Digital marketing for law firms is complex and not often done correctly. We believe that in order for your marketing efforts to succeed, you need to understand the channel your practice intends to use, and then decide if it is the right channel for your marketing strategies. We advocate Right Purpose, Right Channel.
We sincerely believe that once you understand this concept and its applications, your client acquisition will be more consistent and stable on both social media and on search engines, no matter your practice area. Now, let us dive into the 6 major law firm marketing channels and when and how to use them within your firm.
The 6 Major Channels Of Law Firm Marketing In Brief
The six major channels for law firms are:
- Google Ads
- Facebook Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- YouTube Ads
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- LinkedIn Outreach
They cover these networks:
- Google Search Network
- Google Display Network
- Facebook Social Media Network
- Instagram Social Media Network
- LinkedIn Social Media Network
- LinkedIn Partner Network
- YouTube Video Search Engine Network
These six channels provide the highest audience coverage for your lead generation. It is these networks that will help you reach the most people in Australia.
What Is Google Ads?
Google Ads is the main search engine marketing platform in the world and Australia. When people say “Pay-Per-Click (PPC)”, it usually means Google Ads. The legal industry heavily relies on this channel and SEO for their lead generation. If your business is banned by Google, you’re in deep trouble.
Google Ads works on the basis of “search intent”, where users self-identify which of your services they want by typing in a keyword and then take action online by calling or filling in some kind of other call-to-action, such as a form. It is the usual and most reliable method for quality leads and is consistent, even more so than SEO.
What Is Facebook Ads?
This type of advertising uses the Facebook and Instagram network. Facebook Ads cannot be used by some law firms, like criminal law. However, as an inbound marketing platform, this is the most misunderstood platform in your arsenal. Despite the difficulty in crafting winning strategies, once you have a working strategic framework, it is actually very easy to get started in terms of capital needed.
Facebook Ads can function on a low budget and can still produce a large impact, because if the quality of the media and copy is high, it can produce blockbuster results. Facebook Ads works on interest and behavioural targeting, a kind of psychographic based targeting method. The targeting is completely different from LinkedIn, which is based on job demographics. Find out our Facebook Ads difference here.
What Is LinkedIn Ads?
LinkedIn Ads are on the LinkedIn social network, and the targeting, as mentioned previously, is based on job demographics. Think job title, seniority and industry. The strategy employed between LinkedIn and Facebook are similar, but you need to take into account their method to target users is different.
Thus, the approach of your copy and media needs to reflect that. It is also a general rule that LinkedIn takes a lot more money for an advertising campaign. Much untapped potential is here, and this platform is used much less often than Facebook. Learn how to get started with LinkedIn here.
What Is YouTube Ads?
YouTube is actually one of the major search engines of the world. That is why Google acquired them to complete their advertising network. This is another untapped advertising channel that could be really valuable for your law firm. Right now, only personal injury law firms and LegalVision are the few companies that are really exploiting the platform. YouTube Ads, in addition to keyword targeting can target specific videos and channels on YouTube, which sometimes results in more accurate interest targeting than Facebook itself!
What Is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is “free” organic reach on Google and similar search engines. SEO traffic is not without cost however. You type a keyword and you get a result. It is that simple. The cost is either time or hiring an SEO agency to favorable manipulate the results. SEO can be the most cost effective form of marketing, but it takes a long time to build and there are even fewer guarantees, as there are over 200 ranking factors, only 10 spots per keyword, and heavy competition in the legal space.
Can you imagine, if everyone is doing similar things on SEO, how are you going to be different and cut through the noise? There is a lot less control over your fate in SEO than advertising. Nevertheless, the benefits of organic rankings and referral traffic are proven and it should be in your repertoire of tools.
What Is LinkedIn Outreach?
LinkedIn Outreach is another less often used channel, with some great potential. The use cases here are quite defined. To put it simply, LinkedIn Outreach is using LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find cold leads and turn them to buying clients. The problem with this channel, is that there are limited automations because of LinkedIn policy. However, in targeting very defined market segments, like for example, general counsel or certain accountants, there is no other method that can target such a small, defined market segment.
