Consumers have never been more empowered to research and decide on the best product for their needs, and this extends even to professional services like legal advice. Digital marketing has never been more important for businesses of all types because the fundamental nature of marketing is changing. Your customers are being empowered to look for products or services that better suit their needs, rather than being attracted to the prestige or history of brands as they have been in the past. The challenge of digital marketing is meeting them in the places that they’re looking for your category, and positioning your business as the answer to their needs.
It’s probably helpful to first define what we mean by “digital marketing.” It often feels like anything can be turned into a meaningless buzzword by adding “digital” to it, but when we talk about digital marketing we’re referring to marketing delivered via digital channels that is:
- targeted, by demographics or delivery time/method
- measurable, with views, clicks and costs known via reporting
- interactive, i.e. a two-way conversation, even if it’s just a click on a relevant ad.
These channels generally are based around the internet and mobile communications, and they may be supported by traditional media, such as TV and Print Advertising.
What does digital marketing look like in practice though?
- Sponsored results in Google
- Promotional emails from brands you’ve given your email address to
- Banner ads and those annoying page takeovers you might see on a news site
- Sponsored posts you see in your Facebook or Instagram feed
There’s plenty more examples you could probably think of, but what ties these together is that they’re all targeted, can be measured, and to differing degrees, interactive. The great thing about being targeted and measurable is that you can easily calculate your return on investment (ROI). Unlike a TV or radio ad, you can divide your audience up into sections, and easily see how many people have viewed your ad, how many people have clicked it, and even how many people have become leads or customers because of their interaction with your digital marketing efforts. You need to think of your business’ advertising spend as an investment for future business. Why not invest in a channel that you can measure? It’s better than spending thousands of dollars on local television and print advertising that may not be effective.
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of what digital marketing is, let’s take a look at two channels your law firm could use to generate new business via digital marketing.
These are the results you see at the top of almost any Google search. You can see in the image that googling “lawyer” will display a series of ads. These are displayed based on the location, search terms, relevancy of the ad, and how much you’re willing to spend. AdWords functions as an auction system where the highest bidders are displayed at the top, but you’re only charged when the ads are clicked, not displayed. AdWords are a fantastic way to get your business on the top of Google search results where more people are likely to click it, but they can be highly competitive, especially for a general term like “lawyer”. Best strategies are often based on location, and being specific about what your business specialises in e.g. bidding for “drink driving lawyer” or “fixed fee property conveyancing”.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
AdWords are a kind of what we call “paid search” marketing, where you pay money each time someone clicks on your ad. Search Engine Optimisation aims to organically put your business in the top results of Google (but not in front of the ads – Google still wants to make money). Search engines are built using complex algorithms and coding to search the web for information, and SEO is helping search engines to understand what your website is about and whether it’s a trustworthy result to display. You want Google to know that you have a reputable law firm in Wollongong, so when people google “lawyers in Wollongong”, you show up in the top results. Try it now for your business sector, and see where your firm ranks.
It’s important to remember though that digital marketing is just one aspect of a good communications strategy. It’s no good if you’ve got a fantastic AdWords Campaign, but your site doesn’t display well to a potential client searching on their iPhone – there’s a good chance that your potential customer will just skip your brand, and move onto the next one. In the same way, your branding needs to communicate your reputation, because after all, you’ve worked hard to achieve it, and you need to protect it.
Entice Digital has worked with businesses of all sizes in graphic design, web development, and digital marketing, to develop their brand and win them new business. Why not drop us a line? We look forward to discussing what we can do for your business.