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What Is The Difference Between Digital Marketing And Inbound Marketing For Law Firms

Wondering what is the difference between digital marketing and inbound marketing for law firms?

How is inbound marketing different than digital marketing?

How is digital marketing and inbound marketing useful for your law firm?

If you are looking to understand the difference between the two, we’ve got what you need!

In this article, we will precisely define what is digital marketing, what is inbound marketing, give you examples for both, when to use inbound marketing and when to use digital marketing and more.

This article is divided into the following sections: 

Let’s get this started…

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a broad term referring to any type of marketing tactic you employ digitally or online to reach out to the masses.

Think of it as any type of marketing activity on a digital platform.

Reference to the term digital marketing does not necessarily imply a strategy or methodology.

While inbound marketing is a methodology of targeting specific customers online and converting them, digital marketing is all the individual and standalone tactics employed to achieve this goal.

Think of inbound marketing as a digital house using digital marketing material to build it.

The marketing house is built based on a plan, implemented in a step-by-step and coordinated approach to achieve the final product. 

You cannot do inbound marketing without digital marketing and digital marketing alone does not give you a laser-focused strategy.

Ultimately, by using digital marketing tactics, your objective is to increase traffic to your website, increase your online visibility and put yourself out there without necessarily having a very specific target audience in mind.

For a law firm, you will build your website, create valuable content around your areas of practice, create whitepapers, do search engine optimization so you can improve your organic search results and generate more visitors to your website.

Examples of Digital Marketing Techniques For Law Firms?

Digital marketing is a marketing tactic that you can do in a digital medium.

It can include:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  2. Website banners
  3. Social media campaigns
  4. Blogging 
  5. Mobile user targeting 
  6. Email marketing
  7. Content marketing 
  8. Web applications

Digital marketing is essentially any type of marketing activity you take using electronic devices. 

These are standalone digital tactics and assets created with a broad objective of improving your online presence.

Say you are a business lawyer and you want to let the world know that you are there and they should do business with you.

You’ll will blog about your area of practice writing about business law, business best practices and other business-related content.

You will create a nice website where you have an amazing website, you describe your area of expertise, present yourself and provide your visitors with ways they can contact you.

You will create a social media platform and engage with the community and reach out.

All these are different tactics you are employing to get your name out there, build brand awareness and reach as many people as possible.

Although your strategy is to build brand awareness and solidify your online presence, digital marketing in itself does not have a coordinated and unified plan to target a specific audience.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology with the objective to draw qualified leads to your law firm so you can eventually convert them into customers.

To do inbound marketing, you will use digital marketing tactics in a strategic way based on a planned methodology to generate qualified leads and convert them into paying customers.

The way you can think of inbound marketing is that you have a specific client persona in mind and you put that client persona front and center in your inbound marketing strategy.

Inbound marketing is therefore client-centric while digital marketing is like tools in your marketing toolbox. 

With inbound marketing you will make use of different digital marketing tools in a complementary and interrelated fashion to attract and convert an online customer.

Example of Inbound Marketing For Law Firms

Inbound marketing is the type of marketing plan that will lead to the greatest result and profitability for your law firm.

If you are a business lawyer and looking to develop your law practice by offering your services to startups, you will create and develop an inbound marketing strategy catered as targeting, appealing and converting startups.

As a business lawyer, you want to cater to a niche market within the business umbrella.

To target your startups, you will create blog content intended to help startups think through the challenges of starting a business.

You can create lead magnets like checklists and guides they download in exchange for their email.

You can run email marketing campaigns inviting them to events or offering them some valuable legal services particularly useful to startups.

Ultimately, with a sufficient number of targeted strategies, you will eventually convert startups to clients.

It may not be a short-term success, you’ll need to work at it and persevere. 

When To Use Digital Marketing For Your Law Firm?

While inbound marketing is a set of marketing methodologies, digital marketing is a broader marketing element you will deploy to engage with your customers.

Digital marketing is useful when you want to maximize your online presence and reach.

Consider using digital marketing to create your law firm brand awareness.

By blogging, putting up nice website banners, optimizing your website, doing SEO, you are essentially ensuring that you get the maximum online traction and visibility.

You may target a large audience online but they may not all be relevant for your business or a good lead.

The purpose of digital marketing is to expand your online footprint in as many channels as possible such as on social media platforms, search engines, your own website and so on.

Using digital marketing for law firms is useful to ensure you get people to know you exist regardless of whether or not you are interested in converting them.

You’re looking to have a strong online presence and be seen more than your competitors.

When To Use Inbound Marketing For Your Law Firm?

You will use inbound marketing for your law firm to target businesses or specific types of customers you are actively looking to target, qualify and convert.

Inbound marketing should be used hand-in-hand with digital marketing as they complement one another.

You will take each of your digital marketing tactics and combine them into a holistic strategy aimed at a very specific purpose.

For instance, you will create a landing page with targeted content, you’ll use social media and paid advertising to target your audience, you’ll include call-to-actions to collect prospect emails, send email marketing with offers and ultimately you are looking to convert that prospect into a paying customer.

A law firm operates in a very competitive industry.

It may be difficult to get qualified leads and convert online customers if you spread yourself too thin.

You’ll need to use inbound marketing all the time to ensure you are specifically targeting the customers you want to serve.

Your overall digital marketing efforts should have a clear strategy, plan and target audience to maximize your marketing return on investment.

Use Digital Marketing To Build Inbound Marketing Campaigns

Your law firm must have an inbound marketing strategy in place alongside a digital marketing strategy.

They are two great marketing practices leading to great results for your law firm as a business.

You can use digital marketing to expand your online footprint and reach.

With the data you collect through your digital marketing tactics, you’ll see what type of traffic you are generating.

Are you organically driving traffic to your website through search engines or social media?

What keywords were used to find your website?

What page on your website is doing well?

What is your website visitor’s pain point?

Using this data, you can then craft an inbound marketing plan where you focus on the customer person you are interested in and you fortify and bolster your digital marketing tactics to reach that customer.

Generate blog posts with content intended to target your client person, implement social media advertisement campaigns and paid advertisement campaigns tailored to appeal to your customer persona.

Build your web page and content in such a way that you lead that client person to take a favorable action to either call you for your legal services or share with you their email address.

Inbound Marketing Strategy 

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy you will commit to long-term. 

Once you’ve determined who you want to target and how you want to convert them, you’ll need to take the time to build all the individual digital marketing assets to put your inbound marketing plans into action.

Inbound marketing is like running a marathon.

You’ll develop your inbound marketing strategy, execute on your plan and work at it every day to achieve your goal.

The beauty of inbound marketing is that once your strategy starts paying off and generating qualified leads, it will provide you with a steady stream of leads you can convert to paying clients.


The scope of marketing has expanded so much in the past decades and especially over the recent years.

Busiensess now conduct a lot of busienss onlne.

Online marketing has evolved and has become a central component of the overall marketing strategy of all businesses including law firms.

You’ve heard of digital marketing and inbound marketing and you wonder what is the difference?

There are so many marketing terms out there that you want to understand the real differences between digital marketing and inbound marketing.

In this article, we’ve look at the exact difference between digital marketing and inbound marketing so you can better understand the online marketing jargon.

We hope this article was useful for you.

Be sure to check out our article on inbound vs outbound marketing on a related topic.

Do you have any additional points to share on digital marketing and inbound marketing? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment!

Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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