Create an Omni-Channel Law Firm Marketing Plan in 3 Steps
An average potential client no longer interacts with your brand on just one platform. They may hear about your firm on their LinkedIn smartphone app while on the go, explore your website from their desktop at work, hop onto their tablet to fill out a contact form while in bed, and call your firm from their cell phone the next day.
You really do have to be available on all devices and platforms, all the time—and more than just being present on all channels, you have to provide a seamless client experience across all touchpoints to achieve conversions. Step away from the world of disjointed, piecemeal marketing strategies and into the realm of profitable omni-channel legal marketing using the three steps below.
Understanding the basics of omni-channel legal marketing
Every firm’s omni-channel plan will be different based upon their marketing goals and priorities, touchpoints, client base, and capabilities. However, most plans end up utilizing a combination of effective marketing elements that can include, but are not limited to:
Web / Digital
- Website: a well-designed one with calls to action, a lead magnet, a blog, attorney bios, live chat function, etc.
- Email marketing: targeted messages for segmented audiences, drip email campaigns
- Data collection and analysis
- A mobile-optimized website
- Local marketing such as in-app advertisements
- Social media marketing that portrays a consistent brand across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat
- The client’s experience in face-to-face situations (such as when they walk into your law firm)
Your legal marketing strategy could already include many of these elements in some fashion. The key is to fully transition to an omni-channel plan, where all aspects represent your brand in the same way and act together to further your overall marketing goals—attracting new business, converting viewers and visitors into clients, and promoting client engagement and satisfaction. This can be done in three steps.
Step 1: Come at it from the client’s perspective
Building a comprehensive client experience first requires you to understand that experience from start to finish. How and why do they typically find your firm? What keywords do they search? What triggers move them down the funnel or make them drop off the sales cycle? What types of clients prefer to call your law firm rather than fill out an online form?
This is where developing a client journey map is helpful. It helps to identify key touchpoints and challenges to focus on, and outlines your client’s motivations, frustrations, goals, and more. When you’re in your clients’ shoes and able to analyze your marketing through that lens, you can ensure that every step of the way adds value to your clients, from the time they first become aware of your brand to the moment when they evaluate whether your firm is right for them.
If you haven’t already created a client journey map, try it today to jumpstart your omni-channel legal marketing plan.
Step 2: Use data to determine how your clients communicate
Once you have created a client journey map, you should be able to look at the bigger picture and pinpoint how your audience prefers to communicate.
For instance, a personal injury firm may find that their typical client—aged 35 to 45 years old—stumbles across their website via a Google search for “personal injury attorney in Columbus,” performed on their smartphone. They then explore the firm’s social media pages using their smartphone as well. If they see poor reviews on Yelp, they abandon the journey and pass up the firm in favor of a competitor. If they see mostly positive reviews, they later jump onto their laptop to check out the firm’s website and live chat with a client service representative. Should they feel comfortable with the representative’s answers, they set up a consultation with a case manager.
Therefore, the firm’s average client uses several methods and mediums to communicate:
- Live chat (hosted on the firm’s website)
Gathering and analyzing this data empowers you to understand how your clients communicate, and therefore, where you should focus on meeting them halfway. For instance, if you see consistent interest in your live chat, steady amounts of walk-in traffic, and visitors coming evenly from mobile and desktop, then you know that honing the messaging on those platforms and mediums will improve the overall client experience.
Step 3: Tailor communications to their preferences
Again, the purpose of omni-channel legal marketing is to provide a consistent client experience across all channels, whether that be social media, voice call, email, website, and more. The key is to provide a personalized interaction with each and every client so that he/she receives a remarkable experience, causing him/her to become invested in doing business with your firm. You can do this by first identifying what the most typical client journeys look like for your clients (steps 1 and 2), and then acting on that data.
Focus your efforts on the channels that your clients use most. For instance, train your team on how to best interact with potential clients via live chat and push them to make an appointment for a phone consultation, maintain an active Yelp page and respond to all reviews, A/B split test your website to see which kinds of messaging resonate most with which types of clients.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to tailoring your communications to clients’ preferences. The most important thing is to start, test, and adapt quickly.
