Lawyers get into law to practice, not to focus on administrative tasks or marketing. However, running a law firm is much more than practicing law – it’s running a business. If law firms want to stay in business, they need to put effort into keeping abreast with legal marketing trends to attract new clients and keep the firm growing and profitable.
According to recent research, 57 percent of clients look for a lawyer on their own, and many use the internet to search for firms. In addition, 66 percent of solo lawyers do their own marketing, while 46 percent of law firms have a budget for marketing.
The global market size of the legal services industry is projected to grow over $900 billion by 2025, so it’s primed for innovation and evolution. Law firms need to stay current on legal trends and invest in marketing to be part of this massive industry growth.
Here are the top legal marketing trends for 2022:
- Setting SMART Goals
- Creating a Brand
- Running an SEO Campaign
- Embrace Content Marketing
- Explore Video Marketing
- Focus on the Right Social Media Platforms
- Post Reviews from Clients
- Showcase Case Studies
- Create an Email Marketing Campaign
- Use Automation to Track Legal Marketing Trends
1. Setting SMART Goals
No strategy is worthwhile without goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals that ensure marketing results match their intent. Setting goals allows marketers to see what’s working and what isn’t to refine and reconsider the strategy.
For example, a goal to “generate new clients” doesn’t fit the SMART goals framework. Instead, the goal should be to increase the number of client leads generated per month from 15 to 30 as a result of the newsletter. This should be achieved in six months.
Each goal should be aligned with a purpose, or what the law firm is hoping to achieve. Here are some examples of general marketing goals:
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Client acquisition
- Increased customer value
2. Creating a Brand
Branding isn’t limited to retail corporations – law firms need a brand, too. A brand helps a law firm attract the right type of client and grow.
Creating a brand is a long process, but it starts with thinking about the mission and vision of the firm, the core values of the firm, and the unique value proposition (what separates the law firm from its competitors?).
3. Running an SEO Campaign
Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to any marketing plan in 2022. Competition is fiercer than ever, so law firms need to stand out and gain a ranking on the first page of the search engine results to drive traffic to the firm website.
Law firms should use tactics like content marketing, strong keyword research, optimized images, intuitive website structure, and a fast and secure web hosting platform to improve SEO.
4. Embrace Content Marketing
Content marketing is essential for a law firm from both an SEO and a general marketing perspective. Valuable content turns a law firm into a thought leader in the industry or practice area, bringing clients back when they need a solution to a problem.
It’s important for firms to create in-depth, original content that addresses common questions for the target audience. A good place for firms to start is with a legal blog that addresses topics such as frequently asked questions from clients.
5. Explore Video Marketing
Video marketing is sweeping the marketing world, and it has plenty of value for law firms. Consumers are more likely to listen to a message in video format than written format since people like to skim. Using a video gets the message across and serves to humanize the law firm’s brand.
Videos come in many shapes and forms, including animated explainer videos that break down complex legalese, spokesperson videos with a partner answering frequently asked questions, and client testimonials to showcase how the firm helps people. These videos can be used on the firm’s website, emails, or social media accounts like YouTube and Facebook.
6. Focus on the Right Social Media Platforms
Plenty of law firms use social media platforms, but not all are created equal. It can be challenging to maintain accounts on every social media platform, so it’s best for law firms to select the platforms that have the most prospective clientele.
Once law firms focus on the ideal social media platforms, they can observe how clients and other law firms interact and increase engagement with followers. Over time, the presence on social media will grow.
7. Post Reviews from Clients
Client reviews go a long way in helping law firms attract new clients and earn a higher search engine ranking. If a law firm doesn’t have a lot of reviews, it’s important to prompt clients to leave a review on social media, Google, or the website.
If getting reviews is a challenge, law firms can create incentives for staff to ask for reviews and how it can impact the firm. The firm can also offer incentives to clients. Keep in mind that video reviews or testimonials can go a long way in increasing credibility for a firm.
8. Showcase Case Studies
Case studies are in-depth and demonstrate expertise and success for clients. Law firms should have a page with current, comprehensive case studies that highlight successful case outcomes. If it’s well organized, clients can find case studies that are similar to their case and gain more confidence in selecting a firm.
9. Create an Email Marketing Campaign
Despite social media and other communications, email marketing is an incredible outbound marketing technique that’s still important in 2022. Nearly 60 percent of marketers say that email delivers the highest ROI, no matter the industry.
Sending out targeted, value-packed emails can help a law firm build credibility, convert new leads, and attract new and repeat customers. Once the email list is built, law firms can segment the list according to the stage of the customer journey, location, practice area, and more to create highly targeted email messaging.
10. Use Automation to Manage Legal Marketing Trends
The legal industry is traditional, but legal practice management software is the way modern firms get ahead. Legal management software, like PracticePanther, helps law firms in a variety of lucrative business operations including streamlining billing and invoicing managing client communications and tracking time. With the burden of marketing tasks, having legal practice management software allows law firms to automate many day-to-day tasks, freeing time to focus on marketing efforts. It also offers automation for some marketing efforts, such as custom tags to track lead sources or assigning marketing tasks through workflows to ensure you’re never missing a lead.