Law firms can benefit from online legal content marketing for 3 reasons:
- It helps to market your law firm online by scoring points in search engine optimization (SEO),
- It can enhance your firm’s reputation in your field, and
- It helps you connect with potential clients in ways that you can’t do, otherwise.
Together, these 3 perks of online legal content marketing:
- Increases the number of potential clients who see your law firm’s website,
- Turns more of that online traffic from website visitors into paying clientele,
- Impresses in-house counsel,
- Gives the lawyers at your law firm the opportunity to become thought leaders in your field, and
- Establishes the brand and attitude of your law firm.
All of this builds your bottom line and makes your firm more profitable.
What is Online Legal Content Marketing?
Online content marketing is a form of advertising on the internet. It is:
- Inbound, meaning it aims to build clientele by attracting attention to your services, rather than reaching out to them,
- Passive, meaning once you have invested time and money in a particular project it will continue to produce results, rather than culminate in a particular targeted client’s decision to hire your firm,
- Online, meaning it encompasses all aspects of internet marketing, rather than particular subsets or niches of internet advertising, and
- Content-based, meaning it centers around the pages, words, and images on your law firm’s website, rather than the site’s design or technical specifications.
Examples of online legal content marketing are:
- A legal blog post,
- The words and images on the main page of your law firm’s website,
- An article on a fundamental topic in one of your firm’s practice areas, like a piece on comparative negligence or the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, or
- A social media post about your firm’s newest associate attorney.
Why is Online Legal Content Marketing Important?
Online legal content marketing is crucial for law firms who want to build their clientele and bring in more money. It’s advertising, after all.
But online legal content marketing is different from other types of advertising because the internet is increasingly becoming the place where potential clients are the most likely to be found.
Don’t take our word for it. Here are the stats that prove it.
Lots of People Use the Internet
It’s a shocking fact, yes: People use the internet, nowadays. They use it to learn, have fun, and buy things, including an attorney’s legal services. According to Pew Research, 9 out of every 10 Americans used the internet in 2019.
There are some nuances to that number, though.
The first of those nuances is that not all demographics use the internet equally. It should not surprise anyone that people who are younger and more educated tend to use the internet more often than people who are older or less educated:
Education and income tend to go hand-in-hand, and internet use is no exception:
Even if your law firm’s most trusted source of clientele comes from a demographic that does not use the internet very often, you are still going to find nearly three-quarters of them online. By not taking your law firm’s online marketing efforts seriously, or by ignoring them altogether, you are not just letting that deep well of clients go untapped – you are letting your competitors take them, unchallenged.
The Internet Passed Referrals for Attorney Business Long Ago
But lawyers are different, many attorneys say. According to them, word-of-mouth advertising and referral business dominates the legal field, and will always be the ultimate sign of a good lawyer.
That advice is outdated. Since at least 2014, more people find lawyers by searching online than through a referral.
In 2005, the companies Thomson Reuters and FindLaw conducted a survey: They asked 1,000 people how they would find a lawyer, should they ever need legal services:
Then, in 2014, they did the survey, again. They asked 1,000 people how they would find a lawyer if they ever needed one. The results changed drastically:
Using the internet to find an attorney had gone from the least popular option, at 7%, to the plurality preference, at 38%. The growth of the internet largely came at the expense of seeking out a referral from family or friends: Referrals dropped from 65% in 2005 down to 29% in 2014.
Simply put, the internet became what referrals once were… 6 years ago.
In those 6 years since the study, all signs indicate that the trend has only sped up. At this point, the internet is likely where the majority of people would go to find a lawyer if they needed legal services.
Even In-House Lawyers Use the Internet to Hire Outside Counsel
Law firms that rely on lay clients for the bulk of their business – firms that represent plaintiffs in personal injury cases, or that focus on criminal defense – are not the only ones that benefit from having a good website filled with strong legal content. In-house attorneys are almost guaranteed to delve into a firm’s website while doing their due diligence before hiring someone as an outside counsel.
As early as 2012, surveys were backing this up. One of them surveyed 379 in-house attorneys and asked how they used social media and the content found on websites owned by law firms. Published in 2013, two of the most interesting findings from the survey are that:
- Nearly half of in-house lawyers admitted to using a legal blog for professional reasons within the past week, and
- 70% of them said they found articles published on an attorney’s website to be an important factor in their research for outside lawyers or law firms to hire.
Online Legal Content Marketing Taps This Well of Potential Clients
When you look at the grand scheme of things, it becomes very simple: If you run a law firm and want to build your business by bringing in new clients, online content marketing is an essential piece of your advertising strategy. There are too many potential clients out there who are looking for a firm just like yours on the internet. You can’t just ignore the internet as a place to advertise yourself.
Worse, if your firm operates in a field or locale that is even remotely competitive, you are almost guaranteed to lose business to your competition if you do not invest in online marketing to at least some extent.
Worse still, not making any investment in online marketing – not having a website or social media presence, or only maintaining one in the barest sense of the term – can make potential clients who would have called your firm have second thoughts about it.
Myers Freelance LLC: Online Legal Content Marketing Professionals
Advertising your law firm online is a great way to get clients. However, there are good ways to go about it, and there are bad ways. Not taking the right steps can make your online marketing efforts inefficient and reduce your return on investment. Worse, some especially bad moves can undermine your long-term marketing goals.
The online legal content marketers at Myers Freelance LLC can help. Contact them online to get started.