Navigating the Digital Wave: 5 Crucial Marketing Trends for Law Firms in 2024

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What are the five crucial digital marketing trends for your high street law firm to be aware of in 2024?

We asked our team of six digital marketing experts here at QualitySolicitors, what should a law firm look out for this year, to help them with their marketing and to generate leads? Here’s what the team came up with – content, video, email, word of mouth and digital adverts.

Number 1 – keep your content coming.

Content, content, content.  

Content is important in all aspects of the client journey. Helping them understand what type of legal help that they need and helping them understand – and trust – that you’re the law firm to help them with what they need.

Content can take many forms. Blogs, PDF guides, e-books.

But also, video and podcasts are also types of content, and now it can be produced, relatively cheaply, to say 3 or 4 years ago.

There is a caveat with content in 2024. And that is AI.

The widespread use of ChatGPT and AI writing will mean that lots of law firms will be able to increase their output of AI-generated written content, which means that those firms that keep focussing on high quality content will stand out in the sea of AI-generated vanilla.

Number 2 – let your client see your face(s).

Short-form video content is quickly becoming a go to marketing strategy across many professional services sectors. Not only does it take less bandwidth to create a short-form video, but this type of format aligns well with the fast-paced attention spans of online audiences in a variety of demographics.

For law firms, it might involve staff members discussing how they assist clients or sharing success stories from recent months.

Covid brought about a change in both the consumer and business relationship to video – in that it doesn’t need to be polished – studio-edited – video anymore. All of us are used to seeing people, in their natural environment, not staged, but natural which means that video can now be produced, cheapy with the basic of equipment. It’s about the natural message.

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Number 3 – make your email campaigns count.

Many law firms use email marketing to communicate with potential clients, some have newsletters, others might buy an email list (especially if you target small SME commercial work).

In February, the rules around email marketing got a little tighter which means that anyone using email needs to keep on their toes and get sharp on their implementation. It means that it will be harder to get your emails seen by potential clients.

The rules came from Google and Yahoo – you must authenticate your emails, allow people to unsubscribe easily and keep your spam complaints at bay. Sounds scary. But all it means is that firms must try harder to adhere to best practice and stay out of the spam folder (where your emails will not get seen).

Again, this is all about content and your relevance to why you are sending the email.  

Number 4 – digital word of mouth.

How and what your clients say about you to their friends and what they share in the digital world is more important than ever.

Online client reviews are essential to a law firm’s performance, and this has never been truer with the widespread usage of Google and the legal consumer review sites.

Online reviews are crucial for generating social proof, boosting conversions, and giving clients assurance about the quality of the service they will receive.

And reviews are not limited to what clients proactively write online, but what they tell their friends and family, and how they can proactively ‘tell and sell’ your firm to those people around them. In marketing this can be called influencer marketing, think of it like an Avon, Body Shop or Tupperware party – where people influence each other’s purchase decision. How people influence other people’s decisions through their own experience.

Number 5 – digital advertising

Many law firms have been scarred away from spending money on digital advertising, however, given that many legal clients seek immediate assistance, legal services are often considered a “distress purchase,” making platforms like Google Ads and other pay-per-click (PPC) options highly beneficial.

Management fees and lack of knowledge are the two main reasons that the legal sector has been relatively hesitant compared to other sectors in adopting online advertising and enhancing online visibility.

The use of digital advertising will gain more traction in 2024 as more law firms look to capture leads quicker and more effectively, whilst building their own knowledge and collecting data to make better decisions.

AI. This isn’t AI, like the Terminator AI – taking your job – this is AI helping with research and managing tasks. An example would be, a firm using AI to analyse all digital ad spend, cross referenced with their case management system data. This level of insight would enable them to get better at their ad campaigns, and ultimately win more business. It’s the classic co-pilot effort of AI. AI is helping the more progressive law firms get better and quicker with their overall marketing efforts.

Official figures released last week (February 2024) revealed that the UK economy experienced a downturn toward the end of 2023. However, the Bank of England’s governor has suggested that the recession might have already concluded, noting “distinct signs of an upturn.” Andrew Bailey, speaking to MPs in February, highlighted that compared to historical standards, this recession is notably mild. In times of economic strain, law firms must enhance their operational efficiency, particularly in marketing efforts, to attract clients within a contracting market where competition for attention intensifies. It’s evident that economic resilience is slowly returning and in this dynamic environment, law firms that navigate these digital marketing trends with agility, embracing technological advancements (inc AI) and prioritising client experience, are poised for success in 2024 and beyond.

Conclusion

In the swiftly evolving realm of digital marketing, law firms face a landscape ripe with opportunities and challenges. As we navigate the complexities of 2024 and beyond, it’s evident that adaptation and innovation are key. By embracing trends like content marketing, short-form video, and digital advertising, alongside the transformative potential of AI, firms can position themselves for success in a competitive marketplace. Moreover, as economic indicators hint at a gradual recovery, prioritizing client experience and operational efficiency remains paramount. In this dynamic environment, law firms that embrace technological advancements and harness the power of digital platforms are poised to thrive, charting a course towards sustained growth and relevance in the digital age.

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