Law firm marketing should lead on themes which matter to the firm and its people rather than the selling of ‘hard law’, a prize-winning regional law firm advised.
Clive Meredith, practice director at Devon firm Wollen Michelmore, recalled his decision to depart from the ‘drab’ online and media marketing fare of close competitors.
With the advice of a local agency, Wollen Michelmore opted for a communications campaign that stressed the firm’s link to ‘Devon, our county and our communities’ and its ‘people – in our business, and in our communities’.
The product ‘was almost a John Lewis ad’, Meredith said.
A radio and TV campaign referenced country lanes, stunning scenery, farming, fishing and holidays – a context into which the firm’s professionals were subtly introduced towards the end. The campaign won a Law Society Excellence award in 2016.
The firm’s social media channels now mirror that interest, promoting local events (plenty of cricket), charity activities and client initiatives. The ‘law’ content focuses on monthly ‘top tips’ in areas such as making a will.
The firm’s turnover has grown from £1.2m to £7m in eight years, Meredith noted.
Communications consultant Melissa Davis said firms could cast the net wide when looking for social media inspiration. ‘Find somebody you like,’ she urged. ‘Look at how they are doing it and copy it.’
Davis noted that a firm does not have to be big to be effective on social media – analysis using the online tool ‘klout.com’ showed that Cornwall and Devon firm Stephens Scown’s social media interactions had more impact than those of Clifford Chance.
Meredith also had advice on the use of ‘pay-per-click’ services to win work online. ‘Be really specific’ when choosing key words, he advised.
The words ‘medical negligence’ cost £30 or more per click, he noted, and brought in a range of enquiries that were much wider than the conditions his firm advised on.
More specific words lowered that cost to 25p, increasing the proportion of enquiries that translated into instructions.
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