How Much Should a Law Firm Spend on Marketing?
Legal marketing is as old as the profession itself, and it’s a familiar pain for many. Believe it or not, there are over 446,000 law firms in the US, and they all know the struggles of marketing their services.
However, it doesn’t have to be a burden if you know what you’re doing. You may be able to save time and money with the right tips, and reduce the need for marketing expenses over time.
So, how much should a law firm spend on marketing? Where should those costs go? Let’s talk about that.
Where Should Law Firms Spend Their Budgets on Marketing?
Marketing is a fundamental part of every business, including a law office. The only way to build clients is to, first, let them know you exist and, second, explain why they should consider your services.
However, law firms are a lot different from other businesses when it comes to marketing. It’s unlikely a lawyer can build a large social media following or email list organically to build a repeat client base. When it comes to retention, you’ll have plenty of interactions and opportunities to do so personally while working with existing clients.
For that reason, your marketing efforts typically have to revolve around finding new clients, which means that you’ll have little use for email lists and other modes. For digital marketing, you can break this down into organic and paid traffic.
Advertisements are an excellent way to build short-term revenue and awareness. These can be display ads on other websites, search ads on search engine results pages, popup ads, video ads, or anything else online. However, they typically follow the pay-per-click (PPC) structure, and the costs do add up.
Let’s say you have a cost-per-click of $5 and a conversion rate of 1%, which is fairly standard. In that case, you’d need to earn $500 from each client just to break even, and that’s after other expenses associated with their case.
That’s not to say it isn’t worth it; we’re only suggesting that ad campaigns need to be carefully crafted and implemented for the best results. Also, you shouldn’t rely too heavily on law firm PPC marketing for long-term revenue.
The primary driver of organic traffic is search engine optimization or SEO. It’s one of the greatest marketing buzzwords, so you’ve likely heard about it, but it’s more important than you may think.
Organic traffic, the traffic that finds you, is far more relevant and far more likely to make conversions. Somebody searching Google for “injury lawyer near me” is far more likely to hire an attorney than someone who saw an ad on the side of a website they were scrolling through.
SEO comes down to some off-page factors like backlinks, the quality of your website, and your content marketing strategy. As a legal professional, you can probably handle the content yourself, especially in blog form, but building that strong foundation with your website is essential for long-term success.
SEO takes time to build, but once you begin ranking for the right keywords in your area, the payoffs are enormous and they last for a long time. Unlike ads, once an SEO strategy hits the ground running, there’s little to no need for additional expenses. Ranking at the top of a high-traffic search is enough to keep a law firm afloat for years, and that’s no exaggeration.
Also, by boosting your site’s SEO value, you’ll likely see higher conversion rates in your ads. User experience (UX) is a major part of SEO, and it may help prevent losing users along their journey through your website!
Just because marketing has evolved doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room for old-school techniques. We’re all familiar with law firm marketing campaigns, and our minds often jump to billboards. Well, there’s a reason for that, and you shouldn’t count physical marketing out of your strategy.
If you primarily rely on local businesses, then there’s a lot you can do in terms of physical marketing. Direct mail campaigns, flyers, billboards, business cards, and more can be inexpensive and easy to implement. It’s a great way to spread the word locally and you can get as creative as you want!
How Much Should a Law Firm Spend on Marketing?
On average, businesses spend between 7% and 8% of their revenues on marketing. However, law firms are different.
First, it’s a far more competitive and niche market. Every city has several law firms competing for the same type of clientele, so it isn’t the same as a small-town pizza shop.
Also, law firms need to diversify their traffic to get the best results. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this, and it’s likely to cost a little more.
As a result, the best chance to take your legal practice to the next level is to spend around 12% of annual revenue on marketing. It’s a necessary cost that can drive the right types of clients to you, but only if that money is going to the right places.
Spread the Word
Now that we’ve answered the question “how much should a law firm spend on marketing?”, you can start allocating the appropriate amounts for the right results. With the right help, you may be able to stay under the 12% figure, especially if you’re working toward building sustainable, long-term traffic.
Stay up to date with our latest law firm marketing tips and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help with your marketing strategy!