By Helena Lawrence and Vikram Gupta
For many, cell phones have become the primary tool for communication, including as a way to consume the news. According to Andrew Keller, global creative director at Facebook, the average person scrolls through 305 feet of data on their mobile device per day — the height of the Statue of Liberty!
Regardless of the medium, how can your law firm and lawyers break through the clutter and ensure your thought leadership is reaching the marketplace? The Marketing Technology and CMO/Senior Marketer Shared Interest Group (SIG) webinar “Digital Transformation: Message in the Market” with Jessica Aries of by Aries and Sue Serna of Serna Social explores this challenge and discusses how you can succeed.
Start With Strategy
First, like all successful marketing initiatives, breaking through the noise starts with identifying goals and strategy before getting to tactics. Come up with two to three specific and measurable goals, such as finding 200 clients in a year using social media or increasing website traffic by 10%.
Then, figure out who you want to talk to; not all audiences are the same. Where does your audience lives — LinkedIn, Twitter, email or somewhere else? Remember, you cannot make your audience come to you; you need to go to your audience.
Identify Your Audience
After identifying your goals, determine who is deciding to buy your client services. Analyze your CRM data or Google Analytics, and then create client personas. While you do not have to be super specific, the more you identify about your buyer, the more you will understand your audience and the message they’ll be most receptive to.
Test Your Tactics
Next, identify the marketing channels available to you. There are so many ways to get your message out into the marketplace that it can be hard to identify the right channel, but if you take the time to build out your personas, you will know what channels you should be targeting and where to spend your time and effort. Your channel section drives the type of content you create.
Generally, there are three types of content: visual, text-based and audio. When posting on social media, add pictures, videos or audiograms to your posts. Visually-focused platforms require strong visuals that are properly sourced and sized. A great resource for correct image sizing is Sprout Social’s social media image sizes.
One platform does not work for everything anymore. Like any other marketing campaign, repurpose and adapt content to the platform. For example, if you have a live recording, make a snippet of the video and post it to LinkedIn and YouTube; use a transcription service to transcribe the video and post on your blog; and create an audiogram of the video for Instagram.
Use social listening to monitor online conversations for topics of interest to your target audience, as well. You can monitor your clients to identify opportunities where they may need your assistance. You can also use social listening to monitor the conversation about your firm and lawyers to protect your brand. You need to know what people are saying about you — good and bad. If your lawyers want to join a social conversation, they first need to do some social listening to find out the environment of the conversation before stepping into the conversation.
Tools are available to help facilitate this monitoring, such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck. Monitor for topics via hashtags, organizations’ and people’s names using quotations, and online social/account names for tagging. Keep in mind names might not be tagged, thus no notifications via social channels will appear.
Examine the Analytics
Analytics and reporting are the power behind digital marketing. Online, almost everything can be tracked, so the question is: What numbers matter to you most? Align your metrics with your strategy and look at engagement. If you have low views, mentions, replies and shares, are you using social effectively? You can also measure brand awareness and traffic to content through various distribution channels, and the amount of traffic to your website can help legitimize your social efforts.
Ensure you come up with some benchmarks to measure against. First, start with the data you have and set firmwide, industry-specific and practice group-specific benchmarks. Consistently audit your performance and set new quarterly goals and yearly benchmarks.
Focus on the Future
There’s always somewhere new for you to amplify your message in digital marketing. When an attorney comes to you and says they want to be on a platform, ask them why. Talk to them about their goals and come up with a strategy to select the right digital channels to engage.
If you missed this webinar, or want to hear it again, visit “Digital Transformation Webinar Series: Part I: Message in the Market.” Make sure to download the slides, including the useful “Social Medial: Tailor Your Message Cheat Sheet.”
Helena Lawrence took the road less traveled and it led her to a career in client service, business development and project management in Washington, DC. As an UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA and PMP, Lawrence has extensive experience in innovation, strategic planning, client service, business development, project management, marketing and communications for legal, consulting, government, high-technology and non-profit industries. Lawrence is the LMA Marketing Technology SIG Co-chair.
Lawrence is the owner of Sierra Marketing LLC. She provides flexible contract project staffing for law firms and legal vendor partners to help them meet their dynamic workload needs. Projects include marketing, business development and client service initiatives such as marketing campaigns, collateral overhaul, prospect pitching, client account maintenance, project management and directory submissions.
A native Californian, Lawrence believes in giving back to her community. In 2017, as the first president of the LMA Mid-Atlantic Region Board of Directors, Lawrence led her region through a restructure to maximize the value of their LMA memberships. She was active in the Capital Chapter, including serving on the Board of Directors as well as the Communications and Program Committees. She was honored to be recognized for her contributions by being selected as the LMA Capital Chapter Member-of-the-Year.
Vikram Gupta is a deeply experienced marketing team leader, skilled in creating and optimizing branding, marketing operations and marketing communications to drive business development for large international legal organizations. He is recognized as an innovative problem solver with the ability to respond quickly and logically to complex challenges and achieve business results and is particularly adept at managing the dynamic and fluid demands of legal marketing while delivering both strategic and tactical solutions on a timely basis. He has been a former LMA Your Honor awards judge and is currently the LMA Marketing Technology SIG Co-chair.
Gupta recently oversaw strategic direction and execution of global marketing and business development initiatives for a top 100 Am Law firm, including brand development, website/intranet deployment, client relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing collateral development, advertising, digital marketing, distribution of thought leadership elements, graphic design, pitches/proposals, vendor management and a robust events/webinar program.