It’s not nearly as difficult to be a great marketer when you are the big fish in the little pond or when in comparison to your competitors, you have unlimited resources at syour disposal.
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of law firms – that is simply not the case. Being a great marketer requires doing more with less, finding ways to extend your various initiatives cost effectively (see my last post) and determining the optimal marketing mix.
A lot of this involves knowing how to target your best prospects. Again, going back to the largest of firms, targeting can be as broad or as narrow as they wish and deem appropriate. Want to reach corporate executives? No problem. Run an ad campaign in Forbes or the Wall Street Journal. Looking for those recently injured in an accident? Easy. Blast your message away on your local broadcast airways.
The problem is that most law firms cannot really “play in this neighborhood” or at least not go toe to toe. Instead they must find alternative means for becoming a big player, though perhaps in a smaller pond. Often this means, redefining and refining the profile of the firm’s target prospects.
With this in mind, I would like to offer seven ways in which law firms can more effectively target a given geographic, demographic or psychographic group.
Pay-Per-Click & Long-Tail KeywordsPay-Per-Click is often a great way to target a particular group – particularly if you are promoting legal services to the general public. Unfortunately however, you are not the only one who is going to be doing so and one often runs the risk of being outbid and outshouted. One way in which to get around this is through the use of long-tail keywords. These are keywords (actually phrases) that go into greater depth than their more mainstream counterparts. For example, a PI firm can use “personal injury” as a keyword. It’s a common term that will probably cost a great deal. It might also use a longer term such as “motorcycle accident injury.” But to make full use of long-tail keywords, how about going the full distance – motorcycle accident resulting in brain injury? How many impressions will such an ad generate? Probably not a lot. But for that individual who actually did suffer a brain injury as a result of a motorcycle accident, your ad may generate a higher click-through rate. And probably at a much lower cost-per-click.
Display AdsGoogle Adwords gives you the option to run ads that will appear when an individual types in relevant keywords. But it also gives you a second option in which you allow the search engine to display your ad on relevant sites. For example, you’re an attorney trying to reach other attorneys? How about running ads that appear on bar association websites? Focus on adoptions? How about getting on infertility group sites? The possibilities are many. It only takes a little thought and a bit of creativity.
Social MediaSocial media is more than just about developing a profile and getting people to befriend you (or whatever the vernacular is for each type of platform). It’s also about interacting with others, and depending on the practice area, can be an excellent ways for law firms to reach specific target groups. For example, you’re a family law practice in Ishbakoobee, Illinois. There are probably a number of area divorce and/or singles groups with whom you could connect (Actually, there’s not because Ishbakoobee is only a fictional place.) Many of its members would thrilled to bear witness to your particular expertise.
But you’re a law firm with a business-to-business focus? Joining Facebook groups not a viable option? Fear not. Linkedin offers the same type of benefit – but with a business focus.
Targeted ListsNot quite as out-of-the-box, but still a viable option. I won’t go into much detail here as most of you already have some understanding of this approach. That being said, do not dismiss it out of hand. Work with a reputable list broker to segment, segment, segment. Think of the effectiveness of an email campaign targeting Lamborghini owners in your zip code!
Online GiveawaysOn the more creative side, how about developing a white paper on a highly specific topic such as independent contractor law and offering it free on your web site? Trust me. The only people who will ever download it are those with a very real interest in this “fascinating” part of our tax code. But before they do, you’ll require a name and email address (you will, won’t you?) And a few weeks later you can start sending them that e-newsletter you’ve been working on… right? Of course, it doesn’t have to all begin with a white paper. It could be an offer to attend a free seminar or webinar – anything that gets your highly targeted prospect to interact with you and your firm.
Content ManagementThey say content is king… and I do believe this to be true. So, if you’re a bankruptcy practice and want to be the “go to” firm for restaurant owners who are struggling financially, well then, write articles, posts and web sites that deal with the financial problems of these kinds of people. One word of warning however. While this may seem an obvious marketing initiative to implement, the results of such an approach usually do take quite a bit of time to realize.
You should note that none of these approaches really require a great outlay of financial resources though some may certainly be time intensive. But they all allow you to be “master of your own domain.” And that simply requires engaging in some good brainstorming sessions.
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