News & Newsworthy
Integrated Online Marketing8/1/2012 - Marketing the Law Firm
Integrated Online Marketing
Grow Your Law Firm and Find New Clients
By Lori Chavez
The move from Yellow Pages and local print advertising to online marketing is well underway. But there’s more to online marketing than simply getting a website for your law firm or getting your business listed on Google Places. The biggest trend for 2012 is the use of integrated marketing solutions, especially for service providers in highly competitive industries like law firms.
An integrated or all-inclusive marketing solution can help your firm develop and maintain an ongoin engagement with customers online via mobile, social media and better SEO (Search Engine Optimization), including leveraging online listings and developing a geographically targeted website. When integrated together, these components can significantly increase your chances of being found when potential clients are looking for your services — whether it’s general law or a legal specialty like business contracts or adoptions.
One of the most important first steps in your integrated marketing strategy is having a keywordoptimized, geographically targeted website. This will help your firm target and attract customers in your specific area or a broader region. This means having the name of your city as part of the geo-URL. It will aid in quickly connecting that searching customer to your firm. The site can include client testimonials, attorney bios, firm news, practice area details and other information that may be important to potential clients.
Another important component of integrated marketing is “mobile.” We all use and heavily rely upon our mobile devices for many things. Studies reveal that consumers actually are increasingly using mobile devices to research products and services they are looking to purchase. In fact, in a recent research study our company commissioned with an e-tailing group, we found that 60% of shoppers researched products and services several times a month using a mobile device. For one attorney in Minnesota, it was important that he break through the competitive clutter and be found by his “on-the-go” clients. To help in that regard, our company developed a mobile optimized version of his firm’s website that’s easy to use and includes one-touch functionality.
In addition to the geo-targetedand mobile websites, social media should also be incorporated into your marketing strategy. What’s critical here is that social media is used to manage a conversation. So, how do you best reach customers through social media? Do they come from Facebook, Twitter or Linked In groups? Do they learn about your business in the blogosphere? It’s critical to note that whatever social media device you rely upon, it is ill-advised to take shortcuts to rapidly build a following. It’s much better to build your online presence and grow organically than to use a traffic-building service, which may increase your Twitter followers, but not necessarily your customer base. Instead, you should focus on developing quality content that’s updated frequently, as well as your relevancy of followers,not quantity. “Retweeting” relevant Tweets from other sources is also a good practice to build followers and share news.
If your law firm has a blog, post regularly and organize topics well. Encourage comments, even negative ones, to help manage the conversation, change perceptions and win over new business. These days, easy-to-use web tools allow you to easily and effectively integrate all of your firm’s social media activity to make it a critical part of your online marketing efforts.
Did you know that two-thirds of online consumers prefer to click on trusted, organic listings? It’s important for your business to be listed in all of the right places, so that customers can find you in your local market. Tools that can publish your business information in hundreds of places, including the Web’s most popular sites, maps and apps, are important to online success. This will help your business stand out from the competition and extend your reach with enhanced content like specials, badges, links, directions, reviews and more. Search engines rank businesses more favorably that have a complete online presence, including business listings, mobile social, etc.
Remember, engagement can happen on many levels and in many different ways and places. That’s why it’s really important that you develop an integrated marketing strategy that incorporates and leverages all of the above tools — together. Right now, potential clients are searching the Web on their desktops and smartphones, developing Facebook posts and Tweeting. Will they find your firm in the midst of the “clutter”? Use these tips to help bolster your marketing strategy and drive new clients to your firm.
Lori Chavez is vice president of marketing for Local Corporation, a local online media company that connects merchants and consumers. She may be reached at 800-984-4155 and email@example.com.