In today’s online world, digital marketing for law firms is more important than ever. Without a strategic and well-devised legal marketing plan, attorneys will cede online visibility to their competition, fail to attract potential clients, and miss out on revenue opportunities and their goals for their law practices. To succeed in their digital marketing efforts, attorneys need a professionally executed and effective marketing strategy. While it may be tempting to market your law firm on your own, the dynamic and ever-evolving digital landscape requires the expertise and singular focus of a law firm marketing agency. 

However, with so many legal marketing agencies claiming to be law firm marketing experts and promising results, how can law firms choose the right one for them?

In a recent episode of the Behind the Bench Podcast for Lawyers, Josh Konigsberg, partner & co-founder of Law Firm Marketing Pros, welcomed Josh Nelson, founder of the award-winning digital marketing agency Plumbing & HVAC SEO and digital marketing coaching company, Seven Figure Agency, to focus on trends in digital marketing campaigns and law firm marketing efforts while explaining the qualities attorneys should seek when choosing the best legal marketing agency.

Based on Episode 9 of the Behind the Bench Podcast for Lawyers, this blog delves into the qualities law firms should seek in agencies specializing in legal services and offers practical suggestions for researching potential agencies before making a decision. It also outlines every key component of comprehensive law firm marketing strategies to help you expand the presence and brand awareness of your law firm online to reach more prospective clients, attract new clients, increase revenue and achieve your personal and professional goals.

Continue reading to learn more, then contact us at (561) 948-5001 to schedule a 15-minute discovery call with Josh Konigsberg. 

Law Firm Marketing in 2024: The Essentials

The first trend and takeaway? Law practices should work with an agency that specializes in law firm marketing and has the track record to support its claims of being law firm marketing experts

In 2024, working with an agency that understands your needs and can deliver results is critical. As you research potential agencies to market your law firm, review case studies, check client reviews online, and analyze results before signing a contract. When interviewing law firm marketing agencies, inquire about their experience and results generated, and ask for references from past clients.

Next, find out if they are a single-channel provider, meaning, do they only focus on one thing such as paid advertising, SEO efforts, or social media, or do they offer a multi-channel solution, recognizing that true success as an agency is about helping their clients grow?

As Nelson points out, in addition to the trend of focusing on one particular industry, another major online marketing trend has agencies moving from single-channel to multi-channel to create solutions that generate more cases and more revenue. It’s a shift in mindset from just generating rankings or leads to really thinking about, “How do we generate revenue for law firms?”

What Should Attorneys Look for When Hiring a Legal Marketing Agency?

digital marketing for law firms

When in pursuit of the best law firm marketing agency, law firms should focus on three critical factors.

  1. Does the agency understand your industry? As a lawyer or law firm seeking the best digital marketing strategy, you want to deal with an agency that specializes in law firm marketing.
  2. Does the agency demonstrate proven results? A reputable and results-oriented legal marketing agency will share their successes with other law firms. They should happily tell you, “This is our client and these are the results we’re getting for them, backed up by data and references.”
  3. Does the agency have a law firm marketing plan or are they “winging it?” An agency that knows how to market your law firm reverse engineers the outcomes you want. If your law firm has a specific revenue goal, a legitimate agency knows how to craft a law firm marketing plan that includes websites, SEO, pay-per-click (PPC), local service ads, content, social media etc., with true projections. They will tell you, “This is what we’re going to do, this is how long it’s going to take, this is what you can expect in terms of the amount of cases, the amount of leads, the actual revenue generated.”

What Red Flags Should Law Firms Look for When Evaluating a Law Firm Marketing Agency?

On the flip side, law firms should look for the following red flags when seeking an agency to spearhead their law firm marketing efforts.

  1. The agency is slow coming out of the gate: if you’re working with a world-class organization that specializes in your industry, they’ll have a well-conceived onboarding process and a method for obtaining things like usernames and  passwords. The best law firm marketing agency offers a mapped-out strategy to start generating quick wins. If that’s not happening, it’s a big-time red flag.
  2. The agency does not have a plan: if the agency cannot tell you, “This is what we’re going to do over the next 12 months, this is how it’s going to break down, these are the results you can expect,” it’s another huge red flag because you need a plan you can understand and hold them accountable for.
  3. You’re asking questions & they don’t have the answers: when this happens, it’s an indication that they might not be doing the work for you, but instead passing it off to a third-party provider.

