Drafting a Marketing Plan for Your Personal Injury Law Firm Drafting a Marketing Plan for Your Personal Injury Law Firm
In 1985, 14 lawyers organized a secret rendezvous at the St Francis Hotel in New York. From that day on, they called themselves the National Association of Law Firm Marketing Administrators (NALFMA). Even though almost a decade had passed since the legalization of legal marketing, it was still a radical idea shrouded in mystery.
Today, NALFMA (now known as the Legal Marketing Association) has thousands of members across the US, Canada, and Europe. The LMA has helped countless law firms expand their client bases through traditional and digital marketing. This article discusses how a personal injury law firm can use a marketing plan to build a brand and draw in new clients.
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Marketing as an Essential Function of the Legal Sector Marketing as an Essential Function of the Legal Sector
According to the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Survey for 2022, 30% of legal practitioners say marketing is more important to them now than it was a year ago. However, 43% of firms still don’t have a designated marketing budget–a vast market gap for smaller practices.
The benefits of implementing a legal marketing strategy make it well worth the investment. One significant advantage is that personal injury attorneys can establish themselves as trustworthy, transparent professionals worthy of referral.
An Attorney’s Step-by-Step Guide to Establishing a Marketing Plan
1. Map Out a Target Audience 1. Map Out a Target Audience
A successful legal marketing plan starts with a thorough audience analysis. It entails identifying and profiling the people who will get the most value from your personal injury law firm. In your marketing plan, you may want to classify and split your audience into buyer personas to help craft targeted messaging for each group.
The best way to start designing design client personas is to consider the cases you generally handle. Personal injury is diverse, so aim to be as specific and descriptive as possible. For example, you might target construction site injuries if you’re based in a growing suburb of new developments.
Once you have identified the cases you want to target, consider the demographics of the people most likely to be involved in such cases. Age, race, economic background, education level, popular interests, and hobbies–anything that can help you understand your audience.
Knowing who you are marketing to will help you run better ad campaigns that meet people’s needs. It can also help you choose advertising channels that see the most traffic from your target clientele, for example, social media vs radio.
2. Set Clear Marketing Goals for Your Firm 2. Set Clear Marketing Goals for Your Firm
A marketing plan for a personal injury law firm should be industry and company-specific. For example, it will differ significantly from an eCommerce business because it’s designed around different goals. Before any lawyer can start advertising their legal services, they must define why they are doing it and what they hope to achieve.
Bringing in new clients should go without saying, so try to break down your goals into more specific objectives. For example, you might want to gather five online reviews by the end of the quarter or carve into your competitor’s market share by 2%.
Not every goal needs to focus on client acquisition. Sometimes, educating potential clients on personal injury laws or getting more people to recognize your firm’s name is enough. Marketing to an audience that does not need your services yet means you may be the first or only firm that comes to mind in the unfortunate event of an accident.
3. Decide Whether You Want to Pursue Traditional Marketing Channels 3. Decide Whether You Want to Pursue Traditional Marketing Channels
Out-of-Home Advertising (OOH/Outdoor)
Billboards, buses, public furniture, airports, and stadiums are tried and tested marketing channels for getting law firms in front of a vastly diverse audience. Although some may reject this approach due to its catch-all nature, many of the most successful personal injury attorneys employ it fervently. The only drawback of outdoor advertising is its price. Ensure your marketing budget is generous before taking this route.
TV and Radio Commercials
Personal injury lawyers use TV commercials so frequently that it has almost become an industry standard. Adding a broadcasted infomercial to your marketing strategy may be worth the investment if you can stand out in a fiercely competitive space. It may also be worth noting that TV viewership is slowly declining in the US. A 2023 Nielsen report1 found that broadcast and cable television account for less than half of Americans’ TV viewing time. In fact, 82% of TV watchers2 say streaming is more entertaining than cable, which typically does not have commercial breaks.
Printed Marketing Materials
In the past, almost every personal injury law firm had a marketing plan centered around printed ads. Although digital largely governs the advertising space today, print may still have a place in legal services promotion. You might consider providing printed brochures, for example, at hospitals or police stations. Printed resources are generally relatively inexpensive and practical for reaching local communities.
About the Blog Author
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4. Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy 4. Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy
Paid Search Ads
In 2022, the American Bar Association reported that only about 4% of law firms used PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. That leaves a wide window of opportunity for most personal injury firms. One of the most popular PPC channels is Google Ads, a relatively cost-efficient way of directing people to your firm’s website.
