Your future clients are almost certainly online, and that’s where they will look for your services. However, planning strategies to gain visibility online can be complex and even overwhelming. How can you create a digital marketing strategy that is effective, flexible, and ready to execute? In this post, we are breaking down the online law firm marketing strategies that firms can use to improve their digital presence.
What is Digital Marketing Strategy – and How Does it Differ From Marketing Strategy?
An overall marketing strategy is a plan for reaching particular marketing goals. The plan should outline efforts that are achievable and focused. Effective plans take into account what your firm is already doing well, and where there are areas for improvement.
A digital marketing strategy helps your firm plan at a more specific layer. This type of strategy supports specific digital goals through thoughtfully curated online marketing channels. Most digital channels fall into the categories of owned, earned, and paid media. A digital campaign is an action within your digital marketing strategy that moves one of your goals forward.
To understand how all of these elements work together, think of your firm’s larger marketing objectives. If one of your important goals is to increase lead generation this year, your marketing plan will mention that goal and specific initiatives, like social media. Your digital marketing plan would dictate how many leads you want to generate on social media, and the methods for doing so. The digital campaign would be the activities you plan that contribute to generating those leads on social media (for example, using a lead magnet on LinkedIn).
How to Build an Online Law Firm Marketing Strategy
It’s important to be intentional with your digital marketing strategy. You need to know what you want to accomplish and what is at your disposal for doing so. Do you already have the tools required, or will you need to make investments to execute your tactics? Follow these steps to put together an online law firm marketing strategy.
1. Create Client Personas
For any of your marketing to be effective, you need to know who you’re trying to reach. A detailed client persona will help you put together relevant campaigns. If you haven’t put together client personas yet, start by documenting things like demographic and psychographic information. Start with location, job role, and age, and then take things a step further with their needs, common challenges, and priorities.
2. Consider Your Digital Marketing Goals and the Tools Required
Remember that digital marketing goals should relate back to overall marketing goals – and those goals should be tied to bigger firm objectives. As we mentioned above, if one of your firm’s important goals is to acquire more new clients, then your marketing plan may have a goal of lead generation. Then your digital marketing plan could have goals around generating new leads on a specific channel, like social media. From there, determine whether or not you have the tools to do these things and measure your activity. How will you execute these digital campaigns, and how will you know if you’re successful?
3. Review Your Existing Digital Channels and Other Assets
Initially, you need to look at the big picture to get a feel for what channels and assets should be incorporated into your strategy. Gather everything you have and then categorize your material. Many experts suggest using an “owned, earned, and paid” media framework.
- Owned media – As the name indicates, owned media is content or an asset that belongs to your firm. Things like your website, social media profiles, and blog content are all owned media – things that you have complete control over.
- Earned media – Exposure that you earn through word-of-mouth or other positive recognition is called earned media. Examples are content that you post on other websites, PR work, or client testimonials on third-party sites.
- Paid media – When you spend money to capture the interest of your target market, it’s considered paid media. Consider things like Google Adwords, paid social posts, sponsored posts on other websites, or really any medium where you pay for increased visibility.
4. Audit Your Current Owned Media Campaigns and Plan Additional Campaigns
Owned media is typically the largest and most vital component of a digital marketing strategy. It usually comes in various forms of content like blog posts, ebooks, infographics, or podcasts. It’s essential to incorporate content into your digital marketing plan, no matter what your goals are. Start with this process:
- Document Existing Content- Make a list of any content that you already have and rank each item according to how helpful it is in meeting your goals.
- Find Gaps in That Content- Based on the personas you created, see what content should be developed. Think about what’s working well and what topics still need to be covered in your content plan.
- Develop a Content Creation Plan- Based on the prior two steps, start documenting which content is necessary to support your goals. Put together a document with content topic, title, which goal it addresses, the channels you’ll promote it on, and the priority level.
5. Complete the Same Process for Earned and Paid Media Campaigns
Chances are you’ll have more owned media than other formats, so after you’ve completed that audit, move on to the other categories. Look at where your traffic and leads are coming from. Rank each media source from most effective to least effective, as it relates to your goals. You’ll likely have to use some third-party analytics tools to get this information. Consider what type of content will perform well in your strategy based on historical data, and which forms of content you need to create to address the gaps you discovered.
6. Create a Cohesive Plan and Document It
After you’ve completed this research, you should have a clear vision of the key elements of your strategy. Develop a strategy document that maps out the series of actions you want to take to achieve your goals. Make sure all of your tactics are based on research and the noticeable gaps in your content strategy.
7. Monitor and Optimize
Once you begin executing your plan, make sure to keep tabs on how things are going. Use tools like Google Analytics or HubSpot to see which content is resonating and how it is helping to achieve marketing goals. Depending on what you learn, you may want to make changes in your strategy. Use the information that you learn to optimize future campaigns.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to increasing your digital presence. The important thing is to document the particular actions that you’ll take to achieve your marketing goals. We suggest doing this in whatever way is effective for your team. The important thing is that everyone understands the plan and how to execute it – no matter which format it’s in. We can help you put together an omnichannel digital strategy, including a digital audit, in-depth SEO analysis, strategy development, and program execution and management.