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White-Label vs. In-House Services: Why It Matters for Law Firm Marketing Strategies 

Look for an agency with an internal team because no one is going to be able to provide the laser-attention and focus on your results like an agency that employs a professional staff. When you work with a white-label provider, no matter how good they might be, they are working with everybody — the dentist, the chiropractor, the plumber — and everybody in between.

On the other hand, when an agency specializes in law firms, cares about your results, and is passionate about helping you grow and hit your target with their own team and management staff conducting search engine optimization (SEO), managing pay-per-click (PPC), writing legal content with relevant keywords, handling content marketing, overseeing local SEO, etc. they can control everything. There’s no way you can expect similar results from an agency that uses white-label services.

What Early Signs Might Indicate That an Agency Does Not Have the Right Expertise?

First, it goes back to the plan. Law firm marketing experts understand what’s happening, can tell you what the deliverables are, and what they’re going to be working on.

Second, if there’s a weird time gap between when you ask a question and when you get an answer, think long and hard before hiring them. If they’re doing a two-step hop to get information, they probably don’t have the in-house expertise and are trying to research it, figure it out for the first time, or have someone else passively focused on their accounts trying to obtain the answer for them.

digital marketing for law firms

What Specific Questions Should Law Firms Ask During the Initial Vetting of a Law Firm Marketing Agency?

To establish credibility with your potential law firm marketing agency, ask the following questions.

  1. What do you know about my practice area? Make sure they understand all your areas of law.
  2. Do you understand my target audience and the type of client I want to attract?
  3. Can you share specific examples of clients you have worked with?
  4. Can you provide actual references I can speak with on the phone? If they’re using them as a case study, they should be able to back it up with a real reference.
  5. Can you show me what you’re going to do for me in my particular case? The answer should be specific enough that you see what’s actually going to happen. It should not be overly complicated, but a clear plan: here’s the goal and here’s how we’re going to reverse engineer the accomplishment of that goal.

 law firm marketing

Key Results and Metrics Law Firms Should Use to Gauge the Success of Their Potential Law Firm Marketing Agency

As you interview prospective agencies, remember to ask about the following key results and metrics:

  • How much are you typically managing in budgets for your clients?
  • What’s your average cost per lead?
  • What’s the average cost for an acquisition for a new case or client?

If they don’t know these numbers and can’t give you some type of benchmark, they either don’t track – which is a huge red flag – or they don’t have enough of a track record in the industry to quickly put a finger on those types of numbers. Obviously, the answers will differ based on the market — for example, Los Angeles, CA is a dramatically different market than Tupelo, MS — but the agency should have benchmarks they can share along those lines.

Why Wouldn’t a Law Firm Just Hire Their Own Law Firm Marketing Team?

You can only really be best-in-class in one or two things. As a law firm, you want to be best-in-class in your area of law and generate results for your clients. There’s a high level of expertise required in digital marketing to be best-in-class, including:

Then there are all of the tools that go into managing and tracking results. It would be difficult for even a large, successful firm to build that type of expertise. The amount of money law firms would have to spend to build a true, world-class digital marketing team adds up quickly.

You’d need a digital marketing director at a salary between $150,000 to  $200,000 per year, then specialists and a team for each of the different marketing activities, such as a web development team, graphics team, content team, and an SEO team to build content, citations, and thought leadership and authority. You would need a paid search team specializing in local service ads and Google ads and a team that manages social media advertising.

Unless you’re a $100 million law firm, it’s not financially practical to build that in-house. You could probably hire someone for six figures but then you’d have to hire an agency under that to deliver the results.

Furthermore, where do you find these people? Where do you find the guy or gal who is the expert in PPC or thoroughly understands how search engine optimization works? It’s not easy. They’re either running their own agency or they’re already working for a great agency. It’s not as easy as, “Hey, I want to hire someone that can run excellent pay-per-click for my law firm.” It’s a lot of work even for agencies that do this full time, with full time recruiting processes, to find and hire these people.

Considering that you can only be world-class at a limited amount of things, you’re better served to ask, “Who’s the best of the best?” do your due diligence on the front end, and hire a team that can take this part of it and run with it on your behalf.

Pitfalls of Choosing the 800-Pound Law Firm Marketing Gorilla

Pitfalls of Choosing the 800-Pound Law Firm Marketing Gorilla

Now let’s talk about the 800-pound gorillas — the huge digital marketing agencies focused on legal services. What are the pitfalls of choosing one of those? The most significant is that these organizations have become so large that the people who had been involved in the day-to-day running and strategizing of the accounts have moved up in the organization. Usually, you’re dealing with a virtual assistant following a structured script with a list of questions and answers, leaving you frustrated and thinking, “Man, I need results; I need someone who knows how to get this thing solved for me.” With an 800-pound gorilla, you don’t get the accountability that you would in a smaller organization that specializes in your type of business.

