In the age of smart phones and social media, law firms are asking themselves if traditional advertising is still effective.  Many people still watch TV, listen to the radio and read print publications.  But are they as effective as they used to be for building a brand and acquiring new business?

These traditional activities are what’s known as outbound marketing.  This involves pushing your message to people while they are using the medium in another way – watching a TV program or listening to a song.  These “interruptive” ads annoy consumers who are becoming very good at ignoring them or cutting them out completely.

This type of advertising can also be very expensive, so unless you are a well-established law firm with a sizable marketing budget, you probably won’t be able to implement a traditional campaign effectively.

But even large firms are questioning if advertising is the right way to grow the practice. While traditional mediums remain popular, there is a slew evidence showing that an organic digital marketing strategy can be much more effective:

  • Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.
  • SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
  • 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.

This shift has occurred because consumers are now in control of how they obtain information.  With easy access to the internet, people seek solutions to their problems on their own time – not during a commercial break from their favorite TV show.

We published a recent article with some concrete numbers that show traditional advertising is losing its effectiveness.  One law firm cut their paid advertising and increased their leads by 186% with a digital strategy.

These changes are happening in nearly every industry, not just the legal sector.  In order to take advantage of the changes in consumer behavior, many entrepreneurs are implementing what’s known as inbound marketing.  Inbound marketing attracts potential customers to your business rather than bombarding them with a message that doesn’t interest them.

This involves a number of digital marketing technique such as a keywords strategy, blogging and social media to attract potential clients to your business.

If you’re serious about growing your internet presence in favor of traditional advertising methods, then you need to explore inbound marketing further.

What about digital advertising?

I’ve talked a lot about traditional forms of advertising, but I can’t forget to mention digital advertising.  This includes tactics such as pay-per-click on search engines, banner ads and pre-roll ads on YouTube – the ad that plays before the video.

Given that people are spending more and more time online, building a digital footprint is clearly the way to go.  And while you can certainly invest a lot of money into digital advertising, we find that that’s not always required.  You can target people much more specifically than you can with traditional advertising that reaches a very broad audience.  So depending on who are targeting, you might need less money to reach them effectively.

If you have the budget to invest in some of these digital advertising tactics, they can definitely enhance your internet visibility which will in turn help attract more leads and clients to your law practice.

So while I don’t think traditional advertising is very effective anymore, digital advertising can be a great strategy.  But make sure you have a strong inbound marketing plan in place in order to capture all the benefits of online marketing.

Have more questions about law firm advertising?  Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!

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