Nearly every lawyer can use this to at the very least form strategic partnerships and get commercial clients directly through, well, outreach. The issue is cold selling to people, or other lawyers is difficult and requires a special approach. Your profile and your presence must be refined to give credibility before you can get those referrals and clients. There are alternative methods to semi-automate, measure, and improve success in this channel. We are able to provide reporting templates, and some acceptable automation methods to make the process more streamlined. We train lawyers in LinkedIn Outreach in exclusive one-on-one coaching here.
How Did We Come Up With These 6 Major Digital Marketing Channels?
We have come up with these six major channels because Marketlytics is an omni-channeled agency and we have used all these major channels ourselves, even outside the legal niche.
We developed an understanding on how these platforms work, and identified patterns and proven strategies for success. Some of these strategies were not law firm specific, but were adapted into the legal niche, as we deduced they have the potential to work for this industry. We realised that each strategy has its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as a differing modus operandi, and thus, we collated and refined this list and created the Legal Digital Marketing Matrix.
You will not be able to find this Matrix on our website, but all our clients will see this and know for certain what measures to use and when. However, this article itself is going to give you plenty of clues and guidance.
We generally do not cover organic channels other than LinkedIn Outreach and SEO, because they simply lack predictability and have a lower locus of control. It is also hard to scale, as if you only posted organically, you have a lot less control over its success.
Sometimes, organic social media content really needs a kick start from a paid advertisement. For these reasons we did not include them as a major channel.
For more information about these six major channels, explore the Marketlytics website and discover our difference!
What About The Minor Digital Marketing Channels?
Minor channels have issues and the major one is coverage. You want a network with sufficient existing users, who are also active on the platform. Small networks like Pinterest, Snapchat and even Clubhouse (despite fast rising popularity) are just not there yet with audience coverage. Furthermore, many of these platforms have poor targeting mechanisms, which are far from mature and accurate.
How To Market A Law Firm On The Internet With These 6 Major Channels?
We will go through when to use these six major channels, factors influencing success and expected costs to help you learn when and how to use these channels. Let us dig in.
Google Ads For Law Firms
Google Ads will always be one of the staples of law firm marketing
When To Use Google Ads
You can use Google Ads for nearly any type of legal matter. As long as they identify their needs by typing in a keyword, you can grab their attention with a Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords). This is a vital channel for criminal law, as it is one of the few channels available to the niche.
Factors Influencing Success
A very good, conversion optimised website is key. Good SEO actually helps the brand positioning of Google Ads and can work hand in hand. Using automatic bidding (eventually) and enhancing your Search Ad with things like Extensions is very important. Regular maintenance like keyword mining is going to determine how much profit you receive. Negative keywords are also important.
Display Ads for retargeting can also form part of your strategy. Google reviews also play a part, because users will and do compare your firm to others.
Most law firms will look at spending $3-5,000 a month at least in Ad Spend. Furthermore, in general, it takes up to three months for maximum efficiency at a certain budget.
Facebook Ads For Law Firms
Facebook is the neglected child of legal practices.
When To Use Facebook Ads
You use Facebook Ads when you are targeting interests and behaviours, including certain demographics. Married people, people with children, people interested in visas, people likely to be mourning and after funeral services. Sometimes, really specific things like workers’ compensation.
Factors Influencing Success
Besides targeting, which is a very key component, copy and media are vital. Find out why we developed our own approach to video marketing and how it can help you in Facebook Ads. To generate leads on Facebook, the collateral provided is really important and can make or break your campaigns. We are expert copywriters and can get this area sorted. Content is most powerful when the context appeals to its audience.
Also, study our five awareness stages and six audiences on social media, this is why, when used properly, Facebook can create wonders. It allows for easier targeting across the path to purchase, leading to greater ease in growing latent, inactive desire for your services.
You can get started on Facebook for quite low Ad Spend, usually a basic campaign only takes $1-1,500 a month. A more complex series of campaigns can attract a higher spend of perhaps $3,000, and this is a really extensive setup in the grand scheme of things.
