When you’re trying to grow a business, the ever-evolving digital landscape can feel overwhelming. With that in mind, we created this refresher on all things digital marketing for your law firm.
What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?
A digital marketing strategy involves planning to establish an online presence through digital channels like organic search, social media, paid advertising, your website, and any other web-based mediums. The ultimate goals are to increase awareness of your firm on the internet and to attract new leads by promoting your firm where people spend time – online.
Furthermore, it’s important to keep in mind that a strategy is a destination. A good strategy is an achievable, focused plan for getting where you want to go. Tactics are the definable steps within your strategy that ensure you reach your objective. A good strategy makes use of several tactics in order to achieve goals.
What’s the Difference Between a Campaign and a Strategy?
Sometimes people use the terms “campaign” and “strategy” interchangeably – but they are not the same. Digital marketing tactics are the building blocks of your overall strategy. They involve specific actions that move you toward a particular goal. For example, if your corporate goal is to increase leads by 15% this year, you might develop a strategy to generate more leads through social media. As part of that strategy, you might run a certain campaign on Twitter or invest in a paid advertising campaign on Facebook. As you develop your strategy, consider the specific campaigns that will be part of it.
Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy
What is involved in an effective digital strategy? There are a few key steps to build a strategy that will help grow your firm.
1. Create client personas
Any form of marketing (even traditional) requires understanding who you are trying to reach. Marketing should be based on specific personas that represent your ideal client. You should include quantitative, demographic, qualitative, and psychographic information. Everything from geographic location to challenges and priorities should be considered. You want to base these profiles on real data whenever possible, so dig into your CRM rather than just going with wishful thinking.
2. Document goals and the tools needed
Marketing goals should be aligned with larger firm goals. For instance, if you take our lead generation example above, your firm wants to increase leads by 15% this year. A digital marketing goal might be to generate 10 leads each quarter via a lead magnet on your website. It’s important that you’re able to measure progress toward your goals. To do that, you may need to invest in other tools. For example, you might want to leverage the Reporting Dashboard from HubSpot to see how things are working and learn ways to improve in the future. See which areas have gaps where you may need to bring in some third-party tools.
3. Review your current digital channels and assets
In order to know where you need to invest or improve, you have to know your current state. We suggest creating a spreadsheet that clarifies all of your owned, earned, and paid media. Owned media are assets your firm owns – things like your website, blog, thought leadership, etc. Earned media includes word-of-mouth and other organic exposure such as content on other websites, PR work, or customer reviews. Paid media involves any channel that you’ve spent money on, such as paid media posts, AdWords, or native advertising. The three parts of this marketing framework can overlap and work together to maximize results. For example, you might have a great blog post (owned) that you pay to promote to a wider audience (paid). Review all of your marketing assets and categorize them appropriately.
4. Plan your owned media campaigns
Owned media is really the heart of a digital strategy. Everything from online content to infographics to podcasts can be classified as content and help to improve your firm’s online presence. You should evaluate your current content to see where you need to create new material. Start by auditing your existing content, then identify gaps in that content and develop a content creation plan outlining what content is necessary for helping you to reach your goals.
5. Plan earned media campaigns
It’s important to evaluate your current earned media against your goals in order to get an idea of where to focus your time. Look at where your traffic and leads come from, and then rank each source from most successful to least. Create a bigger picture that includes which type of earned media will help you to achieve your goals.
6. Bring everything together.
Once you have completed all this planning and research, you’ll have a good idea of the components necessary to bring your vision to life. Then you can dig into specific strategies and tactics like:
- Creating a blog
- Advertising on specific platforms
- Offering valuable thought leadership and creating lead magnets
- Optimizing your content for search engine effectiveness
- Hosting webinars
- Participating in social media
- Producing podcasts
- Leveraging email campaigns
- Other tactics that make sense for your firm
Marketing strategies that improve your digital presence will help your firm grow. When executed correctly, starting with these steps will help you grow your brand presence, understand your target clients, and generate more leads.