Facebook Advertising is used by many businesses and sometimes even lawyers. In this article, we seek to help you decide whether Facebook is the right channel for your law firm. Many firms target their audience via Google Ads and it is an obvious choice for lawyers, due to the “Search Intent” involved which helps lawyers get qualified clients easily. However, does Facebook Ads make sense in your law firm’s marketing strategy in 2021?
Targeting audiences on Facebook is very powerful due to the large audience base Facebook has amassed over the years. Machine learning and mechanisms such as the Facebook Pixel has also contributed to Facebook’s advertising platform success.
When comparing advertising campaigns across both Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you will find that they both behave differently from one another. Google uses keywords to collect data and target ads, whilst Facebook utilises psychographics to get advertisements in front of the right consumers. Google’s keywords are finite but steady flowing, while Facebook audiences are grouped together and shown ads passively.
Can Lawyers Advertise On Facebook In Australia?
Yes, of course lawyers can advertise on Facebook in Australia. Every firm is able to access this digital marketing channel, however, your success will heavily depend on whether your firm undertakes transactional or litigious services.
As time is often a major factor for litigious matters, Google Ads would be a better option for your practice, however, some matters act much like transactional matters, which can be successfully advertised on Facebook. We will touch on these unique litigious practice areas later on in the article.
Of course, when advertising on Facebook, legal ethical obligations apply and they should be followed in order to achieve the online advertising objectives you’ve set yourself.
Restrictions On Personal Injury Lawyer Ads In Australia
Personal Injury advertising regulations are not uniform across Australia. Queensland for example is particularly stringent, with the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (PIPA), Chapter 3 Part 1 (sections 62 to 69) applicable to all advertising.
As we don’t actively practice law, we will not comment too much on the legalities set out by Queensland on Personal Injury advertising, however, here is an extract from the Queensland Law Society:
“The last Guide, Guide 5, deals with 2 issues:
1. advertising through “sponsored links” on search engine results pages on websites such as Google – essentially the content of these is restricted in the same way as print advertising
2. arrangements for referral of personal injury clients to law practices by non-lawyer referral agencies – the referrer’s website needs to comply with PIPA.
Advertising of personal injuries services is not allowed at all on radio, television, at the cinema or in recorded telephone messages. Advertising in print (billboards, leaflets, newspapers, magazines) is limited to your and your law practice’s name, contact details and your areas of practice or speciality. You are not permitted any pictures or “self-promotional statements”. These same restrictions apply to advertising on a website other than your own.
However, on your own law practice’s website, in addition to the above, you are able to include statements about:
1. the operation of personal injury law and a person’s legal rights under that law
2. the conditions under which you are prepared to act – this can include details of no win no fee arrangements.
There are also some restrictions on your use of pictures on your website.
There are also restrictions on touting and referrals in sections 67 to 68 of PIPA.”Queensland Law SOciety
If you are a Personal Injury Lawyer practising in Queensland or a law firm from this state, we highly advise you familiarise yourself with these rules, if you haven’t already done so.
Why Should Your Law Firm Consider Facebook Advertising?
Facebook uses many advanced targeting features, such as Lookalike Audiences to help you get more clients. A Lookalike Audience takes customer data, such as phone number or email and finds audiences that look like your current audience. These audiences are likely to make a purchase of your services. If you are able to collect enough customer data, nearly any practice will find this type of advanced targeting useful.
You can also retarget audiences on Facebook and there are a number of strategies a lawyer can implement. For example, you can retarget Facebook users through website traffic on your website or via a specific landing page.
Facebook and other social media platforms are unique in that they can target all six audience awareness stages (A-F) effectively. Below is a chart of all six audiences and the five awareness stages you will find an audience in.
By advertising to an audience across one of these awareness states, you are making them more aware of the services you provide. Thus, you will start generating more potential clients who will buy your services.
Facebook gives you the added ability to target all awareness states at once, which gives you a greater reach than Google Search Engine Marketing does at times.
Facebook Ads vs Google Ads For Law Firms
As a passive medium, Facebook generally cannot handle litigious or time urgent matters. No amount of posts or clicks you receive is going to get you qualified clients to reliably take action when you provide these types of services. Litigious and time sensitive matters don’t work on Facebook or any other social media platform for that matter because users just don’t self identify their legal issues there.
As Facebook is not a search engine, it can handle transactional matters very well and some litigious matters that behave transactionally, such as personal injury law.
So, why would a law firm use Facebook if it can only handle transactional matters and the people who use the platform don’t self identify their legal issues? Because Facebook and other social media channels are the great equaliser of digital marketing.
Through the use of compelling copy, resonant images or video and creative, engaging strategy, you will be able to get outstanding results and much cheaper than Google Ads.
Take a look at these results we achieved for a client:
For less than $500, our client received two clients who requested their advertised service and they only received 2-3 unrelated enquires! Each client was worth $5,500 to this particular client, effectively producing an over $20 return for every dollar spent!
