You want to up your marketing game, but…
There seem to be thousands of marketing strategies and tactics you could be using, and you’re not sure which ones you should be using.
What tactics are going to have the greatest impact? Where should you allocate your marketing budget—and how much should that budget even be?
These big questions can quickly become overwhelming.
And to make matters worse, your competitors seem to be absolutely crushing it. It looks like they’re doing everything right—ads on Facebook, a well-designed website that’s showing up on Google, TV commercials in primetime spots…
… how are you supposed to get ahead?
How can you level up your marketing efforts, position your practice as an industry leader, get more inquiries knocking on your front door, and start retaining more clients?
You’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’re going to be sharing 9 marketing strategies and multiple specific marketing tactics every personal injury and plaintiff’s law firm can use to promote their practice, generate more intakes, and serve more clients.
Branding, digital advertising, social media, direct mail—this guide is going to cover all the essentials you need to confidently plan your law firm’s marketing efforts.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- The Role Of Marketing In The Legal Industry
- 9 Marketing Strategies For Personal Injury Law Firms
- Lead Generation Tactics For Personal Injury Firms
- Why Measuring Your Marketing Efforts Is A Must (And How To Get Started)
The Role Of Law Firm Marketing & Advertising For Personal Injury Firms
Before we jump into marketing strategies you can put into practice, let’s quickly touch on the role of marketing.
Overall, marketing helps you accomplish three main objectives:
1. Building your firm’s brand.
The better your marketing and advertising, the more people will be aware of your firm and the services you offer.
2. Getting in front of potential clients.
As your brand awareness increases, you’ll be able to reach more and more potential clients, no matter where they’re spending their time.
3. Growing your client list (and legal practice overall).
Finally, as your brand becomes more recognizable and you’re reaching more potential clients,your client list will begin to grow. Over time, you’ll increase your incoming requests, consultation calls, and clients.
And with that, let’s talk specifics…
Throughout this section, we’re going to break down several overall strategies you should be leaning on to market your practice.
One thing you need to keep in mind:
The following strategies are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, many of these strategies can—and should—be used in tandem. For example, when we talk about video marketing as a strategy (YouTube video in particular) you’ll see direct connections to both social media and branding too.
Navigate this section
- Branding for law firms
- SEO for law firms
- PPC for law firms
- Social media for law firms
- Referral programs for law firms
- Video marketing for law firms
- Traditional advertising for law firms
- Grassroots marketing for law firms
- Marketing automation for law firms
1. Branding for law firms
Branding includes a number of different elements, everything from the colors of your brand visuals, to the consistency of your online presence, to your firm’s unique value proposition—i.e., what makes you different from the competition…
It’s all a part of your overall brand.
And a great brand can help your practice stand out from the sea of competing personal injury firms and lead potential clients to think of your name first when they need an attorney.
For example, if your firm specializes in car accident cases, instead of someone jumping into Google with a search like this:
…they’ll already know the answer to that question and instead search for something like this:
The importance of brand awareness, recognition & consistency
Pop quiz—how many of the software tools below can you name based on the logo and visual branding alone?
While you may not know them all, you probably recognize a handful. Microsoft has done an excellent job of building brand recognition for their core products.
You can do the same in the personal injury law industry.
Create consistent brand imagery and visuals, stick to one color scheme, promote catchy phone numbers and slogans—your goal is to be memorable.
The reason it’s so important to build a recognizable brand for your firm is so that when somebody needs to hire a personal injury attorney down the road, you’ll come to mind.
What is a ‘value proposition’ and why do you need one?
Your value proposition is what sets you apart from your competitors. It’s what makes your firm unique.
For example, Litify’s primary value proposition is our single-platform approach that lets you manage your entire legal practice from a single location. So on our products page, we’re leading with that message:
Think about it: What is it that your firm delivers that no other firm can match? What makes the decision to work with you over a competitor an absolute no-brainer?
Find that unique value proposition and lean into it.
Position it front and center on your website, speak to it in your advertising campaigns, talk about it over and over again during interviews—own that value proposition.
Want to find out how Litify’s single-platform approach can help you more effectively and efficiently manage your practice? Request a free demo to see Litify in action.
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2. SEO for law firms
SEO (search engine optimization) primarily involves optimizing pages on your website to target common phrases your target audience is typing into Google.
This includes researching what your audience is searching for the most, creating content around those phrases, ensuring those phrases are visible to Google, and more.
For example, when someone is in a car accident and looking for a lawyer, they may jump onto Google to search for “how to find a good car accident lawyer”:
If you’ve created a page on your website that talks about that topic and optimized that page for Google search, you have the potential to show up in the results page:
Then potential clients can click through to your website to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
What are ‘keywords’ and why are they important?
A keyword or keyphrase is whatever a person types into a search engine like Google. For example, every search query you see highlighted here can be classified as a keyword or keyphrase:
What makes keywords so important is that Google uses them to determine which pages should appear in the results.
Think of it this way: When someone types “auto accident lawyer fees” into Google, the search engine will look for pages on the internet that talk about auto accident lawyer fees and related topics and show those pages in the search results, like so:
In order for you to start showing up for search queries related to your law firm, it’s important to consider which keywords your audience is typing into Google the most, then make sure those keywords appear in the right places on your website.