Why Webinars Should Be in Your Law Firm’s Marketing Plan
Let’s say that someone offered you free advice about an intimidating legal matter hanging over your head. All you had to do was hop onto a live call for 30 minutes with an accomplished attorney—no cost, no commitment. Would you do it? Most people would respond with an enthusiastic “Yes!”
Herein lies the power of webinars for your law firm. In this article you will discover four reasons that webinars should be in your law firm marketing plan, as well as best practices for ensuring that they are engaging and effective.
- One-on-one interaction
Consumers across all industries make purchasing decisions based on a combination of emotions and logic—it’s just human nature. Webinars provide the opportunity to convince potential clients that your firm is the best choice on both fronts, since you will be enabling one-on-one interactions that showcase your personality (emotional sell), as well as highlighting your expertise and providing valuable content (logical sell).
- Instant feedback and insights
Webinars are a great way to instantly receive feedback. For instance, you could quickly poll attendees about how they heard about the webinar to determine which of your law firm’s marketing avenues is most successful with reaching your key demographic(s)—social media, email, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, or your law firm’s website.
You could also increase referrals and conversions by sending a quick survey right after the webinar (be sure to mention this to attendees during the presentation). Include questions like:
- Their opinion of the webinar on a 1-10 scale
- Areas of improvement for upcoming webinars
- Additional questions, and topics they would like to learn more about (great information to have for future consultations and future blog topics)
- Any contacts they know that might benefit from attending a webinar (for referrals)
At the end of the survey, it’s a good idea to include a thank you message, a call to action, and your firm’s contact information. For instance, “Thank you for your feedback! We appreciate your time… that’s why we promise not to waste any of it. Our Law Firm ABC team is trained to provide brief, yet thorough, consultations for your legal needs. Call us today at (999) 999-9999, email us at email@example.com, or find us on social media by clicking the icons below!”
- Low cost, high ROI
Compare the price of advertising space to the affordable (or free!) cost of webinar software… it’s a no-brainer. Both may have a place in your law firm marketing plan, but webinars are a much more cost-effective form of marketing that you can invest in more often than pricy online or print ads. And when done well, webinars can see an incredibly high ROI.
For instance, software company Buzzsumo reports a 20% conversion rate from webinar attendee to paying customer. While your figures may not be as high due to the difference in industry and business model, your law firm’s webinars could still experience a solid return on a small investment.
- Increased value to clients and prospects, and seamless blog integration
Provide more value to your clients (past, current, and potential) and your firm becomes more valuable in their eyes. Through webinars, you can provide additional value that your competitors aren’t, ultimately differentiating your firm and increasing client loyalty.
Webinars don’t require much more effort than you’re already putting into your law firm’s marketing. For example, a blog post or series about the ins and outs of qualifying for and pursuing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can easily be turned into a 30-minute webinar presentation by padding the existing material, simplifying key takeaways, inserting poll queries and engagement questions, and adding basic introduction and closing content.?
How to Create an Engaging Webinar
Here are three tips for making your webinars an engaging and effective law firm marketing tool.
Be organized and proactive
Slides that are out of order, broken image links, poor audio quality—these issues will lose attendees fast. Make sure that your slides are pristine and organized beforehand, and then test out the audio and visual quality.
Create a script but don’t be a robot
There’s nothing more disengaging than listening to someone read a script for an hour. Prepare a script so you can stay on track but don’t feel compelled to read it like a speech. Inject some personality into your presentation, speak naturally, and feel free to deviate from the pre-arranged text. Keep in mind that webinar attendees won’t be able to see your facial expressions, so your voice should be extra friendly, confident, and energetic in order to come off as likable and engaging.
Check in regularly with attendees
Host a poll or open the floor for questions at regular intervals throughout your presentation in order to check that attendees are listening and/or understanding your material. For instance, a bankruptcy law firm could host a webinar about chapter 7 bankruptcy and managing debt. One of the presenter’s questions could be a blind poll (no identities associated):
What’s your current FICO credit score?
- 700 +
- 650 – 699
- 600 – 649
- 300 – 599
The presenter could then launch into how debtors can improve their credit score after filing chapter 7 bankruptcy. This one poll question helps to transition into the topic, makes it relevant for the audience, and enables attendees to participate in the presentation.
