Legal marketing budgets depend on the marketing strategy employed. Networking can only get you so far. Marketing spend can vary greatly depending on the online marketing channel and objectives of the law firm. In marketing and advertising for lawyers, there are actually many options available, and firms are opening up to the possibility of less often used channels for their law practice, like Facebook. We have an extensive guide on major online channels for law firm marketing here. Your competitors are slowly being clued-up that their marketing need not be only Google Ads and SEO, despite those still being the staple. We outline in this article, how much do Australian law firms spend on marketing? We also highlight some suggested law firm marketing budget benchmarks.
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How much do law firms spend on marketing in Australia?
The range of budgets a law firm can spend on lead generation marketing is actually quite wide. It can range from a thousand a month to tens of thousands of dollars. The true determinant of how much they spend are dependent on these factors:
- How many leads they need
- The expected conversion rate
- The expected gross sales
- The number of practice areas they wish to focus on
The more practice areas you need to cover, the more it is necessary to increase budget. Here is a sample calculator we use to determine PPC budgets, in this case, for Google Ads:
We at Marketlytics can calculate marketing spend using legal marketing budget template calculators like the above. If you want more certainty in how much to spend, we can tell you! We make campaigns based on your unique goals and get you far more than mere brand presence! Our process is simply data driven.
How do Australian law firms spend their marketing budget?
The majority of law firms spend a large percentage of their budget on Google Ads and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). We aim to change that by opening doors for our prospective clients to other channels less often used. Every agency flogs Adwords and SEO, but few can handle Facebook, LinkedIn and even YouTube reliably. In an ideal world, you will allocate resources to every platform, but this is a big budget exercise we do not recommend when managing your marketing. Right tool for the right purpose is what we say. Client acquisition is competitive, so you have to be ingenious.
How much do law firms spend on digital marketing vs traditional marketing?
Very little law firms spend money on traditional marketing unless in personal injury. There used to be restrictions on who could have advertisements on television, which is why to this day, most law firms on television are personal injury lawyers. 30 seconds can cost up to $37,800 for high prime-time slots according to Savvy SME!
It is highly uneconomical for most firms to advertise on TV!
Radio needs around $10,000 a month for enough placements!
One small billboard is $1,900 to $3,600 a month!
Why would anyone want traditional advertising without a good reason?
How much do law firms spend on Google Ads?
Google Ads is some of the most expensive channels in the online world. A click could easily cost $10 or more and the average conversion rate performance is 2 – 6%. To answer the question of how much do law firms spend on Google Ads, is at least $3,000 a month typically excluding agency fees. It is not unusual for law firms to spend $5 – 6,000 a month, especially in criminal law.
How much do law firms spend on Facebook Ads?
Facebook is the neglected child of legal marketing. Agencies and law firms tend not to know how to get it to work, so it is relegated to brand awareness activities and either very little is spent, or a lot is spent.
We recommend a Facebook Ads budget of at least $1,000 a month.
However, typically a law firm could maintain some efforts, like retargeting with only a few hundred dollars a month. A personal injury lawyer like Shine Lawyers or Maurice Blackburn and Slater + Gordon must be spending tens of thousands of dollars a single month!
How much do law firms spend on SEO?
There can be quite a wide range of costs for SEO services. In this industry, you should spend a minimum of $1,000 a month. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. You could spend $2 – 3,000 or more, but these are particularly aggressive campaigns. A consultant for SEO can only charge more if they are increasing their time and output for the work. If you want to invest in SEO beyond $2,000, make sure the agency is doing more work than typical efforts. The sizes of the website can dictate higher SEO budgets when hiring these agency businesses.
Developing a law firm marketing budget
As hinted earlier, developing a law firm marketing budget depends on objectives. Consultants can only guide you if you know what you want to some degree. Thinking about who is your target market, what metrics to track are all vital for a high performing campaign. Once you have the objective, you must match it to the channel, be it search or social media or both.
Then you must calculate, as above:
- How many leads they need
- The expected conversion rate
- The expected gross sales
Only by projecting your expected results, will you have any idea on how much to spend. But this exercise is not an easy one, and your staff may only know buts and pieces. Generating such a projection is a skill Marketlytics has. And these are meaningful, educated projections, not mere guesses.
A study conducted by the Legal Marketing Association provides some benchmarks. Launched in August 2006, the 2005 LMA Roles and Compensation Survey included 449 law firms of all sizes. The results showed that on average, the marketing budget represents 2.6% of a company’s gross revenue. This amount reflects an increase from the 2.4% recorded in the previous year’s study, which, in fact, remained unchanged in the previous 10 years. The highest percentage of respondents (29%) indicated that the marketing budget represents 1.6-2.0% of their companies’ gross revenues, roughly the midpoint of previous percentages.
What type of law firm marketing has the best ROI?
This question is on everyone’s lips. But the answer is not straightforward. Google Ads are the most consistent form of revenue for any law firm, so over time, it could bring the most ROI, but the capital outlay and website needed to get this to work is not cheap. Paying $110 a click is not always feasible. Nevertheless, if you want phone calls, nothing comes close to Google Ads.
As explained, the internet is bigger than Google. Social media can generate significant revenue for a smaller budget like $1,000. You just need good content and be running a smart campaign. In all this, Analytics is important to measure and optimise all results.
Investing in marketing, especially digital marketing, is a must for any law firm to grow. The times when traditional marketing is the only means is over. If you want great return-on-investment and to have a healthy pipeline of legal work, clear reports and a responsible agency, please consider Marketlytics and see the difference!
All discovery calls are confidential
How much does traditional advertising cost?
Up to $37,000 a month for TV, $10,000 a month for radio and $3,600 a month for a small billboard
How much does Google Ads cost?
Around $3,000 a month excluding agency fees, but can breach $10,000 if advertising for multiple practice areas
How much does Facebook Ads cost?
For a complete campaign, a minimum of $1,000 a month Ad Spend
How much does Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) cost?
Minimum $1,000 a month for effective law frim SEO
Clarence Ling is the Founder of Marketlytics, and a guerilla marketer. Initially a trained Lawyer and Practice Development Manager, he contributed to the growth of his firm, including implementing software.
Clarence Ling is a Digital Advertising and Analytics Expert. Having a wide range of advertising experience ranging from international real estate, to legal and previously worked in full service marketing agencies, Clarence is a diligent marketer with an eye for detail and a talent for numbers.
Clarence can carefully plan out the best budget levels for the desired outcomes with projections that are more accurate than most.
His background in Analytics enables a clear, big picture assessment of both organic and paid campaigns, enabling maximum efficiency of those digital campaigns. His analytical background brings precise clarity of client or customer interaction and behaviour on online assets.
Clarence’s four fields of practice are Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Email Marketing (EDM). He is best as an Advertiser and is an avid collector of Software As A Service (SaaS) Products, avidly investing in both technology and human capital of Marketlytics.