Like the Legal Field, Online Marketing Is Incredibly Dynamic
As an attorney, every case you tackle has a unique history, presents new details, and forces you to confront challenges unlike any other you have worked on. While you may apply a similar strategy to certain types of cases, the nuances of the specific case in front of you will inform your methodology, and the eventual outcome may fundamentally alter the way that you approach similar cases in the future.
Over time, you also face constant changes to the environment within which your cases exist. The conditions at your firm change. The law changes. New trends in technology, culture, and society develop.
Similar themes exist in the world of marketing. On the macroscopic level, advancing technology changes people’s behavior at every level of engagement with law firms. Software updates roll out regularly with unpredictable consequences. Search engine algorithms change nearly every day.
On a more localized level, each law firm we take on as a client has a history, presents unique needs, and poses interesting new challenges. While we utilize best practices (as well as targeted, data-driven innovations), the ever-changing landscape within which marketing exists requires that we regularly review clients’ needs and goals — and alter our strategy to provide the greatest value within the budget we have and given the deliverables we have agreed upon.
Here’s how we do it.
Regular Client-Focused Strategy Meetings Are Held Every Week
Each of our clients has a dedicated team of talented and experienced professionals who are not only experts in their role at LaFleur (content developers, editors, PPC managers, etc.), but also dedicated to a certain number of clients whose work they specialize in. This group of client-focused specialists, as well as any other team members at LaFleur who interact with a client’s account, get together each month to review key performance indicators (KPIs), contextualize that data, and make recommendations based on their analysis. This monthly reporting is sent to clients at the beginning of each month.
In addition to monthly assessments, each of our clients is also put into a rotation so that their account receives quarterly in-depth reviews by experts at LaFleur, from content strategists to President Chip LaFleur.
We take a snapshot of the long-term trends in that client’s marketing looking at factors such as the following:
- Website Performance
- Traffic to their website
- Organic traffic to their website, specifically
- Average engagement metrics: time on page, page views, bounce rate, and pages per session
- Demographic data: device usage, ages, and gender
- Most visited pages on the site
- Number and frequency of form fills
- Average position in search and top queries that brought visitors to the site
- Email Performance
- Form fills
- Open rates
- Unsubscribe rates
- Click through rates
- Delivery and bounce statistics
- Paid Advertising
- Cost per click
- Call impressions
- Scope of Work
- Client feedback
- Deliverables status
- Budget status
- Out-of-scope work requested and completed
This data is distributed to the team before the quarterly strategy meeting. Then, using this data (in addition to other relevant metrics or analysis pertaining to the specific client’s account), we assess what’s working as well as any areas for improvement.
From that discussion, we create a list of action items and delegate them to specialists within our organization who are best equipped to make improvements. We may also reach out to clients to discuss adjusting their scope of work to focus on areas that will improve their return on investment (ROI) and/or align their marketing efforts more closely with their unique goals for their law firm.
The Importance of Regular Marketing Strategy Meetings
In the dynamic world of online marketing, these quarterly reviews are invaluable both to our team as well as our clients. Why? A strategy that goes gangbusters in Alaska may fall flat in Florida. What works for clients in the early stages of their development may not maintain its ROI as their firm grows or their web properties mature. A tool that drives conversions within the area of family law may not work as well for personal injury attorneys.
Factors ranging from geography and target audience to competition saturation and emergent technology will alter the focus of different marketing strategies and may dictate a fundamentally different mix of tools and tactics than we implement to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. And, of course, a mature firm spending $40,000 a month just on search advertising will experience different results than a startup firm with a total marketing budget of $1,000 a month just trying to get a foothold in their local area online.
Regardless of whether or not a client’s investment with us is $1,000 a month, $15,000 a month, or $50,000 a month, we undertake these monthly and quarterly strategy meetings (as well as any in-house follow-up) completely free of charge. Sometimes the meeting and its follow-up action items take an hour; other times, they take days or weeks to fully implement.
We want what’s best for our clients, even if that sometimes means taking a loss on our end. Many of our clients have come to us after having fraught relationships with previous marketing agencies. And just about everyone has had a truly horrible experience with a vendor or service provider at some point. From convoluted and mistake-ridden billing to unresponsiveness or constant miscommunications, the frustrations of working with an outside agency can often feel like they outweigh the benefits.
Here at LaFleur, we strive to not only maintain open lines of communication and total transparency, but also minimize or outright avoid the common frustrations associated with outsourcing your marketing efforts.
In the interest of transparency, we’ve shared some details about one part of our process above, and we’d like to share something else: a key finding from our recent quarterly strategy meetings.
Key Finding from Recent Marketing Strategy Meetings: Long-Term Content Marketing Is Essential for Growth
Our holistic approach to digital marketing takes into account a huge swath of data as well as a wide variety of tools and strategies at our disposal. When we evaluate a client’s marketing status, whether as part of their initial onboarding or a strategy meeting, we use our knowledge, experience, and other resources to determine which strategies will be the most effective for that firm.