Email marketing keeps you constantly in touch with your clients and contacts. Ask us about our email marketing and branded consumer book!
The Lean Law Firm Marketing Plan You Can Implement Today
No time or budget for a complex attorney marketing plan? No problem. Follow these five steps to build a lean attorney marketing strategy that you can start using almost instantly, and begin connecting with and converting potential clients to elevate your bottom line.
Step 1: Get to know your target client
Identifying your target client is the most important step in understanding the ideal style, tone, medium, and format for your legal marketing, no matter what avenue of marketing you are pursuing. A large budget, a talented marketing team—these things matter if your marketing is speaking to the wrong people, or you are speaking to the right people in the wrong way.
For instance, a bankruptcy law firm’s client base could consist mostly of self-employed, college-educated professionals ranging in age from 30 to 45. In that case, speaking in an elementary-level tone and using excessive slang would probably alienate their audience.
Therefore, creating a detailed client profile is an incredibly essential step when creating any attorney marketing plan, particularly a lean one where there is less room for error. Analyze the most ideal clients in your existing book of business and identify key characteristics such as the clients’:
- Needs/wants (what problem could you help them solve?)
- Economic status
- Level of education
- Marital and family status
Once you have defined your target audience, you can move on to identifying the most appropriate avenues for reaching them.
Step 2: Choose the right avenues to reach your clients
If you’ve done your homework on nailing down your law firm’s target client, step #2 should be much easier—it’s simply knowing where to reach your audience now that you know the how. There are several inexpensive or free avenues to choose from:
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
Not all will fit your audience or result in great ROI for your law firm, so be picky and focus only on the two or three most important ones for your practice (this will ensure that you stay lean and use your time, energy, and budget most effectively). While marketing and content marketing can be effective attorney marketing strategies for all types of law firms, your particular firm will need to be more discerning when it comes to social media depending on your client demographic, niche, etc.
Use the information below, gathered by Hootsuite, to choose the social media platforms that fit your audience demographic.
- Facebook: 82% of online adults aged 18 to 29 years old use Facebook, and more than 70% of Facebook users report incomes of at least $75,000.
- LinkedIn: Users aged 30 to 49 and users aged 50 to 64 are almost evenly matched on the site. 75% of users report incomes of at least $50,000.
- YouTube: More than half of YouTube users are male, and nearly 50% of users report incomes of more than $75,000. According to YouTube, the site sees more 18 to 49-year-olds than any American cable network.
- Twitter: One quarter of Twitter users are 30 to 49 years old, while nearly 40% are 18 to 29 years old. Nearly one third of users possess some form of higher education.
- Snapchat: Almost half of all Snapchat users are 13 to 24 years old, and nearly three-fourths of all users are female.
Step 3: Set a plan in motion
Once your firm has decided where your audience resides, set a simple plan in motion. For instance, if your firm is focusing on content marketing, Facebook, and Twitter as its three major attorney marketing avenues, you could set time on the calendar to produce one blog article per week. Then, you could post on Facebook three times a week (linking back to your blog article in two of those posts) and show up on Twitter twice a day, at 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
Keep in mind that your lean attorney marketing plan should be simple and manageable. The purpose is to establish a bare bones marketing system in order to set a strong foundation for future marketing build-up.
Step 4: Test quickly
Working with a lean marketing plan requires flexibility and the ability to switch gears quickly. If, after one or two months of dedication, you are not seeing promising ROI data, then don’t be afraid to abandon the plan and try a new one. Simply start at step 1 and go through the process again rather than hanging onto something that isn’t working.
Step 5: Revise and add
As you find out what works for your law firm (and what doesn’t), continue to adapt your attorney marketing plan accordingly. And if you discover that you’re seeing success and therefore have a larger budget for marketing activities, feel free to bulk up your lean marketing plan to include efforts like Yelp advertisements, direct mail marketing, podcasts, and drip email campaigns. With the help of a capable legal CRM (client relationship manager), establishing a fully-fledged attorney marketing plan could be easier than you think.
The James Legal CRM is cloud-based, easy to use, and designed to cut your costs while streamlining operations. Contact us to learn more today.