Marketing can look different depending on the size of the law firm. The unfortunate truth is that large law firms have far more time, resources, and experience to market in a significant way. However, that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t compete. In fact, small businesses can capitalize on certain tactics to create a successful, sustainable marketing plan. Here’s what you need to know about small law firm marketing.
What Are the Small Business Marketing Challenges?
Marketing is often more difficult for companies that are not as established. That makes sense – small businesses just can’t do what large organizations can do. Small law firms in particular tend to experience:
- A lack of resources – Small businesses may not have an in-house marketer or full-time employee. Effective marketing requires time, technology, and close attention to budgets and campaign performance. Without these resources, newer companies are at a disadvantage.
- Lower budgets – Traditionally, small businesses have had to stick to tighter budgets. When it comes to digital marketing, many attorneys aren’t as familiar with the tactics and don’t want to experiment with their limited dollars.
- competition from larger companies – Chances are your small business will have to compete with larger companies with greater brand awareness and a more authoritative digital presence. This can make it difficult to be discoverable on digital channels.
Small Law Firm Marketing Steps
Because budgets are limited and your small business needs to be extra careful with resources, it’s important to be thoughtful and intentional about your marketing. Here are the must-dos before you start launching campaigns:
1. Understand your audience
Don’t pay money to reach an audience you haven’t researched. You need to think about who your ideal customers are and what drives them. Create customer personas that become the foundation of your marketing strategy.
Find out how to create an ideal customer profile with this guide.
2. Develop your messaging
You need a sophisticated, impactful message that clearly explains to your target audience how your service meets their needs. Think about ways to educate prospective customers, show value, and show expertise.
3. Calculate your budget
Marketing quickly becomes expensive if you don’t strategize and prioritize early on. Before you start, think about what you are willing to spend and what you want to spend money on.
4. Determine analytics
Before you start using actual tactics, you need to know what success looks like. Find out how you will monitor and measure your activity and its effectiveness. In particular, ensure that Google Analytics and Google Search Console are properly set up and used.
Effective marketing channels for small businesses
The most important part of your marketing strategy is determining which channels can be most impactful for your business. These are the ones that make the most sense in the beginning.
1. Content Marketing
Without great content, additional tactics won’t be as effective. Content includes everything from your web copy to blogs, social media posts, or anything that potential customers might engage with.
For more guidance, check out this free content marketing eBook.
2. Search Engine Optimization
The process of optimizing your website to appear in organic search is absolutely crucial. Good SEO is multidisciplinary and focuses on both on-page and off-page SEO, but well-researched keywords are the foundation. Local SEO is especially important for smaller businesses.
Watch this on-demand webinar: SEO Basics in One Hour for a complete breakdown of creating an SEO strategy.
3. Online Reputation Management
Like SEO, managing your online reputation is vital. Building and monitoring your reputation on popular review sites and promoting customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies is essentially free. Make collecting positive reviews at the end of an engagement part of your customer service model and offer them incentives where needed.
4. Pay per click
PPC is the process of advertising on another publisher’s or search engine’s platform and paying a fee for each click on your ad. Because you only pay when someone interacts with your ad, you can work within a budget and make the most of your resources. It’s important to research keywords and put together compelling ads before launching a campaign.
Here’s a blog that breaks down how to use PPC effectively.
5. Email Marketing
It takes time to build a list of leads, contacts, subscribers, and past customers. Once you’ve done that, email marketing is a great way to reach your database. Again, the costs are low, so a strong ROI can be achieved. Segmentation and automation can go a step further and allow you to better reach customers and prospects.
Tips for your most effective marketing
Finally, let’s cover some of the common wisdom that small businesses can benefit from the most.
- Always balance your paid channels with organic SEO. Remember that paid channels work when campaigns are running. SEO and other reputation management tactics work all the time.
- Use retargeting on PPC platforms. Options like Google Ads and Facebook allow you to retarget audiences who have already engaged with your business, resulting in higher ROI.
- Use blog content to target long-tail keywords. Adding a blog to your web content is a game changer. You can expand your business’ reach by researching keywords and including them in blog content that you can promote through other channels.
- Analyze and optimize. Most things will take a few tries to get right. Because of this, it’s important that you have the analysis set up properly – so you can see how things work, test options, and try again.
Small law firm marketing is a complex and ever-changing landscape, and venturing into new channels as a small firm can be intimidating. However, there are many things you can do to maximize the results of a small team or a low budget. If you’re not sure where to start, it’s always a good idea to ask for assistance.