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The Definitive Guide to Law Firm Media Buying for Lawyers

Most lawyers and law firms spend a greater number of their time and resources on their legal work. However, paying attention to other aspects of running a law firm, such as marketing, is also important.

Legal marketing is essential to managing a legal firm, especially for private practitioners. It helps lawyers and law firms gain new clients and establish their authority in their location and practice area. With 34,944 law firms currently operating in Canada, your firm must stand out from the competition.

You can use several strategies to promote your law firm. One way is through media buying, which we will discuss further in this post.

Key takeaways

  • Law firm media buying is the process of procuring advertising spaces for law firms on various media channels.
  • Media buying covers traditional and digital platforms like print, radio, television, and digital media.
  • Law firms can work with media buyers to help them create effective media buying strategies and maximize their return on investment.

What is law firm media buying?

Law firm media buying involves buying advertising space to promote your law firm and legal services. You can explore several platforms for legal advertising, both online and offline. It includes buying ad space for television, radio, print, social media, etc.

Media buying doesn’t only require money. It involves several factors to ensure its success. One of these factors is creating the right assets for each advertising slot. Another factor is building the right relationships with media firms and finding suitable spaces for your ad assets.

Media buyers can secure ad space for your law firm in three main ways. These are manual bidding, direct buys, and programmatic buys.

  • Manual bidding. Advertisers usually select brands through a bidding process. Your law firm or a media buyer representing you can bid on prime advertising spots to hopefully reach your desired audience. The ad platform will then assess all bids and notify the winners.
  • Direct media buying. This term refers to the traditional advertising method where media buyers create and use direct relationships with publishers. They can negotiate and purchase advertising slots for your law firm through these relationships.
  • Programmatic buying. This type of media buying uses software to automatically bid on ad spaces that match your law firm’s target audience.

A well-planned and executed media buying strategy will bring your brand forward to your target audience and possibly attract new clients.

Benefits of Media Buying for Law Firms

Like many other advertising and marketing methods, media buying offers several benefits to lawyers that use it. However, it’s important to note that these benefits mainly apply when you have a well-crafted plan.

Reaching out to a media buyer or a media buying firm can help you maximize these advantages. Their expertise and industry connections will boost your media buying strategies.

Let’s discuss the main benefits your law firm could get when organizing a media buying campaign with a professional.

Get a higher ROI

Media buying will require your firm to shell out a chunk of its finances to secure advertising slots on your desired platform. Different ad slots on various platforms can have different implications. For example, TV commercials shown at different times will attract other numbers or types of audiences.

For this reason, a media plan is essential. Buying random ad spots could bring in some new audiences, but this approach doesn’t have a significant guarantee of success.

A professional media buyer can help you create a media plan that fits your needs and resources. They can help you identify which ad spots and platforms to prioritize to attract your desired audiences. As a result, you can gain better returns on your investment and make the most out of your media buying budget.

Secure better slots

Media buyers have a good understanding of the processes necessary to get your desired results. They know which ad slots and platforms get the most impressions and engagement. They will also consider your goals and resources when bidding on or purchasing specific ad slots.

Even when your law firm has a limited budget, they can work with your available resources to get the best ad placements possible. 

Ensure good deals

Professional media buyers know how the industry works. They have also likely built relationships and networks that help make their job easier. 

Working with a media buyer can help you cash in on these advantages. Media buyers will have the negotiating skills and relationships to ensure better deals, ad packages, and possible discounts on ideal advertising spots.

Types of Media Available to Law Firms

Media buying used to be limited to traditional channels, like radio, television, and print. However, modern technology has led to the rise of different types of media platforms that law firms can explore. 


Print media advertising uses physically printed copies to communicate your law firm’s services and offerings to prospective clients. It is one of the oldest types of media used to communicate and advertise businesses. 

Some of the most popular print media ad platforms include the following:

  • Newspapers. You can advertise your law firm in daily and weekly newspapers, whether local or national. Most newspapers have a dedicated classified ads section, though you may also bid on other prime spots depending on your budget,
  • Magazines. Consumer magazines usually cover various interests, from lifestyle magazines to fashion, health, and current events. Trade magazines like electronics, business, and finance publications can be more specific. Like newspapers, you can place ads in the classified ads section or opt for a full-page ad.
  • Outdoor advertising. You can also take your printed ads outdoors. These print ads are often larger than regular prints and are more eye-catching. Outdoor print advertising examples include billboards, bus wraps, and posters.
  • Flyers. Flyers are small pieces of printed material that introduce your brand or invite people to an event. They are typically handed out in public places or mailed directly to target recipients.
  • Direct mail. Your firm can also compile a list of target prospects and send them advertisements in the mail. The packet can include brochures, postcards, letters, and flyers.


