Once you have a marketing strategy, tactics, and channels in place, it's time to create the marketing materials that will present your firm to prospective clients. These creative materials should always be professionally designed and consistent with your brand guidelines.
While not as important as digital marketing assets like your website, search engine optimization (SEO), and using content marketing as an inbound marketing tool for lawyer practices, there are plenty of effective and creative marketing ideas to reach new clients for your law firm using traditional media including print ads, business cards, informational brochures, and more.
Marketing is a game of touchpoints—you need to make sure you're positioned to get your law firm brand in front of the right people as many times as you possibly can.
Print Marketing Material
Print marketing refers to any item that is physically produced for a prospective client or partner's review. This includes print ads, business cards, brochures, mailers, and promotional items. Print materials and campaigns are an important part of your marketing mix, but focusing too much on print has its drawbacks. For example, print campaigns are not as easily targeted or measured as online campaigns.
Placing print ads in newspapers, magazines, trade publications, or event brochures can get your law firm directly in front of your target community. While this does raise awareness about your firm, the chances of catching your target client when they need a lawyer is low.
According to research from Top Media Advertising, combining print and digital ads improves visibility by as much as 400%. Your print and digital ads work hand in hand when properly targeted to your ideal audience.
Print ads vary in size specifications with each publication, but several elements should remain the same throughout, including:
- Your firm logo
- Color schemes
- Marketing messaging
Business cards might seem old school, but they still have their place. At local networking events or conferences, business cards make it simple for people to contact you later.
Likewise, giving your business card to current clients makes it easier for them to share your contact information with others.
Your business card should include:
- Your name
- The firm's name
- Your contact phone number
- Your email address
- Your practice area
- A tagline, if you have one
Adding your photo to a high-quality business card by making it two-sided is one way to stand out with a memorable print version.
Brochures help explain complex processes or different service offerings within a law firm.
For example, a personal injury lawyer might use a brochure to explain the stages of a typical car accident case.
An estate planning lawyer might create a brochure with individual pages dedicated to estate planning, trust administration, and advanced Medicaid planning.
Brochures can exist in digital and print formats to provide further information about the firm and its legal services in an easy-to-consume form.
Brochures are most likely handed out in person, so focus on these if in-person events are a part of your marketing mix.
Brochures are great informational tools, but it's hard to tell when a brochure was the tipping point that made someone reach out to hire you.
Plenty of people throw brochures away or in a long-forgotten drawer, so your chance to make an impression when they need a lawyer is lower than digital marketing tactics.
Mailers like postcards, letters, flyers, or brochures allow you to hyper-target a local market. Especially when you're focused on a specific geographic region, mailers make it easier to reach specific residents.
Even though they've been around a long time and are often forgotten as part of a bigger marketing plan, mailers are so old they're new again. This means you can see a great return on investment with the right law firm's direct mail marketing strategy.
One study found that using direct mail as part of a multi-channel marketing campaign is more effective. Business owners using direct mail within a broader marketing plan were 18% more likely to report "good" or "very good" ROI.
In order to track your direct mail, however, your clients would have to remember how they found out about you or bring the card to your office, so mailers suffer the same tracking issues as many other forms of print marketing. A mailer for a car wash company with a specific coupon might perform better than a general one about a lawyer's services.
Be aware that your local or state bar association may have strict guidelines on what you can and cannot do with direct mail campaigns. Research that first before committing to this option.
Promotional items refer to any physical good with your logo printed on them. This increases the visibility of your law firm brand by keeping your name top of mind.
Give out these promotional items in swag bags at local events or conference booths. These items can draw people to your table at events and spark conversation, too.
At the same time, you can provide them to current clients to create word of mouth referrals.
Here are some example promotional items:
- Jar openers
- Can koozies
- Can openers
- Water bottles
- Reusable coffee cups
- USB drives
- Hand sanitizer
Online Marketing Material
Online marketing has many important benefits for law firms. This is especially true when thinking about some of the downsides of print-based marketing when it comes to targeting and timing of message.
Online marketing goes out through many different channels as part of your law firm content marketing strategy and allows for a more tailored approach with better ROI.
Online content can also be reformatted and repurposed across channels. Podcasts and blog posts, for example, are bigger pieces of content you might create.
You can take smaller pieces from each of them, such as a one-minute audio clip from your podcast or a really good quote from your blog, and share that on your social media channels.
Your website is a channel you own that you use to get your message out there. Unlike social media, where each platform has specific rules about what you can and cannot do and where ever-changing algorithms limit you, your website is your own.
Investing time and energy in your law firm’s website is one of the best ways to earn quality traffic and conversions for your law firm.
Your website is also a reflection of your law firm and must make an excellent first impression. As such, it should be designed well and clearly show your positioning and messaging to earn the trust of your visitors. Good legal web design means thinking about your user first.
Organic search is a channel most appropriate for blogs. Blogs are simply articles or content shared on your law firm’s website, either written by you or a ghostwriter.
Law firms can benefit from a tailored legal content strategy that breaks down blogging into actionable steps such as keyword research, editorial calendar creation, drafting, and publication. The content created and published on your blog can also be reused in email marketing.
