Category Archives: Marketing

Organic vs paid content

Content marketing comes in different forms, with the main difference being between organic and paid content. But which is best for law firms to use?

Traditional marketing methods have not worked well for small and medium law firms in recent years, which has prompted the search for better alternatives. The use of content marketing is something the legal sector has increasingly embraced as a modern and more effective marketing strategy.

However, this has raised a question: is organic or paid content the better tool for legal content marketing?

What are the pros and cons of organic content?

Organic content involves producing written content to be published on your website, on social media, or external sites. The single most important element is search engine optimisation (SEO). This consists of different elements:

  • Short tail keywords (single words of brief phrases used in search)
  • Long tail keywords (longer phrases used in more detailed searches)
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Video and good images

The problem, of course, is that as your keywords will be similar to those of many other similar service providers, there will be plenty of matches. This is an issue not only because of the sheer number of similar results; research has shown that most web searches do not go beyond the first page. Once those results have appeared, the individual searching will usually click on one of them, with very few looking on page two and beyond.

For this reason, reaching page one is critical if your organic content is to make an impact.

Given the widespread matching of keywords, a range of other factors will also apply to determine a ranking. Search engine logarithms have hundreds of these, not all of which are known, although some are evident.

The reason these exist is that in the early days keywords alone could gain a high ranking and this meant a lot of low-quality content could be produced. Some were even unscrupulous enough to use irrelevant but popular keywords to boost their ranking and gain web traffic.

Updated algorithms have cut all that out and the web is better for it. Content producers must now provide content that is relevant, readable and authoritative. High quality pictures and videos can also help, although they must be relevant too, while good backlinks will add to the authority.

A consequence of this is that authority and relevance can only be proven over time. When starting from scratch, it can take a few months to get your content ranking where it needs to be.

However, once it is there you will have a lot of content on the web that is permanently visible, strong authority and will raise widespread awareness of your services. When this point is reached, organic SEO for law firms can be very effective.

A further advantage is that organic content incurs no extra cost beyond your standard running costs of having a website and paying the legal content writers.

Why paid content can be a fast-track to success

Paid content offers a fast-track alternative to organic, whether through paying a platform to host your content, or pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which can be displayed on social media or search engine ranking pages.

While organic content can take time to build up its authority and make its way up the ranking pages, paid content can shorten this process. In the case of finding an external platform and writing there for a fee, you will have the advantage of using a site that already has an established readership. In the case of PPC ads you can bid for social media or search engine ranking page space right away, whatever the level of your organic SEO.

PPC ads such as Google Ads or Bing Ads still use keyword search and the very fact that it is designed to encourage clicks makes it one of the most effective ways to get leads. Once someone has clicked, they become an identifiable contact you can work with.

Sometimes you may find a rival bidder has offered a similar amount for the same space, in which case the same SEO quality criteria will apply here as with organic content, so PPC and any other paid content still needs to be of high quality and relevance.

PPC has some unique features worth noting as well, that may be particularly useful:

The downside of paid content is that it will not be visible for as long and in so many places as organic content. In addition, there is, by definition, a higher cost to producing it than organic.

What is the best option for your law firm?

There is no single, simple answer to what the best option is. Ultimately, you have three possibilities

  • Focus just on organic content, such as news and blogs
  • Focus just on paid content, such as PPC and Google Adwords
  • Use a mix of the two

Several factors may decide which your best option is:

  • How old your firm is
  • Your budget
  • Your long and short-term business plans
  • Your overall digital marketing strategy

If, for example, your firm is new (or at least new to digital marketing) and wants to start getting leads very quickly, using paid search and PPC is likely to be the best approach. This might be particularly useful if your wider marketing strategy includes an email marketing campaign, as the leads could be included in that.

However, if your firm is a bit more established and perhaps simply needs to improve its content, organic SEO could be the way forward, getting more clicks and raising the awareness you seek.

While PPC can get a lot of leads, organic SEO should be designed to build up a following for your content that makes the leads you do get of higher quality.

These pros and cons can be weighed together to help decide which is best. But combining the two can be a very powerful option. For instance, if your firm is new you might use paid search and PPC effectively early on, while gradually building up your organic presence. Then, after a few months, you can rely more on your high search ranking and will no longer need to spend money on paid content.

Rather than take a dogmatic approach, it is important to work with the experts to establish the best way forward for your firm’s individual needs, devising the content strategy that works best for you.

Charlie Britten, Beuniqueness.co.uk.

Image from Pixabay.

