Marketing For Solicitors: How To Choose Your Legal Marketing Agency
How do you know which legal inbound marketing agency is the right one for your law firm? We’ll point you in the right direction and take the confusion out of the process.
Today, like any business, legal firms are turning to digital marketing to increase their success and generating quality leads.
In their June 2017 Adspend forecast, Zenith Media predicted that Internet advertising will overtake as the biggest advertising medium - expected to reach $124.6bn (approximately £98bn) by 2019.
This is part of the reason why specialist marketing agencies are being sought out to help law firms develop targeted marketing.
We’ve provided six important things to look out for when choosing a legal services marketing agency.
Before you begin contacting agencies, it’s a good idea to set out your marketing requirements. Here are some preliminary questions you should ask yourself:
- What is your current budget?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- What marketing areas of your business need the most attention?
- How much do you expect these areas to improve?
- When do you expect to meet these goals?
With answers to these questions and others in points two and three, you'll be in a better position to assess suitable marketing agencies.
You wouldn’t hire a bricklayer to fit your windows, so there’s no sense hiring a marketing agency that doesn’t provide the appropriate digital marketing and web design skills you need.
So it's imperative to determine what your needs are. You can start by thinking about what objectives or goals you want to achieve. For example, perhaps you’re looking to increase traffic to your website, generate leads, improve conversions or even build your brand awareness.
Below is a list of some of the services an agency might provide to help you achieve those goals - depending on what you’re looking for:
- Website design
- Mobile optimisation
- Content strategy
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Email automation
- Social media management
- Paid advertising
Having a clear idea of your objectives (be they, marketing, overall business, or - most ideally - aligned) will allow an agency to determine how they would best offer solutions for you.
Completed steps one and two? Great! Let the search for a marketing agency commence!
Bear in mind the following six criteria to maximise your agency search potential:
Size of the Agency
Size doesn’t always matter when it comes to a legal marketing agency. However, there are some pros and cons for each.
- Pros: Bigger agencies may have access to more resources as far as the latest technology and people power are concerned.
- Cons: Unless you’ve got the money to spend, you may get lost in the shuffle at a bigger agency.
- Pros: Smaller marketing providers are more likely to provide you with a more tailored approach and will often allocate more senior members of staff to your account.
- Cons: May become overwhelmed if they don’t have access to the right tools or technology
Ultimately, the agency you choose will depend on your budget, requirements and the agency's ability to commit to them.
Are they legal sector specialists?
It's sensible to retain the services of an agency that understand the intricacies of your industry. It's an easier way for your firm to make real progress, as opposed to working with an agency that will work with whomever and whatever.
Try to include legal specialist agencies when shortlisting as this will help your decision further down the line.
What’s their Website Like?
It’s all well and good for an agency to talk a good game - but can they back it up?
The agency that wants to be your marketer should be able to show you, without a doubt, that “Yes, we can do that.”
A marketing agency’s website should be able to demonstrate what they can do for your firm. All you have to do? Check out their website and see:
- Is their site up-to-date and carefully curated?
- Does their blog firmly establish them as an authority in marketing?
- What is the look and feel of their website?
- Do they have any relevant qualifications listed?
What are their Marketing Methods?
"Less than half of outbound marketers 48% believe their strategy is working."
Why? Outbound (also known as direct) marketing is disruptive and increasingly expensive for reaching customers. It weakens trust and confidence and can be quite costly when compared to inbound marketing methods.
By comparison, over two-thirds (68%) of inbound marketers of inbound marketers think they’re employing a winning approach.
An inbound marketing agency specialising in the legal sector gives you the chance to perfect your firm’s message for an evolving audience. Inbound marketing focuses on being customer-centric and lets the customer come to you.
Do they Offer Optimised Web Design?
Quite simply: are the websites the agency creates device-friendly for both mobiles and tablets?
If not, you can imagine how seriously they’ll take your web design project: 84% of SMBs invested in mobile presence see immediate and long term benefits.
What Qualifications or Certifications do they Have?
An agency who can show their qualifications ooze quality. It takes a lot of dedication to become qualified in the digital world and this certainly comes across in an agency’s work ethic.
Agencies who have certified partnerships (for instance, with HubSpot) are always at the forefront of technology and will lead your law firm to greatness.
Once you begin to narrow down your search, you’ll probably begin to develop a clearer picture of your best options.
We recommend researching these agencies in greater depth so that you can obtain the clearest possible understanding of how they operate as a business.
Talk to Clients
Get in touch with past and present clients of the agency to gather information about what they are like to work with. The more reviews you can obtain, the more well-rounded your perceptions of that agency will be.
No matter how big or small your legal firm, you’re going to have a set budget in mind. It’s tempting to go for the lowest-cost offer available, but this is an investment in the growth and lead generation capabilities of your business. You pay for what you get, and in the long-term, it's better to pay for an agency that is able to deliver.
Measure the Working Culture
Some think that working cultures between client and agency should align. We tend to agree in this aspect. But if it doesn’t feel right for you, then it isn’t right for your business.
At this stage, you’ll be left with only a small amount of workable agencies on your list.
One of the final stages in your road to selection is to meet the people behind the “Meet the Team” profiles. It’s a busy life though, so if it suits you better at the initial stage, a video call can suffice - but make sure you’re actually meeting who you’ll be working with.
Here are some goals you want to achieve when meeting a marketing agency:
- Speak to them like they’re part of the team: Treat any potential agency as an extension of your own team. A marketing partnership is a two-way relationship that relies on trust, so assess the ability of the people that make up the agency as much as the agency itself. You want to make sure that they are reliable, easy to communicate with, and effective.
- Air your questions and concerns: Come armed with questions, concerns, and pain points at this stage. You want this to be a long-term relationship, so it's better to have everything in the open. An agency can’t fix what they haven’t been told about.
- Test their industry knowledge: If an agency can’t demonstrate any knowledge of your industry, then it probably means they won’t be able to help you achieve your goals because they lack that vital knowledge of how your business works.
- Gauge how they plan campaigns: Talking to members of your prospective legal marketing services team will be a good opportunity to find out more about the people who will be working on your particular account. Assess their competency and professionalism to see whether they are a good fit by how they aim to plan your campaigns.
BONUS: You’ll get to see how an agency operates in their own environment - how they prepare, how their workstations look, how much work they have, and even how they interact with each other.
Once you’ve decided on your perfect marketing agency for your law firm, all that’s left is signing the contract and cementing your relationship.
Ensure that both parties are very clear on the deliverables that have been presented.
- Will the agency report developments to you?
- In what format should the marketing be reported to you? How often?
- Will you have access to live results?
Just like any other occasion where you’ll be signing an agreement, this a good time to make sure that both your company and your chosen agency are on the same page.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
It can be hard for an in-house marketing team to cover all the bases to the same extent as a marketing specialist. However, in hiring a digital agency such as Digital Media Stream, they will be able to help fill the gaps in your own abilities and ensure that you tailor your approach to finding an agency based on the above factors.
By doing the right research and asking the right questions, you’ll be able to see a big improvement in your investments.
Download your free copy of our eBook, Future-Proof Your Marketing, to ensure you stay ahead of the curve.