn off, you’re not seeing much about the year to come.

One new article in Search Engine Land actually takes things a step further, going so far as to provide a series of resolutions that a marketer can put into place to make not 2015, but 2016 a success.  He looks to the future and provides insights that a business could use to lay the groundwork now for what’s to come a year from now.

This speaks to an important point.  Legal marketers need to always be thinking about what lies ahead.  Not just tomorrow, or the day after that, or next month, but what marketing should look like years down the road.  When you come at marketing with that kind of intensity and dedication, you’d be surprised by how successful you can be in the here and now.  And that success can carry over for a long time to come.  You’ll be on the cutting-edge, reaching the minds of clients and the tops of the search results while your competitors are still struggling to grow hip to the productive tactics of the future.

Today, we’re going to highlight just what shape those tactics might take for legal marketers.  Even if some of these are unproven today, they may very well turn out to be the best way to acquire new clients very, very soon.  While everyone else is twiddling their thumbs, content with the status quo, you can upend the apple cart and bring a whole new level of productivity to your marketing.

step-163948_640Step Into The Social Media Of Tomorrow

The best example of embracing the future might be found on social media.  Every day it seems like the Facebooks and Twitters of the world are introducing new features.  Far too many businesses are unwilling to explore their options on these mediums.  Instead, they’re content to rest on their laurels, using the same social media tactics that they’ve employed for years with varying and probably diminishing degrees of success.

Don’t fall into that same state of contentment.  Instead, you should adopt an open attitude to every new feature introduced on your favorite social channels.  Most businesses probably don’t even realize the level of customization they can lend to the ads deployed on Facebook and other social sites, and that’s a shame.  You can target an audience in ways that are unprecedented in the annals of marketing history, and those targeting capabilities only grow more advanced with each passing day and year.

If you’re attempting to draw eyes to your practice, you can begin your marketing campaign by focusing on geography.  Craft a message that pertains to a certain state or even area of the state, and then use targeting options to ensure your message only goes in front of people within that vicinity.

With that step complete, you can use keywords and interests to more carefully delineate who’s going to see the message.  If you’re a criminal defense practice, you could harness keywords commonly associated with persons who have just been wrongly accused of a crime.  A divorce lawyer would target phrases inherent to matters of custody.  A personal injury lawyer would fixate on injury-related terms.

And it’s not just the advanced capabilities of current social mediums that you need to look into.  You also have to be willing to embrace brand new social media formats that your competitors haven’t even thought of.  While everyone else is spending all their time Tweeting about the legal world and posting things to Facebook that only a tiny sliver of the audience would see, you can pay attention to what younger demographics are into these days.  If you’re the lawyer who cracks Snapchat or develops a following on Pinterest, you could be the lawyer whose potential audience makes every other attorney in your area jealous.

children-214437_640The Future Of Directories Is Now

It’s not just social media channels that are coming online and constantly unfurling new options for businesses.  Directories also follow a similar pattern, and they’re yet another thing that law firms neglect at their own peril.

Consider even the most well-known of these sites, Yelp.  There was a time a few years back when this site was merely an accumulation of reviews about a given business.  While that’s certainly still what Yelp is, the directory has become so much more than that.  Businesses of all kinds can tap into the features offered by this directory in order to reach the many individuals who use Yelp to inform their decision-making process.

Claiming your listing and filling it out to the best of your abilities is only the first step.  Did you know it’s actually possible to advertise on Yelp?  When a person seeks out a restaurant, they’re not just provided organic results.  Just like with Google, their inquiry also brings back a listing for those businesses that have paid to be featured in the Ad section of the website.  This is common to see with restaurants, but not so common with attorneys. Why not beat everyone to the punch and advertise on this platform, guaranteeing your visibility when everyone else is leaving things to chance?

You also have the ability to foster positive interactions on these platforms.  If you’ve set things up the right way, a person can actually get in touch with you on Yelp.  Or, if someone’s reviewed your law firm, you can actually respond to their review.  If it’s negative, you can address their concerns, or if it’s positive, you might be able to thank them.

Sites like Avvo, Yelp, and the YellowPages are rolling out new features on a regular basis, yet the number of businesses taking advantage of these services is pretty miniscule.  Why not be the trendsetter for lawyers in your area?  By the time others get around to adopting a plan similar to what you set in motion, you’ll have a nearly insurmountable lead in the directories.

A Bright Future Ahead

Never be content with how things are currently progressing.  Always think about what you could do online that your competitors can’t or aren’t willing to do, and you’ll be amazed by what kinds of results may come your way.

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Posted In: law firm marketing