Many lawyers still rely on referrals to drum up new business. But depending solely on word of mouth advertising in such a competitive landscape is a very hit-or-miss strategy. But with so many advertising channels to choose from, how do attorneys know which will bring them the greatest return on their investment?
Over the years we have worked with numerous attorneys and law firms and we can tell you that while it’s important to have a presence online, nothing really beats print marketing when it comes to staying top of mind with your local prospects.
Now you may automatically think newspaper ads when you hear print marketing, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Print marketing also includes:
- Magazine ads
- Trade publication ads
- Direct mail channels like brochures, flyers and postcards
With so many advertisers throwing their entire budget at mobile and online channels, why should lawyers consider print?
Print Offers Better Perception and Brand Awareness
Many legal advertisers are actually giving print a second thought for a couple of reasons. The first is brand perception. Having an ad show up in someone’s Facebook feed may generate some leads, but it doesn’t do much for your overall brand perception.
Having an ad show up in a niche magazine or trade publication conveys a high level of professionalism. We have found that prospects look at a law firm in a better light and with more respect through print ads rather than solely seeing an ad online.
A second reason to include print into your marketing mix is because it is excellent for brand awareness. As we mentioned earlier, in many areas of the country, the market is very crowded, so to stay top of mind, it’s essential your message and logo are visible to your local market. A powerful brand message and image will go a long way in getting prospects to remember your brand. Plus, you can easily add your website URL and social media tags to your ad so prospective clients can go online to dig a little deeper.
Now let’s take a look at some things to consider when creating your print campaigns:
Update Those Billboard Ads
If there’s one print channel lawyers are no stranger to, it’s billboard advertising. Billboards are so effective for lawyers because they generally cater to one specific region or community. They are a cost-effective strategy that help gets eyes on your message in high traffic areas.
But to really make an impact and get the biggest return, consider giving moving billboards a try this year. Moving billboards can be on top of taxis or on the side of mass-transit vehicles. These billboards will help your message hit a wider audience.
You may also want to consider digital billboards. While they don’t move, they are more engaging and can also widen your audience by placing them in locations such as airports and train stations.
Get That Message Right
The best print ads are the ones that have clear, concise messages. Be sure to always keep the focus on the client, not on your education and experience. Leave past case wins for a page of your website. People need to read that their pain will be taken care of. Also, ads that have an emotional appeal can be very effective.
Print is powerful, but you must commit to your efforts and not expect overnight results. Your local market will need to see your ads on a regular basis. Someone may see your ad for a couple of months but not need your services until they are in that car accident or fall at work. Print marketing, any marketing, in the legal field is a marathon not a sprint.
Understand Your Audience
Who are your bread and butter clients? Women in bad marriages seeking divorce advice? Factory workers who have a high chance of getting hurt at work? High net worth retired folks in need of estate planning?
To target your ideal client with the right messaging and ensure you place your ads in the right channels/locations they frequent, you’ll need to do some digging to understand them fully. Try and determine what their pain points are. What keeps them up at night? What do they need help understanding? What language resonates with them and what images might they respond to?
When you can answer these questions, you have a far better shot at creating print ads that convert.
The bottom line is, print advertising definitely has its place in the attorney’s marketing arsenal. Just be sure to research your ideal clients so you can select channels and create ads that will speak directly to them.
Are your law firm’s print ad strategies driving ROI? If not, get in touch with us. Media Space helps attorneys get their message in front of the right crowd. We’ll be happy to evaluate your current advertising efforts.