Radio is an effective platform for law firm advertising. You can place ads on local, regional, and national radio stations. Satellite and syndicated radio are also good options.

Despite radio seeming like an older form of mass communication, it still enjoys a good number of active listeners to this day. 

Toronto radio stations alone had over 5.86 million listeners in the fall of 2021. Nearly three-fourths (72.46 percent) of Canadian radio listeners also listened to the radio conventionally using AM and FM receivers.

Law firms can use the radio to target particular audiences and locations. Radio stations are excellent platforms for building relationships and attracting clients from your local geographic area.

Radio advertising will require you to produce audio assets that the station can play on their commercial breaks.


Despite the growing popularity of streaming services, televisions are still a fixture in many homes. It also remains an effective advertising platform to help your law firm reach your target audience.

You can buy ads on local TV stations, cable TV, or broadcast TV. Like radio, you can target specific location demographics, especially when it comes to local TV stations. Your firm can also go broader and reach national and international audiences, depending on your budget and goals.

Like radio, television advertising will require the production of video or visual assets that TV stations can play on their breaks.

Digital media

The internet’s development and widespread application have led to new advertising platforms for law firms and other brands. Digital ads can take several forms, including:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads. With PPC ads, you pay for every click your advertisement gets. This advertising model is common on search engines like Google, websites, and social media platforms. 
  • Banner ads. These wide, rectangular ads appear on the top, middle, side, or bottom of a host’s web page. It’s essential to create the right visuals and craft a compelling call-to-action to increase the effectiveness of your banner ads.
  • Video ads. These ads appear before, during, or after the main video on the host site. It’s best to keep these videos short and to the point to maximize their effectiveness and minimize skips.
  • Email campaigns. Most internet users use email to communicate. Email can also be an effective marketing and advertising tool to reach potential clients directly.
  • Social media ads. Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook allow brands to host paid ads. These platforms also enable precise targeting and access to insights and analytics.

End to End Solutions for
Law Firms

Grey Smoke Media is North America’s only full-service legal marketing firm, offering:

Media Buying

radio, tv, Out of Home

Digital Marketing

with a heavy focus on SEO

Content Production

Reputation Management

Management Consulting

We elevate law firms to the highest echelon through a multi-pronged, unified approach.
Jordan Power

How the Media Buying and Planning Process Works

Different law firms or media buyers can have varying buying processes depending on their situation. However, most media buys often follow the steps below. Each step contributes to the overall strategy, which is necessary to maximize the benefits of media buying.

1. Know your target audience

Any media, marketing, or advertising strategy always begins with knowing one’s audience. This step is essential to understanding your market. Some important data points are age, location, gender, interests, and income.

Knowing your audience can help you identify the platforms and schedules for ad slots that would work best for them. This step also enables you to craft effective messaging and brand assets that resonate with your audience, increasing your conversion rates.

2. Study your competitors

Aside from knowing your audience, studying your competitors is also a good idea. Likely, many of your fellow lawyers and law firms are also taking steps to promote their services. 

Look at the platforms and advertising strategies they employ. What are they doing right? How successful are their ad campaigns? 

Whether good or bad, understanding your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can only help you. Observing their media buying practices allows you to gain significant insights to apply to your strategy and surpass your competitors.

3. Set your media buying strategy

This phase entails identifying the steps you need to take to achieve your advertising goals. Use the knowledge and insights you acquired in the previous steps to craft your strategy.

First, identify your goals. What do you plan to achieve with this particular advertising campaign? Do you want to gain more clients? Are you after building brand awareness and recognition? Set measurable goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide your strategy.

Next, you must decide which advertising channels would best connect with your target audience. Your audience demographics and client profiles can help in this step.

Let’s say you want to target older audiences in your province or state. You’d want to buy ad slots from TV or radio stations in your area. It would also help to understand their schedules or the programs that interest them.

Next is creating your firm’s branding and messaging. Established firms usually already have logos and other visual assets they can use for marketing and ad campaigns. You can brainstorm with your marketing team to decide how you want to package your brand to achieve your advertising goals.

4. Plan the campaign

After you’ve settled on the ad platforms you want to use, you can plan the logistics of your campaign’s execution. This step includes budgeting, scheduling, and production.