There are plenty of SEO and keyword research tools that can help you identify terms your audience might be searching for, but before you sign up for every tool you can find, look to Google first.
1. Search for a topic you’d like to show up in the results for.
2. Look at what Google suggests in the “People also ask…” section.
3. Scroll to the bottom to see other searches related to this one.
4. Keep going down the rabbit hole to find more keyword suggestions.
Click on the “related searches” and go through the same process. Keep a notepad open to jot down the keywords and topics that stand out to you.
Optimizing for local searches
Google is getting smarter by the day. In most cases, it can figure out when someone is looking for a local resource and adjust the search results accordingly. So for example, when a person opens Google and searches for keyphrases like…
- “Car accident lawyer near me”
- “Social security attorney in Orlando”
- “Best workers comp lawyers”
…Google is going to try to show results that are nearby.
And if you’re running a law firm in Orlando that deals with social security cases, you want to show up close to the top of the results for “social security attorney in Orlando.”
Optimizing web content for SEO success
There are two primary content archetypes for law firms to consider:
1. Practice Area Pages
These long-form pages (greater than 2,000 words) explain your practice areas and open lawsuits in detail. They generally address broad search phrases (like “car accident attorney”) and will include multiple sections that address each facet of filing a lawsuit (like “how much does it cost,” “common injuries,” etc.).
These pages are perfect bottom-of-the-funnel content. Most people who find your page will be looking for an attorney, so make it easy for them to take the next step: include clear calls to action for contacting your firm to see if they may have a case.
Blog posts are generally shorter than practice area pages (500-1,000 words) and are less salesly. The goal with these posts is to educate readers about a new legal development, a groundbreaking verdict or settlement, common threats to their legal rights, or exciting news about your law firm. If you want to appear in search results for a breaking news item, a timely blog post can help you do that.
Blog content typically targets the middle of the funnel: you want to make sure your content is helpful and valuable for the readers who may not need your services quite yet.
Why is long-form content important for law firms?
Producing quality long-form content is key for search visibility. Here’s why:
- You can answer multiple versions of search intent (e.g., if you’re keyword is “car accidents,” a consumer could be looking for information on many different things)
- You have more opportunities to rank for keyword synonyms and related phrases
- You’re likely to gain more inbound backlinks (links to your page on other websites)
- Long-form content takes a longer amount of time to read; thus, it has better on-page signals (e.g., average time a visitor stays on your page)
Why you should update existing content
So you’ve published a few practice area pages, built out your blog and are already seeing more traffic. Job done? Not so fast.
It’s important that you continuously update web content to maintain search visibility. Here’s why:
- Refreshing content gets it re-crawled
- It updates the publish date
- It allows for continuous content improvement, SEO benefits, additional keyword opportunities, etc.
How can you update content without rewriting the piece entirely?
- Update any old statistics you cited
- Improve your sources and citations, referencing any recently published content
- Expand the length and substance of the page
- Improve readability with better formatting
- Add additional media (e.g., images, video, infographics, etc.)
The value of unique content in Google’s eyes
Passing 100% on Copyscape just means your content isn’t plagiarized; it doesn’t mean it’s “unique”. Instead, strive to be truly unique.
If every law firm is using the same sources, we aren’t providing value by repeating and rephrasing each other’s content. Google wants unique sources, differing opinions, varied formats, etc. You can do that by compiling your own statistics, adding quotes, creating your own multimedia, etc.
3. PPC for law firms
PPC (pay-per-click advertising) is a type of digital advertising where you only pay when someone clicks on one of your ads. In other words, you’re paying to bring potential customers to your website rather than earning them organically through SEO, social media or referrals.
You can run PPC advertising campaigns in a number of locations online—although the most common are Google search, social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and directory sites in your industry.
Google Ads (search engine advertising)
One of the most effective places to run a PPC advertising campaign is within Google itself. You can select certain search phrases or important words you’d like to show up for, set your budget, then capture the attention of people typing those phrases and words into the search bar.
For example, in this Google search for “social security lawyer,” three companies have PPC ads that display at the top of the results page:
This allows them to show up in the first few positions for search phrases they want to target, without having to beat out the competition to show up organically—a spot Investopedia has achieved for this particular search (bottom of the image above).
What makes Google Ads so effective is that they align with the intent of the people who see them.
In order for your ad to appear, someone needs to search for something relevant to your firm. If you specialize in social security, a person who types “social security lawyer” into Google is expressing a need for your services—and is therefore much more likely to click on your ad.
That said, search ads (like you’re seeing above) are only one type of digital ad you can run with Google. You can also run:
1. Display ads. Also known as banner ads—these are the visual ads that you often see on news publication sites. These can be set up and managed through Google.
2. Video ads. Since Google acquired YouTube back in 2006, you’re also able to run video advertising campaigns on YouTube through your Google Ads account. These ads can be shown as skippable or non-skippable ads before a video, quick commercials during a video, and more.
3. Customer match & similar audience ads. If you have the proper tracking set up, you can also choose to show ads only to people who’ve already seen one of your ads before, visited certain pages on your website, or taken certain actions such as requesting a consultation.
PPC ads on social media channels (Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads)
Beyond Google, there are plenty of other channels you can run PPC advertising campaigns on: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram—the list goes on.
