Location-Based Digital Marketing for Law Firms
It’s important to stay in the conversation about digital marketing even if you’re a small or medium-sized law firm with a limited budget. Sometimes grit and innovation can make up for an absence of big marketing dollars.
An emerging option to explore is location-based marketing. If done well and with discretion, it can utilize real-time data that can be useful for marketing efforts. Options include geofencing and geotargeting, which we’ll explore in greater detail in this blog. However, as a law firm, it’s important to use location-based marketing wisely and respectfully, never wandering into the area of “digital ambulance chasing,” as cautioned against by Attorney At Law magazine. As with every marketing effort by law firms, always be sensitive to clients’ needs and state of mind, especially when they’ve been injured or are going through a difficult experience like divorce or bankruptcy.
Keep in mind, also, that innovative digital marketing efforts are never a substitute for a time-tested and effective SEO strategy on your website and in other marketing materials.
What Is Geofencing?
This is a relatively new form of location-based law firm advertising that leverages GPS or RFID technology. For example, take a snapshot of a local-area urgent care center on the map, then draw a boundary around the facility. “Geo” means the location; “fencing” means creating a circle around the location. By utilizing geofencing, each time a person enters the urgent care center, your law firm’s ad will be activated on their mobile phone or tablet. In addition to personal injury cases, mobile geofencing could be utilized for DUI attorneys (geofence pubs, dance clubs and restaurants), estate planning attorneys (geofence probate courts), car accident attorneys (geofence mechanics and body shops), and criminal attorneys (geofence bail bonds offices and jails). You can be very creative when brainstorming potential geofencing locations.
However, it’s very important not to risk backlash with overly aggressive geofencing efforts. For example, while a person recently arrested for a DUI may welcome immediate access to a criminal defense lawyer’s digital ad with a phone number, a worried mother in an emergency room with a child who has broken his arm may be offended by aggressive mobile ads from a personal injury lawyer just moments after she has talked to the doctor. Delaying these mobile ads by a few hours or days may be a better approach. Always keep the potential client in mind and consider their feelings.
What is Geotargeting?
Geotargeting provides a wider geographic net than a circle around an urgent care center. It can include an entire town, county or state. Geotargeting takes into account an individual’s demographics in addition to their location. Demographic filters can include interests, purchasing history, income, behaviors, age, education, affiliations, driving and travel patterns, food preferences, etc. The possibilities are endless. For example, estate planning attorneys may want to target potential clients in a specific age range. Teenagers and 20-somethings would be a less attractive audience for estate planning attorneys.
As always, keep the potential client in mind and tailor content to their needs. Don’t risk being overly invasive with your mobile ads. Focus instead on how to be helpful and reassuring.
Keeping It Local
All of these efforts are aimed at attracting clients in your immediate area. Local law firm advertising is a competitive endeavor, and you want to achieve whatever edge you can.
Gladiator Law Marketing has an exceptional approach to local law firm SEO and advertising. We have helped countless clients improve their local marketing results. A Think With Google research study titled “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior” sums it up this way:
- Consumers are searching for local information everywhere, on every device, at every point in the purchase process.
- Local searchers are ready to act. Many visit a nearby location within a day and complete purchases at a higher rate than consumers who conduct non-local searches.
- Consumers prefer location-based ads and expect ads to be relevant to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings.