Digital marketing is a great way to help law firms reach more people and increase their client base but to make a success of it you will need to avoid a series of common errors that can undermine your efforts.
There is no doubt that digital marketing can be a game-changer because it reaches audiences in a way that traditional marketing does not. It engages them without a hard-sell approach.
As it is also an ongoing process, it not only gradually brings potential customers to the table but also offers avenues to help provide more value to those who do become customers. Done effectively, this will ensure they keep coming back and recommend your services to their colleagues, friends and family.
All this is what can be achieved by a good combination of content marketing, email marketing and social media. But while a well-planned and executed strategy can see you reach for the stars, getting it wrong can see everything blow up on the launchpad.
That’s why small and medium-sized law firms, who lack marketing departments of their own, need to access the kind of outside expertise we at BeUniqueness can offer.
Error number 1: A lack of a clear strategy
A well-known rule of content marketing is the ‘rule of seven’, which states that a potential customer needs to see a marketing message seven times on average before they will commit to a purchase.
To achieve this, of course, requires messages to be consistent and themes to be maintained. The same person is unlikely to read one piece of content seven times, so the same kind of themes need to be maintained consistently. Therefore, it is important to know what message you are looking to convey and stick to it.
A crucial tool for ensuring a clear strategy is through using a ‘buyer persona’, a representation of your target market based on factors such as age, interests, profession, income and much else. Lacking one of these will leave you without a coherent approach.
We place strategy at the very heart of our planning. It is like the trunk of a tree, everything else – be it your blogs, your brand, your social media or your email marketing – can act like the branches.
Without this strategy bringing all these things together, each element may go off on a tangent, meaning there is no consistent aim or message.
Error number 2: Assume it’s all about keywords
Any digital strategy will need to focus on finding and using effective keywords that will help boost your rankings. Your aim should be to make the first page when someone searches.
However, while having high-ranking keywords is very important, it is worth noting that there is far more to it than that these days.
Search engines like Google consider up to 200 factors in ranking. Like the recipe for Coca-Cola, only a few insiders know what all the ingredients are, but relevance and authority are certainly important.
The idea that you could write any old rubbish, plant a few keywords in the title or first paragraph and get on page one was true a decade ago, but search engine algorithms have changed and will penalise this heavily.
That’s why we offer an SEO-focused approach. It is important to have some real SEO expertise on board when instigating a digital strategy and understand the importance of factors such as backlinks, readability, relevance and the use of good visual images.
Error number 3: Neglect the technical side of SEO
SEO is not just about what you write; your website may have some beautiful content with lots of relevant copy and much-searched keywords, but it still ranks poorly for technical reasons.
There are many possible causes of this. Broken links, poor site architecture, slow website speed and a lack of mobile-friendliness are all negatives. Not using HTTPS means the site’s security can be compromised.
It is important to leverage some expertise in technical SEO that we can offer to ensure these sorts of issues are dealt with, so the search engine crawlers can get around your site easily and pick up positive signals. Failing to do so could undermine your efforts elsewhere.
Error number 4: Produce poor copy
The simplest error of all is to write copy poorly. Grammatical and spelling errors, excessively long paragraphs, the use of too much technical jargon and inconsistencies of style will not just be penalised in the rankings; they will put potential customers off as they won’t enjoy what has been written.
For this reason, it is important to have a skilled writer or writers produce your copy, with full attention being paid to issues of style, grammar, spelling and consistency. Our approach is to make sure we produce high quality, relevant blogs and articles because this is what tells the story about what a company does to its potential or existing customers.
Plenty of time should be allowed for the writers to produce the content because the quality is much more important than quantity.
Error number 5: get stuck in your ways
Finally, do not set out with one kind of digital marketing strategy and assume this will always be the way to do things. Even if your strategy is successful right now or in your latest campaign, a one-size-fits-all approach is not the way to go.
Consider how in the future you may wish to change your strategy according to your target market. If this changes, so should the plan. For example, if the demographic is different, the best social media platforms to use might be too.
Also, it is worth remembering search engine algorithms also change over time. By being aware of how these may affect your content and learning how to adjust, you can avoid becoming irrelevant.
These are just some of the pitfalls that firms can fall into when they decide to embark on a digital marketing strategy.
The most important thing of all to remember is that this is not a magic bullet; there is competition for good search rankings and social media attention just as there is for the services you offer.
Our services are designed to help ensure that this kind of complacency and inertia is avoided. By offering the SME legal sector new approaches to marketing, we are challenging unsuccessful old strategies and providing an approach that combines innovation, choice and flexibility.
At BeUniqueness, we offer flexible solutions designed to ensure you don’t fall victim to any of these pitfalls.
By devising tailor-made strategies for legal firms, applying up-to-date knowledge of best SEO practice, writing excellent copy and offering flexibility to ensure the right approach is followed, we can help SME law firms take their message to the next level and ensure their marketing efforts enjoy far more success than traditional methods.