Surpise! You’ve still got to advertdise. You can’t market like lawyers used to and still expect the phone to ring. These days, advertising for law firms has an entirely new set of operating instructions, and the best way to stay ahead of your competition and maximize your return on investment (ROI) is to stay on top of attorney marketing trends. Here are three questions we answer all the time for legal clients:
Advertise is when you are busiest
It sounds counterintuitive, but the time to advertise is when you are busiest and your firm is most lucrative. What often happens is lawyers get swamped with a couple of big cases and cut back on or cease all marketing and advertising as they ride the enticing wave of a large contingent fee.
However, that’s also the time they fall behind, as competitors continue to reach new prospects via TV advertising, communicate with existing clients through ongoing email marketing and hone their intake processes to harvest the better cases going forward.
The point is if you let advertising slip, how do you guarantee new cases will come in the door after you’ve closed the ones you’re working on? Long-term survival requires thinking ahead, and attorney marketing is all about momentum—you have to keep it going to ensure a profitable flow of business in the future.
Spend 2% of gross revenues on marketing
Reprinted with permission from Network Affiliates.
We know that lawyers today are grossly underestimating what they can—and should—spend on marketing and advertising. American Lawyer 200 firms, for example, only devote about 2% of gross revenues to marketing efforts, which is on the bottom end of the spend long recommended by law firm management consultancies.
To see real ROI, that number should be closer to 5%, and even more in the aggressive arena of personal injury law. The point is you can’t afford not to advertise. Start to build in marketing as a real line item—not an afterthought—in your law firm’s annual budget.
Combine TV with online advertising
The short answer: Develop a broader marketing mix. TV advertising continues to work exceptionally well for firms that can afford it, however what attorneys often overlook is power of digital advertising. Any full-service advertising company will tell you that having a digital strategy is critical to both supporting a TV campaign and building returns all on its own.
In fact, social agency New Media Strategies found recently that trial law firms that have grasped the trend are now spending millions of dollars to create and maintain websites, Facebook pages, Twitter handles, blogs and YouTube channels, and upwards of $50 million on Google-keyword advertising alone.