Over the past five years, legal marketing has experienced a considerable shift.
Big and small law firms today are eliminating traditional marketing strategies to embrace digital marketing and new media to reach new services and people.
The pillars of legal marketing are still word-of-mouth referrals and networking, but these tactics that have worked so well over the years have become even stronger through the use of social media platforms and marketing online. Utilization of terms including LinkedIn, SEO, Skype, and Twitter are now commonly used in law offices just as often as in technology firms.
It is no mystery that a ton of money was spent during 2012 on marketing. No matter if it is offline, online or a combination of the two, legal professionals know there is value in these initiatives. Given this reality, legal experts have plans to invest more time on marketing efforts depending on their budget allocations.
When a law firm’s marketing budget experiences an increase, their investments online also do as well. Because there is a decline in print advertising and off-line marketing and a marked growth in advertising online, legal marketers have noted that they will be spending upwards of 75% of their marketing budgets for online efforts.
Social media is being utilized by lawyers for business development. In 2012, when a survey was conducted, over half (54%) of the respondents said they used social media tools for the growth of their legal business.
Communication with clients is also occurring through use of Facebook and LinkedIn. Also to using LexBlog and Avvo, Facebook and LinkedIn have been noted as the most popular channels in the social media network for the generation of new business. Law firms are also utilizing these channels to engage with their existing client base, thus creating a blurred line between offline and online relationships.
There has become a breach in the generational divide through the use of online marketing. There is no significant age difference between those who spend money and time online and who also participate in social media compared to those who are not engaging in these activities.
A valuable source for professional development is blogs. Despite the fact that conferences and CLE courses remain the most popular way to develop a business, many lawyers have said they follow blogs.
Even those who are not participating in marketing online still have noted concern about reputation online. Despite not using social media, those who don’t are still monitoring reputation online.
A key marketing channel is online Q&A. Many legal professionals have noted that an effective marketing channel is answering questions in online forums. Those who respond to questions on forums tend not to participate in social media because they are concerned about the potential for establishing relationships with their clients.
Even though online presences are significant, it is still a priority to market offline. Successful marketing occurs when you learn how to connect offline and online participation and figure out how to make these efforts work in conjunction with each other.