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What Can a Small Law Firm Do to Promote Itself Using Low Cost Marketing?
A Digital Promotion Campaign That Uses Quality Online Article Content Delivered Via Social Media Blogging Is Very Effective As a Low Cost Marketing Strategy!
There is little secret that the world of small business took a great hit from the Covid Crisis; and, of course, this includes legal firms. Of course, while some small businesses felt a relatively minor impact, and were able to reopen months ago, other small businesses, including legal firms, remain affected directly or indirectly. This is especially so for legal firms who, despite being permitted to operate, must bear the collateral damage affects felt by potential clients who continue to suffer as well as the affects due to continuing limited operations of the courts and tribunals and thus the limitations on capacity to deliver services.
Step One - Getting Ready
After a Great Drought Comes a Great Flood!
While nearly all legal firms were affected by the Covid Crisis in one way or another, the big firms with deep pockets were least affected. The big firms, especially those with longtime corporate clients who always have some legal issues on the table, were able to weather the storm and are ready with sufficient budgets to market and promote for the flood of opportunity that is forthcoming.
With great anticipation, the Marketing.Legal team is watching the analytic numbers collectively and individually for clients using the Marketing.Legal website platform. As anticipated, user traffic has escalated significantly in the past few weeks as various courts and tribunals reopen and as certain legal issues receive special focus due to recent changes in laws; such as the various housing law changes brought about by Bill 184. Furthermore, as expected and corresponding to the increase in website traffic, many clients of Marketing.Legal are providing feedback that confirms a strong uptick in fresh contact from prospective clients. Accordingly, it seems quite clear that the rebound is starting, and is perhaps already well underway.
What is interesting, and is important for owners of small legal firms, is that the timing of the rebound was, and is, actually quite predictable, especially for some legal issues. For example, in April it was quite apparent that legal issues relating to cancelled wedding contracts would produce a summertime boon for those practitioners involved in contract law disputes and especially so with contract disputes involving consumer protection concerns. It was also predictable that practitioners involved in housing law would see a boon as soon as the Landlord Tenant Board announced a reopening of operations, even if still just limited services, as did begin in early August.
With the sudden influx of legal services seekers flocking to the web, some after months of sitting on the fence waiting for the justice system to reopen, a flood is forthcoming. The legal services providers who will most benefit from the flood of opportunity will be those who are most easily found and who are most easily able to convey a capacity to serve. Accordingly, now more than ever, legal practitioners must be visible with a well indexed web presence and appear credible with highly qualitative information that helps to both drive the SEO necessary for a well indexed web presence and demonstrates professional expertise and the knowledge sought by the prospective client.
Now, more than ever, legal practitioners must be visible and appear credible.
For many legal firms, especially those who are unable to incur thousands of dollars in marketing costs to begin promotion campaigns, the current opportunities will be missed unless these legal firms find a low cost way to achieve a big impact. Of course, this can be done whereas digital marketing done well can be very productive with minimal expense, especially when compared to the high cost of marketing via print, radio, or television, advertising, among other conventional methods.
Step Two - Start Weeks Ago or Now
Being Visible and Being Credible Requires Some Active Effort!
Hopefully you maintained your digital marketing efforts throughout the Covid Crisis; however, if you reduced these efforts, then now is absolutely the time to get started so to catch the wave that is already building strong momentum. As above, per the analytic details that the Marketing.Legal team is constantly reviewing, a strong upward trend of interest in legal services started a few weeks ago. The number of visitors to the Marketing.Legal websites is breaking all-time records. Additionally, time-on-page and pages viewed statistics are also showing that people are spending more time reviewing and the information found online. As also said above, the number of contact requests, among other things, also shows that the public is moving forward.
To maximize visibility, a well indexed website is required. Getting well indexed requires much more than just launching a website with some pretty graphics and a few summary points of information within a bulleted list. Google, among other search engines, offer the service of helping people find the best quality information that addresses the topic of search interest. Accordingly, a website that provides information that is deeper than just a smiling face of a practitioner, a few bullet points of services offered, and a phone number, will be necessary to provide the depth of information that is required for gaining strong traction from the search engines. Accordingly, producing detailed page content that is highly relevant to the legal issues that are, or will be, most prominent to legal services seekers, and getting that content well indexed in Google, as promptly as possible should be a priority. For example, a lawyer whose niche is litigation for 'failing to close' on realty deals, should be heavy into publishing quality content on the legal issues relating to realty deal closing failures due to the Covid Crisis. Equally, a paralegal that provides eviction advocacy for landlords should be publishing heavily about the reopening of the Landlord Tenant Board and the lifting of the eviction moratorium. Of course, as above, it is best if this content publishing actually began weeks ago.