One of the reasons why blogging is necessary is that when someone is hit with a print ad, they know they're seeing an advertisement. That's not true with a blog. People come to your site to read your blog unsolicited and to get answers to their real questions. If you provide value, answer their questions, and position yourself as an expert, the chances they'll come back and convert as a client later are increased.
Furthermore, someone who reads a blog on a legal topic is likely facing that issue right then and there. They're looking for solutions in that moment.
Publishing blog content is key to optimizing the resources on your website for both search engines and the readers who use them. Don't think of your blog as a publication. You don't need to stick to a twice-weekly schedule of posting blogs at exactly the same time. For lawyers, posting blog articles should be done with a strategic and SEO focus.
Instead, build a roadmap for content based on the right keywords for your law firm. Aim to create the best-in-class content for those keywords.
Email newsletters are another way to reach prospective customers. Be aware that while many other industries see great returns on email marketing, that's often not the case for law firms.
If you're going to invest the time and resources into an email marketing newsletter, make sure it's valuable.
For example, if you have a strong network of referral partners, consider sending a monthly newsletter to that smaller list about recent case results, attorney awards, and new initiatives in your office. This might get a better response in terms of generating new business when compared with blasting hundreds or thousands of past clients with an email newsletter they don't want.
Similarly, if you're a real estate lawyer working with a lot of local investors, a monthly newsletter with tips and strategies might be helpful. Know your audience and decide if email marketing would serve them well.
Content from other marketing channels can be remixed into newsletter content. Don't reinvent the wheel here, look for content from your blog, social media, or podcasts whenever possible.
Social Media Posts
Social media marketing is a mixed bag for lawyers because the primary goal of social media platforms is to keep their users on their platforms longer. Investing in a business page or a group might tank as a marketing idea because these sites limit your visibility even when people have proactively liked your page or joined a group.
This means that the time you invest in writing and sending a message to your audience could be wasted if it never gets shown to your followers.
That said, social media is still a place where you can and should easily share content from other channels while being mindful of the platform's limitations.
For example, rather than driving traffic to your blog with a direct link to a new post, use a buzzworthy question or statistics on a catchy image to catch the attention of social media scrollers. That keeps the platforms happy and boosts your engagement because potential clients are interested and commenting or sharing that material.
A legal podcast is a lot of work and might not generate enough interest for a law firm to make it worthwhile. Podcast listeners expect helpful, non-promotional information on a weekly or otherwise regular basis. This means you'd need to:
- Come up with a core concept for your podcast, such as solo episodes in which you answer questions or interviews with other people
- Record the episodes
- Get the episodes professionally produced for optimal audio
- Repurpose content from your podcast on other channels to draw in new listeners
All of this takes not just time but also a financial investment or team time, too. A podcast might work well if you're a national personal injury firm that relies heavily on referrals from other law firms. For a rural family lawyer, however, there might not be enough listeners who are also potential clients or referral sources to make this approach a winning one.
We’re big believers in podcasting as a marketing tool at Rankings.io. We host 2 different podcasts, Personal Injury Mastermind (PIMM) which brings elite attorneys and marketing experts together to talk about the best strategies for legal marketing and LawHer, a podcast that shines a light on some of the brightest and boldest women in the legal industry.
There are many different ways to use videos throughout your website, and clips from those can also be repurposed into other marketing material. Here are some examples of helpful video content:
- Explainer videos about specific practice areas or common questions receive
- Brand story videos on your website hero sections to introduce new viewers to the firm
- Testimonial videos from past clients
- Animated videos breaking down complex processes or common misunderstandings about a topic
- Case studies of how the firm helped a client with a complicated case
Creating the Best Marketing Material for Law Firms
In order to achieve success and create the best marketing material, you need to follow a few key tips for each item you make.
Be clear with strategy, lead with value, measure results, and hire outside experts to help you.
Have a Clear Strategy
No marketing channel or tactic will perform as well as you might hope if you're missing a clear legal marketing plan. You must also know your target market and set aside a budget to deliver on these marketing goals.
Focus on Providing Value
Every piece of marketing pushed out to your channels should help the receiver through the value you provide.
For example, social media posts shouldn't be overly promotional and focused on you. Instead, they should provide critical information to a viewer. Blog posts should answer questions, dispel myths, or simplify complex processes.
Remember, your client is the hero, and you're the guide on their journey. Too many law firms lead with marketing that's focused on the reverse.
Measure the Results
Online marketing makes it so easy to track the results of legal marketing efforts.
For example, it's easy to see which SEO keywords you're ranking for and the growth you've experienced there. It's harder to do with print advertising and direct mail. It's strongly recommended that you work with a team of professionals to help you decide on the right marketing mix and ensure that you're getting the best possible results from all your marketing.
Hire an Expert to Help
It can be overwhelming to determine which marketing channels to focus on in your law practice, how best to spend your budget, and how to tell which tactics are driving outcomes. It's a lot of work, and it's best handled by professionals who know law firm marketing.
Rankings.io has a track record of working with law firms for results-oriented strategies. Contact us today for a consultation to get your law firm SEO strategy in place.