 

 

 

How to stand out as a forward-thinking lawyer (Wilford Smith Insights)

Getting ahead in the legal sector can be challenging. With greater competition than ever before and technology creating a broader range of career paths, how can you ensure you stand out from your competitors? In particular, becoming a forward-thinking lawyer with ideas about how the legal sector can adapt to modern technology and become more efficient is an essential part of having a successful legal career. In this post we look at five key ways you can set yourself apart from the pack in 2019.

1. Understand the importance of your online presence

From guest posts to social media statements, the importance of your online presence cannot be overstated. Whilst we usually associate building a following with the influencers of Instagram, there is just as much opportunity for lawyers to become influencers in their sector. The key is to choose an area of expertise that other lawyers enjoy learning about, and dedicate time to becoming the go-to resource for updates in this area. Whilst it is always a good idea to create and share content about your particular practice area, you may gain more attention from discussing current topics such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, Artificial Intelligence or working culture. These are just examples and you should identify key trending topics to stay ahead.

Sharing content from other experts in the area you have identified is a great way to build a strong network and find opportunities to collaborate. Having a strong presence online not only looks great to potential employers, but can also result in referral work including opportunities to give seminars or guest post about the topic.

2. Embrace technology

Many lawyers shy away from technology, either because they are too busy or because they have failed to recognise the importance of technology in the future of legal services. Becoming the ‘go-to’ person in your firm for advice or assistance with technology will keep you at the forefront of your colleagues’ minds and make you an indispensable asset to your firm. Make a point of learning more about new technologies in your firm than anyone else and become a champion for its use. You can even identify emerging technologies that may make your workplace more efficient or profitable. If so, you should be able to demonstrate the impact of your discovery. For example, if you make improvements to the website, you can use Google Analytics to track the impact of your work.

3. Utilise digital marketing

Many lawyers ensure they excel in business development activities in order to make themselves more attractive to firms. In 2019, digital marketing should be an integral part of business development strategy in every firm, but understanding how this is best executed can set you apart from other lawyers in your firm. There are a great number of elements that contribute to a digital marketing strategy, and understanding the part each of these play can help you to address the specific needs of your firm. Law firms large and small often fall into the trap of believing that their work comes from word of mouth, referrals or networking. However, understanding data and analytics related to digital marketing can provide proof of exactly how much business and even cash your efforts are bringing to the firm.

Learning elements of digital marketing that you can do on behalf of your firm, such as social media, blogging or SEO is an excellent start, but can be time consuming. It may be worthwhile identifying local partners who can carry out this work on behalf of the firm to take your digital presence to the next level.

4. Identify opportunities for efficiencies in your firm

Price competitiveness is a real challenge for firms in modern times. We live in an era where clients will routinely call many firms for a quote for work, and simply go with the cheapest. However, this may be an opportunity for you and your firm for two reasons.

Firstly, becoming more profitable doesn’t necessarily mean charging higher prices or bringing in more money. Becoming more efficient is an excellent means of driving profitability in your firm. Technology offers many opportunities to make your firm more efficient, from automatic client updates to contract automation. Try to identify the most time-consuming or labour intensive elements of your work, and look to find a technology based solution.

Secondly, client demand for more efficient services is increasing. Being able to demonstrate that your firm can get client work done with greater accuracy and efficiency can help win you business and build stronger client relationships. It can also generate more business through word-of-mouth – you want every client to say how swiftly you solved their problem.

5. Recruiting digital talent

Careers in technology are broad and varied. From coding to paid advertising, there is no way you can learn all of these skills in addition to being a lawyer. However, you can understand what is required within your firm and find the best digital talent to carry it out. Identifying workers with expertise in technology that can improve the efficiency of your firm, handle your social media and even grow your online presence can demonstrate leadership skills. Your role is project management and strategy, which can set you apart early in your career.

One of the biggest differences from the technology sector to the legal sector is that a great number of workers are in the ‘gig economy’ – preferring to work project to project on a freelance basis. Of course, hiring digital talent to work for your business long term can have a great impact but having the option to have digital or technology workers work on specific problems for a short period of time can save money, and makes the decision to hire them much more straightforward.

As you can see, there are a number of ways to stand out as a modern, innovative lawyer in 2019, and that can make all the difference to your career trajectory. It is up to you how you set yourself apart.

Wilford Smith has celebrated over 30 years in the profession, becoming a most prestigious law firm. Helping clients with wills, probate, conveyancing, entrepreneur visas, investor visas, criminal defence and more, they have a richly deserved reputation for independence hard work and results. You can find and connect with Wilford Smith’s team of solicitors on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

First4Lawyers launches new TV advertising campaign

First4Lawyers has launched its latest multi-million pound TV advertising campaign, featuring a new central character and highlighting why it only works with the best Personal Injury and Medical Negligence solicitors.

