Looking for tips on how to plan a digital marketing budget for your law firm?
How do you plan a digital marketing budget that can deliver positive results?
What are the factors you need to consider to set your budget plan?
In this article, we will look at how to plan for a digital marketing budget by looking at setting your law firm goals, analyzing your past digital marketing efforts, understanding your competitors, defining your law firm’s digital marketing KPI’s, allocating budget based on success and more.
This article is divided as follows to help you navigate to the section you prefer to read about:
- Set A Digital Marketing Goal For Your Law Firm
- Analyze Past Digital Marketing Efforts
- Research Your Competitors
- Understand Legal Industry Trends
- Define Your Digital Marketing KPI’s
- Allocate Budget Based On Digital Marketing Success
- Improve Yourself And Redefine Your Budget
Let’s dive right in.
Set A Digital Marketing Goal For Your Law Firm
The first step in properly planning for your law firm’s digital marketing budget is to set your goals.
What are your goals?
Are you looking to increase your law firm’s brand awareness?
Are you looking to increase website visitors?
Are you looking to increase your conversion rate?
You’ll need to clearly define what are your objectives with your digital marketing efforts.
Once you understand what you really want to accomplish through digital marketing, you’ll be able to define a budget and allocate the right amount of resources to get the job done.
If you are a business lawyer, it may be extremely costly to target multiple facets of business law and a wide audience.
The M&A practice is the practice that you want to develop and so you’ll target a subset of M&A transactions and work your way up.
You may decide to focus your digital marketing efforts in developing a clientele looking for help with respect to M&A due diligence process.
Your digital marketing efforts will then be centered around due diligence in the context of an M&A transaction.
The time, money and effort you’ll need to put to develop a comprehensive digital marketing plan to target the M&A due diligence will be much more manageable than attacking the M&A market at large.
You can go wide and attack the M&A market at large if that’s part of your goal of course.
You’ll need to assemble a team of online marketers and experts to run the campaign for you and the budget will be different of course.
Set attainable goals based on your law firm’s areas of practice and where you can deliver value to your customers.
Analyze Past Digital Marketing Efforts
The next step in defining the right digital marketing budget for your law firm is to analyze your past track-record.
What type of digital marketing efforts did you deploy in the past, what was your budget and what was it successful?
What are your competitors doing with their digital marketing strategies?
How was the measure of your digital marketing success for the areas of practice you consider profitable to pursue for your legal practice?
Based on historical data, you should try to understand what worked well and what didn’t.
At the end of the day, you want to understand why you succeeded with some of your digital marketing efforts and why you failed with others.
Using this information, you’ll be in a much better position to see how much you may need to spend and plan in your budget to enhance your digital marketing results.
Budgeting based on solid data and analytics is going to be a far greater strategy than spending money without having a clear point of reference.
Research Your Competitors
Defining a digital marketing budget will require you to have a good understanding of your own goals and objectives.
You must also know what’s happening in the market and with your competitors.
The famous Chinese general and military strategist Sun Tzu once said: “victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
Take his advice and research competitors.
Better yet, spy on your competitors online, it’s pretty easy!
Are your competitors on social media?
Do they have an amazing landing page?
How are they organically ranking for keywords you are after?
What type of inbound marketing strategies are they using?
The more information you gather about your competitors, the more you can define what appears to be working for them and what does not.
If your competitors are succeeding at their digital marketing efforts, define your own digital marketing budget so you can be better.
If your competitors are failing, then put a digital marketing budget in such a way that you can stay ahead of them.
What you want to do is to make sure you catch up to your competitors and beat them in the game.
Understand Legal Industry Trends
You may be operating in a cut-throat legal industry!
You probably are operating in a cut-throat legal industry.
There are lots of lawyers out there and many law firms fighting to capture one another’s client.
To define and plan your digital marketing budget appropriately, you’ll need to understand what’s going on in your industry over and above what your competitors are doing.
What are the latest trends in the legal industry?
If you are a law firm where you derive 25% of your revenues from drafting contracts, reviewing NDA’s and providing contract-related services, you must absolutely be aware that the legal tech industry is leveraging state-of-the-art software and artificial intelligence to compete with you.