Another pivotal factor is that these large organizations typically grew through acquisitions and venture capital. They’ve got benchmarks and revenue numbers they’re trying to hit, large executive offices, and lots of layers of management. That means the amount of money you spend with them that actually goes to your service delivery is diminished to practically nothing. The attention to detail, the actual expertise that you have on the front line with these massive corporations is a completely different ballgame.

Furthermore, with as much corporate structure as large organizations have, any small decision they need to make must go through multiple meetings and lots of red tape. Considering how quickly the internet marketing game is evolving — local service ads, Google ads, the algorithm constantly changing, Facebook, TikTok — these organizations might have significant dollars invested in being in on the cutting edge, but before they can actually make a change that will impact your account, it’s going to take multiple layers of decision. Contrast that with a nimble agency that specializes in your industry. A forward-thinking legal marketing agency pays attention to these developments, can make changes, and turn on a dime, making them much more competitive on the front end than these larger organizations.

What’s the Value of Having a Complete Solution vs. Multiple Vendors in Law Firm Marketing?

Above and beyond the obvious that it’s nice to go to one one organization that’s accountable for the whole thing, to truly be effective with your online marketing, there’s a synergistic plan. Your website messaging, the local service ads, the Google ads, the Facebook strategy, the way you communicate with your clients via email and other communication mechanisms should all be cohesive. If there’s no consistency with the website strategy and the page strategy and what’s being posted on social media, there’s going to be a disconnection, which is going to reduce the effectiveness of your online marketing.

As a lawyer or law firm, you want to find an agency that specializes in your industry, goes multi-channel, and says, “Hey, here’s where your practice is today. Here’s what your goal is over the next year over the next five years. And here’s the plan.” This agency is looking at the entire online marketing spectrum and managing that for you at the highest level possible.

Whereas, if you get one person doing your social media marketing, someone else doing some random search engine optimization, and someone else doing educational videos, it won’t be interconnected and you won’t get the synergized results you’re after.

Video Trends in 2024 and Beyond

The video game is constantly changing. Although the most consumed content on the internet is video, there’s a massive shift from long-form video like you’d find on YouTube — where you sit and you watch for an hour — to short-form video. Today’s consumer, even the aging consumer, prefers to watch short-form video in a minute- to three-minute, bite-sized content. There’s going to be more and more action with Instagram, TikTok reels, and short-form content; however, you want to infuse that with long-form content at the same time.

If you’re not creating short form content to position yourself as the go-to attorney in your market to build that know, like, trust factor, so that when somebody thinks of your type of law, they think of you in your marketplace, you’re gonna be missing out on a massive opportunity moving into 2024, 2025 and beyond. When done right and optimized properly, it also has a positive impact on SEO.

Top 8 Most Important Things Every Law Firm Should Have for a Successful Internet Marketing Strategy

  1. A Plan: Once again, it begins with a plan. Foremost, your agency should say, “Here’s the strategy based on where you’re at and where you’re looking to go.” Make sure there’s a clear plan and not, “Hey, let’s throw some money at this and hope that we get the growth and the case flow.”
  2. A Mechanism for Leads: your agency must drive leads by putting a mechanism in place. Your law firm must show up on the map in the paid and non-paid results on Google, Bing, and whatever search engine might come along in the future: when someone’s looking for your type of service, whatever the type of case law you serve in your market, you’re coming up organically. The best quality traffic and the lowest cost per lead comes from organic traffic.
  3. Paid Strategies: we have to have paid strategies because you can’t just rest on your laurels. We want to be playing the LSA game and running Google Local Service ads and Google ads. And we also want to be doing some type of retargeting, so that if somebody gets to your website, regardless of whether it was from one of your billboards, or from one of your Google ads, or from local service, when they get to your website, now they’re going to be seeing you again and again, across the web. That’s your paid strategy. 
  4. Maximized Conversions: when somebody comes into your world, if you’re not converting them into a lead or converting them into a potential case, you’re not going to get the outcomes you’re after. There are a couple of things you can do to improve your conversion, starting with a website that’s built to convert.
  5. Reputation Marketing: make sure you’ve got a great reputation. Before somebody can convert, they’re going to look at you and your reviews, so you have to have lots of positive reviews on Google and the other places where they look.
  6. Marketing Automation: attorneys that are going to win in 2024 and beyond have automation in place. So when an inquiry comes in, they’re following up via email, via SMS, and they’re winning the speed to lead the race. And so we want to drive leads, we want to maximize conversion, and then we have to also optimize our return on investment.
  7. A Law Firm Marketing Budget & Knowing How Much to Spend: you have to know how much to spend if you’re going to maximize your outcomes and return on investment. If the goal is to go from being a $1 million practice to a $3 million practice, oftentimes, we’re looking at the percentages and we’ve got to spend a little bit more. We’ve got to invest a little bit more money in the marketing, so we need to know what the appropriate spend is, our average cost per lead and the average cost per case.
  8. Reports & Analytics: you want reporting that shows how much your agency spent and how many leads and cases came in. Most importantly, what’s your return on investment down to the channel? Are you getting a great ROI from local service ads right now or is it from Google ads? Is it from organic? Knowing the answers to these questions helps your agency allocate funds to the areas that are going to generate the best results.

