How to ensure you don’t ignore your digital audience
- Research is key
- Don’t expect to be top of a search overnight, this can take years and an extensive marketing programme to achieve
- Using social media can help build your brand awareness, but can also provide a great boost to your SEO if done correctly
There's no denying the power of the internet for boosting brand awareness, attracting potential customers and generating sales. Most industries use it to its full potential, spending tens of thousands of pounds every month on Google AdWords campaigns, web and social content and online promotions.
However, there are certain industries that are significantly lagging behind in their digital communications. ONS stats show that a staggering 49.9% of UK businesses do not have a website. Considering the potential sales revenue which can be achieved digitally, it’s hard to comprehend. For example, over a third of clients now find a lawyer via the web- that's a £7.5 billion market, and yet 60% of law firms aren't doing any digital marketing at all.
It’s hard to pinpoint the reasons why this is happening, perhaps these business leaders are so immersed in client work they haven’t the time to think about their online audience and must be lucky enough to have a pipeline of work to keep them going. Perhaps others feel it’s too expensive or too complicated.
Whatever the reason, no business should be ignoring its online audience and here’s why.
Google is the new word of mouth
When people want a service or a product they turn to a search engine. Word of mouth is, and will probably always be powerful, but currently over 37% of clients now turn to the internet to find a legal provider. This number is set to keep growing as a younger internet-savvy generation are now hard wired to think mobile first. Without a digital presence, a business is practically invisible to them.
Marketing digitally is more targeted
Businesses can spend millions (if budgets allow) on marketing and advertising. There are a plethora of ways in which this budget can be spent and thousands of firms telling businesses how and where to spend it. When done right, digital marketing offers a transparent and cost-effective way to bring in new business. However, do keep in mind being listed on top ranked page for a key search term can take years and an extensive marketing programme to achieve.
For any businesses thinking of creating a website - which can cost upwards of £3,000 - it needs good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to make the investment really pay. SEO support and consultancy is recommended, but also costly. If budgets don’t allow, doing research into which keywords your clients will typically use in their searches and ensuring these are used in your web copy will be a good starting point.
Being social helps
Facebook and LinkedIn are two of the most popular social media platforms which businesses can use to advertise their services. Social media offers a less direct route to finding potential clients, so it is better used as a way to build brand awareness. It can, however, provide a valuable SEO boost if quality content is posted to compel visitors back to your site. Consider creating a blog that sits on your company website, updating it once a week and sharing links to it wherever you can.
For some businesses who have limited or no online presence, online marketplaces offer a simple way for law firms to tap into the online market. They use digital marketing to advertise to potential clients and offer businesses a great way to attract new business.
Essentially, there is a huge new business opportunity out there and going digital does pay off. However, it is also easy to get bombarded by digital choices. Consider what’s right for your business to ensure you reach the right audience. Embrace the digital world, in the right way.
MyLegalAdviser.co.uk is an online tool for consumers and small businesses to find and compare (the price and quality of) legal support services in their local area.