Legal marketing is unique in many ways. It differs hugely from B2C marketing, and even B2B marketing. We’ve put together a quick guide to marketing lawyers online for legal marketers. If you’ve been doing legal marketing for a long time, some of this information might be a wake-up call. For newer marketers, you’ll likely see new information. No matter how skilled you are in legal marketing, you’ll come away with new ideas and inspiration!
B2B vs. B2C Marketing
The type of marketing you engage in is dictated by your target market. Strategies differ as well as applications, channels, etc. It all depends on your audience and how you communicate with them.
B2B marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of people who purchase goods or services on behalf of their organization (rather than for themselves, personally). Things like office space, printing, or accounting software all fall under B2B. When people seek legal advice on behalf of their business, it falls under B2B.
B2C marketing targets the needs, interests and challenges of an individual purchasing goods or services for themselves. In these cases, the individual is the client (or customer). Examples are personal injury law, criminal law, immigration law and family law. If your law firm’s ideal clients are people who get a lawyer to provide personal services, your strategies will be more aligned with the B2C business.
B2B marketing strategies
Although B2C and B2B marketing tactics differ significantly, they overlap in many ways. Plus, no two marketing strategies are the same, no matter who you’re advertising to. First, consider the common buyer journey:
Before diving into executing various strategies, be sure to keep this important step-by-step approach in mind. Then follow a few steps:
- Decide on brand positioning. It’s the who, what, when, how and why of your law firm’s identity. What sets you apart from your competitors and why should people choose your business?
- Find your target audience. Who is really looking for your company’s services? From there, you can narrow audiences down to customer personas for further research and communication.
- Perform a competitive analysis. Examine the market and see what other companies are doing. What do they offer and what marketing tactics do they use?
- Consider various marketing channels. As you research your audience and competitors, you will see different types of channels being used. Build your own strategy using a variety of tactics such as:
- Advertising by e-mail
- Digital Marketing and Research
- Content marketing
- Social Media Marketing
Explore Lawyers’ Online Marketing Channels
As you develop your own strategy, look to diversify your marketing portfolio. Let’s expand on some common legal marketing materials.
It’s a proven way to reach people and strengthen relationships. However, it’s important to remember that people tend to have full inboxes these days – so make sure your message resonates by focusing on the areas that really matter to your audience (like the weather, money, etc). Write compelling subject lines, keep a single call to action in your email, and make sure your email designs are responsive to get the best response.
2. Digital and search marketing
Every law firm (whether B2C or B2B) must have an online presence. A combination of paid advertising, search engine optimization, your website, and wherever else your business has a presence online is your digital marketing. This is another area where defining your target audience in advance is crucial. From there, you can design a website, optimize your various digital channels, invest in PPC campaigns, and focus on SEO.
3. Content Marketing
When it comes to legal marketing, the public is focused on expertise and the desire to be educated, and guided by logic. Research shows that 80% of business decision makers would rather get information from an article than an advertisement. Content is a tool that can appeal to this factor. A content marketing strategy doesn’t interrupt someone’s day, but rather provides valuable information to the audience. Content efforts are also essential for SEO and lead generation and are most effective when the material is aligned with the phases of the customer journey.
To gain a deeper understanding of content marketing, check out this free eBook: The Law Firm’s Guide to Content Marketing.
4. Social Media
Extensive research has shown that a majority of the most experienced and influential buyers use social media to make a decision. Social media is definitely not just for mainstream brands, and your business needs to create and cultivate a presence on this channel. It is a powerful tool to develop your brand awareness, humanize your business, share content and highlight the expertise sought by future customers.
7 marketing trends to watch this year
What are most marketers focusing on in 2022? HubSpot put together a detailed report based on the challenges, opportunities, and initiatives that most B2B marketers are focusing on in 2022. Here’s what they found:
- Marketers say “measuring the return on investment of marketing activities” will be their number one challenge in the coming year.
- About half of marketers surveyed plan to develop more case studies (a particularly important tactic for legal marketers).
- The most important overall goal for any marketer is “to increase brand awareness”.
- Audio content and podcasting are on the rise in today’s landscape, but marketers need to make sure they’re worth the time for their particular business.
- Optimizing loading speeds is likely to be the most effective SEO tactic for most marketers in 2022.
- LinkedIn is probably the most popular video channel for B2B.
The bottom line is that your marketing will be most effective when created with your unique audience in mind. No matter who you’re targeting – businesses or individuals – communicating how your firm can really help them is essential when it comes to online marketing for lawyers.