With the new year coming up, it’s a good time for legal marketing professionals to reflect on which tactics resonated most with their target audiences and which didn’t hit the mark.
It’s also a great time to revisit marketing goals, targets, budgets, and strategies and lay the groundwork for new tools and campaigns that will help your legal practice start the new year with momentum.
To help your team get a jump-start on all of these tasks, the team at CallRail has compiled a round-up of legal marketing trends from 2021 and a look at what we think lies ahead in the year to come.
Notable law firm marketing trends from 2021
With the benefit of hindsight, here are some of the common trends that the CallRail team saw shaping law firm marketing this past year:
A broader mix of marketing channels
With more people working remotely, digital tactics are rapidly displacing traditional forms of legal marketing. However, it will likely be some time before the billboard campaigns and paper advertisements entirely disappear.
This is especially important as most consumers (57%) shop around on their own when they need legal services.
Although getting your law practice in front of new potential customers through various channels is never a bad thing, without the right tools, it can be difficult to determine which channels provide the best return on investment.
In response, 2021 saw a rise in law firm marketers using call tracking and form submission tracking to capture which leads were sourced from which marketing campaigns to evaluate what channels best reach their target audiences.
Once in place, these tools give marketing professionals the ability to pinpoint which leads came from which source. This data can then be used to refine future campaigns and maximize your marketing dollars.
A growing need for structured lead management
Just as marketing channels have evolved, so has the need for more structure in how law firm marketing teams manage inbound leads once they have made their first contact.
Combined with call and form tracking, lead management tools can help your team focus on leads that are most likely to convert into paying clients. This is especially important given the labor crunch that many businesses are feeling, causing many marketing professionals to wear multiple hats in their current roles.
In addition to saving time and simplifying your lead tracking structure, lead management tools can boost your standing with potential clients as your team demonstrates its attentiveness and responsiveness.
Predictions about what lies ahead in marketing for law firms
What will 2022 and the years that follow have in store? Here are a few of our predictions:
Increased need to do more with less
With marketing budgets stretched further and staff working harder, having tools, processes, and platforms in place to automate and assist with data analysis — especially evaluating the results of A/B tests and marketing investments — can help teams target their efforts and optimize marketing dollars.
Building on the power of call and form tracking, features like call routing can help customers get routed to the right point of contact faster, reducing hand-offs and speeding up response times. Call routing uses built-in logic — such as the source of a call or known characteristics about the caller or topic — to route leads to the right point of contact.
In addition to increasing back-end efficiency and improving customer service, tools like these can help legal practices drive impact and form faster connections with leads. This is especially important because more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers first contact a law firm by phone. In addition, law firms who use multiple technologies to their advantage are collecting 20% more per month per lawyer, according to a 2020 report.
Increased focus on digital marketing and SEO
As younger consumers continue to default toward digital communications, legal offices need to improve their use and integration of SMS and web forms to communicate with leads.
Fortunately, modern marketing tools can help pinpoint what to say, to whom, when, and where.
For example, just as search engines continue to refine their algorithms and respond to consumer data protection requirements, marketing professionals of all industries can lean further into using search engine optimization (SEO) to their advantage.
To do so, marketing professionals should adopt a platform that identifies trends in keywords and topics and tracks inbound traffic. This can help law firms target where to spend their marketing dollars based on what resonates most with leads. One powerful way to automate this process is through Conversation Intelligence, which automatically transcribes calls and uses AI to analyze them for keywords to draw out other insights.
Take the findings to refine your advertising strategy, train your staff, and track the evolution of your relationships with leads.
Bringing it all together
It’s always difficult to predict what the future will hold, but taking the time to identify trends and use modern tools to simplify and automate key marketing processes helps firms maintain their competitive edge.
Although this past year was one of the most challenging for marketers, 2022 is already looking up in many ways.
To set their businesses up for a strong 2022 with plenty of momentum for the years to come, professionals should steer their marketing for law firms to get ahead of rising trends, refine advertising campaigns, and avoid the techniques of old.
Ready to harness the power of modern marketing tools like form submission tracking, call tracking, and Conversation Intelligence? Then click here to get started with a 14-day free trial.