The Rapidly Evolving Technological Landscape and Its Impact on the Digital Marketing Industry

Technology is constantly changing. Most recently, AI is the big deal with chat GPT, Bard, and all these technologies.  Agencies that embrace AI and understand how to leverage it as a tool, but not as the thing, are going to be on the cutting edge, because they’ll be able to produce better, quicker, more effective content than somebody that’s trying to do everything manually.

As we mentioned, the other big things happening with technology include TikTok and short-form video. Today’s consumer prefers to watch video and engage in short-form video. Creating this type of video will build brand awareness, and improve your conversion rates and SEO because the time on the page and understanding how video plays into your overall strategy is crucial.

Changes in the algorithm to things like local service ads will continue. That’s why agencies must be aware of what’s changing with Google, what’s happening with social media, what new advertising platforms are coming online that you can tap into, and be students of the game. Understanding how things are shifting enables an agency to stay ahead of those changes to generate even better outcomes for their law firm clients.

Trust Your Law Firm’s Marketing Strategy & Growth to the Law Firm Marketing Experts at Law Firm Marketing Pros, Your Multi-Channel Solution at the Forefront of the Digital Marketing Industry

The in-house law firm marketing experts at Law Firm Marketing Pros have over 100 years of combined experience in the key components of digital marketing for law firms. With a sole focus on legal marketing, our strategists develop tailored campaigns that generate leads and maximize ROI, leveraging our unique Law Firm Client Generation System.

 law firm marketing

When you work with us, we’ll develop a clear plan based on your marketing budget and marketing goals, to expand your brand visibility and generate high-quality leads and more clients.

From making sure your law firm’s website is built to convert and helping you appear at the top of Google search results, to expanding your social media presence and marketing client testimonials for your law practice, our award-winning digital marketing agency handles every aspect of digital marketing in-house. We hold ourselves accountable and our client experiences speak for themselves. If you’re ready to achieve your marketing goals and experience greater success in your personal and professional life, contact us at (561) 948-5001 or complete our online form to schedule a 15-minute discovery call.

Copyright © 2024. Law Firm Marketing Pros. All rights reserved.

This blog is not intended to be legal advice for a lawyer or law practice. No special relationship or privilege exists between you and the Blog and/or its owners, Law Firm Marketing Pros or its Affiliates (“LFMP”). LFMP IS NOT A LAW FIRM and THE AUTHOR IS NOT AN ATTORNEY. You will be representing yourself and your law practice in any legal matter you undertake or any Client you represent as a result of your use of the information provided in the Blog, including any Services offered through the Blog and content available on the Site the Blog is published on, and in all other matters relating to you and your businesses. This Blog may provide audio-video content, referenced articles, newsletters, and other content for informational purposes only. In the process of providing this information, the Blog is engaged in the publication of information regarding business and management issues that may be commonly encountered by law firms. This blog is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. This Blog does not review any of your answers to questions for sufficiency, provide legal advice, or analyze applicable law and apply it to your specific requirements. Accordingly, if you need legal advice for a specific issue, you are advised to seek the advice of your local, state, and/or national Bar Association. 

Do you still have questions about digital marketing? Contact Partner and Co-Founder Josh Konigsberg, author of Law Firm Digital Marketing Made Easy: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need to Become a Best-Known Attorney, to schedule a 15-minute discovery call at (561) 948-5001 or complete our online form.  Though brief, this call dives deep into your strategy. Josh will then prepare a complimentary digital marketing brief packed with 25-35 pages of value that drives qualified clients directly to your practice.

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