When we spoke to Gordon McKernan of Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys on The Rankings Podcast, he explained how he was constantly reassessing his marketing campaigns, even when they're successful! Like many attorneys, Gordon honed in on TV ads and now balances that with online too, and it got us thinking. What do these two channels look like side by side?
In the saturated Personal Injury Lawyer market, competition is extremely tough. Law firms spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars per year on advertising expenses alone. When TV was the main mode of advertising, you needed big bucks to make an impact. Online marketing has changed the game, but PPC can burn a hole in your pocket pretty quickly too.Considering the amount of money that flows into the market of personal injury law services, some might assume that the ad spend is justified. But not all lawyers and law firms can afford to spend this much, and even if they could, the question remains - is it worth it?
We crunched some figures for TV and online ads to see how the two channels compare on a basic level!
The Cost Of Being Competitive — Online Ads vs TV
The average cost per click for keywords related to lawyers on Google Adwords Advertising is $54.86. It means that for every person who searches for a “personal injury lawyer” or related terms and clicks on your company’s website via the search result, you will pay $54.86. If you had 10,000 clicks, this would have cost you $548,600. Sounds pretty pricy, but it's nothing compared to TV ad spend.
In 2019, advertising via TV networks in the US alone amounted to 69.6 billion dollars, however, this is expected to drop to $62.6 billion by 2022. This anticipated decline could be due to several factors, but one that’s most likely is the cost.
TV advertising campaigns are a lot more expensive than any other traditional advertising platforms such as radio, magazines, or yellow pages. The production cost for a 30-second ad can be around $5,000 to $50,000. The airtime can run from $100 to more than $5,000 for a prime-time spot. This estimate is only for local TV stations, national TV networks could charge more. According to some estimates, it could go up to as much as $342,000 for 30-seconds of airtime on national TV.
Don't Overlook The Maintenance Cost
Advertising campaigns are generally not a one-time event. It is a series of campaigns aimed at increasing brand awareness and eventually turning prospects into paying customers. This is true to both TV and online advertising campaigns.
Changes in the professional fees, services offered, or even as simple as a change of telephone numbers can be costly, especially for TV campaigns. This is because of the nature of the advertising materials. Setting the new advertising material can cost up to $63,000 to $8 million depending on the length, and complexity of the ad.
In the case of online advertising, the cost-per-click will be more or less the same all the way through. The rate may change but there isn’t much-needed maintenance for this method.
For advertisements that use banners or videos such as those used on Facebook, Youtube, and websites - the cost for a 30-second promotional video will range between $1,500 to $5,000. However, it is important to note that there are other expenses associated with maintenance such as professional fees for voice-overs, graphics design, actors (if any), directors, etc.
TV Coverage and Advertisement Channels
Independent organizations survey rank television networks based on the overall number of viewers. These surveys can also estimate the number of viewers at any given point in time. For companies that are using TV ads to reach clients, this is their basis to decide which hour of the day their advertisement should be aired. Similarly, this is also the basis for TV networks to set the cost to air ads on their networks.
The more people are assumed watching, the higher the cost of airing the ad. This is, however, a little problematic for advertisers as there is no way for TV advertisements to reach specific demographics. Everything is generally based on assumptions that these groups of people, age, and gender, for example, are watching at this hour of the day.
Online Advertising Boosts Your Targeting
Online advertising, on the other hand, offers specific and targeted advertising capabilities. On platforms like Facebook ads, advertisers can set rules as to whom (age, gender, location, profession, etc.) the adverts will be shown. This goes the same for most social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. Social Media Platforms are widely used by firms to advertise their services. Good news for Mark Zuckerberg, with Facebook’s revenue in 2019 amounted to more than $69.6 billion and is expected to go up to $95 billion in 2021.
With a good understanding of advertising, you'll find that another advantage of online advertising over traditional TV ads is the tracking and analytics. This feature allows advertisers to evaluate the effectiveness of their advertisement campaigns by looking into conversion rate, the number of visits to their websites via a specific advert link, or the number of views their advertisement reached.
Online Ads Are Outperforming TV
Online advertising outperforms TV in terms of specified reach, tracking and analytics, and cost. However, TV advertising is still one of the most effective methods to raise brand awareness. It is still best for reaching millions of people at any given time.
Additionally, studies published by the FCC show that close to 140 million Americans either do not have reliable internet or don’t have access to internet service at all. In this case, TV advertisements might just be the best method to raise brand awareness among this group.
Personal Injury Lawyers and law firms can use TV and online advertising simultaneously as part of their brand awareness campaign. In smaller towns, for instance, TV advertising on a local station could be best. If the goal is to reach as many people at any given time as possible, TV will certainly do the trick. It is free from the noise and competition online, so it would certainly reach millions who are watching. But if you want to target discriminately, then online advertisements are a sure fine win.