Here’s a great example of PPC advertising on Facebook:
This personal injury firm has created an ad targeting people who have been denied sick leave from work. This ad will be promoted as a sponsored post in the feeds of their targeted audience and they’ll only pay when the link is clicked.
The same goes for digital ads run on LinkedIn. You can create ads in the form of “sponsored” posts that appear within the feeds of users on each channel.
The difference between PPC ads on social media and PPC ads on Google is the audience intent. As we talked about, in order for your ads to show up on Google, a person needs to be searching for something related to your business.
People who see your ads on social media are not actively looking for the solution you offer. Instead, you’re trying to capture their attention while they’re scrolling through their newsfeed. But both ad platforms can play a key role in your marketing strategy and lead to fantastic results when executed well.
Choosing your campaign goals
One of the most important aspects of any digital advertising campaign is making sure you understand exactly what the goal of your campaign is going to be.
With most advertising platforms, you’ll be choosing from one of three overall buckets:
1. Lead Generation. Your overall goal is to have an individual complete a form or take a specific action that allows you to collect their contact information and convert them into a lead.
2. Traffic. Your primary focus for this type of campaign will be getting your ads clicked on. You may be promoting a blog post, informational page, news story—anything where the focus may not be directly on converting everyone who clicks on your ad into a lead immediately.
3. Awareness. You’re trying to reach as many people as possible with your message, and there’s no direct action you want viewers to take. For example, you may be promoting a video or commercial to increase brand visibility amongst a certain audience or share information about a Class Action lawsuit.
Understanding the structure of a digital ads account
Jumping into a Google Ads or Facebook Ads account headfirst without an understanding of how everything you’re going to be setting up is actually structured is a one-way street to a confusing and messy ad campaign.
Across most PPC advertising channels (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) the structure is fairly consistent. It’s split up into three primary groups:
1. Campaigns. The overall campaign you’re creating ads for. This could be a specific Class Action lawsuit in progress, a practice area-specific group of ads, or a group of commercials you’re promoting.
2. Ad Groups. Within that campaign, you’ll have multiple ad groups or audiences. With each ad group you can choose to target users based on different demographics. For example, one group could be individuals between the ages of 18 and 25, and another between the ages of 45 and 60.
3. Keywords & Ads. Finally, you have the actual ads themselves, and for Google Ads—the keywords those ads will be targeting. You can create multiple variations of the same message to test which video or creative works best, which headline gets the most attention, etc. This also allows you to customize the ad itself to match the audience it’s being shown to.
In the end, the structure of your ads account will look like this:
Creating great digital ads
What goes into creating great digital ads on Google and social media? While it can take both time and trial and error to land on a great, high-performing ad, it starts with a few key areas:
Any time you’re running visual ads online, the creative you use is crucial. Whether it’s a sponsored social media post with an image, a video campaign on LinkedIn or YouTube, or a display ad campaign—the image or video itself usually takes up the most real estate, so make sure it’s captivating and engaging.
Regardless of where you’re running a PPC ad, messaging is going to play a role. Alongside your captivating video or image, you need to create headlines and supporting text that offer more context, clarity and encourage action.
Extensions, Callouts & Sitelinks.
With Google Search ads in particular, you’ll have the option to include additional links and features alongside your ads. These will allow you to highlight certain features, selling points, and supporting pages directly in your ads.
Testing, testing & more testing.
One of the most important aspects of a digital advertising campaign is to always, always, always be testing your ads. With how easy each channel makes the process of testing multiple variations of an ad against each other, you should always be exploring new messaging and new visual creative ideas to see which performs the best.
Retargeting your audience with PPC ads
Where digital advertising can really deliver game-changing results is through retargeting ads.
Retargeting ads display to people who’ve taken specific actions in the past, like visiting your website or interacting with a social media post. The audience for an ad like this is often called a custom audience, since it’s a new subset of your overall audience based on custom criteria you set.
For example, let’s say you’ve created a Facebook ad campaign targeting a broad audience with a handful of videos:
If someone is scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed and stops to watch 15 seconds of your commercial, that’s a sign they may be interested in more. So you can then create a retargeting campaign that targets only the people who’ve spent a certain amount of time watching your videos. In the retargeting ad, you might offer a free consultation:
How to measure the performance of your PPC efforts
When it comes to measuring performance, it’s going to vary based on the initial goal of your campaigns. In most cases, one of the most important metrics to measure is going to be how well you actually were able to accomplish your overall goal.
- For your lead generation campaigns, how many form submissions took place?
- For your traffic campaigns, how many clicks did your ads get?
- For your awareness campaigns, how many people did you reach?
From there, you can start to dig deeper into smaller actions that support or connect to your overall goals.
- On top of tracking how many leads you generated, you can also track how many people visited your webpage and saw the lead generation form.
- On top of tracking total clicks, you can also look at how long the people who did click stayed on your website. Did they leave right away or continue on to another page?
- If your awareness campaigns were video-based, how many total views did the video receive? How many people watched at least 10 seconds? 30 seconds? How many watched 50% of the video and how many watched it in full?
And finally, one of the most important metrics to measure where possible is your return on investment (ROI). For every dollar you spent on advertising, how much did you make back?
