The coronavirus outbreak has made the past few weeks confusing for attorneys, but recent trends show there are marketing tactics that can be used to minimize the pandemic’s negative impact on law firms.
To help attorneys overcome any challenges surrounding COVID-19, we recently hosted a webinar during which myself and a colleague answered questions directly from the audience.
What are the first steps I should take with my marketing strategy in response to COVID-19?
- Acknowledge the situation. The coronavirus pandemic is dominating headlines and consumers’ minds, and letting people know how you’ve adapted your business practices and policies in response to the outbreak will establish confidence in your firm.
- Lately, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of people conducting informational searches. Particularly in family law, bankruptcy, and employment law, people are facing unexpected and stressful situations and have questions about their legal options for getting through them. For these practice areas, focusing your campaigns on delivering value rather than a hard sell is likely to improve ROI and plant seeds for significant future dividends.
- Take advantage of new advertising opportunities brought forth by behavioral shifts. Stay-at-home orders have led to a spike in the usage of streaming sites and social media, giving attorneys new channels through which they can demonstrate expertise and inspire confidence with their target audience.
If fewer clients are making hiring decisions right now, is my marketing money going to waste?
Even in times as unexpected as what we’re currently living through, it’s vital to keep your long-term business goals at the center of your marketing strategy. By maintaining a strong online presence, you’re building a pipeline of future business by positioning yourself as the top choice when clients are ready to hire.
It’s understandable to think that such a major shift in the way we go about everyday life would necessitate an equally significant change to your marketing message. However, your potential clients’ process for choosing an attorney is largely unaffected. The only differences are that stay-at-home orders have given them even more time to conduct research, and that advertising costs have decreased as a result of some attorneys pulling their campaigns offline.
When new clients aren’t coming in as quickly as usual, it may be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts to save costs in the short term. However, the attorneys who do so are willingly handing clients to their competitors and taking themselves out of the running for future business once lockdown orders are lifted.
Even potential clients who need my services seem hesitant to hire. How can I guide them in the right direction?
As mentioned above, coronavirus has taken over the news cycle in recent weeks, causing financial and health-related stress for a large number of people. No matter how pressing their situation, certain types of legal matters can get pushed to the backburner in times of panic. However, there is a solution: information.
The more questions you can answer for prospective clients, the more confidence your firm will build in their minds. Be a resource and make them feel more in control of their situation by creating educational content about the pandemic’s ramifications on your area of specialty.
What are the most cost-effective marketing tactics for attorneys right now?
With so many people at home, Facebook has seen a huge increase in traffic over the past few weeks, giving attorneys a strong opportunity to boost their brand awareness. Creating content that’s relevant to your target audience’s concerns can strengthen your firm’s image and reputation while driving more traffic to your website.
Write a blog post that explains how clients could be affected by COVID-19, then link to it in paid and organic social media posts. Take questions from your page followers and answer them in a Facebook Live video. Create a YouTube video that gives a high-level look at the options available to people you can help.
Content marketing is an important part of any successful marketing strategy, but today’s circumstances make it an even more powerful tool for attorneys who want to stand out. Each of these tactics effectively brings in new leads and can be implemented for pennies on the dollar compared to TV advertising.
When creating content, you should aim to be educational and genuine. People want to know — specifically — what solutions you can provide them with. Now is not the time for a sales pitch. Instead, be intentional about creating content that is of high quality and high relevance for your target audience.
What should I do to communicate that our office is closed, but we are still working and available?
If you’re in an area where “non-essential” businesses have shut down and your team is working remotely, it’s important to let your potential clients know that you’re still available to answer their legal questions. A multilayered approach is a good idea:
- Add a banner to the top of your website that lets people know that you are available via phone, email, chat, videoconference, or any other method of remote communication that applies to your firm.
- Run a social media advertising campaign that informs everyone in your community that you are available remotely.
- Update your Google My Business page with any updated hours or availability.
- Send an email blast to existing clients and other attorneys who may refer cases to you, adding messaging to any ads that you are running (video ads, search engine ads, etc.) that notes that you are still available for a free consultation.
We are truly living in unprecedented times, and the situation will change by the day. But for now, there are concrete steps you can take to set your law firm up for short-term and long-term success.