Digital Marketing for Law Firms: NYLJ Contribution Examines Key Trends for 2023
December 19, 2022
Alexis Sikorski Explores Innovative Digital Strategies for Law Firm Growth
Infinite Global digital strategist Alexis Sikorski writes for the New York Law Journal to produce a compelling article on the significance of digital strategies in law firm business development. The article delves into how adopting innovative digital marketing trends can lead to growth and success for law firms. By embracing these strategies, firms can navigate the ever-changing digital landscape, forge stronger client relationships and maintain a competitive edge. Discover how to optimize your law firm’s digital marketing and business development initiatives.
Embrace These Digital Marketing Trends for a Competitive Edge in 2023
Amid the seismic shift of law firms joining the digital revolution, five key trends are emerging that will help shape how clients interact with firms and determine who their representation will be in the coming year.
Technological advancements continue to drive digital transformation within the legal industry, presenting exciting marketing opportunities for law firms. And as we reflect on the past couple of years and look toward 2023, it is clear the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift toward enhanced digitization, necessitating attorneys and their marketing counterparts to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) strategies, emerging MarTech, online reputation management and omnichannel marketing.
Amid the seismic shift of law firms joining the digital revolution, five key trends are emerging that will help shape how clients interact with firms and determine who their representation will be in the coming year. To manage this transition and stay ahead of their peers in an increasingly competitive digital landscape, law firms must adjust their marketing approaches.
An Emphasis on AI-Powered Marketing
In today’s dynamic landscape, providing a unified customer experience across all channels is critical. The modern consumer expects a seamless and consistent omnichannel experience across different delivery channels—online, in-person or mobile. Omnichannel solutions offer clients convenience and personalization in legal services, from online publication of case results to personalized messages on mobile apps.
This level of engagement cultivates stakeholder loyalty, making it easier for organizations to differentiate themselves within the industry and build lasting relationships with their clients. Law firms have been expediting their digital transformation process, emphasizing AI-powered marketing for predictive modeling, automations and advanced data analytics.
To establish an all-encompassing customer experience, law firms must create effective websites that place users at the center. Digital technologies such as CRM systems and chatbots allow for a better understanding of each individual’s needs while strategic content on social media empowers them with knowledge about pertinent practice areas and thought leadership in innovation.
Spending on legal technology has increased over the past year, with venture capital inflows reaching over $1 billion for the first time in 2022. This trend is expected to continue into 2023, with law firms aggressively integrating AI-powered marketing tools and platforms into their strategies.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming legal marketing by providing powerful, predictive insights. Deep learning algorithms can reduce the human labor involved in capturing lead data while natural language processing (NLP) helps to categorize and prepare data for analysis. AI-powered tools enable marketers to optimize time-consuming processes such as attribution or extracting meaningful insights from customer profiles and historical performance metrics—enabling them to generate leads more effectively than ever before.
With machine learning capabilities, advertisers now have a greater chance of success when segmenting audiences based on known attributes—streamlining sales efforts with unprecedented accuracy. AI is not only improving search engine optimization (SEO) results for law firms but also streamlining their marketing analytics and reporting.
By providing meaningful insights into customer behavior, AI-powered solutions can help law firms optimize campaigns and manage budgets more efficiently. The legal industry is also using AI to provide automated services such as virtual assistant chatbot technology, reducing the time it takes for lawyers to find answers to frequently asked questions. As AI evolves, more legal marketers are beginning to embrace it as a powerful tool for driving leads and improving sales performance. With the right strategies, law firms can gain an edge over their competition.
Emerging MarTech for Monitoring and Evaluation
New advancements in customer service technology, such as ChatGCP, are enabling law firms to enhance their client outreach with personal and responsive support. This platform leverages AI and machine learning capabilities to automate mundane tasks while collecting data on consumer behaviors so businesses can deliver tailored services that exceed expectations. This multi-channel approach also simplifies the engagement process by connecting users instantly via the website, social media or messaging apps—allowing for a heightened level of responsiveness regardless of the channel used.
Additionally, the rollout of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) began in October 2020, officially replacing Universal Analytics (UA) as the primary version used for data collection. The main difference between UA and GA4 is its focus on customer outcomes instead of customer behavior. Instead of providing data on what visitors did using a website or app, GA4 provides data on how visitors interacted with pages and content to make decisions about their experience. This shift allows businesses to use the data to understand customer needs better and develop strategies that meet those needs more effectively.
Firms today have access to unprecedented customer insights with the help of GA4. Leveraging AI and machine learning, this platform can quickly analyze large amounts of data—giving companies a comprehensive understanding of their customers’ behavior patterns. With cross-platform tracking capabilities, predictive analytics, machine learning insights for campaign optimization, and other useful tools, marketers can gain real-time visibility into what audiences want or need—allowing them to deliver timely solutions that improve the overall user experience across all devices and channels.
