We recently asked a several dozen experts for legal industry predictions for 2015, which we will publish here later this week. Larry Bodine provided six for law firm marketing and we’ve decided to run his viewpoints as a standalone post.
* * *
Here are Mr. Bodine’s six predictions for legal marketing next year:
1. The firm website becomes the sine qua non of legal marketing. A law firm website is now the essential element of its marketing. Hinge research showed that 77% of professional firms generate new business leads online. 70 percent of law firms in another survey said their website generated new matters, according to Alyn-Weiss research.
2. The rise of the review sites. Because so many consumers habitually look to review sites before buying anything, lawyers will have to pay close attention to reviews about them on Avvo, Personalinjury.com, Yelp, Google and Facebook.
3. Content marketing takes hold. Google has moved away from keyword searches and so have clients. 62% of searches are non-branded keyword searches (e.g., “Miami personal injury attorney”) and they produce an excess of junk results. 32% of non-branded searches are “long-tail searches” like “Chicago divorce lawyer for family with special needs.” These searches find on-point results from websites with content that goes into detail.
4. Law Firms convert with free content downloads or a newsletter sign-up. A “conversion” is getting a potential client to interact with a law firm website. The single best tactic to convert and engage a visitor is offering a free content download. In exchange, visitors will give out their name, email address and more.
5. Lawyers must bring visitors back with an automatic newsletter. Lawyers should send an automatic newsletter to contacts on the firm mailing list and to visitors who opt-in. Mailchimp has a plug-in for WordPress that will automatically compose, illustrate and send the newsletter on a specified schedule. For example, the Law Practice Advisor newsletter goes out beautifully every week without any manual input.
6. Social proof is necessary to generate leads. Potential clients spend 16 minutes of every hour on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and they expect a lawyer they will engage to be as well. Clients want to see updates, news & information from a lawyer. Absence on social media demonstrates that a lawyer is out-of-it.
What predictions would you add?
* * *
Larry Bodine is a lawyer, journalist and marketer who speaks and writes frequently about law firm marketing. Currently he is the publisher of the National Trial Lawyers and is the former Editor in Chief of Lawyers.com. Connect with him on Twitter, on Google+ and LinkedIn.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
5 Law Department Surveys Provide a Glimpse of 2015