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A well-rounded digital marketing strategy is a must for law firms looking to stay on pace with competitors in their area. The content marketing funnel is one of the most important aspects of this strategy. This funnel is a customer-focused marketing campaign that attracts ideal prospective clients through several forms of web content. From here, prospective clients are converted into actual clients through the buyer’s journey. At Law Quill, our digital marketing team specializes in helping law firms secure new clients through a strong website and digital marketing presence. Contact us today to learn more about building a content marketing funnel for your firm.
What Is a Content Marketing Funnel?
According to the Small Business Administration, creating effective content is a process of telling a compelling story. The content marketing funnel is a way to organize web content based on the journey a potential client goes through before purchasing goods or services. The funnel is an integral part of the larger digital marketing strategy of a business. Content is organized into different stages, from the customer seeking out preliminary information to their conversion into a client or customer. The funnel follows the buyer’s journey, from their awareness of the goods or services offered to their purchase decision.
The buyer’s journey takes place in three stages:
- Awareness – The buyer becomes aware of a problem and seeks out information related to that problem, including potential solutions.
- Consideration – The buyer considers different options to solve that problem, such as different local law firms that handle personal injury lawsuits.
- Decision – The buyer chooses the right provider of the goods or services they are looking for to solve their problem.
How Does the Content Marketing Funnel Work For Law Firms?
The content marketing funnel is an effective digital marketing strategy in virtually all industries, including law. For law firms, the goal of a content marketing funnel is to guide prospective clients through the buyer’s journey, from becoming aware of an issue that requires legal counsel to hiring a law firm to represent them in a case involving that issue. The “funnel” metaphor represents the gradual filtering of website visitors. While many web users may visit the law firms website and all are potential customers, only a handful of these initial leads will advance to the next stage. This number of web users gradually declines as the content marketing funnel progresses into the latter stages.
What Are The Essential Steps of a Legal Marketing Funnel?
Legal marketing funnels are a series of steps designed to guide potential clients through the process of becoming paying clients for your law firm. Here are the steps to create an effective legal marketing funnel:
- Attract Potential Clients: The first step in the funnel is to attract potential clients to your website or social media page. Use tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media advertising, and content marketing to drive traffic to your website.
- Engage with Prospects: Once potential clients have arrived on your website, engage with them by offering them valuable content, such as blog posts, ebooks, webinars, or videos. You can also offer a free consultation or other lead magnet to encourage them to provide their contact information.
- Capture Leads: Once you have engaged with prospects, capture their contact information by offering them a lead magnet in exchange for their email address or phone number.
- Nurture Leads: Once you have captured leads, nurture them by providing them with additional content that addresses their pain points and educates them on how your legal services can help them. Use email marketing or SMS marketing to stay top-of-mind.
- Convert Leads: When a lead is ready to hire an attorney, make it easy for them to contact you by providing clear calls-to-action on your website or landing pages. Make it easy for them to schedule a consultation or fill out a contact form.
- Retain Clients: Once you have converted a lead into a paying client, keep them engaged with your firm by providing them with regular updates on their case, newsletters, or other valuable content.
- Ask for Referrals: Finally, ask your satisfied clients for referrals to other potential clients who may need your legal services.
Remember that a successful legal marketing funnel requires ongoing optimization and testing to maximize results. Regularly review your analytics and adjust your tactics as needed to ensure that you are getting the best possible return on your investment.
Stages of a Law Firm Content Marketing Funnel
Content marketing funnels are typically divided into four stages, which mirror the buyer’s journey. While content marketing funnels are useful for most industries, the way they are applied will vary depending on the industry and the target audience of the business.
In this stage, the prospective client becomes aware that they have a legal matter that may require legal guidance from an experienced attorney. For example, the client may have recently gotten into a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, suffering serious injuries in the process. The prospective client may search on Google for “car accident lawyer near me” or “when can you sue for a car accident” to find information related to their issue.
Law firms can help attract these prospective clients by publishing web content that answers common questions of people in this situation. For example, the website could have a car accident FAQ page that discusses negligence, damages that can be recovered in lawsuits, and other common concerns.
Known as the middle of the funnel, the evaluation phase consists of prospects who are aware of their problem and have discovered a potential solution. In the legal industry, this solution is hiring a lawyer who specializes in the type of law relevant to the legal matter of hand, such as a personal injury lawyer following a car accident. Content in the middle of the funnel is designed to build rapport with the prospective client and instill a sense of trust by demonstrating authority on the subject matter. Pieces of content in the evaluation stage should discuss specific issues that the targeted audience faces as a result of their legal matter.
The evaluation stage is an opportunity for the law firm to demonstrate its skills, knowledge, and experience in its field of law. The goal should be to show clients how all of these factors can be used to solve their legal issues. This section also shows that the law firm is competent and trustworthy.
The conversion stage (or bottom of the funnel) begins when the prospective client has decided to hire an attorney, but is seeking out various options and deciding which law firm to hire. The content in this stage is designed to convert the prospect into a client.
Some conversion strategies commonly used by law firms include:
- Offering free consultations where prospective clients can learn more about their legal rights and whether they have a case.
- Call-to-action buttons that encourage the client to contact the law firm
- Interactive tools like live chat, click-to-call buttons, and contact forms
Converting website visitors into clients is not the end of the content marketing funnel. Law firms have always received a portion of their business through word-of-mouth. In the digital marketing world, word-of-mouth is known as “advocacy.” Ideally, satisfied clients will recommend the legal services of the law firm to family and friends if any of those people find themselves in need of similar services.
