The dominating COVID-19 crisis of 2020 has seen a huge impact on both personal and professional lives, from having to practice social distancing, to localised lockdowns, compulsory mask-wearing and travel bans. Law firms, like many other businesses, have had to quickly adapt to ensure they have the means to continue services and continue communication with target audiences, who themselves will be adapting to a new way of living for the foreseeable.

We look at what marketing trends have remained sustainable and effective in 2020 so far, and what law firms should continue to embrace as we move into the 2nd half of this year and into 2021.

1. Quality and Accessible Content

Most law firms should by now understand the importance of content on their websites for marketing and SEO purposes, and content continues to be one of the most important marketing activities and website ranking factors. However, it is no longer just about stuffing keywords into your website pages. Quality over quantity that is beneficial to the target audience will see better results and conversions. Ensuring your content is optimised for voice and local search – see items below – will also play an important factor in the performance of your website in the search engines. Additionally and making sure that content is accessible in other formats such as video or downloadable documents will play a crucial role in the engagement results of the target audience.

2. Voice Search

Voice search saw a big leap in 2019 and has continued to grow throughout the first half of 2020. With more consumers being online than ever before, and with enforced lockdowns meaning that digital communication, remote working and businesses adapting to increased demand for being available online, it has no signs of slowing down. Understanding how this affects marketing efforts should play a big part in your content writing and marketing efforts. According to recent stats by Google:

  • Voice search makes up 20% of all Google search queries.
  • More than 20% of voice search queries are triggered by a combination of only 25 keywords
  • The top 3 common keywords in voice search phrases are “how”, what” and “best”

And for those trying to capture the new millennials, it is worth considering that over 70% of all mobile users aged between 18-29 use their smartphone voice assistants for search queries. Whilst voice search is still relatively new, it will be important for law firms to start optimising their content for voice search to stay ahead of the competition.

3. Long-Form Video Content

Video content is another marketing and content technique that has been around for a while, and many businesses have started to utilise the benefits of housing short-form video clips as part of their marketing efforts. However, the rise of long-form video content has increased in prevalence and will continue to do so. Whilst there is no denying that shorter videos are easy to consume, especially on the go and via social media, it is difficult for brands to deliver memorable information to consumers and form a long-lasting connection that converts.  In a recent study published by Smart Insights, it was shown that around 80% of videos were less than five minutes in length, however, these short videos tended to drive less than a third of overall engagement in video content. In comparison, videos that were 15 minutes or longer resulted in 50% of audience engagement.

4. Social Media and Demographic Changes

Whilst social media marketing is no new ‘trend’ and most law firms understand the importance of showcasing their business online via various social media platforms, it is important to consider that whilst certain platforms like Instagram and emerging platforms such as TikTok have predominately been a marketing platform to Millennials and Gen Z, this has changed in 2020. Older age demographics are joining the platforms and it will be worth law firms understanding where their audiences may be found.

“Instagram users are a lot older than people often imagine,” says Simon Kemp. “There are more 45 to 54 year-olds using Instagram than there are 13 to 17-year-olds.”

Understanding where your audience spends time online is crucial to how brand and service messages can be delivered. Additionally, and even more so during the COVID-19 crisis of this year, there has been a vast jump in social media consumption and consumers using social platforms to communicate and find information online. Being able to communicate to a target audience through a platform they trust and engage with should play an important factor in marketing strategies for law firms.

5. Local Search and Brand Presence

Local search is a vital component of any marketing strategy and it is important to consider where your target audience is located. For example, if the majority of your work is private client, dealing with cases such as property, wills or family law work, then most of your clients will be looking for a local law firm so that they can communicate with lawyers easily.  Whether someone is looking for somewhere to eat or a solicitor, it is more than likely they are searching for this service via their smartphones, tablets and now even smart-home hub systems and voice searches such as ‘Alexa’ on Sonos or Google Home Hub.

One of the most common uses for local search is to find a product or service and whilst most local searchers already know a specific business name, many do not have a specific brand or business in mind when they start their search. By putting in place an effective local SEO marketing strategy, a firm can better position their business and promote the services you can provide to local customers when they are searching for your type of business. And now more than ever, there is no better time to connect with a potential new client when they really need you.

6. SEO / Technical Fluency

Putting in place the best practices of SEO and an understanding of more technical content mark-up will always play a vital role in online marketing, and whilst this is not a new trend, does continue to evolve with new Google Algorithm updates. Recent Google updates were more about natural language processing, neural networks and machine learning and so ensuring content is optimised to answer searches’ most important queries is one of the most important tasks you should continue to include in your marketing strategy.  Those that only deploy the very basic techniques and then fail to continue the activity will quickly lose out to those competitors who continue with ongoing SEO.

7. Business Listings and Reviews

Taking into consideration what we know about the importance of the search appearance of a firm’s website, ensuring that other online profiles are utilised efficiently will play a key role in how a website ranks in the search engines. One of the most effective of these is your Google Business listing and reviews and appearance in other directories. Other than a direct recommendation you may receive from an existing happy client, online reviews – which are essentially the digital form of these “word of mouth.” – gives consumers/clients the ability to review the service or product they received and promote confidence in your brand. Being able to promote your services positively to potential clients is an essential marketing tool. If your law firm only has negative reviews or a poor star rating, or no reviews at all, your likelihood of encouraging the potential customer to engage with your firm would be disadvantaged.

These reviews are utilised to build trust. Requesting that your happy clients leave a review of your firm if they were satisfied with the service they received, is a worthwhile and important marketing task.  At this stage, you also get the opportunity to obtain GDPR consent to continue further marketing in the future alongside cross-selling other services.

Reviews also contribute to your website’s SEO, as Google is likely to rank those law firms with better reviews higher than those that have poor ratings.

Never underestimate the power of reviews! People are more likely to trust what other people have to say about your law firm and the services you provide, than what you have to say about yourself.

Keep your marketing strategy up to date

Ensuring you have an up to date marketing strategy that takes into consideration all the available marketing innovations will ensure your future success. At FireTap Marketing we can help you build and put in place a robust marketing strategy, reviewing your current activity and delivering a tailored solution suited to your law firm’s marketing goals.

We specialise in providing effective marketing services with tangible results to law firms of all sizes with a budget that will move you up the rankings. With years of experience in the legal industry, our team can help your law firm get found online. They are able to assist with a wide range of services including SEO, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing and PPC.