For any company, discussing a budget can be an awkward conversation. However, if you’ve got a solid plan of where your finances should be going, the budget meeting shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
We’ve specifically put this blog together for law firms who may need a helping hand in how to prioritise their money when it comes to their marketing.
We’ll be discussing a couple of points, including how your budget is going to depend on your company’s goals, the buyer’s journey and what marketing methods you should be thinking about in order to get consistent, quality leads.
Every Law Firm is Different
As with all companies in a similar sector, no two law firms are going to be identical, and this means there might be particular factors which have an impact on how the marketing budget is being spent. Such factors may include:
- The areas of practice
- How big/small the law firm is
- The company’s desire in client acquisition
- The types of marketing activities they’re looking at
- The overall marketing strategy they have put together
- How much time the firm has to invest into their marketing
All the factors above will play a part, but you need to prioritise the method that’s best for your business.
The Areas of the Law
Typically speaking, particular areas of the law such as estate planning and family law tend to need less marketingUsually, these areas of law do pretty well in generating new clients and cases from referrals.
However, law firms which specialise in areas such as civil litigation, criminal defence or immigration, need some more money plugging into their marketing. Both costs per lead and client acquisition are quite high in these areas, so getting enough leads can be expensive as can converting these leads into clients.
The diagram above demonstrates a typical law firm’s marketing and sales funnel. As you can see, at each stage of the buyer’s journey (in this case the client looking for legal assistance) there are business goals, and what the law firm needs to do in order to obtain them.
Essentially, a law firms marketing budget should reflect their short and long-term goals. For example, if you’re considering opening a new department, you’ll have to put a decent budget towards that in order to achieve the goal you have set — thinking about the bigger picture is vital.
Let us take you through the three stages of the buyers’ journey, and what marketing actions could be taking place in order to be successful.
So we’re at the first stage of the buyer’s journey which is where a law firm would want to make an impression on their potential client, and we call this ‘top-of-mind awareness’ or ‘TOMA’.
Roughly speaking, around 10% of your overall marketing budget should be accounted for here, as this way you’ll be able to begin to make a name for yourself as a company without breaking the bank. Law firms could consider posting on social media.
There, you could consider using hashtags. If you go for a ‘branded’ hashtag that’s focused on your law company’s name, then it should bring more attention to you and hopefully some overall brand awareness. You could also consider an ‘industry-related’ hashtag, which is easier to use because the company doesn’t have to be that popular as the hashtag itself will be. A conversation which is driven by your brand won’t be the only thing taking place there, but it’ll mean you’ll be associating your law firm with others within the industry, hopefully helping you to build up your brand reputation.
So, we’re midway through our marketing funnel at the consideration stage. This is the point where potential clients may need your legal services in the future, but might just be doing some research about their particular case or shopping around for the right firm to handle their case.
Essentially, the overall goal is to create a space where the audience is able to actually engage with you and your brand while visiting your website.
This can be done through a few different forms of marketing, depending on what you’re hoping to achieve. If you’re hoping to get a lot of attention in one go, then you might be better off looking at paid ads for your marketing method.
However, if you’re wanting to target more specific clients and continue to be consistent with this in the future, then blogging is going to be your best bet. With all of this in mind, putting about 30-50% of the marketing budget towards the consideration stage should set you in good stead.
As a content marketing agency, we’re the first to tell you how great blogging is, and how it can benefit your law firm.
Why Blogging Will Work for You
Producing content in the way of blogging is a fantastic investment for any law firm. Now, you might be thinking this is something you could do in-house. However, there’s far more that goes into a blog post that simply writing a decent article and posting it on your site. We’ll take you through why a law firm should consider blogging to be a main component of their marketing budget.
Search Engines Love Good Content
Blogging is like the pot of gold you need in order to achieve higher rankings on search engines like Google, as they pay more attention to sites that publish quality content on a regular basis.
However, just because you’re posting a couple of times a week doesn’t mean that this will be good enough. It has got to be well-researched content which is constructed accurately and exclusive to your website.
As long as you have the correct SEO practises in place, and your content is targeted, you’ll have nothing to worry about. However, the chances are, if you’re a solicitor, it’s unlikely that you’ll be a keyword wizard like us here at Strawberry Forge, which is why investing in a content marketing agency may just be your best option.
You’ll Attract Qualified Traffic to your Site
By posting useful information on your site, you’ll attract more readers. If this content is done effectively, a law firm will attract the type of visitors they need i.e. clients!
Every blog that you post is an opportunity to attract someone who might not have considered your firm, and therefore, every blog is a way to win over a new client.
Blogging Will Help Your Firm Establish Authority
Any client wishing to seek legal services will want to get the best team behind them from the start. Prospective clients generally do a thorough investigation of various legal options before choosing which firm to go for.
If your law firm has a well-established blog which has knowledgeable information, it’s going to give the impression that the team is an established authority in the legal sector.
We really could go on and on about how great blogging is for a law firm, but we’ll leave it to those three points for now, but if you want to know more, book a digital workshop with us.
Let’s get back to the final stage of the buyer’s journey.
Now, we want potential clients to make the decision to contact your law firm and receive the advice they need. Typically speaking, around 40-70% of your marketing budget should be spent at this stage as this is going to be the part where you turn your prospective leads into confirmed clients.
Campaigns might see immediate results, but there are often snowballing effects that this can have, which we need to address.
More often than not, this is due to a substantial amount of people being ‘ready to buy’, which means they need solicitors services as soon as possible. That’s where this stage then becomes the ‘conversion’ or the ‘decision’.
The objective here is to essentially drive contact form submissions, emails and phone calls. The idea of this is to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) ads which are centred around searches which show a high degree of ‘purchase intent’ to push these fresh leads.
As you may have worked out already, this is sales. You want to invest advertising money into channels which perform consistently to generate leads and cases. Essentially, this is the main reason as to why the conversion stage has such a substantial amount of budget pumped into it.
A law firm would need this in order to provide reliability and a steady flow of incoming business.
How Are You Spending your Budget?
After reading this blog, you might have come to the realisation that there is actually quite a lot to consider regarding where you should be prioritising your money, and you’re absolutely right.
As we’ve mentioned, though, the amount we’ve recommended for you to spend in the different areas of marketing are going to be subject to each law firm’s individual goals and expectations. Nevertheless, once you understand what you need and how you’re going to do that, you’re halfway there and it’ll just be a case of figuring out how you can turn theory into reality.
That’s where we come in. If you’re part of a law firm that could do with some help with the practical side of marketing, why not contact Strawberry Forge today to get the ball rolling.