The term "inbound marketing" refers to a methodology of (mostly online) data-driven marketing activities that bring visitors into your website & business. Often this includes combining search engine optimization ("SEO"), quality content, and customer relations to generate leads. The goal of inbound marketing is to position your firm as a credible and reliable option that potential clients will immediately think of when they find themselves in the position of needing your services.
Inbound marketing tactics tend to focus on long-term results. This strategy accounts for consumer behavior in that it recognizes the value of cultivating long-term contacts which will eventually prove to be profitable for the firm.
Given that 96% of a firm's potential clients will use a search engine, and 74% of them will visit the firm's website prior to contact, it makes sense to utilize inbound marketing strategies to help establish the firm as a competent and quality provider of legal services.
Simply put, inbound marketing works. There are three main reasons for this:
- The lifetime value of a single lead;
- It correlates to online consumer behavior; and
- It helps establish a relationship with potential clients—a relationship which often reaps benefits for the firm down the road.
1. The Lifetime Value of a Lead.
Inbound marketing tends to provide the greatest benefit in situations where a single lead has a high value. In contrast to an industry where each lead will only lead to a sale of a few dollars, in the legal industry, a single lead can be worth several thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the relationship.
This is particularly true in light of the fact that many clients will return to the same law firm for future needs as their life circumstances change.
Inbound marketing cultivates a relationship with potential clients with an eye towards the long-term benefits thereof. While it does not always translate to immediate sales, the strategy generally pays off in the long run.
2. Inbound Marketing Fits Online Consumer Behavior.
Today's consumer shops and consumes content differently than 20 years ago.
More than 4 out of 5 consumers will spend time online researching a product or service before they commit to a purchase. What's more, rather than being loyal to a single content provider, nearly 2 out of 3 smartphone users engage in searches to find the most relevant information regardless of who the content provider is.
This consumer behavior presents today's law firms with a unique opportunity to revolutionize the way they engage with potential clients.
By posting content the is timely, informative, and—most importantly—relevant, a law firm can ensure that the online consumer will be drawn to that firm's page. And, once the firm has established itself as the "go to" place for information in its practice area, consumers will habitually turn to that firm when issues come up in their lives.
3. Inbound Marketing Allows Firms to Create Profitable Relationships with Consumers.
By establishing itself as an authority on a given topic, a law firm can then cultivate long-term relationships with its potential clients.
This can be done through the creation of and frequent addition to an online blog in the firm's area of expertise, providing timely and relevant information that consumers will use, and actively working with SEO in order to steer Internet traffic to the law firm's website.
All of this means that inbound marketing is an excellent way for today's law firm to establish a long-term and profitable relationship with consumers. As such, it should be viewed not as a quick fix, although it can sometimes bring in immediate results. Rather, law firms should treat inbound marketing as a part of their ongoing client development operations. By doing so, they will see their profits rise as their client base continues to expand.
Do you have questions about the inbound marketing strategy your firm should be pursuing? Feel free to contact us.
About the Author
Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.
Ashley Quintana is the co-founder and managing partner at Bridges Strategies. A graduate of Oklahoma State University's media management master's program, Ashley co-founded Bridges Strategies with a $10,000 investment. Two years later, the bootstrapped company grossed almost one million dollars and grew to a team of eight. In her role, she develops, leads and executes digital marketing strategies for the company's growing client base.