LinkedIn Ads For Law Firms
LinkedIn is the social media platform for B2B, “Facebook for office workers” so to speak. LinkedIn has great job demographic targeting, thanks to all of the information its users provide.
When To Use LinkedIn Ads
You use LinkedIn Ads when you want to target a job demographic or industry. Maybe you want to market to general counsel, accountants… maybe to digital marketers. A commercial law firm will benefit greatly from LinkedIn Ads, provided the segment is large enough.
Factors Influencing Success
LinkedIn needs a minimum spend of $10 daily per campaign. Though it seems low, because LinkedIn lacks some of the more advanced automations of Facebook, you need many of these campaigns! This is because multivariate testing is important.
A budget of $1,500-2,500 a month of Ad Spend is probably reasonable.
YouTube Ads For Law Firms
YouTube Ads is relatively virgin territory for nearly any law firm.
When To Use YouTube Ads
You use this when you want an alternative to Facebook and want hot buyers. The in-market audiences are usually more effective than many Facebook interests. If you want to target users by keyword and serve them video, this is when you use YouTube Ads.
You also use it when you know a very defined interest, for example parenting videos. Let us use an example. If you target parenting videos, you can get new parents with young children, now isn’t this a great audience to sell wills to? There is a lot of untapped potential here.
Factors Influencing Success
In this case, it is just the targeting and media. The copywriting for the media (video) needs to be good. Video editing is also important, and we use many video shortcuts at Marketlytics to achieve this.
YouTube Ads are usually going to be part of an overall campaign, rather than a sole component. Depending on which videos and channels you want to display ads on, it could be as cheap as $500 a month or more. In the case of personal injury law firms, like Shine Lawyers, Maurice Blackburn, it could go into the thousands for a national campaign.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) For Law Firms
SEO is a must-have for every business, not just a law firm. It gives an inherent, even monetary value for your company website and helps with brand awareness. It also complements Google Ads brilliantly.
When To Use SEO
You use SEO when you want to be found organically on Google or other search engines. Organically means unpaid listings.
Factors Influencing Success
Showing up for relevant, contextual keywords is key. If you show up for irrelevant keywords, it is wasted traffic as the visitors will not take action or the appropriate action. Writing articles regularly with sufficient frequency is also a key ingredient.
In SEO, there are three major ranking factors, categories of factors:
- Document Relevancy
- Technical Factors
Of the three, document relevancy is the highest priority, then flowing down to technical factors in order. Google is increasingly placing less emphasis on backlinks, and more on document relevancy and the experience of the blog readers. It is very hard to rank main pages of a website for many reasons, so blogging is very crucial to getting in qualified traffic.
SEO can be very cheap or very expensive, but we think $1-2,000 is a sweet spot in terms of cost to secure competent service.
LinkedIn Outreach For Law Firms
LinkedIn Outreach is when you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to search and connect with cold leads.
When To Use LinkedIn Outreach
If you have a very specific, defined audience and you are niched into it, you could use LinkedIn Outreach. Target markets such as general counsel, accountants, financial planners, doctors, employment lawyers, mining companies, etc. LinkedIn Outreach is the only method if the audience is less than 50,000 and has a strong commercial or B2B element to it.
Factors Influencing Success
The most important factor is to appeal to the niche. Your Audience, Message and Offer (AMO) needs to be defined, your personal and company profile needs to be optimised, and you need to think like your target persona. Appealing to the niche also implies you must demonstrate a true focus on that target market. To do this could be include hosting a podcast.
There are almost no mandatory costs other than LinkedIn Sales Navigator at $99.99AUD a month for a single account. Find out how much LinkedIn Outreach costs here.
Compliance Issues When Using The 6 Major Channels
With every platform comes rules and regulations. These big tech companies set up the rules of the game, boundaries you must not cross and have to adhere to. If you don’t, or you intentionally violate them, you can be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Why Caution And Experience Is Needed
Restrictions and account bans are a real threat. You do not want to upset these tech giants, or your law firm could face permanent restrictions and barriers.
General Compliance Across Major Platforms
Generally, no advertising platform will accept redirects or URL masking, they also do not want to have users attempting to circumvent the system, so make sure your websites are hack and virus free.
