What Is The Future Of Legal Marketing, Near-Term And Ongoing?

Managing Partner at Price Benowitz and CEO of BluShark Digital (blusharkdigital.com), a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO.

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In an age of ever-evolving technology, the world is becoming increasingly digitized and reliant on online applications. These dependencies have been ushered in even faster by the Covid-19 pandemic, pushing many industries and employers to work remotely. The shift away from traditional means of business, paired with the fact that digital marketing is one of the fastest-changing sectors within the marketing world, requires law firms to stay up to date and quickly adapt their marketing strategies.

Some of the growing trends that will likely continue well into the future include a rise in the importance of personalized marketing strategies and changes to the role that existing marketing tools play. A greater reliance on mobile, voice search and paid ads, such as Google Local Services Ads, also will probably continue while social media marketing as an information source may shrink.

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Establishing And Maintaining Personal Relationships

Although in-person interactions are currently limited, the relationships that businesses have with clients shouldn’t be. As individuals have been spending more time at home and more time online, screen time has skyrocketed. From what I’ve seen, this has pushed people to look for more individualized content that meets their personal preferences and search queries.

Consumers’ desire for personalized content is prompting us legal marketers to take a more individualized approach in fostering our digital presence and focusing less on the business transaction of it and more on the personal connection. This trend places an even greater emphasis on the client experience, ensuring that it remains consistent at every stage. The continued concentration on client experience will likely push more legal marketers to embrace relationship management in their marketing efforts, even after a client’s case has closed.

To connect and create a relationship with potential clients, look to publish personalized content about your firm and its employees to allow individuals to feel more connected, which is especially important when most interactions are happening virtually.

Using But Not Relying On Social Media

In such a digitally connected world, it’s crucial that legal firms have a presence on online platforms. Each platform serves a different purpose and has its own role in the overarching marketing strategy. While social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have remained mainstays in many peoples’ lives, their effectiveness in legal marketing appears to be dwindling when the interactions are generic, templated posts.

Social media is inherently positioned for entertainment and social interaction, resulting in many users ignoring marketing efforts as they are no longer intrigued by cut-and-dry content. If you are looking to effectively use social media platforms in your marketing strategy, tailor the content to reflect people’s demands, habits and interests.

A meaningful way to put this into practice is to engage your audience directly, whether through having discussions or debates or sharing insights, to establish connections instead of merely posting basic information or advertising that many people are increasingly filtering out. I’ve found that it is best to maintain a presence on multiple platforms and use social media for its intended purpose — to be social.

Rising Demands For Mobile And Voice Search

While the use of social media as a purely informational source may be changing, a firm’s website remains the most critical marketing tool and key in generating leads. As search engines continue to evolve with increasing capabilities, you must adapt and keep your site optimized, especially for mobile and voice search updates.

Before the pandemic, we saw a shift toward mobile search as people resorted to cellular devices rather than desktops. While 2020 seems to have stood as an outlier to this overarching trend with more people staying in and working from home, the growing mobile-first mindset will likely continue and ultimately leave desktop searches behind post-pandemic, when people are on the move once again.

This push toward mobile is also giving rise to voice searches, mainly due to the convenience and speed that voice search offers. To meet this growing demand, tailor your site content to match voice queries and pay strict attention to keywords and tone of voice.

Prioritizing Local Services Ads

Since becoming fully available to the legal industry in the summer of 2020, Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) have become increasingly popular because of their much lower cost per client acquisition (at least for now) compared to traditional paid advertising on Google. Standing out from traditional paid ads on the search engine results page and immediately drawing people’s attention, LSAs can help you reap the maximum benefits of paid digital advertising, so take advantage during this window of great value.

LSAs include information such as the firm’s name, number of reviews, average rating, hours of availability and the year the firm was established, which I’ve found tends to increase a firm’s reliability and authority in people’s eyes. While firms are still bidding on traditional pay-per-click ads, the lion’s share of traffic seems to be going toward LSAs. My agency has been tracking the effectiveness of LSAs in terms of click-through rate compared to traditional Google Ads campaigns when both have been introduced in the same markets, and I talked about our findings during my presentation at the recent Pubcon Local Services Conference.

Moving Forward

As legal marketers adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape, we must account for changes in consumer demand. It is ultimately consumers who dictate the evolution and adaptations of marketing campaigns. By maintaining personal relationships, using social media to connect, optimizing for mobile and voice searches, and investing in LSAs, you can prepare yourself for the future.

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Managing Partner at Price Benowitz and CEO of BluShark Digital (blusharkdigital.com), a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO. Read Seth Price’s full executive

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