Digital marketing continues to gain momentum. Forrester predicts that by 2021, digital marketing spend will reach $120 billion per year. Digital marketing will also account for 46% of all ad dollars spent at that time. For law firms, this means how they approach digital marketing will be mission critical.
According to Michael Tario, founding partner at TarioLaw, law firms will have to evolve their digital marketing to keep up with the rapid changes in the industry. Here, he shares his top 5 picks of digital marketing strategies law firms will need to embrace in 2018.
Integrate More Video
Video continues to lead in all digital marketing channels. One primary reason is the level of engagement videos provide. With attention spans thinning and more content competing for this shrinking attention, video has proven resilient in keeping viewers engaged. As a law firm, key areas to focus on will not only be ads, but also explainer videos and other non-advertising messages.
“Video is critical,” says Michael Tario. “The real power behind video is that you have the viewer’s full attention for a few minutes. This is extremely rare in marketing today. Smart law firms will in 2018 use video to build mindshare in their audiences. This mindshare will then be easy to translate into profitable and enduring client relationships.”
Focus More on Content Marketing
Content marketing may have once been a fad, but it is now a cornerstone of any successful digital marketing strategy. According to a HubSpot report, 53% of all marketers identified blogging as a key activity they will focus on.
This shift is occasioned by the increasing demand for authority content on the Internet. Setting your law firm apart will mean embracing content marketing as a key activity and not just as an add-on activity.
“For your content marketing strategy to succeed it must become a core part of your overall marketing strategy,” says Michael Tario. “Daft a content marketing strategy that delivers on your key mandate. Don’t approach it as a me-to strategy. Instead, focus it on delivering measurable results that translate into leads or increased market visibility.”
Dive Deeper into Niche Marketing
Niche marketing has long been a centerpiece of digital marketing. However, with the rise of social media, niche marketing has become increasingly difficult. Nevertheless, in 2018 and beyond, law firms that want to win will have to invest more in niching their markets to isolate their primary audiences. This will be especially vital as it becomes increasingly difficult to track real ROI for marketing efforts.
“At TarioLaw, niche marketing is an obsession,” Michael Tario says. “We know our customers are out there. Therefore, we make every effort to reach them with messaging that is relevant to them. For your law firm, this will mean investing heavily in defining your market. Not doing this means your investment may not yield proportional ROI.”
Facebook Marketing is a Must
Globally, close to 2 billion people use Facebook at least once a month. In the United States, 68% of the total population (not just Internet users) is on Facebook. This means that a good percentage of your potential customers are on Facebook. While there are other social media platforms, Facebook still stands out as the one platform that has all demographics adequately represented.
“In 2018, Facebook will continue to be a key growth area for law firms,” says Michael Tario. “Because legal services are relational, Facebook is perfectly suited to market your law firm. Putting a human face to your business is a key aspect of winning more business. Focusing on an effective Facebook marketing strategy will therefore be a key investment area for law firms that want to win in 2018.”
Utilize Social Proof
The flood of fake information on the Internet has made credibility a key differentiator for businesses. Proving this credibility requires the smart utilization of social proof. Smart because used poorly, social proof can backfire and result in blowback that does more harm than good to your business.
Michael Tario explains. “Social proof includes all the positive ratings, feedback, testimonials and reviews your business has received in the past. Communicate this to your target market in an honest and transparent matter to show them they can trust you. Avoid at all costs the temptation to “manufacture” social proof. Buying likes, paying for bogus reviews and the like. This will hurt your law firm in the long run.”
“Digital marketing is the new norm in marketing today,” says Michael Tario. “If you want to win in 2018, you must move digital marketing front and center of your core business activities. Doing this will mean the difference between staying relevant into the future and being eaten up by tech savvy law firms that have embraced the future.”