It's 2016 and most law firms are looking to leverage the latest digital technology to overhaul and rethink their online presence. Each year, an assortment of new trends dictate a host of sweeping changes that are either adopted or ignored by law firms worldwide.
"85% of decision makers consider a lawyer’s website important; younger decision makers are especially likely to find all digital sources important." - LawMarketing.com
We anticipate these six digital marketing trends to make a significant impact in the way law firms pull off their business development strategies and marketing efforts this year:
• Dynamic digital experiences – the trend is to have both a) public facing user experience in the form of new and or improved responsive and mobile-first UX/design and b) frequently updated content actively pushed to the site and other social channels such as LinkedIn. Firms are embracing blogging to promote thought leadership and gain the SEO advantage. There is a tremendous uptick in demand for more user-friendly and intuitive administrative website interfaces that allow site administrators to more easily and quickly manage their brands’ site content.
• Inbound Marketing/SEO – the power behind inbound and integrated digital marketing promises real advantages to firms in uplifting their brands. Beyond the basic analytics building blocks, firms that understand who is coming to their sites and what content is fascinating them will be the ones succeeding in their long-term demand generation strategy. It’s not enough to just manage content. Firms must promote their brands through attorney-generated content and be able to track site performance with integrated marketing tools such as Eloqua, Marketo, ExactTarget, etc.
• The shift toward mobile continues - we’re continuing to see the growth of mobile use far outpacing desktop growth. The emphasis should be on getting the firm’s brand proposition to stand out on smaller screens. Regardless of the device a site visitor is using, the best law firm sites can clearly explain what makes their attorneys and capabilities in industries and sector unique.
• Unique UX – BE UNIQUE! Firms are breaking the traditional brochure-type mold and exploring new ways of differentiating themselves through unique user experiences and design. It’s both refreshing and necessary for firms to embrace unique UX rather than choose to look mostly like peers and competition.
• Communication Platform – firms' marketing teams are reimagining and repurposing their sites to be the hub for most if not all marketing initiatives. Firms are demanding web platforms that are scalable, flexible and empower their marketing teams to promote the brand, control and broadcast content across web and social along with accurately measuring success.
• Sites are integrating tools for clients' secured access - to pay bills, find documents and communicate directly - this extends the idea of a website to include interactivity that clients can leverage for a great experience. This will become increasingly important as customers move online for all other services.