With COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing significantly boosting people’s computer and phone usage, the online world has seen a spike in activity. For businesses, this surge in digital popularity presents both an opportunity and a challenge. On one hand, it’s now easier than ever to find your target market, yet, how can you break through the digital clutter and ensure your message reaches your intended audience?
As many industries begin shifting their digital strategies and pivoting their ad spend in order to adapt to this new reality, marketing technology innovators are responding with a plethora of accessible, affordable and easy-to-use marketing tools to help companies reach their target markets during these times.
What are these tool trends and how can they benefit law firms? Here are three of the top options for starters:
Marketing automation platforms
Marketing automation relies on technology to streamline marketing efforts of multifunctional campaigns. It uses a single source to manage all digital marketing channels, including social media, e-mail automation, mobile messaging, Google ads and other paid advertising channels.
Marketing automation platforms — which are well worth their salt — include robust data analytics from all marketing sources and provide insights and opportunities for lawyers to strategically market to prospects. You can even control what content is displayed to a user based on criteria you define.
For example, if a user has a first touchpoint with your firm through a Google search campaign and lands on a blog page or unique landing page about a particular service you offer (both which can be built through your automation platform), but did not convert into a lead on the first visit, you can now remarket to that user with a personalized, customized ad or e-mail about the area of practice they first clicked on.
COVID-19 has altered user behaviour and there is now a sense of urgency and immediacy among online users who want information in as few clicks as possible. Users are more likely to book with a law firm that is readily available to support them rather than wait for a lawyer who has been referred through word of mouth. Cost is also more of a decision-making factor these days due to the economic impact of COVID-19. As a result, law firms need to ensure that their ad copy and landing pages address each of these factors by offering click to call buttons to speak directly with a firm representative, aiming for highly specific practice area landing pages and, if price is one of your selling points, including it directly on the landing page.
Other marketing tools that will streamline expeditious client contact include built-in CRMs (customer relationship management), meeting tools that integrate directly to Gmail, Outlook, and other calendars and automated e-mail campaigns for users who have already visited a certain practice area page on your site. Many automated platforms are available that are worthwhile investments if you’re serious about taking your firm’s marketing to the next level.
Next generation SEO with rich snippets
Even if your website is meeting all of Google’s SEO best practices and your meta data has been optimized on-site, this still represents only a drop in the bucket of optimization options available. There are a number of current, up-to-date next gen SEO strategies you can implement that will significantly improve search visibility, and “rich snippets” is one of the most profitable in terms of SEO optimization.
Rich snippets are those enhanced search results with valuable information, presented when you pose a question in a Google search. The ensuing result appears as a concise answer or content summary in the search results, list of steps or table, video, carousel (a row of images that are shown at the same time and can be clicked through) or accordion (list view results with dropdown arrows), with no need to click through to a website. By providing this pertinent content in the form of a rich snippet, your search result will be moved to the first position.
According to search marketing tool AHREFS.com, “rich snippets help make your webpages look more enticing in the search results. That first snippet is arguably the most enticing … it establishes trust and entices the click by having the most reviews …”
Potential clients will appreciate being able to find their answers with fewer clicks, gain trust in the answers provided in your rich snippet and have a higher likelihood of converting to clients due to your search results, rather than those of your competitors.
What are your chances of “winning” rich snippets for your firm’s website? While it’s not a shoo-in, there are methods to enhance your chances of securing a top spot. By working with pieces of content that rank as high as possible on page one — which can be assessed using tools such as Keyword Explorer or SemRush — the more relevant the result will be and the better the chance that the URL will be snippet worthy. There may not be much of a difference in a search result that appears in the third versus fourth place on Google for a given query, but if it appears in first place as a rich snippet, you’ll be rewarded with a surge in organic traffic.
Personalization through chatbots
Chatbots are everywhere — on websites, landing pages, social media and messaging platforms — and for good reason. They simulate natural conversations in simple English through pre-planned exchanges and can help to reduce customer service staff. Chatbots work 24/7 to help identify users’ needs and provide customized answers, while driving visitors to the practice area pages that are most helpful to them — ultimately increasing lead conversions.
You can “chat” with a user in real time, collect their contact information and offer them a call back directly from a lawyer. A chatbot identifies conversations based on keywords, classifying them in a query and providing corresponding responses, or uses natural language processing (NLP) and context to analyze and identify the intent of visitor conversations.
One of the latest chatbot tools is Landbot.io, which requires little programming and is relatively easy to set up.
Adopting these three 2020 marketing trends will help your firm adapt to a new age of customer experience and stay competitive by providing your website visitors with accurate information, dispensed quickly in the ways they want to consume it.
Fran Jakubowicz is the CEO of SunHouse Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency. A digital lead generation expert, Jakubowicz and her team have generated hundreds of thousands of leads and millions of dollars in sales for their clients across multiple sectors, including law, tech, health, pharmaceutical, finance, education, non-profit and e-commerce.