It’s not easy being a lawyer. Not only do you have to be an expert in the field, but the competitive nature in the industry means that the cream doesn’t always rise to the top. How the heck are you supposed to focus on your craft when you spend a majority of your time trying to gain new clients?
To grow and sustain your law firm, you need new clients. Of course, they don’t fall from the bushes. Simply being a great lawyer is an excellent start, but not enough. When potential clients need legal help, they don’t have time to do the thorough research that might cause them to find and choose you. Like it or not, they will likely make their first call to the law office they recall or find first.
Translated to marketing terms, you need to make sure you’re the winner in top-of-mind awareness when the need for your services arises. Several tactics can help you get there, but none might be more effective than a strategy focused on building digital impressions.
The Basics of Digital Impressions in Legal Marketing
As a lawyer, you know that first impressions matter. That’s true in every industry and should not come as a surprise. What’s less obvious, though, is how much of an impact repeated messages to your audience can make in your client generation efforts.
First, the basics: digital impressions are the number of times your message gets in front of your audience through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. That’s different from the total audience number your ad might reach in that it doesn’t matter who sees your ad — the simple fact that ad shows up counts as an impression.
If a single potential client sees an ad of yours five times, that ad has generated five impressions. At the same time, if that same ad gets seen once by five different clients, that also counts as five impressions. But don’t be fooled: the fundamental nature of impressions should not lead to discounting the importance of the metric.
Your audience sees thousands of ad messages every single day. How can you maximize your share of voice in that competitive environment? The answer likely revolves around these impressions, as long as their quality is high enough to build actual recall.
One final thing before we dive into the details of an impressions-focused legal marketing strategy: No two impressions are created equal. One might be completely forgettable, a simple link that your audience ignores. The other could be an immersive video that potential clients just can’t help but watch. Naturally, the latter almost always generates more success than the former.
What Do Impressions Mean For Your Law Firm?
All of the above basics sound simple but lead to a complex (and essential) underlying truth: impressions are absolutely crucial to the success of any marketing campaign. The reason: impressions tend to translate to much more than just exposure.
Studies have found that familiarity builds credibility almost by default. Meanwhile, it takes between 20 and 500 marketing touches to influence a consumer’s purchasing decision. That leads to two clear conclusions:
- An ad that shows up once for your audience will not be enough to convince them to work with you.
- Making sure your audience sees your law firm’s name and messaging on a regular basis can help you become a credible option once they seek legal help.
Combine these two conclusions, and you begin to realize what makes digital marketing — and social media marketing in particular — so valuable in the legal industry. By building impressions, and making sure those impressions are memorable, you can make sure your audience learns to know your name and expertise. Perhaps even more importantly, they learn to trust you to work on their legal questions and problems.
How Impressions Can Translate to More Clients
All of the above might still sound a bit abstract to anyone not familiar with digital marketing. We get it. We don’t pretend to be licensed lawyers, either. So let’s make it a little more concrete. Impressions don’t just help you generate more awareness but lead to actual clients. How that happens can be explained through a five-step process:
- Lots of impressions mean getting more eyes on your content.
- Over time, those eyes will see your messages multiple times.
- When they see your messages multiple times, they become intimately familiar with you.
- Once they see your message across different digital channels, they begin to embrace that consistency.
- When they need legal help, they begin their search with the firm they’re most familiar with at first glance — yours.
Put differently, if you manage to be everywhere your potential clients spend their time, everyone relevant to you will learn who you are. Once they do, they know to come to you with their legal problems.
In an ideal world, clients are rational. When they have a need, they do thorough research to find the best possible lawyer for that need. Unfortunately, we know that’s not the case in the real world. People are inherently irrational, and even those willing to do the research might not have the time if they need help quickly.
That’s a major reason why impressions are so crucial to gaining new cases. They give you exposure, translate that exposure to credibility, and make sure you’re top of mind when the need arises. How you get impressions, of course, deserves significant consideration and explanation.
Building a Strong Marketing Campaign Focused on Impressions
We know impressions matter and that they can make a real impact on growing your caseload and law firm. So let’s talk more about the natural follow-up: just how do you build a campaign that generates those impressions?
Choose your channels
Social media, with its 244 million users in the United States alone, is a natural fit for a variety of reasons:
- For one, social ads are like digital billboards, an effective vehicle to get your message out on a broad scale.
- Social ads can be targeted very specifically, allowing you to limit your ad exposure (and spend) with variables like age, location, demographics, interests, and income level.
- Also, social media allows for interactive and visual possibilities to engage your audience and ensure they won’t just look away.
- Social media is inherently measurable, allowing you to see not just how often your ads were seen but who saw them, and what actions they took as a result.
- And, social media is by far the most cost-effective advertising tool available, requiring a much lower budget than TV or billboards.
Build your messaging
Remember that impressions only matter if the message that it delivers actually resonates with your audience. On social media, a few tips can help you make sure that your message truly breaks through:
- Focus on video, which is by far the most effective type of content on social media.
- Adjust your formatting based on the channel, from square ads for Instagram to cinematic ads on LinkedIn.
- Vary your messaging, avoiding identical impressions over time but making sure that your audience gets a deeper insight into your law firm.
- Make sure your ads are just as powerful silent, as 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound.
- Include some 6-second video ads, which generate more attention per second than their 30-second relatives.
- Know your audience pain points to make sure you can answer them through your ads.
Execute the strategy
Every successful social media marketing strategy, in the legal industry or otherwise, needs to include a few core components:
- Space out your content, making sure your audience isn’t bombarded with a few messages first before you go dark.
- Build specific marketing goals, such as the number of impressions, that can help you track your success over time.
- Set up the right targeting to ensure your budget is spent as efficiently as possible.
- Include regular benchmarks that allow you to check in on your ads, evaluate their performance, and make adjustments where necessary.
- Build potential paths from impressions to conversions to make sure your campaign is actually leading to new cases over time.
Are You Ready to Leverage the Power of Social Media Marketing?
To survive in today’s competitive legal environment, you have to make sure your audience knows about you. Social media marketing might just be the most effective channel to help you get there. And, considering the fact that by 2020, 80% of all digital content will be video, it should play a major role in your efforts to attract, convince, and convert new clients.
Of course, all of the above is complex. It might even require the help of a marketing expert. You’re a qualified lawyer, but you can’t be expected to be just as proficient in attracting new clients through marketing channels. That’s where we come in.
In fact, our digital marketing service is designed for law firms and business operations like yours. We can help you build the right video messages and distribute those messages through a multi-channel digital campaign. Together, we can make sure your law firm gets the quality impressions it needs to build its client base and caseload. The program is currently by invitation only, so inquire into availability for your law firm today!