A good marketing strategy can make all the difference for small firms
This article was produced in partnership with LexisNexis.
Jacqueline So of NZ Lawyer sat down with LexisNexis Digital Marketing & Communications specialist Tim Newman to break down the 4/4 principle of digital marketing for law firms.
“Digital” has largely described the way in which the modern world exists. Not having a gadget of some kind – whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or laptop – is unthinkable in this day and age. We do everything online now, from ordering food to getting directions.
With most if not all firms having learned to embrace technology largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they now need to take it beyond just operations and bring digitalisation into marketing initiatives as well. To have an effective digital marketing strategy, Tim Newman urges firms to tick the boxes on what he calls the “4/4 Principle”.
The four basic marketing questions
Four crucial questions form the basis of every good strategy:
- How much are you willing to invest in your digital marketing?
- Who is your target market?
- What are your initial marketing goals?
- What is unique about your practice?
“You've got to put resources and time [into digital marketing]. How much is a customer worth to you? You can work your return on investment around the total capital value that you're going to put in,” Newman says.
He adds that firms need to know what clients they’re trying to attract, and they need to be aware of what special features they bring to the table, such as a QC with a great reputation or a specialist in niches like Intellectual Property. Once a firm can successfully answer these questions, it can move on how to optimise its presence online.
Courting exposure online
“Google” has largely replaced “search” as a verb nowadays – hence, firms need to make sure that they will get noticed by the top search engine through prioritising SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) efforts.
At the top of the list is having a well-crafted website that highlights what the firm offers to clients. In addition to a landing page that highlights the firm’s contact details, areas of specialisation and social media links, Newman encourages firms to utilise using web tools like Google Search Console and Google Local Business to bolster exposure.
Google Search Console allows firms to curate the webpages you want Google to remember in the search results to make it easier for your customers to find you. While Google Local Business highlights you to your potential clients within your local area.
“Work with a good local web designer or developer ideally because you can have that one-to-one communication and they ideally know your market too,” Newman suggests.
Second, firms must focus on cultivating their online presence through social media.
“Having a good social media presence allows you to communicate to your audience on topics and information that they might find interesting,” Newman explains.
According to him, the right platform to use is influenced by the market a firm wants to draw. For instance, a family law firm may want to focus on building a presence on Facebook, which he says “tends to be more family-orientated these days.”
Newman adds that social media allows a firm to showcase its staff and become more “real” to its target market.
“Instead of being a cold presence on the website, you can humanise the brand. That makes a connection with people – they understand that there's real people at the firm that they can relate to,” he explains.
Thirdly, firms should strongly consider investing in digital ads, which Newman says enables a firm to target a defined audience.
“Cost-per-click ads do get quite complex so there is a recommendation to engage a local specialist. And if you're getting a website built, your web developer or graphic designer ought to be able to recommend a good local pay-per-click, Google Ads specialist,” he suggests.
According to Newman, a tool that makes the process of creating Google Ads simpler for firms is Google Ads Express, where AI assists in rolling out the ad campaign after the initial setup.
Finally, firms must have a regular schedule of reviewing the progress achieved by their chosen digital marketing strategy.
“See how your social media is growing. Look at how your Google Ads spend is going over the month,” Newman explains, recommending that firms adjust and revise their strategy based on the results.
Ultimately, the key is just to give digital marketing a try and see what suits your firm, as well as to enjoy the process.
“Just have a go – especially if you're a new practice,” Newman says. “[The key is to] make it fun”
Towards the end of the year, LexisNexis will be hosting a complimentary digital marketing webinar for all current customers who would like to know more about improving and expanding their marketing programs. Click here >>> to register your interest.
Tim Newman is a digital marketing professional at LexisNexis New Zealand. Previously, Tim worked as a digital marketing manager in heavy machinery, telecommunications and international advertising agencies. Outside of work he has a passion for building and racing cars.