In this example, a quarter of your revenues are at risk from external industry pressures.
Legal tech businesses are promising your clients faster, cheaper and more accurate services to review and draft contracts.
How will this affect your digital marketing strategy and budget?
You should carefully consider the external industry trends affecting your law firm.
If there are trends that could potentially boost your business, direct digital marketing efforts to surf on that trend.
If there are industry trends putting your business at risk, define your digital marketing budget based on your plan of attack to either compete head-to-head or steer towards a niche area of practice.
As a law firm, you’ll need to put a good amount of digital marketing budget to remain ahead of legal industry trends.
Define Your Digital Marketing KPI’s
You’ve set your plans, gathered your own past data, research your competitors and industry, now you need to define the digital marketing plan you are looking to execute.
You will need to decide if you are going to focus on SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, paid search advertisement, email marketing or other types of digital marketing techniques to achieve your goals.
Based on your own past successes and what appears to be hot trends you want to take advantage of, plan your digital marketing budget accordingly with clear KPI’s.
Setting digital marketing KPI’s will help steer your marketing efforts in the right direction.
To ensure you are going to measure what you consider to be a success, define your digital marketing KPI’s.
With the right KPI’s, you’ll have your marketing team and efforts focused on the prize.
Allocate Budget Based On Digital Marketing Success
You have now been running your digital marketing campaigns for some time, you will need to allocate your budget based on your successes.
In some cases, success does not mean cheaper.
If you had the chance to invest in a digital marketing effort costing you $10,000 while earning you $5,000 in revenues, while you could invest $50,000 and earn $150,000, which digital marketing strategy will you choose?
This is where your digital marketing budget is crucial in leading you to a successful outcome.
It’s no mystery, you are in a competitive market.
Just to give you an example, based on a HubSpot study, the keyword “Houston Maritime Attorney” goes for a whopping $1,090 cost-per-click!
Do you realize what this means?
This means that if you have a paid search advertising budget and you are after the keyword “Houston Maritime Attorney”, if there are 50 clicks on your website for this search, you just spent $54,500!!
And PPC is only one type of digital marketing.
You will also quickly realize that even spending $54,500 for 50 clicks may probably not lead to any meaningful result.
We got sidetracked!!
You want to look at digital marketing campaigns based on success and not based on cost.
The idea is to recognize that you may need to increase your digital marketing budget to tap into greater results and if your return on investment is positive, then you should continue that effort.
If there is a digital marketing effort you are deploying giving you good results, continue banking on it and allocate money from less effective strategies to the more effective ones.
Be sure not to limit your strategies to only a handful of strategies as you may be missing out on other opportunities.
Improve Yourself And Redefine Your Budget
Plan your budget and plan to review your budget!
To succeed with your digital marketing efforts and put up the right budget in place, you’ll need to plan, execute, review and plan again.
If you’ve put the right amount of thought and planning into your digital marketing budget and strategies, give it some time to work before you change things around.
Digital marketing takes time to produce results, so you can have a great strategy that you fail to see as you did not give it enough time to produce the positive effects for you.
For example, if you are running a paid search advertisement like PPC or paid social marketing campaigns, you can quickly monitor the results coming from those channels.
You’ll be able to quickly see if you are getting a positive return on investment or if you are burning money.
On the other hand, if you are working on SEO, content marketing, backlinking and another type of digital marketing strategy, you will not see results in months.
In some cases, even up to a year.
What you need to do is to allocate your budget in such a way that you are working on foundational digital marketing strategies that will produce results in the long-term combined with other strategies that can lead to a quicker result.
Finding that sweet spot is all in the art of digital marketing, years of practice, trial and error and constant effort.
In this article, we’ve looked at how to plan a digital marketing budget for law firms.
The right digital marketing budget can help propel your law practice to a whole new level.
It must be done carefully and based on the right data and competitive intelligence.
A solid digital marketing budget can be built as follows:
- Set clear goals for your law firm
- Analyze your past digital marketing results
- Find out what your competitors are doing online
- Understand the trends affecting your industry
- Define your digital marketing KPI’s
- Allocate your budget based on your successes
- Continually monitor and redefine your budget
We hope that this article was useful to you.
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