Ask any marketer for their best piece of advice, and they’ll probably say, “Know your audience.”
It’s an old pearl of wisdom relayed and repeated nearly to the point of cliché, but banal as it might seem, it’s still sage advice.
Mark Zuckerberg has a few billion dollars to attest to the value of audience information. Advertisers pay Facebook big bucks to better understand the lifestyles, backgrounds, and behaviors of their prospective customers. They do that because the information is both beneficial and hard to come by.
Sure enough, if you’re managing a law firm, you might wonder how to get your hands on that kind of information within your own market.
Most law firms market themselves at the local or state level, so it’s easy for attorneys to picture their advertising audience as “everyone in my state” or “all my neighbors” — and then pitch a one-size-fits-all message to the masses, hoping it’ll stick.
If it were that easy, though, your incoming leads would look just like the community as a whole. That probably isn’t the case. Responses to broad messaging are almost never perfect cross-sections of a broad audience.
So how can you figure out who is currently seeing your ads, who is actually responding to them, and (perhaps most importantly) who you aren’t currently connecting with?
In this article, we explain how to create a target audience profile, how to break that profile down into individual personas, and how to ultimately use those profiles and personas to get more business for your law firm.
Using Google Analytics: It’s Only the First Step in Target Audience Analysis
Google Analytics is one of the best free web analysis tools on the internet, and it’s a great way to get a preliminary perception of exactly who your audience members are.
The Google Analytics software will help you identify the keyword searches that bring people into your website, track your traffic rates, and determine which content items perform most strongly (among other things).
You can even get some preliminary demographic information that will help you see your audience as actual people — real injury victims or grieving family members — instead of as raw data.
That’s what we call a target audience profile. It’s more specific than “every TV viewer in Colorado,” for instance, and specificity is a good thing. But you can press even deeper than that with a “next-level” audience analysis strategy we call persona identification.
How to Identify the Different Personas Who Make Up Your Target Audience
While target audiences may share certain common traits, they are not homogeneous. Your audience is comprised of many different people — individuals and families of different ages, genders, backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and religious faiths.
They live in different parts of town and all throughout the state. Some of them are super tech-savvy; others are not. They might prefer mobile devices or desktops… Chrome or Safari… Mac or PC. And they come to you with different needs (car crash victim, wrongful death relative, nursing home resident, medical patient, mass-tort consumer, etc.)
All of these things matter.
By using this information, much of which is already at your fingertips, you can create fine-tuned client personas — detailed descriptions of the types of people who ultimately convert into cases.
In building a persona, what you’re really looking for is: who responds to what, and how?
For example, in addition to the basic target demographics, a persona must answer these types of questions:
- Do these kinds of people ultimately become clients?
- If so, what’s the last thing they saw or did before “pulling the trigger?”
- What kinds of cases do these people usually have?
- Do they generally have a good understanding of their legal rights, or are they looking for answers?
- On an emotional level, what are they really looking for?
- Do they come to you from television or the web?
- What kinds of technology do they use, and how do they use it?
- Did they consider (or interact with) other brands or firms before yours?
- What causes them to hesitate before signing with your firm? (Money, time, confidentiality, communication concerns, distance etc.?)
- Are these kinds of people ultimately good for your business? Do you want more or fewer cases like theirs?
Through this process, what you’re ultimately doing is layering your audience. It isn’t an exercise for its own sake. The whole point is to grow your practice. Bigger and better cases — that’s what it’s all about.
How Target Audiences and Personas Help Your Bottom Line
Attorneys are exceptionally bright people, but they cannot predict the future. None of us can. It is possible to predict behavior, though. And that power is really at the heart of our profiles-and-personas practice.
By studying your audience, your firm will come to understand who responds to its current marketing efforts, how they respond, why they respond, and whether you want those same personas to respond again in the future.
The answers to those questions then inform your next steps in TV and digital advertising.
Talk to Network Affiliates About Your Law Firm’s Target Audience Profile
Legal marketing is truly a strategy, and strategies benefit from research and insight.
But gaining insight doesn’t have to be a dizzying or time-consuming ordeal. The expert legal marketers at Network Affiliates are ready to help you size up your target audiences and put that data to work right away.