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How to Make the Most of Your Legal Marketing Budget in the New Year
As we move into a new year, the legal services market remains one of the top spending areas in the entire advertising industry.
In 2016 alone, law firms and other legal service providers in the United States spent more than $1 billion on marketing and advertising.
One billion dollars!
What a staggering sum. If the attorney world ever feels small, this number illustrates just how expansive and crowded it really is… and just how profitable it is.
Clients and cases are everywhere. Your firm’s goal is to get more of them — or, just as worthwhile, to get better and higher-value cases.
Your challenge, however, is that many other firms exist in your area, and they’re spending toward that same goal.
Who will prospective clients ultimately choose? It’s more important than ever that your law firm’s messaging stand out from the competition.
As a legal TV advertiser, one of your single biggest monthly expenses is your media budget. Is it working hard enough for you? Here’s why it needs to.
Lawyer television advertising grew six times faster than all other industries’ ad spending between 2008 and 2014.
That fact comes directly from the 2015 Trial Lawyer Marketing report, prepared for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, and it’s astounding. The report also projected that attorney TV ad spending would either hold steady or continue to grow despite any political or economic trends.
Sure enough, the report was right. Legal services TV spending kept growing in 2015 and into 2016, even while other reliably big-spend industries (e.g. automotive) cut back.
So what does this all mean? TV advertising is not dead. On the contrary, it remains the single most powerful tool you have for growing your firm.
Still, marketing dollars are finite, and competition is dense. You have to make choices about where and how you’re expending your budget. Accordingly, we present our annual checklist for maximizing both impact and ROI for your attorney television advertising in 2018.
- Start with a Media Audit. There’s a good chance you may be spending too much money each month… or just spending it in the wrong places. A media audit is an incredibly detailed look at your current performance and, perhaps even more importantly, opens your eyes to opportunities you could be getting from different channels, programs, days of the week, times of day, etc. It’s a worthwhile way of making sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your investment.
- Focus on creative TV production.Today, the most effective attorney ads look more like short films than television commercials. (See some examples here.) Conventional lawyer ads are passé, and TV viewers simply tune them out. Stated differently, they’re a waste of money. If you haven’t already, 2018 is the time to advance your message and marry it with superior-quality production values. Cinematic visual elements, excellent sound quality, personable voice over, tight editing… all these things matter. And in 2018, they’re more affordable than you might realize.
- You MUST have a digital marketing strategy to complement your TV ads. Your digital assets (website, social media, PPC campaigns, etc.) will never replace your TV campaigns, nor do they pack quite the same punch. But the internet is simply too important to ignore. A funny thing happens along The Client Journey today… new prospective clients often become leads through your TV ads, but then they visit your website before contacting you. Today’s generation wants that digital reassurance. You need to give it to them by being easy to find online (SEO, content marketing, etc.) and having web content that complements the branding you have on TV. It’s essential.
- Pinpoint your message – only ask for the cases you really want. You can’t have everything, so don’t ask for everything. Let’s be honest… you don’t want a lot of small, low-value cases, so why would you pitch for them in your ads? Likewise, why shoot for cases that are beyond your resources or reach? Instead, use your marketing to target the types of cases you (A) actually want and (B) can realistically handle well. Those are the cases that will ultimately boost your bottom line and lead to more client referrals in the future.
- Get out of your own head. When crafting your marketing messages, avoid only emphasizing yourself, your credentials, your experience, or anything “you.” It’s not about you. It’s about your clients. Going into 2018, are your messages currently “you”-oriented or “client”-oriented?
- Employ the experts. Lawyers are brilliant and highly competent people, but they simply don’t have the time to navigate the extremely complicated and competitive world of television, media buys, digital marketing, graphic design, etc. It is a full-time career all its own. Hire people who have real expertise and who can do what you can’t: devote their full attention to growing your business. Work with an expert legal advertising coach to understand your wisest course of action and investment for 2018.
Don’t Put a Single Penny to Unfruitful Use in 2018. Call the Experts at Network Affiliates.
If you are considering adding a TV advertising strategy to your marketing mix — or if your current approach needs some work — call the legal marketing experts at Network Affiliates today.
Likewise, if you need to supplement your existing campaigns with a highly effective and affordable digital marketing strategy for your law firm, give us a call.
With in-house creative, production, and media planning teams, we can handle all your TV advertising needs from beginning to end. We offer support at every step of the way. Contact us online or call us at (888) 461-1016 now!