You might also want to consider local service ads if you have the budget for paid online advertising. These display a summary of your firm, what legal services you offer, and your contact details when someone searches for a personal injury lawyer in your area. Local service ads are ideal if you have positive client ratings you’d like to display.
Content marketing is about sharing your knowledge and experience with your clients and potential clients without expressly selling your services. Legal blog posts, for instance, can help you educate people on the latest legal requirements in their state. Content marketing can unfold via your website, social media accounts, or email newsletters and can help attorneys establish themselves as valuable and authentic industry guides.
Legal Marketing on Social Media
Advertising your legal services on social media is free. However, you can also use paid social media ads. When it comes to choosing a platform, LinkedIn outperforms the rest in the legal industry, according to the ABA. Its study revealed that 89% of small and 95% of large firms are on LinkedIn for advertising purposes.
However, don’t discredit Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for your personal injury law firm. For example, a marketing plan that targets individuals in hospitals may be best carried out across entertainment apps that people enjoy while idle.
Optimizing Your Law Firm’s Website With SEO
SEO involves upgrading your website to make it easier for people to find during Google searches. Typically, that includes conducting keyword research and spattering your content with relevant search terms, such as “personal injury lawyer (insert your city here).” SEO might also involve optimizing your website for mobile.
According to the ABA study, 77% of law firms use mobile-friendly websites. As smartphone ownership rises, that number will increase. Allowing potential clients to find your legal services on mobile is vital to future-proofing your firm.
Unlike many other practice areas, personal injury law often sees one-off clients. However, you can still use email marketing to connect with people you have helped in the past. Sending targeted, personalized emails to previous clients based on their specific cases ensures they see value in the correspondence and choose to remain on your mailing list. Nurturing relationships is crucial to obtaining referrals in the legal space.
With so many personal injury attorneys, many rely on legal directories like FindLaw, Avvo, and Justia. Listing your practice on one or all these platforms should be central to your overall marketing plan. A personal injury law firm can also benefit from the credibility legal directories provide. Potential clients may even perceive your firm as more reliable and trustworthy if they discover it through a reputable third-party source.
ASK US HOW WE SCALED A LAW FIRM TO THE LARGEST IN THE NATION (BY VOLUME) IN JUST THREE YEARS
5. Round Out Your Legal Marketing Strategy With Networking and PR 5. Round Out Your Legal Marketing Strategy With Networking and PR
Industry Conferences and Gatherings
Virtual and in-person legal conferences are perfect for meeting other lawyers in different practice areas. Networking helps you gain exposure for your firm and foster friendly relationships with your peers. It can also help you get referrals from attorneys who require professional insight on cases involving personal injury.
Securing a speaking slot at such an event may be even more impactful, as it establishes your firm as a reliable industry authority.
Sponsoring Community Events
You can add an element of authenticity to your personal injury law firm with a marketing plan that includes sponsorships and donations. This strategy is so effective that 44% of American Bar Association members use it to market their practices.3 Working with accident victims, raising awareness about workplace safety, or partnering with local disability charities are all relevant PR opportunities for personal injury firms.
Client Reviews and Referrals
Referrals fuel the legal industry, and running a marketing campaign dedicated to collecting them is well worth the effort. Incentivizing referrals and online reviews can help personal injury practices find potential clients while rewarding their previous clients for their trust. Ways to incentivize legal referrals include sending personalized gifts, donating to a client’s chosen charity, and publicly thanking referrers on your website or social media.
6. Track Your Marketing Plan’s Performance 6. Track Your Marketing Plan’s Performance
After selecting the channels you want to focus your marketing efforts on, you can launch and, more importantly, track your campaign.
Monitoring the performance of each advert and optimized web page will help you understand which approaches are resonating with your audience the most. It can also reveal opportunities to review and adjust your marketing plan. Your personal injury law firm should be tracking the following metrics:
- Website traffic
- Total ad spend vs return on investment
- Conversion rate (the number of leads that become paying clients)
- Performance of social media posts and online content (measured in likes, shares, etc)
Digital marketing tools like email- and call-tracking software can help you connect leads with specific ad campaigns. Personal injury attorneys may also benefit from working with a third-party legal marketing agency specializing in analytics and reporting.
Legal marketing is quickly becoming a critical business function for a personal injury law firm. A marketing plan that targets specific goals and audiences through multiple digital and traditional channels is the best way to expand your practice’s reach. Designing a robust strategy that includes in-person promotional events and informational free content can help you simultaneously attract clients and build credibility.
For best results, many established personal injury practices partner with an experienced legal marketing team, such as Grey Smoke Media. Book a complimentary meeting with our marketing advisors for additional information.
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