A law firm advertising strategy is cost-effective if it brings in more revenue than it costs. If the return on investment is worth it, then the advertising strategy was effective.
But with so many ways to advertise in this digital marketing world, figuring out the right law firm advertising strategy can be confusing.
Advertising is effective for law firms for several reasons:
- Increases brand awareness: Advertising can help law firms reach a broader audience and introduce potential clients to the firm.
- Targets specific audiences: Advertising allows law firms to target specific audiences based on factors such as demographics, interests, and behavior.
- Generates leads: Advertising can help encourage potential clients to contact the firm for more information or to schedule a consultation.
- Competitive advantage: Advertising helps law firms stand out from other firms and showcase unique value propositions.
- Builds trust and credibility: Advertising highlights a law firm’s successes, experience, and reputation.
One of the biggest benefits of law firm advertising is how adaptable it can be depending on different marketing goals and budgets. This is why the first and most important step in creating a cost-effective law firm advertising strategy is to identify the:
- Objective: What is the goal? Is it to increase brand awareness, generate leads, attract top talent, or something else?
- Target audience: Who is the intended audience? Understanding the target audience's demographics, interests, and behavior can help law firms create more effective advertising messages and choose the appropriate channels.
- Budget: How much money is available?
- Message: What is the key message that the advertising campaign should convey? The message should be clear, concise, resonate with the target audience, and communicate the value proposition.
- Timing: When should the advertising campaign be launched? The timing of the advertising campaign can affect its effectiveness, and law firms should consider factors such as holidays, events, and seasonal changes.
- How success will be measured: Defining key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking metrics such as reach, engagement, conversions, and ROI can help law firms evaluate an advertisement’s effectiveness and make necessary adjustments.
There are many different advertising channels to choose from under both digital and print umbrellas. Unfortunately, there are also many different variables that influence an ad buy’s cost. Adding to the confusion are the ways the various advertising strategies overlap. For example, Google provides several different advertising options, and the more Google strategies a law firm uses, the more bang for their advertising buck they’re likely to get — although at a higher cost.
Most digital ads use one or more of the following price structures:
- Pay Per Click: Also called cost per click (CPK), a PPC ad charges the law firm every time someone clicks on the ad.
- Cost Per Thousand: A CPM ad charges a set rate for displaying the ad 1,000 times, regardless of the number of clicks.
- Cost Per Action: A CPA ad is when the law firm pays when the ad creates a buyer. These conversions are a little more complicated to track and CPAs can cost more than PPC or CPM ads.
Six Cost-Effective Digital Advertising Strategies for Law Firms
Not all the digital advertising strategies below are appropriate for every law firm. The best practice is to pick one to start with, set a budget and a timeframe, and test it out. By measuring the ROI and pivoting where it makes sense, an ineffective ad strategy can easily become an effective one.
Retargeting ads appear for people who have already shown an interest in the law firm by visiting its website. It works by placing code on the visitor’s browser. Then, the law firm’s retargeting ad will appear in that visitor’s social media feed. Law firms that serve consumer clients, like family law firms or personal injury attorneys, are increasingly using Facebook retargeting ads to keep their service visible and top-of-mind.
As mentioned in No. 1 above, Facebook is growing as a cost-effective advertising tool for law firms. This is because Facebook is still the most-used social media platform for adults and because law firms benefit from its advanced target marketing features.
Sponsored posts are a type of advertising where a law firm pays to have its content promoted on a social media platform or website. The sponsored content is usually designed to look and feel like regular content on the platform, but it is clearly labeled as sponsored or promoted. On social media platforms, sponsored posts usually appear in the user’s newsfeed or as a story. On websites, sponsored posts may appear as articles or blog posts, similar to purchasing an advertorial in an online or print publication.
Google Local Services Ads
Local Services Ads are at the top of Google’s search results page — even before the PPC ads, maps results, and organic search results. They include a few details about the law firm and a “Google Screened” badge that tells prospective clients the law firm has gone through an extensive verification process by Google to confirm it is reputable.
Google My Business
Arguably, there is no ad more cost-effective than one that is free and powerful. Google My Business listings also appear at the top of search results and work great for local law firms. A law firm must ensure its Google profile is complete and active (hint: reviews help) to appear in the listing.
Yes, another Google advertising strategy… because appearing high in Google searches is the advertising holy grail of the digital marketplace. Google launched one of the first and most effective digital advertising tools ever and has continued to update its offering. The process can be complicated and involves competitive bidding for PPC ads, but Google Ads can be cost-effective for law firms offering niche or unique services.
Law Firm Digital Advertising Costs
Price is, unfortunately, one of the big mysteries of law firm digital advertising — yet a much-needed variable in evaluating cost-effectiveness. Depending on the competition in the market and the practice, digital ads associated with “bidding” on keywords can range from pennies on the dollar to a buck or two per click. But the ability to target and tailor digital ads may make them the most cost-effective strategy in a law firm’s marketing budget.