You will be hard-pressed to get this kind of value from Google Ads. A click on Google Ads could easily exceed $110 a click for some law firms!
Having only a single source of traffic is not advisable for any law firm. Any platform can change without you knowing, even if you only rely on it for free traffic. Even though you pay for traffic on Google, a policy change at any time can change the client acquisition pipeline for your law firm.
It is best to create and build safety by diversifying your advertising channels. Multi-channel and omnichannel advertising can often lead to better client acquisition results as there are more active touchpoints for potential customers to interact with.
Is Facebook Advertising Right For My Law Firm?
If you run a purely litigious firm, unfortunately, it is unlikely a large scale Facebook campaign will bring you anything helpful outside of brand awareness. Nevertheless, because of the re-targeting function on Facebook, small scale activity might still be cost effective and valuable.
If you run a firm that provides transactional services, the benefits of Facebook are proven. However, what determines you using Facebook rather than LinkedIn depends on these factors:
· Is your targeting based on job demographics or interest and behaviour demographics?
· Is it direct to consumer (B2C) or direct to business (B2B)?
· Do you want phone calls?
· Do you have a good website?
· Is your practice new in the market?
If you are targeting specific job titles, LinkedIn is much better. Whilst if you are targeting interests and behaviours, like marital status, interest in funerals, interest in real estate or interest in workers compensation, that would mean Facebook is suitable for your firm.
If your legal service can be used by any type of consumer, Facebook is the way to go. Otherwise, if it needs to go to a particular type of business or professional, LinkedIn is the right choice. If you do not want to receive phone calls, Facebook is better than Google. If your website is poor, you will fare much better with Facebook than on Google. If your practice is new, Facebook might have better results than Google, as it takes a lot more time to build trust with Google Ads.
What Types Of Law Firms Are Best For Facebook Ads?
Common fields of law that do well on Facebook, include family law, in particular divorce. Regardless of the awareness stage, sometimes it just feels as though all you need to do is throw something at the wall and family law ads do remarkably okay.
Family Law (Divorce) performs well on Facebook. In Perth, both Klimek & Wijay and Leach Legal have good campaigns running, both with organic content and paid advertising. Due to the sad nature of many relationships often breaking down, these services are in great demand and it is incredibly easy to convert visitors into leads.
Personal Injury also does well on Facebook. It is common for an American Personal Injury Attorneys to advertise on Facebook, due to the common nature of their service and it allows them to easily garner interest and therefore, customers.
The last common legal area that can be marketed well on Facebook is naturally migration (immigration). Visa issues are very common in many countries, including Australia, and Facebook is a very effective platform for this, as it can reach many foreign migrants who currently reside within the country.
ROI On Google Ads For Law Firms
Return on Investment (ROI) on Google Ads for law firms is far more consistent than Facebook Ads, due to its steady supply of searchers. However, these are the requirements needed for positive ROI on Google Ads, which not all law firm have obtained:
- A Good website
- Specific pages for specific services
- Conversion Rate Optimised design
- Conversion copy on relevant pages
- Regular management of Google Ads
- Complying with the best practices of Google Ads
- A large advertising budget
- A large quantity of positive reviews
As you can see, the requirements are long, stringent and quite frankly prohibitive for most law firms not willing to spend at least $10-20,000 on a good WordPress website. We had a client who spent over $36,000 over two years on their website. When they came to us for digital advertising on Google Ads, it worked like a charm.
How Do Law Firms Use Facebook Ads?
As discussed previously, law firms should target all five awareness stages and all six audiences wherever possible. The primary focus should be on lead generation and addressing the colder audiences of problem aware and solution aware.
To address most aware immediately is usually not productive for most law firms, as they need to build up the colder audiences beforehand. Here’s the diagram again for reference:
Targeting unaware audiences is usually an expensive exercise, but it can still be a part of your overall strategy.
Conversion Tracking With The Facebook Pixel
Tracking conversions is essential to running on budget, which is not straightforward. Google and Facebook are competitors and Google makes it intentionally hard for Facebook to track conversions because they are actively in competition for your ad spent. This is how complex Facebook tracking can look:
Never attempt to install the Facebook Pixel yourself, even though they make the process easy. The expedited process is not the full experience, nor the most efficient. You can only run one method of installation at this current time. If you use the easier, expedited way to install the Facebook Pixel, you run the risk of having a drop in performance, compared to when you handle its installation the right way.
Campaign Landing Pages
Many law firms send their visitors to a complex service page when advertising on Facebook. This is the incorrect strategy, as you should be using something simple but effective and that is focused on each service individually.
Whilst we do not reveal our clients’ campaigns online or to other lawyers as much as possible, as a policy to protect their privacy, we nevertheless regularly advertise to secure clients. Here is one of our landing pages.
