2016 is just around the corner, and with the on-going need to better align business development and marketing in the legal industry, legal marketers will become even more accountable for driving leads and gaining new clients. 2015 was the year of (king) content, mobile optimization and social media; how are these trends going to impact your upcoming marketing plans?
1. Your website is your biggest asset for 2016.
As people increasingly turn to the web to seek legal help, your firm’s website will be your biggest asset in the new year. Not only should your site be optimized for mobile and focus on a providing a positive user experience, but it must deliver a modern, fresh and engaging look and feel, with a brand that reflects your firm’s expertise and personality. Even more importantly, your website should serve as the hub of your content marketing efforts and deliver relevant client briefs, thought leadership and legal news designed to engage both prospective and current clients. As industries become more niche and cross-selling plays a bigger role for your firm, your website is an effective tool that can better serve your business development needs.
Today, those looking for legal help are either asking people they know, or heading to Google and browsing websites. In 2016, ensure your firm gives a great first impression by providing a best-in-class website.
2. Use social media to generate & curate Leads.
In 2015, we saw the growing adoption of social media among legal marketers. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook--the big 3--are still indispensable tools for law firms to share important findings in the legal space and keep stay up-to-date with the firm. After all, “the currency of a law firm is intellectual capital,” as Andrew Meranus at PR Newswire, put it.* Social media allows firms to share their expertise and expand their brand’s reach.
For 2016, it’s time to take your law firm’s social media up a notch and not only use it to curate and distribute content, but start using it as a lead generating tool. This year:
- Consider using LinkedIn Sponsored Updates and Native Ads to expand your content’s influence while reaching your target audience.
- Take advantage of Facebook’s Call-to-Action button to make it easier for prospects to reach out.
- Use targeted keywords when sharing content on Google+ to drive SEO and help your site get found.
- Give Twitter Cards a try to drive traffic to your law firm’s site.
3. Mobile is no longer an option.
In 2016, you must have a mobile friendly site. This year, Google made it clear that it not only favors sites that are responsively designed, but it’s also penalizing those sites that aren’t mobile friendly. If you’re site isn’t already optimized for mobile, 2016 is the time to make the change.
4. The User Experience is still imperative.
Long gone are the days when law firms can get by with simply having a website. Considering the user experience and ensuring that users have a seamless and intuitive interaction with your site (while optimizing it for lead gen) has never been so important. Knowing that users are coming to your site ready to take action, your firm must make it easy (and enjoyable) for them to do so. Delivering a great user experience can also help your firm build credibility; a crucial component to the legal industry, which is based upon establishing trust. In 2016, ask yourself:
- Can users easily get in touch with my law firm?
- Does my website make it easy for users to find content?
- Are users spending time on the site or quickly leaving upon visiting the homepage?
5. There's a new content king in town.
In 2016, content will still be ruling the marketing kingdom. But this year, to cut through the content clutter, you’ll have to think beyond just volume of content; focus on creating new and creative types of content. Infographics, ebooks, podcasts and visual content are all great resources to supplement your blogging efforts. In fact, last year the amount of video from people and brands in Facebook's news feed increased 3.6X year-over-year.*
Creating fresh and creative content is no small feat though; to save time, try repurposing existing content into something new; perhaps turn a blog post into a video, a video into a tweet, or a landing page into a blog post.