The landscape for legal marketing is constantly evolving. And the past year has only added to the rapid shift toward digital marketing efforts across all legal practice areas. Because of this continuous shift in the marketplace, it’s essential to stay up to date with the most recent trends and strategies.
To that end, here are eight law firm marketing statistics that are indicative of where the industry stands and where it’s going.
#1 Event Sponsorship Was the Leading Marketing Channel Pre-COVID
According to the American Bar Association, prior to COVID-19, event sponsorship was a major element to legal marketing strategies and the number one channel across all firm sizes. In fact, 48% of all respondents utilized in-person events to drive client acquisition.1
This was followed by:
- LinkedIn (42%)
- Email (41%)
- Facebook (33%)
- Print (21%)
The pandemic put an end to large gatherings, effectively crippling an entire marketing channel. In response, many marketers pivoted toward digital marketing strategies. As a result, LinkedIn, Email, Facebook, Twitter, and legal listing sites all surpassed event sponsorship and print.
As of now, there’s no way to tell whether event sponsorship will reclaim its top spot as the most popular marketing channel, but it seems unlikely. Going forward, most analysts expect the focus to remain on digital strategies, which have a better ROI and the ability to reach far more people.
#2 More Than One-Third of People (37%) Begin Their Hunt for a Lawyer Online
As of 2017, more than one-third of people looking for a lawyer started their search by Googling it. And even the vast majority of people who first sought referrals from friends and family later followed suit. Once they had a name in mind, they then visited their website to find out more.
What does this tell us? It demonstrates the importance of two things:
- Ranking highly on SERPs plays a massive role in conversions
- Having a professional-looking website that speaks to your target client matters
By conducting a legal marketing strategy that includes both PPC campaigns and focusing on site-wide search engine optimization (SEO), you can rank higher and ensure that the prospective clients in your area looking for your services see you first.
#3 Practically Everyone Looks for Legal Advice Online
Here’s a follow-up law firm stat: 96% of all people start looking for legal advice online.3 This statistic should get you excited. It represents an opportunity to become an authority in your space.
How do you do this? There are a few digital marketing strategies you can employ, including:
- Regularly write blog content that addresses common legal questions, topics, and relevant matters to your legal specialty and your client’s needs.
- Include a fully-fleshed FAQ on your firm’s website and regularly update it.
- Write white papers and eBooks.
- Share relevant content (both internal and external) on social media.
- Create and post legal videos and explainers.
By doing this consistently, you can establish yourself as an expert. Over time, people will start to automatically turn to you for legal advice or seek your services.
#4 Mobile Matters
More than half of all internet searches are conducted on a mobile device or tablet. And this number has consistently hovered around the 50% mark for more than five years.4
But why does that number matter for legal marketing?
Put simply, if your website is not mobile-responsive—i.e., built to be easily read and navigated on a mobile device or tablet—you will disincentivize one out of every two people seeking your services. On top of that, you won’t do yourself any favors from an SEO perspective, considering that Google’s algorithm prioritizes mobile-friendly websites.
Surprisingly, according to the ABA survey, 6% of legal firms said that their site was not mobile-friendly, with another 26% saying they weren’t sure.1
Today, having an outdated website can be detrimental to getting new business. Especially when the vast majority of your marketing efforts will run through your website.
Even if you’re a solo practitioner on a limited budget, there are cheap and easy web builders that you can use to revamp your site and create a better experience for mobile users.
#5 35% of All Attorneys Have Gained a Client Through Social Media
And this number is growing every year. That’s because social media is one of the most influential and cost-effective marketing channels at your disposal. In reality, this number seems lower than it should be, which is most likely due to legal firms failing to take full advantage of all that social media offers as a marketing tool.
Remember, not all channels provide the same value. While Instagram is a wildly successful marketing channel for retailers, it’s not nearly as useful for legal firms.