Intellectual property, especially trade marks are very important to comply and be in line with.
General Compliance Across Law Firm Search Engine Marketing
Other general compliance issues for Google include not advertising anything against Google’s policies. Here are Google’s Ad Policies. There are actually a lot of rules around how to set certain functions up that are not about policy compliance, so you should always use an agency to run your Google Ads, as the compliance level is high.
General Compliance Across Law Firm Social Media Marketing
Facebook is the most trigger-happy platform when it comes to disabling your accounts. They are the most sensitive and least likely to review your permanent restriction. You cannot use “sex and pornography” in advertising and alcohol is permitted but restricted. Here are Facebook’s Ad Policies.
LinkedIn is much stricter than Facebook in its styling requirements. Here are LinkedIn’s Ad Policies.
Why You Should Be Very Careful When Hiring A Digital Marketer
Untrained or inexperienced digital marketers can get you banned or restricted permanenetly on any of these platforms. This is not a prospect your firm wants. Any permanent limitation on your ability to market is not desirable. Hence, only use either sufficiently trained or experienced digital marketers. The issue is always, how do you filter them out, when you can cheat on certification exams?
We have no straight answers, but we suggest hiring a reputable digital marketing agency like us, Marketlytics. Using an agency as a starting point to ensure you never face restrictions is a sensible idea, especially if your business is restricted by these platforms policies.
Notes About Some Minor Digital Marketing Channels
We will devote a small amount of time to explain some of the minor digital marketing channels.
Bing Ads, or Microsoft Advertising is a Google competitor, by Microsoft. In the US, their market share is as high as 30%, making it viable and a true alternative, but in Australia, its usage is around 3%, making it almost useless and superflous. You almost never need to use Bing.
Tik Tok, Snapchat And Similar
These are some minor platforms in the broader ecosystem. We suggest you do not invest time in them, because the audience is too small and niche, and the targeting systems available are poor.
Clubhouse is up and rising, but suffers the problem of being too early in its lifetime. Things could change, but the time for Clubhouse is not now.
Why Use A Digital Marketing Agency For Law Firms That Understands These Channels?
When you use an agency with such expertise, your options expand. Doors open and campaigns that were once thought to be out of reach or improbable, become accessible to you.
Marketlytics can come up with differentiated and unique campaign ideas because we are omni-channeled and can fit some of the more precise and defined needs and objectives. That is the Marketlytics difference and why we produce better outcomes for our clientele. We stick by the philosophy of Right Purpose, Right Channel.
The Case For Right Purpose Right Channel
Using the right channel for the right purpose is key. The reason why we invested time and money into researching, and mastering all six of these channels is, so we can deliver the correct and desired results for clients.
If it is too expensive to sell wills on Google, use social media and YouTube. If you have a defined audience, like having developed a service to assist general counsel, LinkedIn is the game. You cannot do Google Ads if your website is poor, we will help you fix that before we start advertising your business. We want to deliver maximum bang for your buck and we provide real choice and options for our clients.
We meet our clients where they are at, and suit their needs and stage of business, not trying to push a particular agenda to them. We like to think we open doors where very few can. We invest heavily into video marketing, self advertising and we develop unique solutions to the problems we find.
If you want to experience the Marketlytics difference, book a discovery call with us now.
All discovery calls are confidential
What Are The 6 Major Law Firm Marketing Channels?
Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, YouTube Ads, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and LinkedIn Outreach are the six major law firm marketing channels
Which Law Firm Marketing Channels Can Be Used For Litigious Matters?
Only Google Ads and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be used for litigious matters
Which Law Firm Marketing Channels Can Be Used For Transactional Matters?
All six law firm marketing channels of Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, YouTube Ads, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and LinkedIn Outreach can be used for transactional matters
Why Is It Important To Use A Law Firm Marketing Agency Who Masters All 6 Channels?
So the agency can use the Right Channel for the Right Purpose and get you specific, better results in law firm marketing
Clarence Ling is the founding partner of Marketlytics, and a dynamic character. 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.