Becoming visible requires quality content well indexed within Google and other search engines (eg. Bing). Becoming well indexed requires both time and effort. The effort of publishing quality content (which for Marketing.Legal members much quality content is already provided via the syndication 'content library' system) also needs some additional effort of social proofing work so that Google can 'learn' that indeed the published material is of high quality and genuine interest to humans. As is often said by the Marketing.Legal coaching team, "If you want your website to promote you, you must first promote your website!"
It is somewhat redundant, whereas becoming well indexed with the search engines requires the effort of social proofing, the effort of social proofing inherently also provides a direct 'build-your-brand' result. By using the extremely low cost technique of posting curiousity inspiring blogs within receptive social media groups wherein such blogs there is a weblink to relevant quality content within your website, the interest shown by readers that do click-thru and spend time reading the linked webpage, and perhaps others, helps improve the indexing and ranking performing and therefore helps to improve the likelihood that more and more people will find the webpage, and thereby your business, through organic search efforts. As was said above, "If you want your website to promote you, you must first promote your website!"
As would seem plain and obvious; but will be mentioned, when people are looking to find helpful information for specific legal topics, credibility is earned by those who are providing helpful information regarding those specific legal topics. A well researched and supported quality article about the law applicable to a particular legal issue is much more impressive than just a few words in a bulleted list. It is the difference between advertising and editorializing and whereas we currently exist within the information age, and a website is the ultimate information delivery tool, taking full advantage and making full benefit of the opportunity to entice new clients via the low cost of digital marketing should be the goal of every legal practitioner, especially those with a limited marketing budget.
Step Three - Achieving Best Success
Involves Starting With Step One and Step Two Without Delay!
If you failed to restart your marketing efforts a few weeks ago, you are already running late; however, the longer you wait, the more you fall behind. This belief is based on the knowledge that many courts and tribunals were already running behind with great delays prior to the Covid Crisis and the closures due to the pandemic greatly aggravated that problem. Of course, this can also be taken as an opportunity for those who are prepared and act to take advantage.
As legal practitioners, it is recognized and understood that clients want their legal matters attended to first with a top of the pile approach and after many months of closures to catch up on, the pile that the courts and tribunals will be dealing with are, or will be, growing quickly. With this said, the legal practitioners that are visible, credible, and therefore in demand, will also have growing piles of files. Accordingly, even for those courts and tribunals that remain unopen at this time, such as the Small Claims Court, among others, as per the current analytics and increase in inquiries, the public is now taking steps to get on top rather than risk waiting and ending up deeper within the piles of files. As such, for those legal practitioners who wait until the courts and tribunals fully reopen, while the flood may still be ongoing, it is the practitioners who marketed early and obtained clients early who will be having matters heard the earliest (which means earlier billings). Furthermore, due to the feedback or snowball effect of the indexing mentioned above, word-of-mouth, and other passive marketing benefits that are likely to occur following an proactive marketing approach, those who start now will likely ride the wave of opportunity for a very long time to come. Accordingly, the bottom line is that:
- By starting now you get indexed sooner with the search engines;
- By starting now you get out ahead of your competition;
- By starting now you avoid needing to outspend your competition later;
- By starting now you attract the cases that will be heard (and therefore billed) sooner; and
- By starting now you get in front of the wave and will ride longer!
Quite literally right now is the time to make it big or miss the boat. Both the analytic data as well as direct feedback from legal practitioners clearly show that the dam of court and tribunal closures is breaking and the flood of opportunity from people who were waiting is underway. The legal practitioners that kept on marketing during the Covid Crisis are at the forefront of the opportunity; however, the momentum is still gaining. For those who begin quality promotion now, there is much opportunity available; however, for those who wait much longer, even just a few weeks, much opportunity may be lost; and this is especially so for those without a formidable current website who will still need a few months to become well indexed.
For more about how to improve search engine indexing using the 'social proof' technique and marketing strategy and for help developing and launching a target marketing action plan including a dynamic content generating website, contact the Marketing.Legal team.