Depending on your chosen platforms, this step can also be quite resource-intensive. You may need to work with professional production teams if your budget permits. However, you could also handle production yourself with an in-house creative team.

5. Execute the campaign

Once everything is ready, it’s time to execute your campaign. Work closely with your media buyer and check in with them frequently. The media buyer should ensure that all ads appear as planned on your desired channels according to the proper schedule.

Campaign execution will also include collecting insights from each ad platform you use. These metrics can consist of impressions, engagements, clicks, and views.

6. Adjust and optimize

After collecting data from each ad, it’s time to analyze them. Have you achieved the goals you set out? Are your campaigns and messaging working? You can use this information to tweak future ad campaigns and media buys.

Some platforms also allow you to change your assets as needed. Media buying does not just end with launching your ad. It’s also important to adjust accordingly depending on the situation.

Media Buying Best Practices for Lawyers

Media buying and advertising are decades-old practices that have evolved significantly over the years and across different industries. Here are some tips and best practices your law firm can use to improve its media buying strategies further.


Research all aspects of the media buying process, including your audience, competitors, ad placements, peak times, pricing, and other factors. Knowing as much as possible about these ad placements can only benefit your media buying strategies.

If your firm has the resources, it’s also ideal to maintain a dedicated marketing and advertising team to focus on this task.

Stick to a budget

Buying ad space can be expensive, depending on your chosen ad platform. Prices can be exceptionally high for channels and media with a broader reach. 

Allocate resources strategically to make sure you don’t go over budget. You must also prepare for unexpected expenses. Proper research and planning can help a relatively modest budget go a long way.

Protect your brand

While advertising has many benefits, it also presents some risks. Placing your brand on an advertising platform also means it will appear alongside other types of content from various sources. 

Sometimes, these other pieces of content can be inconsequential. However, they can also affect people’s perception of your brand at other times. For example, you may become indirectly associated with other parties you deem undesirable.

Work with a trustworthy media buyer to protect your brand’s reputation when advertising. They can help you assess each ad platform and determine whether it would fit your law firm well.

Ensure cohesion

If you are marketing or advertising on multiple platforms, make sure your messaging is consistent across all of them. This technique will ensure that your audience experiences a cohesive message and journey instead of disjointed statements.

You can do this by setting aside time in the planning stage to craft your brand’s messaging for a particular ad campaign. 

Track performance

Like in the research stage, knowing as much as possible about your ads’ performance can lead to significant insights. Metrics and analytics can help you understand your campaigns’ performance and inform future decisions.

These benefits present themselves the most in digital campaigns. Most digital ad platforms allow you to change course in the middle of your ad or marketing campaign’s run.

Pro Tip

When buying for digital channels, consider using retargeting tactics. Retargeting allows you to reach individuals who may already have visited your channels or contacted your firm. When done well, this strategy could lead to more conversions.

Amplify Your Law Firm Marketing Strategies With Grey Smoke Media

Media buying can be a complex process, as it involves a lot of prior research to ensure good returns on investment. Many legal professionals could benefit from working with a marketing firm or advertising agency to help craft a compelling media buying strategy.

Grey Smoke Media has the experience and connections to help your law firm get prime advertising slots at discounted prices. Our team also offers relevant marketing and advertising advice to give you an edge against competitors.

Contact Grey Smoke Media today to craft an effective media buying strategy and reach new clients.

FAQs on Media Buying for Lawyers

No, it is not unethical to advertise as a lawyer. However, you should always be mindful of your ad content and adhere to your province’s or state’s code of ethics. Misleading advertising and direct solicitation are often frowned upon in legal circles.

Media buying is part of media planning. Media planning includes creating the strategy behind the media purchase. On the other hand, media buying focuses on advertising channels and making cost-effective budget allocations for them.

Yes. For digital channels, you can automate the process through programmatic media buying. This type of media buying uses software to display ads to target users at the right time, according to a specific budget.

Our Results

Grey Smoke
Media grew an
injury firm

from less than
30 employees

to over
350 employees

Tripled a divorce
firm’s traffic in just

11 months

3 xgrowth

Our agency has
handled international

for over
$3 billion in class action lawsuits.

Our agency has
negotiated legal ad

with over
100different publishers across North America.

Grey Smoke Media has
negotiated brand
partnerships between law
firms and major sporting franchises such as

Our founders
have provided
to over

television and radio
stations, podcasts, and
newspapers globally.

They have given speeches
on digital marketing to over

“Legal marketing powerhouse”

“highly sought-after”

“Marketing tactics of the
elite class”

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