Competition is fierce in the legal profession, with work being outsourced to India and legal form companies advertising on TV. As a result lawyers are increasing their investment in marketing and business development -- so you can expect to hear from your favorite law firm soon.
We are talking about sophisticated marketing, like using social media, competitive intelligence and content marketing (not the barking TV commercials, billboards and and radio spots).
Law is a major industry. In the profession there are 1.22 million lawyers who generate $256 billion in annual revenue, according to Statistica. But in the new normal, firms are feeling rate pressure, demands for alternative fees, and RFPs for legal work run by corporate procurement.
Today's clients want responsive law firm websites that can be viewed on a cell phone, practical updates about legal issues affecting them, and hot information about legal developments.
Only the alpha marketers will survive. 20th Century tactics like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) are being relegated to the dustbin.
21st Century law firms -- small and large -- are doing significantly more in content marketing, according to a new Bloomberg Law/Legal Marketing Association research.
Lawyers know that clients go online to find lawyers, rather than using word-of-mouth or yellow pages. "The myth persists that in order to rank well in search results, attorneys must be focused on SEO and things like keywords," writes tech blogger Victoria Blute. "Google is in the business of giving search engine users the best results for their queries. It eventually developed algorithms to handle this problem."
"Search engines are always looking for new content. Content marketing makes that happen. By writing new content for your law firm's website or blog on a regular basis, you give Google something new to index," Blute says.
- 45% of law firms have hired a chief marketing officer.
- More than half of all law firms employ outside consultants (69%).
- 60% of law firms have hired a content generation or management service.
The law needs better tech
"For attorneys, prospecting/lead generation tools top the list of technology that is not meeting their needs. This should not be surprising given that nearly 50% of attorneys cited difficulty finding leads for new work or new clients as one of their greatest business development challenges," the Bloomberg study says.
This, of course, is where smart digital marketing comes in. Social media activity is a top new emphasis for law firms. Up to now, most law firm social media accounts were dormant afterthoughts. Today, smart lawyers are active in digital media.
For example, attorney Duncan Garnett in Newport News, VA, posts on Twitter to 3,000 followers throughout the day on @HDuncanGarnett. He also posts legal news regularly on Facebook, where the average user spends an average of 50 minutes per day. And Mr. Duncan is not a kid -- he is a serious trial lawyer with 30 years of experience.
- The National Trial Lawyers broadcast its annual Summit in Miami live on Periscope.
- Orange County, CA, trial lawyer Mitch Jackson regularly livestreams programs on StreamingLawyer.com.
- Attorneys are turning to platforms like LawLytics that have recommendation engines built in.
No longer does law take place in dusty libraries. Instead, modern lawyers are sending videos in emails, checking the analytics on their blogs and creating infographics to distribute on Instagram.
If you're online, you'll be sure to hear from our lawyers.