More Channels to Consider for a Law Firm's Marketing Mix

November 9

 

Having discussed what a marketing mix is and why it is important for each law firm to develop their own mix, we continue to discuss the various elements involved in building a firm's brand equity. This post will discuss the purpose of and details involved in considering the following marketing channels into a firm's mix:  

  • Advertising
  • Speaking engagements
  • Article publishing
  • Newsletters

Image_Marketing_Channels 

Advertising

 

Purpose

Advertising is used to raise awareness and interest among a broad audience. Advertising is either used to establish a brand image or as a direct call-to-action for the target segment.

 

What to consider

Advertising is done with traditional media including TV, radio, print, billboards, and online sites. Online legal advertisement focuses mainly on social media advertising and search engine pay-per-click. Advertising is a more direct approach to reach prospects and create interest among the target audience than other content marketing tools like blogs, newsletters and presentations.

 

As is also a costlier approach, it is important to determine at the outset if advertising is a viable tool to market a specific practice area. For example, consumer-oriented areas like personal injury, estate planning or family law can use advertising strategies more effectively than corporate law or insurance defense firms.

 

How to do it

The development of creative content for advertisements like TV or radio spots, billboards and brochures almost always requires a collaboration with a marketing or advertising agency. Since there are considerable investments connected with traditional media advertising, law firms should rely on advertising professionals when it comes to the creative work.

 

Law firm online advertising is mostly done via pay-per-click campaigns. Search engine advertising tools like Google’s AdWords can be implemented without professional help, but it can take time and outsourcing my work better. It is important to realize that the goal of these campaigns is to lead prospects to a website, which necessitates quality landing pages and CTAs (calls to action).  If in-house capabilities are weak, implementing this strategy will require support from an outside web designer or marketing consultant.

 

 

Speaking Engagements

 

Purpose

Speaking engagements are scheduled to share knowledge and give advice. For marketing purposes, they serve as a tool to build credibility and expert perception.

 

What to consider

The point of preparing and delivering a presentation at a seminar or CLE is to educate people. Whether the audience consists of industry peers or the client target market the goal is to demonstrate expertise in a specific field and to subject your knowledge to public accountability. Unlike a blog, however, a speaking engagement is presented in person and therefore provides the opportunity to network after and make new contacts directly. The presentation can be considered an incentive or subtle call to action for referral sources and contacts.

 

How to do it

Presentations can be scheduled as part of an organizational, community, bar or client industry event or specifically for a targeted organization or group of prospects. The most important step is to find a relevant topic and prepare valuable content. Additionally, take care to pay attention to logistical details including location, presentation support tools,  and availability of promotional materials and gifts. Lastly, communicate the upcoming presentation to the target audience through relevant websites (firm and sponsoring organization), social media,  and emails to contacts.

 

Article Publishing

 

Purpose

Similar to speaking engagements, published articles increase visibility, establish expertise and add to a lawyer or firm’s reputation.  Unlike blogs, they are targeted at a more specific audience and offer more subject matter depth and lasting value.

 

What to consider

Preparation for and writing an article requires a significant time investment. We recommend attorneys to strategically considering the potential value of an in-depth article on a topic.  Will this published article effectively reach a targeted audience? Along with the time needed to author an article, the support needs of preparing the content should be considered.  Will the help of another paralegal or another attorney be needed? Finally, firms should consider the various ways an article’s content can be repurposed as part of a newsletter, white papers, and blog pieces.

 

How to do it

Often, professional and trade journals will ask for submissions and provide guidelines as to topic and length. Many trade magazines are content starved and an offer of a quality article is typically well received. Bar Journals may pose a tougher challenge.

 

Sometimes, a pitch is required. In these instances, a public relations professional can prove very helpful. While the submission guidelines will rule, the ideal range of an article is usually between 1000 and 1500 words.

 

Newsletters

 

Purpose

Through a newsletter law firms can provide free content and news to specific target audiences, grow contacts, maintain visibility, and generate interest. With this form of content marketing, the firm can push information directly to interested contacts.

 

What to consider

Before starting the newsletter, the firm needs to evaluate its’ in-house capability to set up and manage a newsletter, select an application, and create content. It has been our experience, that a simple newsletter process, once set up, can work well using in-house resources. Often, the application provider will offer training and even graphics support.

 

Generating content is easier to sustain if several people contribute. We suggest creating a content calendar with an assignment of content creation responsibilities. As with blog pieces, the relevance of content to the audience is key; even more so with newsletters since they land in the target contact’s inbox.

 

Relevant newsletters provide valuable advice and important news and information and therefore keep the law firm and its attorneys current in the memory of their target audience.

 

How to do it

Successful newsletter management requires a well-maintained schedule to ensure that sufficient quality content from the attorneys is available. Firm-related news updates, design, contact list maintenance, and newsletter application management are administrative functions assigned to in-house or outsourced personnel. Ideally, newsletters are clickable and lead to strategic landing pages on the firm’s website designed to foster engagement.

 

 

Not all channels described in this post (advertising, speaking engagements, article publishing, newsletters) will work in the same manner with every firm.  It is important for each firm to consider their ideal clients and to send the right message using the channels most relevant to them.



 

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