It can be tough to pinpoint exactly how much revenue your ads accounted for, so one of the best approaches to take is assigning values to certain actions based on how much revenue you expect to generate. For example, if you’re able to convert 10% of free consultations into signed retainers, and your average retainer size is $10,000, you can assign track the value of a free consultation call as $1,000.
Want to see advertising performance reports alongside your overall practice performance metrics? With Litify, you can build custom reports and dashboards all in place. Request a free demo to see Litify in action.
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4. Social media for law firms
Social media can play a key role in your overall marketing strategy because of how many different stages of marketing it impacts. Social media can help your firm…
- Build brand awareness and recognition
- Connect with current, past and potential clients
- Showcase your firm to potential new hires
- Promote your services, case studies, resources, key practice areas and more
That said, before you dive in head-first, it’s important to understand one thing:
You don’t need to be active everywhere.
There are hundreds of social media platforms out there, and you don’t need an account on every single one. If you only have the capacity to effectively keep up with one or two—start there.
Why should your firm be using social media?
According to Attorney at Work’s 2019 Social Media Marketing Survey Report, 71% of legal professionals say social media is “very” or “somewhat” responsible for bringing in new clients. Plus, 85% of lawyers were using social media as part of their marketing strategy in 2018:
Year after year, the number of lawyers and law firms adopting social media as part of their marketing strategy is growing—which means the firms you’re competing with are increasingly getting in front of potential clients on these platforms.
After all, there are literally billions of people around the world spending time on social media:
- Facebook recently reported 1.7 billion daily active users (logging in every single day)
- On LinkedIn, 40% of their ~300 million monthly users log in daily
- Twitter is up to 166 million daily active users
- Instagram is reportedly at 500+ million daily users
The moral of the story is this:
Regardless of who you’re trying to reach, they’re likely spending time on social media.
And because of this, establishing a presence on the channels they’re spending time on is no longer a nice-to-have.
So Where Should You Focus Your Efforts?
The most important first step to your social media strategy is determining which social media channels your ideal client uses often. For example, if you’re a business law firm, LinkedIn will be crucial to networking with budding and established businesses that might be in need of a legal partner.
Although it can be good to have your law firm listed on a variety of platforms, focus your posting and advertising efforts where your ideal clients spend their time.
Here are the top social platforms we see law firms making a big impact and developing a positive presence with their ideal clients in their markets.
Facebook should be one of the first places you look for investing your social media marketing efforts. With more than 1.62 million daily active users (people who log in and engage every single day), there is a wide, active audience browsing through profiles and feeds regularly.
Every law firm needs a business Facebook Page. Not only will you be able to post, engage with, and invite your audience to follow along organically—Facebook also has a robust advertising infrastructure that makes it easy to target people based on characteristics like whether they have visited your website, whether they’re in your area, or any number of other demographic and psychographic factors your ideal clients share.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest social professional network. The 675 million monthly active users on this platform focus their activities on their careers and professional specialties. With a user base like this, LinkedIn has earned a number of other notable marks:
- LinkedIn is the most trusted social network
- LinkedIn has a perfect 100 domain authority score (meaning Google loves it and every article you publish on LinkedIn will get a leg up on other native content ranking for the same keywords)
- LinkedIn has shown to be the best source for lead generation (when measuring click-to-conversions)
40% of LinkedIn users use the network every day. Many of those users are college-educated, affluent individuals—44% make more than $75,000 a year. LinkedIn is widely known as a popular content-sharing platform, and user-generated content racks up a staggering 9 billion impressions per week.
LinkedIn is a great place for your law firm to have a strong presence. Not only will the professionals on the platform be more likely to spend time consuming your more informational and detailed content, but this audience is a strong place to mine for potential referral partners (since you can target by job title and other indicating factors).
A law firm would do well to boost their LinkedIn posts and run paid ads to their target audience. Promoting your original content can improve your visibility and expand your reach. While LinkedIn is generally a more expensive advertising platform, its highly specialized user base makes it an essential tool in your social media marketing arsenal.
With over 1 billion monthly active users and 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of today’s most valuable social media platforms. In addition to attracting a high volume of users (especially younger users: well over half of Millennials are active on the platform), Instagram leads the pack when it comes to user engagement.
Not only that, but your law firm’s Facebook and Instagram business pages can be linked for crossposting and shared targeting data to maximize your exposure.
Combining Instagram’s high user engagement and strong visual emphasis with Facebook’s impressive paid ads system can boost awareness of your brand and help capture the attention of potential clients where they are already spending their time and attention.
After you’ve chosen your channels
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to leveraging social media for your law firm.
Once you get started on each of these platforms (and any others you determine are important to reach your ideal clients), you next must focus on what content generally performs best on each, what content resonates with your audience specifically, how to maximize your reach and exposure using paid ads on each platform, and how to tell if your law firm’s social media is even working at the end of the day.
For a more advanced social media advertiser, check out this jam-packed 60-minute webinar that includes everything from which strategies you should be using from the beginning, to how to know your social media efforts are actually worth it.
5. Referral programs for law firms
Referral programs in the legal industry typically mean one of two things:
- A referral network, where multiple firms partner to refer inquiries to other firms if they’re outside of their primary practice areas or don’t have capacity to take them on.
