In the changing UK legal landscape (think ABS) and with the majority of people looking for law services beginning their journey online, word-of-mouth referrals could soon be eclipsed by inbound marketing as a digitally focused strategy for winning new business. A holistic approach to your online activities and using the combined brain power of your team (say goodbye to silos!) will give you better web visitor, social reach, prospect engagement and client retainer rates.

With this in mind here are five tips for legal practices to increase online engagement and win new clients:

1. Devise an integrated inbound online marketing strategy

Typically, firms who fail to reap the full benefits of digital marketing have one thing in common: a piecemeal approach to online communication. While many firms blog, tweet and use Facebook, they do so without the support of a lynchpin strategy, well-defined online campaigns and clear conversion goals.

Law firms, on the other hand, that have adopted an integrated online marketing strategy with clear targets in mind, have reaped some impressive results by focusing on the following objectives:

• Getting found online by optimising their web presence

• Attracting prospective clients through quality content

• Learning more about their prospective clients by creating landing pages and call-to-action buttons

• Winning clients through consistently providing quality, industry leading content, and demonstrating their expertise.

Lowman Law Firm, a personal injury firm located in Brooksvile, FL, has seen a 13X increase in website traffic and an impressive growth in social media reach and traffic since adopting an inbound marketing strategy, according to BluLeadz Inbound Marketing.

2. Think like a publisher

You don’t have to call yourself a publisher to think like one. In order to capture prospective clients in the sea of online users, you need to create truly outstanding content that differentiates you from the competition, draws the right people in and keeps your existing audience coming back for more.

Try to attract a community of loyal followers who appreciate your content and value your advice by creating a range of content, such as:

• Blogs

• Podcasts

• Videos

• Photos

• Presentations

• eBooks

• White Papers

• Infographics

• Webinars

Being context sensitive, providing a balanced content diet exactly when and where your audience needs it and having a web analytics process in place, which feeds user intelligence to the marketing team, will ensure you get enough data to produce the right content.

3. Optimise and share all content

You may have the most outstanding blog but what is it worth if no one can find it? You want to get your name out there by attracting backlinks and thus, earning authority.

While it is critical to optimise your on-page content, such as page title, URL, headers and description, your web visibility will most likely be affected by social signals such as retweets, Facebook “likes”, +1s, and off-page recommendations in the form of inbound links.

With its latest search algorithm update, Google has now increased its reliance on third-party endorsement and social sharing as ranking signals so if you want to improve your web visibility, you need to focus on producing top-notch content that people are likely to share.

Content doesn’t exist unless it’s distributed so make blogging, tweeting and social media interaction part of your company’s monthly schedule. Publishing regular blog posts is an excellent way of adding value to your website, while the creation of new landing pages increases your chances of getting found via the search engines.

4. Monitor your performance

You are not, of course, planning, creating, optimising and distributing content just for the fun of it! To see whether your inbound marketing activities are effective, you need to gauge your performance across agreed parameters and ultimately evaluate the impact on the bottom line. Establishing the return on investment (ROI) of your online marketing efforts should be a top priority.

A great way to streamline and automate otherwise disjointed marketing tasks is by deploying marketing software which will integrate a range of online tasks, save you a ton of time and provide you with real-time data to evaluate your online performance.

Featuring tools to help you get found, nurture and drive conversion of prospective clients, an integrated marketing platform, such as HubSpot’s all-in-one dashboard, makes digital marketing a whole lot easier while allowing you to evaluate your performance in terms of conversion: user traffic, prospects and clients won.

5. Encourage internal collaboration between marketing and business development to optimise performance

Exactly how many prospects become clients? Here’s where it is important for marketing and business development to work together, monitoring and measuring all inbound marketing activities and comparing results over time.

Analysing marketing campaign results will help you pinpoint the type of campaigns that deliver the best results and those you need to modify, or discard altogether, making for a more predictable business development approach in the future.

Image: Creative Commons