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Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of Digital Marketing: Trends for Law Firms

Caitlyn Blair

The legal marketing game is changing fast. With more law firms entering the digital marketing arena, escalating digital advertising costs, and increases in spending up to 26%, the online landscape for law firms is more competitive than ever. The good news? Users also seem to be more engaged with law firms online, with research showing positive trends in clicks, leads, and impressions.

To uncover the latest consumer trends in legal marketing, we surveyed 500 adults in the U.S. and an additional 1,000 to understand how they search for, evaluate, and hire legal services. Discover these insights and more in The Scorpion Pulse for Law Firms.

Is your law firm prepared to compete? Let’s explore the digital marketing trends that matter most, so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Digital Credibility is Currency in Legal Marketing

Legal services are one of the most personal and life-changing services consumers can hire. So consumers want to make sure they’re trusting the right attorney to fight for them. Positive online reviews build that trust and credibility. In fact, our research found that 22% of consumers read at least 10 reviews before deciding on a law firm.

  • 34% of potential probate clients read more than 10 reviews.
  • One in five criminal defense prospects deem a perfect, five-star review essential.
  • 51% of people looking for personal injury representation read four to six reviews
  • 64% of consumers looking for a family law attorney focus heavily on content in client reviews

Not yet a top-rated firm? There’s still hope. While you build your five-star reviews, there are a few tactics that can keep you competitive.

Nearly 50% of respondents said offering free consultations could overshadow a lower star rating. Two in five respondents also said recent improvements in scores and reviews would also sway them to consider a lower-rated firm.

But all of this takes intention and strategy. You need to encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews and consistently engage with the feedback you receive in those reviews.

As you develop your review strategy, be mindful of your state laws to ensure compliance and ethical conduct as some states do not allow attorneys to directly solicit reviews.

Video Content Wins

The rise of platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts highlights consumers’ appeal for video content. Law firms can capitalize on the increased engagement by creating short- and long-form video content that humanizes their brand, establishes trust, and connects with potential clients on a personal level.

Over the past three years, marketing performance metrics like clicks, leads, and impressions have all been trending positively in the legal industry, but none so much as in video content. At the end of 2023, clicks increased 41%, and impressions increased 32% from their 2021 levels. YouTube, specifically, saw a 254% increase in impressions since 2021, drastically outpacing a 165% increase in spend.

According to the latest data, consumers actively seek out video content to make decisions before hiring an attorney:

  • One in four prefer to hear and see the person that they may potentially hire
  • One in four also prefer FAQs to be answered via video format
  • One in two prefer watching testimonials instead of reading through them

While high-level engagement has seen drastic increases in the past three years, leads and click-through rates are slower to grow. What does this mean? The majority of law firms are focusing their video strategy on top-of-funnel topics that drive clicks and views, but not revenue.

Looking to drive client meetings with video? Focus on building trust with potential clients by centralizing your video strategy around your “About Us” page, client testimonials section, attorney biographies, and frequently asked questions sections.

The Future of AI in the Legal Industry

Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the marketing world by storm. According to Scorpion’s 2024 Consumer Search Preference survey, 50% of respondents thought AI improved the experience for searching for law firms. This is good considering Google launched its Search Generative Experience (SGE) in May 2024

​This AI-driven search experience pulls information directly from websites to offer up to searchers on the search results page instead of them having to click through to your website to find an answer. Want your site to populate these AI-search result snippets? Optimize your website for SGE by including the most recent and relevant information that potential clients are searching for.

Don’t just react to AI, though. Get ahead of the game by implementing your own AI tools to enhance your digital experience for potential clients and make your processes more efficient.

As SGE becomes more common, optimizing your website for search experiences is going to become even more critical. Use AI tools, like Scorpion’s Ranking AI, to analyze keyword trends, search engine algorithm updates, and competitor strategies, that inform your legal SEO strategy and improve your website’s visibility.

AI can also help you convert website visitors into clients with AI-powered chat tools. For law firms, these tools allow for a more human-like and efficient communication channel with potential clients. They can handle service inquiries and appointment scheduling for you. And they do it around the clock, meeting the needs of 66% of legal consumers who expect to be contacted within a day of outreach and 40% who want same-day communication. Targeting Gen Z or Millennial consumers? The numbers jump to 71% who expect contact within a day, and nearly 50% who want a call back within a few hours.

AI is fundamentally changing how consumers search for law firms online. But you can also use the same technology to get ahead of your competition and create an engaging experience for potential clients they won’t find anywhere else.

Prepare for a New Future in Legal Marketing

The digital landscape for law firms is only going to get more competitive. Building digital credibility through reviews, establishing trust in video marketing, and adapting your legal marketing strategies for AI are three ways to maintain your competitive edge.

We’ve shared just a few of our insights about the future of legal marketing. For a deeper dive, download The Scorpion Pulse to get more information on digital marketing trends and actionable tips to incorporate into your marketing strategy. Our digital marketing experts have a wealth of experience helping law firms like yours enhance their online presence and grow.

We specialize in marketing services including website design, local SEO services, social media, email marketing, local services ads, content marketing, and more for law firms. To speak with a legal marketing expert, contact us today.

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