- A standalone organization that receives inquiries from individuals looking for legal help and redirects them to your firm—often called a lawyer referral service
Both can become great channels for increasing your case inventory.
Referral networks with other law firms
With a referral network, you can connect with partner firms to grow your total number of cases you refer out and receive every month. For example, the Litify referral network is a place where law firms can send, receive, and manage legal case referrals at no charge.
Lawyer referral services
With a lawyer referral service, you can collect case inquiries and get more leads that otherwise wouldn’t have known your firm was an option.
For example, 411-PAIN is one of the more popular lawyer referral services. Individuals can call their toll-free number and be referred to a firm that’s equipped to handle their case.
Why are referral programs important?
A referral program is one of the best ways for your firm to expand its reach and attract new qualified leads. If a partner firm or referral service is directing their inquiry to you, that can act as a positive sign of trust in your firm.
Plus, when you join a referral network like Litify’s, you’ll also be able to earn additional revenue by referring out cases that your firm can’t accept to other trusted law firms. Easily negotiate a referral fee with the partner firm, and obtain and track compensation when the case closes.
6. Video marketing for law firms
Video marketing includes all things video-related—how-to videos on YouTube, live webinars and interviews, live videos on social media, television commercials, and everything else in between.
If your current marketing plans don’t include anything video-related, it’s time to reconsider.
According to HubSpot, 78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day. That means four out of five people you’re trying to reach with your marketing are watching videos online every single week.
Here’s how to get started:
Creating educational YouTube videos
Every day, people are relying on YouTube to find answers to their questions.
In other words, your audience is almost definitely watching videos on YouTube.
To capitalize on that opportunity, you can create and upload educational videos with the goal of appearing in the YouTube search results and growing your brand awareness.
For example, in the search below for “workers compensation,” these four educational videos have been able to generate tens of thousands of views:
The idea is to educate people and answer their questions, not just talk about your firm. For example, in this search for “slip and fall lawyer,” the top videos address common questions and things people want to know—and by doing so, firms can establish themselves as experts in this specific practice area:
Building a presence on YouTube is a great way to capture the attention of your audience in a location you know they’re spending time.
Live video and recorded interviews
If you don’t have the capacity to create how-to or informational videos from scratch, you can also take the interview approach where you record a conversation with practice area experts working for your firm or experts working elsewhere in the industry.
That’s the approach we’ve been taking with our own LitiCast series:
We connect with industry experts to talk about their areas of expertise, broadcast the conversations live on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn, then upload a recording after the fact for anyone who wasn’t able to watch live.
For example, we talked with Ed Herman, managing partner of Brown & Crouppen Law Firm, about the evolution of legal marketing:
After the conversation was broadcast live, we uploaded the video to our website and YouTube channel to make it available to everyone.
7. Traditional advertising for law firms
Traditional advertising includes television commercials, direct mail campaigns, billboard or out-of-home advertising, radio spots, and print ads in newspapers or industry magazines.
As a result, they’re able to promote their services to people watching television at home, and target based on the demographics of each television network—or streaming service, if you’re advertising on a platform like Hulu.
Television advertising best practices (and why it’s so important)
According to the latest Total Audience Report from Neilsen, the average American spends nearly 4.5 hours per day watching television. This means each person on average is spending almost 20% of their day at the TV, giving you an opportunity to get your firm in front of potential clients.
Broadcast and Cable TV media is watched by 90+ percent of adults every week. It’s one-to-many marketing where ads reach hundreds, if not thousands of viewers with a single ad.
TV messaging can be short (traditional 30- or 60-second ads) or long (30-minute infomercials), like in the example below.
TV campaigns allow you to adjust your creative and strategy very quickly. You can easily scale up or pull back on the number of ads you run, based on how many cases are in your pipeline.
What are the best campaigns for TV?
TV is particularly effective for the following practice areas:
- Personal injury, auto or truck accidents: These can affect anyone, anytime
- Bankruptcy, tax, and debt cases: Powerful, persuasive messaging can overcome shame and reluctance to seek help
- Mass-Tort claims: You can run multi-jurisdictional media campaigns and take advantage of lower national media CPM’s
How do we measure success?
- By tracking hard metrics like cost-per-call, cost-per-lead, or cost-per-signed case
- By tracking soft metrics like consumer awareness, or the reputation of an attorney or law firm compared to other legal advertisers
How are successful firms using TV today?
Law firms that are most successful with TV advertising do these things well:
- Include clear CTAs: Prominently display toll-free telephone numbers or website URLs on every ad, so viewers know exactly how to respond
- Analyze results: Look at telephone and web response data every week, and use those results to optimize station selection, programs, and creative messages
- Don’t be afraid to try new things: Test new creative, measure the results, and then roll out new strategies and tactics with the same, or better results than what’s currently on the air
- Spot a good deal: Most TV success happens because buyers negotiate the right rate and not because of the stations they use or the ads they run
Direct mail advertising (explained)
Direct mail is a selling message delivered right to potential clients’ mailboxes. These can be tri-fold brochures, postcards, etc.
Unlike TV advertising, direct mail is one-to-one marketing that allows you to select very specific audiences and target the recipient by name. The flipside is these campaigns typically take longer to implement: You have to account for art direction, printing, buying lists, securing postal permits, and shipping to a postal distribution facility.
