An overview of TV advertising for lawyers

dog watching tv

Yes, the way people are choosing to view television is very different these days. However, statistics continue to demonstrate that TV still works very well for the legal industry, which thrives on reaching a broad segment of the population.

When building a law firm TV advertising strategy, it’s important to remember a few key things:

  1. Broadcast television advertising is still the most powerful and far-reaching advertising vehicle.
  2. Hearing or seeing your law firm regularly on TV builds name recognition and trust, but people increasingly expect that you will play off this brand message in every media interaction and outlet.

Because it can be hard for attorneys to keep up with trends in television advertising, we wanted to share some helpful strategies as well as pitfalls to avoid when putting together your law firm’s next TV commercial, media buy and integrated campaign.

Start with competitive research. Never underestimate the value of due diligence before diving into developing new creative and structuring your media spend. The key is not to just study your competition and copy what they’re doing, but to take a closer look at what competing law firms are saying so you can say it different—and find a way to make your messaging stand out!

It might be helpful to think of your law firm’s TV advertising as a three-pronged approach:

1 | MEMORABLE MESSAGING

The goal with all visual or video advertising remains the same: Create strong, captivating, memorable creative and messaging about your legal brand.

  • Create messages about your audience’s needs, not just your lawyers’ biographies. Remember that phrase “It’s not about you!” applies here. You are trying to solve a problem or address a concern of the prospective clients you are trying to reach.
  • Learn your unique message. Trust us: every firm has one. Call it brand discovery or whatever you like, but it’s worth going back to basics and exploring your firm’s history, values, people and goals to find your true differentiators. These are the attributes that will position your law firm and ultimately help it stand out among the competition.
  • Ask for what you want. Start by thinking about your law firm’s end goal with television advertising. Do you want loads of cases or the right kind of high-quality cases? Identify the kind of case you want to attract, and tailor your messaging toward that goal.
  • Deliver high production values. Often overlooked and certainly undervalued, commercial production is a great way to separate yourself from the typical “local-looking” fare for which many firms have settled. A crisp, clean, high-quality broadcast advertisement can seal itself in the minds of viewers in a way that a run-of-the-mill ad never will.

 

2 | METICULOUS MEDIA BUYING

The problem with a clever, beautiful, thoughtful TV commercial is it will never work unless you know how to get it in front of the right people at the right time. The best law firm TV commercials address audience first—and place media where and when those people are most likely to watch. Ask yourself:

  • Who are the people most likely to respond to your advertising?
  • Where do they live, what programs do they watch, how do they spend their time, etc.?
  • Given their demographics and psychographics, what type of messaging are they likely to connect with?

As with most advertising, a haphazard approach to media buying by lawyers can be disastrous. The point is to build up your business and boost your profitability in the long term, not to hemorrhage funds for a law firm ad campaign that costs more than it’s worth.

If your strategy is designed intentionally, a few hits at exactly the right time, in the right place, with the right people are really what you need to make the phone ring.

3 | KEEPING SCORE

 

Once you’ve done all the hard work of exploring your law firm’s brand, developing memorable messaging and creative, and placing your commercial when and where your core audiences will see your marketing messages, you have to track your progress and effectiveness.

As a legal advertising company, Network Affiliates is accountable to law firms just like yours. We (and you) need to collect hard data on the marketing efforts we’re making in order to demonstrate real ROI. Everyone deserves to know where their marketing dollars are going, how those funds can work harder and when it’s time to take another route altogether.

It’s important to keep two fingers on your campaigns’ pulse at all times—and evaluate results regularly. By consistently monitoring what’s working and what isn’t, it’s easier to adapt, make the necessary changes and minimize waste in the marketing budget.

Here are some questions that we always ask when auditing a media spend:

  • Did the stations deliver on what was ordered?
    • If not, what are the options available for “make goods”?
  • How are your key metrics trending?
    • Are cost per lead (CPL) and cost per case (CPC) down?
    • What is your conversion percentage?
  • Is the phone ringing?
  • Are the costs of one media channel justified, given the returns on another?
  • Did we reach our targets? If not, why?
  • Is it time to recalibrate or pull the plug on a particular platform?

Equipped with hard data, we have a reliable gauge for measuring your law firm’s “share of voice” within a given market. When it comes to TV advertising for lawyers, keeping score and understanding the ROI of your TV advertising investment is a critical component.

When you think about the future of your law firm’s TV advertising, remember a few key points:

Think in context. Take note of some of the trends in TV viewing and digital integration before you put all your eggs in one big-screen basket.

Mark your message. Find your brand differentiators so you can make your message stand out in a very crowded space. And, remember, don’t skimp on production!

Prioritize placement. Don’t waste all your energy on exceptional creative to the detriment of poor placement. Learn where your audience watches TV and video—and get your message to the right place at the right time.

Track and tweak. Make sure your advertising investment is paying off by tracking your effectiveness (and ROI!) through hard data.

Give us a call and tell us what you’re questioning about your current legal advertising strategy. We’re happy to take a closer look and give you data-based feedback that you can use to get better ROI. (888) 461-1016

Network Affiliates has in-house creative, production and media-buying teams to help you with every angle of your campaign.

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