Increased Focus on Online Reputation Management
To effectively build their online presence, law firms must dedicate resources to two important areas: SEO and SERP. SEO and SERP are important for law firms for two main reasons: SEO helps potential clients find your website, and SERP helps to ensure that your website appears as high up as possible in the search results.
A website optimized for search engine performance helps potential clients more easily find you while ensuring that you appear within the top results of a given query. To ensure a firm remains competitive against its rivals, it needs to develop comprehensive public relations techniques, including SEO and SERP optimization and leveraging customer review sites such as Yelp, Avvo and Google My Business. A comprehensive SEO and SERP strategy can also counter negative posts about a firm that it would like to push down in search results.
It is also increasingly important that firms incorporate digital planning into their crisis management and preparation to support their online reputation strategy. This includes developing plans and programs to identify, analyze, prevent and mitigate risks that can potentially lead to negative publicity or legal liability. With a detailed response plan, firms can monitor and respond to stakeholder feedback, create content for SEO and SERP optimization and leverage social media channels, as well as traditional outreach methods, in the event of a crisis.
Increasing Demand for Digital Marketing Services by Law Firms
Attracting new clients and maintaining a solid base of repeat business is essential for any law firm. In the past, traditional marketing techniques such as print advertisements, earned media and even Yellow Pages listings were enough to get the word out. However, a more sophisticated approach is needed in today’s digital world. That’s where dedicated team members or outsourcing digital marketing comes in. By having a dedicated team member or working with an experienced agency, law firms can develop a customized marketing plan that takes advantage of the latest digital tools and technologies. From search engine optimization to social media campaigns, specialists can help law firms reach a wider audience and build a robust online presence.
Many law firms are looking to outsource their digital marketing activities, which is expected to contribute to the growth of the legal marketing services market over the next few years. To ensure that firms can effectively compete in this market, they must invest in digital marketing strategies such as content creation and promotion, SEO, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media management.
A sharp focus on lead generation is crucial. By pursuing high-caliber leads and centering marketing on lead-generation campaigns, law firms can boost their success rates and tap into new sources of revenue. One strategy that law firms may want to consider is content marketing, which involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant content with potential clients and leveraging gated access landing pages to gain a targeted list of potential prospects.
The Rise of Video Marketing
Videos can be a powerful tool for establishing trust with potential clients and showcasing the firm’s expertise in the legal field. Wyzowl’s research found that an overwhelming majority (87%) of businesses are now taking advantage of this powerful tool—including law firms who aim to humanize their firm and provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse at office culture through engaging videos for prospective employees and clients.
As consumer tastes continue to evolve, utilizing video as an advertising medium is more important than ever. Results from a HubSpot Social Media Trends Report revealed that 85% of marketers find short-form videos to be the optimal and most effective formatting for social media.
Businesses have taken advantage of videos in various ways—such as providing educational content, showcasing thought leadership and legal approaches, and producing “how-to guides,” webinars and animated explainer clips. These strategies allow organizations to engage potential clients and recruits through the power of visual storytelling. Utilizing this formatting also presents cost-effective opportunities for social media advertising outlets like YouTube and Facebook. While Facebook video ads have a cost per click (CPC) of $0.44, YouTube has a slightly cheaper reported CPC ranging from $0.10- $0.30.
Videos are an effective way for law firms to attract ideal candidates who possess not unique skill sets but also embody the firm’s culture. Through carefully crafted visuals tailored toward each target audience—from recent graduates to experienced lawyers searching for something new—firms can bring their company values and brand into sharper focus, enabling them to stand out among competitors. With powerful video targeting on social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, the maximum potential exposure is within reach—inspiring bright minds with fresh opportunities encompassing everything they need from a legal career.
With over two billion monthly users, YouTube is a powerful platform to market a law firm. You can reach your desired clientele most cost-effectively through hyper-targeting capabilities and flexible budget options. With this powerful tool at your disposal, it’s easy to home in on those searching for legal services related to your practice area or individuals residing within a specific geographic location—ensuring that each ad dollar spent maximizes future clients and business growth.
Accelerating Towards Digital Transformation
In today’s rapidly evolving digital world, law firms must stay ahead by identifying trends early on and leveraging the most cutting-edge technology available. Doing so will ensure that they remain competitive for clients and talent and provide the best possible service. By creating a comprehensive digital strategy aligned with emerging trends, firms can maximize efficiency while delivering a level of personalized legal service unparalleled in today’s market.
Reprinted with permission from the December 19 issue of The New York Law Journal. © 2022 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.