Direct mail can be expensive on a per-piece basis, especially compared to TV, radio, or digital CPM. One mailer can cost up to $4-$5 each due to the costs for content, data, and postage. But, if executed properly, these campaigns can consistently deliver highly qualified and profitable new cases.
What are the best campaigns for Direct Mail?
Direct mail is particularly effective in these situations:
- When you have dependable, specific audience intelligence. Examples include California Wildfires (where we know which households were inside a fire perimeter), Product Liability (where we can purchase user data from warranty cards and product registrations), or Sexual Abuse (where we can target specific neighborhoods surrounding a church or school).
- When the audience universe is small. Some litigations are so finite that they represent less than 1% of a broadcast TV or Radio audience.
- When there are hard boundaries for court jurisdiction. In St. Louis, for example, 74% of the market lives on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River and would be ineligible for an Illinois case.
With Litify, you can even start to automate parts of your direct mail advertising efforts. We recently talked with Ryan Colbert, Morgan & Morgan’s Chief Information Officer, about how they’ve been able to automate outbound mail using Litify.
WATCH THE VIDEO
How do we measure success?
- By tracking responses from the names or addresses that received the mail piece
- By mailing different versions to compare how different creative and calls to action perform against control groups. (Remember, A/B testing was not invented by Google – it started with Catalog and Direct Mail)
How are successful firms using direct mail marketing today?
To achieve the best results with your direct mail campaign, consider the following:
- Understand who your clients are: Use 3rd-party consumer segmentation data like Axciom Personicx, Claritas Prizm, Experian Mosaic, or Neustar to create a look-alike audience profile, select names and addresses, and mail to them
- Know the types of products your average client is likely to use: This is particularly helpful for Mass Torts. You can use GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer or Simmons to run demographic and lifestyle profiles of a product’s average user, and mail to individuals who share similar characteristics.
- Segment audiences according to geography, or lifestyle: Business interruption is becoming an important practice area. A broad B/I target covers everything from auto repair shops to dry cleaners and single location franchise business owners, while a specific B/I target would focus on high-margin, creative-class architects, and design studios.
Out of Home advertising—what’s it all about?
Out of Home is any advertising that consumers can view outside of their home, such as Billboards, Digital Displays like in Times Square, Bus Wraps and Subway ads, Shelters and Benches, Taxis and Cinema.
Why is out of home important?
Out of Home media is unskippable, compared to Digital (Social/Display/Search) where consumers can have ad-blockers, or TV/Radio where they can change the station. It reaches consumers regardless of their media consumption, and allows you to reach anyone within a certain physical distance, allowing for a greater number of impressions.
What are the best campaigns for Out of Home?
Campaigns that fall into either of these categories are great candidates for Out of Home advertising:
- Broad target audience, such as Personal Injury. Anyone can have a car accident, so therefore anyone may one day need a Personal Injury attorney
- Specific geographical area, such as wildfires or contamination, or locations within a specific distance from a law office
How do we measure success?
- By using unique phone numbers or by asking clients how they heard of the law firm or attorney
- By running different OOH placements and creative (especially useful for Digital forms, where artwork can be changed out at no extra cost) to compare response
How are successful firms using Out of Home today?
Consider the following when implementing an Out of Home campaign:
- Choose impactful mediums and locations: For example, choose billboard locations that are easily seen, or hard to miss
- Capture interest: Use clear messaging and creative designs that add to the call to action, and doesn’t distract or confuse the viewer
- Integrate geo-targeting: Firms can geo-target consumers who walk or drive by an Out of Home advertisement and present them with mobile display ads at a later time to retarget, increasing brand awareness
8. Grassroots marketing for law firms
Grassroots marketing involves targeting a specific group of people or community with a marketing campaign in an effort to encourage the group to help promote your organization on their own. This can be done by targeting a specific organization in your area of expertise, or targeting an entire community after a certain event.
For example, many law firms host town halls in areas right after a large disaster—wildfires, water contamination, hurricanes, etc.—in order to educate home and business owners about their rights and how to properly obtain compensation from their insurance companies. These law firms will bring in lawyers and subject matter experts to speak to the group—the end goal being that the individuals not only speak to you about their potential case, but also talk to other members of the community on your behalf.
Grassroots marketing in action
When executed correctly, grassroots marketing should increase word of mouth referrals and encourage your audience to become brand ambassadors. This strategy is most effective when you target those who are heavily engaged within the industry in which your company is involved.
For example, if your target audience is motorcycle owners, establish personal relationships with motorcycle shops, dealerships and tow companies in your area so that you are recognized as a partner in your community.
The impact of grassroots marketing
By engaging with your audience in their comfort zone—at a local motorcycle event or in their favorite repair shop—personal relationships are established, and you’re more likely to create loyal advocates of your brand. Sponsorship allows you to do this on a larger, more visible scale. For us, that means ensuring we have a presence at motorcycle swap meets and track races.
You can also achieve this by helping the community that your target market is in. Get involved in community fundraisers, parades, and local events, and donate when you are able to do so.
Grassroots marketing can also be very effective at cultivating brand awareness. For each event that you participate in, make sure you are clearly recognizable.