Types of Content
When developing a content marketing funnel, each stage of the funnel should have content that is tailored to that stage. While these stages often use similar forms of content, there are variations. In all stages, content should be written with the goal of being useful to the target audience. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, usefulness to this target audience is one of the primary factors that can drive engagement in content marketing.
At the top of the funnel, awareness content should be written to answer common questions and solve common problems of the target audience.
Some of the main forms of content to consider using in the awareness stage include:
- Long-form blogs – Law firms can use long-term content to provide answers to the wide range of questions people may have when considering hiring a lawyer. When well-written and researched, these long-form blogs can also help the law firm cultivate a reputation as an expert in its field of law.
- Videos – YouTube videos can be used as a brand marketing tool and a way to inform prospective clients. The platform has become much more popular than blogs in recent years, so many people seeking legal advice may prefer to watch videos instead of reading a blog post.
- Social media posts – Social media platforms can be used to expand the reach of blog posts and get more clicks. In addition, publishing high-quality content can help build a social media following and improve the branding of the law firm.
- Ebooks – Ebooks allow law firms to provide content that is even more in-depth than a long-form blog post. An Ebook can cover complicated legal processes and act as a guide for people seeking legal guidance. They can be given away in exchange for signing up for an email list as well.
During the evaluation stage, content should be written for an audience that understands they need a lawyer and is searching for the best law firm for the job. The law firm should use this content to show their experience and why they are a good choice.
Content forms that are often included in the evaluation stage include:
- Blogs – Blog posts in this stage can be used to introduce prospects to the services offered by the law firm. These posts can address common issues and explain why legal representation is important.
- Case studies – These can be used to demonstrate your law firm’s track record of success. Case studies should state the client’s problem, how the law firm approached the problem, solutions, and the final result of the case.
- Testimonials – Testimonials are a way to show your history of client satisfaction. Previous clients who have won due to the legal guidance offered by your firm are often willing to provide positive feedback that can later lead to new business.
Prospects have become warm leads at the conversion stage and are likely to hire an attorney. This is when law firms need to close the deal and convert the lead into a client. Calls to action are key in the conversion stage and can come in many forms, such as buttons, links, and photos. These should urge the website visitor to contact the law firm to discuss their case in a free consultation. Follow-up emails are also a valuable conversion tool.
Who Benefits From A Legal Marketing Funnel?
A legal marketing funnel can be helpful for any law firm or legal professional looking to attract and convert potential clients.
Here are some specific groups that might benefit from using a legal marketing funnel:
- Solo attorneys or small law firms looking to expand their client base
- Established law firms looking to attract new clients and increase their revenue
- Legal professionals who are starting a new practice or launching a new service
- Lawyers who are looking to target a specific market or niche
- Attorneys who want to streamline their marketing efforts and improve their return on investment.
In general, any legal professional who wants to improve their marketing efforts and increase their client base can benefit from implementing a legal marketing funnel.
What Are The Alternatives to a Legal Marketing Funnel for Law Firms?
There are several alternatives to a legal marketing funnel that a law firm or legal professional can use to attract and convert potential clients. Here are some examples:
- Referral marketing: This involves asking existing clients to refer friends and family to your law firm. You can incentivize them to do so by offering discounts or other rewards.
- Content marketing: This involves creating and sharing valuable content, such as blog posts, videos, or social media posts, that educates and informs potential clients about legal issues and your services.
- Networking: This involves attending events and conferences to meet other legal professionals and potential clients. You can also join legal organizations and associations to build your network.
- Paid advertising: This involves paying for ads on search engines, social media platforms, or other websites to promote your services.
- Direct mail marketing: This involves sending letters or postcards to potential clients in your target market.
Each of these alternatives has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the most effective marketing strategy for your law firm will depend on your target audience, budget, and goals. It’s important to test and measure the effectiveness of each approach to determine what works best for your firm.
Which Lawyers Should Never Use a Legal Marketing Funnel?
It is difficult to say that any particular group of lawyers should never use a legal marketing funnel, as the effectiveness of a marketing funnel will depend on the specific circumstances and goals of the law firm or legal professional.
However, there are some situations where a legal marketing funnel might not be the best approach. For example:
- Lawyers who rely solely on referrals: If a lawyer has a strong referral network and consistently receives new clients through word-of-mouth, they may not need to invest in a marketing funnel.
- Lawyers with a limited marketing budget: Building and maintaining a marketing funnel can require a significant investment of time and money. If a lawyer has a limited marketing budget, they may need to focus on other marketing strategies that are more cost-effective.
- Lawyers who specialize in very niche areas of law: If a lawyer’s practice area is very specialized and has a small target audience, a legal marketing funnel may not be the most effective approach. In this case, they may need to focus on more targeted marketing strategies to reach their ideal clients.
Ultimately, the decision to use a legal marketing funnel should be based on the specific goals and circumstances of the lawyer or law firm. It’s important to evaluate the potential benefits and costs of a marketing funnel and determine if it aligns with your overall marketing strategy.
Learn More About Legal Marketing Funnels For Lawyers From Law Quill
A well-planned content marketing strategy is a must for law firms looking to maximize their business and secure new clients. While other methods like television advertising and word-of-mouth are also still useful for generating leads, failing to adopt content marketing puts a law firm at a major disadvantage versus its competitors. Most law firms are already using content marketing, so it is important to find a law firm digital marketing agency that understands how to rise above the competition by boosting web traffic and using content to convert leads into clients.
Contact Law Quill today to learn more about the benefits of having a content marketing funnel and how you can grow your law firm online.