A core strategy that pays dividends not only in the short-term, but also for years to come, is evergreen content marketing and management. Take a look at the organic traffic for the past few clients’ sites we have reviewed; note that these charts cover the entire duration of our relationship.
Content Marketing Snapshot for Client 1:
This client has experienced steady growth in organic traffic to their website, and their organic visitors per week have nearly doubled since they began their relationship with us.
We built this client’s site from the ground up, wrote the content on their site, and continue to blog twice a month with them, in addition to other marketing initiatives.
Content Marketing Snapshot for Client 2:
This client has seen a great deal of success. In addition to steady growth in site visitors each week from organic search as well as a threefold increase in visits from the start of our relationship to the present day (a little over 6 months), this client has also made it to the first position on the first page of organic Google search results for one of their high-volume primary targeted keywords.
We also built this client’s site from scratch, wrote all of their site content, and continue to blog twice a month for them, in addition to other marketing initiatives.
Content Marketing Snapshot for Client 3:
You can see an error in the data for the month of June, 2016, which we can supplement with data gathered from WordPress, but even with those zeroes factored in, you can see a similar pattern as the other clients in this client’s data, scaled and plotted with a trend line:
Here, you can see how reporting straight out of Google Analytics can sometimes be deceptively flat compared to a scaled diagram. This client has also seen steady growth in organic traffic along with a nearly threefold increase from the start of our relationship to the present.
This client already had a site built, and we have been blogging three times a month with them, though approval and revision scheduling has resulted in a less consistent posting rate than we would like to see. We are also providing other marketing services for this client.
The data outlined above is not cherry picked; without exception, each and every one of our clients is experiencing similar, consistent growth in this area. And we practice what we preach.
Content Marketing Snapshot for LaFleur:
We always put our client work first above all else, but we strive to produce four pieces of content per month for our own blog whenever possible. The results speak for themselves: steady growth and a fivefold increase in traffic from the initial launch of our site to the present.
Why Is This Evergreen Content Marketing Strategy Effective?
Obviously, this is just a cursory glance at one trend in one metric, and there are a lot of nuances that factor in to the success of this strategy. For example, posting frequency and regularity, the quality and depth of writing, the length of posts, keyword targeting and mapping, complementary on- and off-site strategies, and more all affect the effectiveness of blog content marketing.
However, the basic principle is this: when you comprehensively write about topics that have a lot of staying power (i.e., they will be relevant for a long time), traffic to more and more of those pages compounds over time.
That piece took approximately 8-10 hours of work to ideate, research, write, edit, and post on our blog almost 1 full year ago. It took a couple months to ramp up, but it now pays dividends over and over and over nearly every single day — even a year later. In fact, if anything, it has become more relevant over time.
So, the content stands alone in its quality and relevance. However, as more visitors come to our site, they browse more content while they are there. If they find a piece they enjoy and that speaks to them, they want to read more, so they click on other pieces. As you develop a repository of high-quality, long-lasting content, the synergy among those posts will only compound.
When you then supplement your pieces with cross promotion, you also boost their effectiveness. By promoting a piece via email to your list, you will bring more visitors. By posting (and even promoting) it on social media, you will bring in more visitors. If people share your post, it will bring in new visitors. If you link to relevant posts from your video marketing assets, you will bring in new visitors. The number of complementary tools and strategies is nearly endless. In fact, we just launched a podcast, Legal Marketing Radio, to add one more avenue that will drive traffic back to our site.
Once visitors arrive, you can then funnel your conversion traffic to relevant places on your site: a service page or contact page, for example. But that’s another topic for another day.
LaFleur: Your Digital Marketing Partner
The success each of our clients has experienced as a result of their content marketing efforts speaks for itself, but that success comes after a great deal of effort. Initial analysis and onboarding meetings help develop a holistic strategy that leads to deliverable ideation, creation, implementation, and refinement. Monthly and quarterly evaluations inform ongoing strategies across platforms. Client input and involvement at important milestones in these processes ensures alignment with their unique needs, goals, and brand. In-house client specialists invest their time and energy to familiarize themselves with individual accounts.
All of this work — and more — culminates in a handful of actual documents, website pages, and other assets. Like the tip of an iceberg poking above the water, what clients see as they’re navigating the agency relationship is only a small portion of the total effort that goes in to actually creating material or tracking success.
Our goal with this ongoing series of blog posts is to help current clients (and prospective clients) gain deeper insight into the hard work, thoughtfulness, and data that drives their success with LaFleur.
If you have any questions about your account, you can reach out to your liaison at LaFleur any time. And if you’re not yet working with us and are looking for a refreshingly transparent marketing partner who is invested in your success and growth, call 888-222-1512 today or fill out or convenient contact form.
To learn more about content marketing, you can check out some of the related posts below.