So, what channels should you pursue? We recommend focusing on the following:
These channels give you a way to inform and engage with your target audience while positioning yourself as an expert. Whether it’s LinkedIn or Facebook, social media allows you to interact with an audience while posting high-quality content, including:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Success stories
#6 Only 24% of Firms Use Video as a Part of Their Marketing1
Like social media, far too many legal firms are underutilizing the power of video for digital marketing.
But this represents an opportunity to distinguish your legal firm from others. By regularly producing high-quality video content, you can establish your voice in a high-value, low-competition channel. According to a CISCO report, by the end of 2021, more than 80% of internet traffic will be video-driven.5
YouTube and Facebook are the ideal social media platform you can use to regularly post video marketing content to your followers. And what types of videos should you be posting?
While it depends on your specialty and clientele, generally speaking, consider creating the following types of video content:
- Educational videos that answer specific questions asked by clients
- Branded videos for your homepage
- Media interviews you participate in
- Client testimonials
#7 The Vast Majority of Legal Websites Are Barebones
Although most firms have a basic website set up, only a small minority fully realize its potential. According to the ABA survey, fewer than 20% of those surveyed had any of the following listed on their website:1
- Community/charity announcements
- Paralegal profiles
- Court/administrative links
- In-house consumer guides
- Support staff profiles
- Outside legal articles
- Outside guides/forms
Similarly, a notable percentage also lacked basic page elements like a listed email address and phone number or even CTAs.
The various page elements represent an opportunity to differentiate and sell your legal services. Including them will boost your SEO prospects and provide site visitors with even more information about the firm’s history, composition, and mission. Chances are, if a potential client is deciding between two similar legal firms, they’ll opt for the one that provides more information, not less.
#8 Less Than Half (46%) of All Law Firms Have a Marketing Budget
This is one of the more surprising stats we’ll discuss today. Once more, it represents yet another chance to create a competitive advantage, especially when it comes to your local marketing efforts.
This law firm stat tells us that most practices don’t have a robust client acquisition plan in place. Many likely believe that they can still get by with word-of-mouth client acquisition via referral.
Unfortunately, they’re mistaken.
In a digital age, solely coasting off your laurels and reputation is a tactic few will find success with. A slapdash marketing campaign and a lack of a budget will eventually hamstring your ability to reach new clients. According to Law.com:7
“The average law firm spends 6.7% of gross revenue on marketing. That means for every $1 million a firm brings in, an average of $67,000 is redirected toward marketing efforts. That might seem like a lot—until you calculate the amount you make as a result of that marketing.”
Convert It—Your Legal Marketing Experts
The statistics above illustrate one crucial point: A notable portion of legal firms are lacking in their digital marketing strategies. They’re missing the actionable plan, and as a result, they’re lagging behind.
This presents an opportunity.
If you have a plan and budget in place, then you have a chance to drive your business forward and pull further away from the competition. Wondering where to begin? At Convert It, we provide digital marketing for lawyers. Our proven PPC platform can help you get found, receive quality calls, and convert clients.
Want to see how? Reach out today.
- ABA. Tech Report: 2020 Website and Marketing. https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_practice/publications/techreport/2020/webmarketing/
- Above the Law. Referrals Remain Leading Way Lawyers Get Clients, Per Legal Trends Report. https://abovethelaw.com/2017/10/referrals-remain-leading-way-lawyers-get-clients-per-legal-trends-report/
- Smart Insights. Search Engine Marketing Statistics 2020. https://www.smartinsights.com/search-engine-marketing/search-engine-statistics/
- Statista. Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 1st quarter 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices/
- Cisco. Global 2021 Forecast. https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/m/en_us/solutions/service-provider/vni-forecast-highlights/pdf/Global_2021_Forecast_Highlights.pdf
- Finances Online. 46 Legal Marketing Statistics You Must Read. https://financesonline.com/legal-marketing-statistics/
- Law.com. Legal Marketing Budgets. https://www.law.com/njlawjournal/2020/12/02/legal-marketing-budgets-everything-you-need-to-know/#:~:text=For%20most%20firms%2C%20the%20range,to%20setting%20a%20firm’s%20budget.