Law firms that want to grow and expand must have a legal marketing strategy in place. Having a marketing strategy and paying for advertising are really two different things. In some markets, you may need both, but you must strike a balance.
What is legal advertising?
Legal advertising is much like throwing a net out in hopes that clients will swim into it and be reeled into your office. Advertising mediums such as outdoor advertising (billboards), television ads, radio spots, and even online banners can prove to be effective ways of building name recognition and attracting new clients.
The exposure your firm will receive from such advertising mediums will help extend your brand to your community. Running a couple television spots during the early evening “Seinfeld” and “Family Guy” reruns for a week might give you a couple phone calls, but you will not see any real return on your advertising dollars until your ad is routinely seen night after night for two to three months.
Law firm marketing
Marketing your law firm online is a little different. Unlike advertising, where you are throwing your name out there for brand recognition and hoping that someone sees your ad at the time they need a lawyer, online law firm marketing and search engine optimization is used to position your law firm’s website so that when someone needs a lawyer, your firm is easily found.
For example, once you have a well executed online marketing plan in place, your law firm will be easily found on Google and other search engines. But that is just one element. Bring in news media and social networking and suddenly your firm is easily found on Facebook, Twitter, Google News, and thousands of websites that pick up your news and syndicate it. Or someone who is friends with someone who follows your Facebook page finds your profile. Or someone who is following someone who is following your Twitter account re-tweets a message you posted that links to your website’s blog.
Online law firm marketing is about pushing your law firm’s brand, messaging, content, and expertise throughout the Internet, making it easy for your law firm to be found when someone in your area needs an attorney.