Led by a BAFTA-nominated Los Angeles-based director, 1,456 combined man hours were put in to produce 6.5 hours of footage for the creative new campaign. The pre-production process saw 520 hours, while 616 were worked by 28 people on the set over two days of filming.

First4Lawyers’ Personal Injury activity is seen more than 48 million times a month, while its Medical Negligence activity is seen and heard over 26 million times a month.

The marketing collective is currently one of only three legal brands in the UK that have a dedicated Medical Negligence TV advert, running an average of 2,100 times per month.

A complete advertising plan

First4Lawyers sees 41 million views per month of its Personal Injury and Medical Negligence TV advertising, while 4.6 million listeners hear its radio advertising across 65 radio stations in the UK.

A further 2.4 million readers see the collective’s newspaper advertising and 100,000 people see its online marketing activity per month, while 200,000 people see the brand on social media.

First4Lawyers’ website also sees visits from one in three people who click when searching the term ‘Medical Negligence’ on Google. The collective has runs over 11,300 variations of Personal Injury PPC adverts across almost 45,000 keywords and search phrases. These adverts are seen more than twice as often as the collective’s nearest competitor’s.

Medical Negligence PPC adverts are similarly effective for First4Lawyers. It runs 2,800 variations of PPC adverts running across almost 13,000 keywords. The adverts are seen almost three times as often as those of the firm’s nearest competitor.

Organic search is another successful marketing strategy for First4Lawyers. The firm ranks organically for more than 7,500 search terms – a 76% increase over the last six months. Organic visibility has increased 44%, the second highest growth registered in the sector.

First4Lawyers membership

For the cost of one month’s membership of the First4Lawyers Personal Injury panel, you could alternatively afford less than three adverts on ITV2 per day, six full page adverts in the Manchester Evening News or 7.5 days advertising at the top spot on Google for the term ‘No Win No Fee’. And you would be responsible for all the leg work.

Meanwhile, for the cost of one month’s Medical Negligence panel membership, you could purchase 1.5 adverts per day on ITV2, three full page Manchester Evening News adverts or just four days and 1.5 hours advertising at the top spot on Google for the single term ‘Medical Negligence’.

First4Lawyers’ Personal Injury panel members can enjoy 22-27 claims per month, with an average conversion rate of 69%. Medical Negligence panel members receive between 20-24 claims per month, converting an average of 22% into live cases.

Join the First4Lawyers panel

If your firm’s marketing could use a boost, First4Lawyers is ready to help. By joining the panel, you’ll maximise your marketing budget and enjoy consistent results.

Join the UK’s most seen legal marketing brand as it launches a brand new awareness-raising campaign and see a measurable return on your investment.

Why is content marketing better than traditional methods for legal SMEs?

For large legal firms, marketing is a relatively straightforward affair. But for SMEs, the need to be innovative and eschew tradition has never been clearer.

Many an SME legal firm will feel a tinge of envy at the comparative simplicity of marketing services for larger firms. With their well-known brand names, wide geographical reach and in-house marketing teams, the big players enjoy obvious advantages.

That does not mean smaller firms have not tried to market themselves, but the use of traditional methods has led to poor returns on investment.

Using analogue techniques for trying to reach clients in a digital age is always likely to be less successful. For instance, a newspaper advert is here today and gone tomorrow. Similarly, a billboard is constrained by physical location.

Moreover, there is little control over who gets to see these adverts; a host of uninterested people may pass a billboard while a more likely customer walks down a neighbouring street.

In contrast, digital content is by nature more accessible, without such limitations of time and place. But that is just one of its advantages.

Through content marketing, law firms and their digital partners can create great content and focus it more accurately on the people they want to engage with.

Based on the characteristics (known as personas) of the target market, content can be produced concerning the topics of greatest interest to them. The rule of seven suggests customers typically must be exposed seven times to a marketing message before buying; few will see the same newspaper ad seven times, but regular interesting online content can start a conversation to achieve this goal.

This effort can be further boosted by using search engine optimisation (SEO) for law firms, as the right keywords can direct readers to relevant content. Social media and email marketing can also focus more on particular target groups.

With this greater precision of digital marketing, the ROI is sure to be higher than that of traditional methods.

For some legal firms the use of modern techniques requires a shift from the ways of the past. Since old habits die hard and lawyers cannot be expected to do the jobs of marketers, it makes sense to work with partners who can apply the most contemporary and effective methods of communicating with target markets.

By Charlie Britten, BeUniqueness.co.uk.

Photo from Pixabay.