At Law Tigers, that means bringing our tiger mascot to our events. While most law firms don’t have a mascot, you can achieve similar results by offering free branded merchandise (like a case holder for registration and insurance documents), or creating an eye-catching, distinguishable booth.
The bottom line is that these grassroot relationships create trust and loyalty, as well as strong top-of-mind awareness among prospects and customers.
9. Marketing automation for law firms
Marketing automation is the use of software to automatically send marketing communications and take other actions based on specific “triggers.”
These triggers can be quite simple, like someone submitting a basic form on your website, or more advanced, like someone submitting a request for a consultation about a specific case type.
For each trigger, you can automate the action that happens next: Adding the contact as a lead in your law firm CRM, notifying an intake specialist or attorney who’ll be leading the initial conversation, sending a confirmation email, etc.
Automating email marketing and follow-ups
One of the simplest ways to use marketing automation to your advantage is to automate marketing emails and follow-up sequences, saving you from having to manually send each and every email.
For example, to promote their past client success stories, Morgan & Morgan publishes an annual magazine that’s available to download for free on their website:
After a website visitor fills out a quick form to download a resource like this, you can use marketing automation software like Pardot in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to automatically send them a series of emails to nurture the relationship.
Taking marketing automation to the next level
Of course, marketing automation can extend well beyond automated email follow-ups—especially if you’re using Salesforce or Litify for managing your practice (since Litify is built on Salesforce).
For example, with Salesforce’s Journey Builder you can tailor your marketing activities across multiple channels to each individual contact.
Building in-depth journeys and workflows like this can definitely get technical and confusing quickly. We’d recommend taking one of three approaches:
- Starting small and building your way up toward a more advanced journey, if you’re creating these automation flows yourself.
- Finding a marketing automation partner who can take the lead on building these sequences.
- Relying on software like Litify that can directly connect to your Salesforce workflows and offer templated versions tailored to the needs of a personal injury law firm.
In this section, we’re going to talk about some specific marketing tactics you can use to generate different types of personal injury leads, from auto accidents to social security to mass torts.
Keep in mind that these tactics aren’t exclusive to the section they fall under here. There may be a tactic we’re talking about for generating auto accident leads that can also apply to finding workers’ comp leads.
Let’s jump in!
Navigate this section
- How to get more auto accident leads
- How to get more mass tort or class action lawsuit leads
- How to get more workers’ compensation leads
- How to get more Social Security leads
How to get more auto accident leads
In the United States alone, there are 6 million auto accidents per year, with around 3 million people injured per year. The following tactics can get your brand in front of the people turning to personal injury attorneys and law firms for help.
Create a page on your website explaining what to do after you’ve been in a car, truck or motorcycle accident.
If someone is involved in a car accident for the first time, they’re likely going to Google what they should do next. You can develop a page, blog post or video that answers that question for them. This will help establish your firm as an expert and build a reputation for being helpful. If the person ends up seeking an attorney, you’re going to be one step ahead of the competition.
Offer free downloadable checklists or guides on what to do after an auto accident.
Beyond simply answering the question “What should you do after an accident?” on your website, you can also create downloadable resources that explain the processes after an accident where you were or weren’t at fault.
When someone downloads one of these resources, it’s likely because they were recently in an accident—thus creating a fantastic opportunity for you to follow up.
How to get more mass tort or class action lawsuit leads
For your next mass tort lawsuit, try experimenting with these lead generation tactics to build awareness and encourage action.
Run a video advertising campaign on social media and TV to build awareness for a mass tort lawsuit.
Oftentimes, people are unaware of mass tort or class action lawsuits they could be party to. By running a broad, awareness-based video campaign, you can get the message in front of people who may be able to join the lawsuit.
Run a retargeting ad campaign to reach people who have watched parts of the video advertising campaign above.
After an individual sees your video about the mass tort lawsuit, you can follow it up with a more targeted advertisement urging them to take some kind of action. This could be calling a phone number, visiting a page on your website, submitting a consultation request—whatever you want them to do next.
Set up a Google Ads campaign targeting the name of the specific medication or company involved in the lawsuit.
Finally, as awareness of the lawsuit starts to grow, individuals may look to Google for answers or updates. By setting up a search engine advertising campaign targeting the brand name of the party in question, you’ll be able to attract these individuals to your website and encourage them to get in touch.
Here’s an example of this tactic in action for an ongoing lawsuit involving hernia mesh:
The top three results on the page are Google Ads offering more information about the lawsuit and encouraging individuals to click through for details and next steps.
How to get more workers’ compensation leads
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.8 million reported workplace injuries in 2018. That’s 2.8 million people who may be looking for answers about workers compensation.
Create and publish FAQs and how-to’s about the workers’ compensation process, including how to file a claim.
Plenty of people have questions about workers’ comp—how much it costs, how to find out if they’re eligible, how to get started, how to file a claim, how to find a lawyer, etc. For example, each of the keyphrases below is being searched over 200 times in Google every single month:
If you can create pages on your website that answer these questions and others like them, you’ll be able to show up front and center when a potential lead starts researching their options.
Promote your workers’ compensation content on social media.