As you can see, it is rather simple and focused. You can use more complex landing pages later in your funnel or if the prospect is very aware of your law firm.
Targeting The Right Audiences With Facebook Ads
There are actually many ways to target audiences with Facebook Ads. Many of these advanced methods are almost never used by law firms, until now. Nevertheless, let us discuss the most common method of targeting, Interest Targeting.
This is a relatively straightforward concept, so we will not be showing any screenshots. Instead, we will describe a process for doing this correctly.
The following are best practices for when using Interest Targeting:
- Use multiple interests
- Set the age and gender
- If possible, narrow the interests with other interest criteria
- Exclude known irrelevant interests
- Keep audience sizes at least 50,000
- Increase audience size and geography if possible
It is important for the audience size to be the right size. Being specific is good, but an audience that is small will have less continuity. For a smaller audience, you will need to actively refresh the media and copy a lot more than with a larger audience.
Lookalike Audiences can be based on website visitors or an email list. An email list of at least 100 valid emails is necessary for a Lookalike Audience to be generated. Targeting 1% to 2% of top lookalikes is ideal, but for the population of Australia, you might need 5% or 10% instead.
Re-targeting an audience is best done on specific pages for specific intent. This means, rather than re-targeting the whole website, divide the visitors based on what pages they visited. This will match the intent of the visitor a lot better than just re-targeting them based off a homepage visit.
Video Ads work great for lawyers, but what kind of video ads work the best? How do you produce such advertising effectively?
Due to these questions too commonly being asked, Marketlytics decided to specialise in video marketing for lawyers! We created the Marketlytics® 1K Video Setup, so lawyers can easily deploy video ads anywhere in Australia and at anytime! This is great for even small or boutique firms who may have budgetary issues.
All of our best social media ads use video and it is integral to our overall strategy. Video content simply engages audiences better than anything else.
Facebook Ads Agency
Finding a good Facebook Ads agency for lawyers is very difficult and many competent agencies flop when it comes to assisting lawyers, they just don’t understand the complexities of the profession. That’s where we come in, as specialist agents who know the legal niche intimately. We can deliver effective and efficient digital advertising where most can’t by having unique experience and background in the legal profession.
Should Lawyers Bother Advertising On Facebook?
As discussed earlier, it depends on what kind of practice you operate and whether transactional work is targeted for interest and behaviour demographics. If you need to target job demographics, LinkedIn will be the answer for your firm.
How Does Mobile-First Marketing Help Small Firms?
Making your marketing mobile-first is helpful because most people today use mobile phones more often than desktops. Most searches online occur on a mobile, so by using mobile-friendly strategies, like Facebook Lead Forms, you ensure the maximum effect of your Facebook Ads.
How Much Do Agencies Charge For Facebook Ads?
Most agencies charge by a retainer model for Facebook Ads. The value and calculation of these retainer models vary greatly. At Marketlytics, the value of the retainer is tied to the Ad Spend of your campaign, however, we do have a minimum fee. We also charge a build fee to build the campaign. This costing is very similar to our Google Ads build fee, except we do not bundle advanced video production, but do include simple video editing.
Yes, of course Facebook Advertising is still effective for lawyers in 2021! If you handle it right, you will start to see great success.
As Facebook is one of the world’s most popular and frequently visited websites, law firms should not avoid this efficient method of advertising. However, it is highly recommended that you conduct your advertising through an agency that understands your business and profession thoroughly. When advertising online, no matter the platform, make sure to familiarise yourself with restrictions surrounding your services, such as the restrictions around Personal Injury Law within Queensland.
Facebook and other social media platforms are unique in that they are able to target various awareness stages of consumers. Use this to your advantage and tailor your campaigns to an audience that needs to hear what you have to say. Make your messaging resonate through engaging copy and media that targets specific interests and behaviour demographics. Family, Personal Injury and Migration Law are prefect for Facebook due to their transactional nature. If you are targeting an audience with a specific job title or profession, LinkedIn is more suitable for your needs.
At Marketlytics, our Facebook Advertising tracking is superior to most other agencies, and we have real world experience within the profession, something most agencies don’t have. So if you are interested in gaining more qualified leads for your practice, don’t hesitate to call us or book a no obligation consultation, so we can help you devise a winning Facebook Ads strategy.
All discovery calls are confidential
Is Facebook advertising effective for lawyers?
Yes, usually in family law, personal injury and migration. As unconventional as it may seem, potentially many areas of law will benefit from Facebook advertising
What special features are good for most lawyers?
Custom audiences, including lookalike audiences and retargeting/remarketing audiences are useful for most lawyers, regardless of area of practice
How can you moderate access?
You can moderate access through the Business Manager, similar to Google
What is the most important part of a Facebook strategy?
Targeting all six audiences, from Unaware to Most Aware is crucial for Facebook success
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.