After you’ve invested time and resources into creating content that answers common workers’ comp questions, the last thing you want to do is sit back and just hope people find it. Instead, you can start promoting this content on your social media channels, through other industry partners and connections you’ve made—even through PPC advertising campaigns.
How to get more Social Security leads
According to annual Social Security statistics from 2018, disability benefits were paid to almost 10 million people. Try using these tactics to get more Social Security-related requests and consultation calls to your firm.
Ask past Social Security clients to leave online reviews.
After you’ve helped some individuals earn their Social Security benefits, you can ask if they’d be open to writing an online review or testimonial for your firm on sites like Google, Yelp, Avvo or Facebook. If their experience was excellent, you could even ask for a video testimonial to use on your website or social media accounts.
Build relationships with other law firms who do not specialize in Social Security cases to encourage referrals.
When someone is searching for a law firm in their area to help with their Social Security claims, they likely won’t know which firms in particular specialize in this area. When a consultation request comes into another firm who isn’t interested in Social Security cases, you can set up a partnership with that firm to refer that case to you instead. If there are certain case types your firm doesn’t typically take on, you can then return the favor when consultations come your way.
One of the most important (and far too often overlooked) aspects of a great law firm marketing strategy is how well you’re tracking the results.
Think of it this way:
If you test multiple marketing tactics without intentionally tracking the results from each, you’ll have no way of knowing which tactics performed well and which tactics flopped.
In fact, that statement can apply even if you’re only testing one single new tactic. What happens if your firm gets mentioned by a major news outlet while you’re trying out that new tactic? The number of incoming calls and consultations may rise, but was it because of the mention in the news or the marketing tactic you were testing?
Sure, you may see your client list grow—which is fantastic—but when it comes time to plan your next marketing campaign and prioritize tactics, you’ll be left guessing at which efforts actually contributed to your success last time around.
Essentially, this will be you:
Instead, put in the work up front to set up the proper tracking and reporting systems for the tactics you’re planning to move forward with.
This will help you separate the successful tactics from the flops and better prioritize your marketing budget, time and other resources.
But what exactly are you supposed to track?
And how will you know what constitutes “success”?
To answer those questions, we need to talk about the customer journey for a personal injury law firm, and how marketing fits in. How you track your marketing efforts depends on where your client is in the customer journey.
Understanding customer journeys and your ‘funnel’
Every client goes through a customer journey—which starts long before they officially become a client. Some navigate this journey faster than others, but they all go through the same core stages.
Here’s what it looks like:
- Unaware of your firm
- Aware of your firm through ads or content
- Interested in finding out more about your process and how you see and value their case
- Deciding whether to choose your firm or a competitor
- Officially a client
When we’re applying marketing activities to those stages, we can visualize the customer journey in the shape of a funnel—a lot of people start at the very top as strangers, and some make it all the way down to becoming clients:
Let’s break down the interactions that might be happening at each stage:
Outside of the funnel
First, we have all the strangers who don’t know much, if anything, about your firm. They may not be actively searching for a personal injury lawyer, or they may not have come across you during their searches for one. Your goal at this stage is to simply make these people aware of your firm.
Top of the funnel
At the top of the funnel is where you start to interact with potential clients. This is the beginning of their journey with your brand. The first touchpoints at this stage are going to be as simple as seeing one of your posts on social media, checking out a how-to blog post you published, or watching one of your video ads.
Middle of the funnel
As we move to the middle of the funnel, potential clients will begin to express interest in your firm. Interactions at this stage include submitting a form online to request a resource or consultation, calling in directly, or reaching out to an attorney working at the firm.
Bottom of the funnel
Finally, at the bottom of the funnel is where you’re evaluating a potential client’s case, following up after their consultation call, and convincing them why you’re a better choice than other firms. It’s closing time, and your marketing at this stage is going to lean heavily toward 1-to-1 interactions where you share resources and past results to try to lock in the case.
How marketing fits into your funnel
The truth is, marketing plays a role at every stage in the funnel.
Yes, the majority of your marketing efforts will be toward the top of the funnel (advertising, video marketing, SEO to attract website visitors, etc.), but marketing most definitely has an impact in the middle and bottom stages as well.
If you’re encouraging website visitors to call for a consultation or fill out a form online, then marketing is involved. If you’re following up with leads after a consultation call, then marketing is involved.
And that is why full-funnel tracking is so important in marketing.
- You need to track how many people you’re reaching at the top of your funnel with ads, website content and social media posts.
- You need to track how many of those people go on to request a consultation or submit a form on your website.
- And finally, you need to track how many of those consultations result in new clients, hours billed and revenue earned for your firm.
Connecting marketing to your practice management platform
Finally, it’s an absolute must to be able to connect your marketing activities to your central practice management platform. If not, you’ll be left manually copying over contacts and data from every tool to your practice management system.
When using Litify in particular for practice management, you can automatically trigger workflows, update client and case statuses, generate documents whenever you need them—essentially taking full advantage of everything Litify (and Salesforce) has to offer:
- Integrate your advertising platforms directly with Litify (Google, Facebook, etc.)
- Connect marketing reports to overall practice management reports
- Manage interactions with clients throughout the entire funnel from one single location
… and the list goes on.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how Litify can help your firm better manage your marketing activities and your practice overall, we’d love to give you a tour of the Litify platform. Request a demo today to get started.
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