Brain Trust Legal

Law Firm Marketing in a Legal Conference Setting

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled against prohibiting attorney advertising in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona in 1977, marketing has been a vital part of any successful law firm. Clients are what makes a law firm run, and marketing is what gets clients in the door.

However, the truth is that a lot of attorneys don’t have a background in marketing. Law schools don’t teach it, so many attorneys either have to struggle with marketing, learn the hard way through costly mistakes, or find someone they can trust in the legal field who has been through it all before to mentor them on the things they should know and need to watch out for.

That’s why a legal conference or event like the ones Brain Trust Legal puts on are ideal for attorneys who want to improve the quality and results of the legal marketing efforts. From conversations with vendors to presentations from experts, the Brain Trust Legal conference shares valuable key insights to grow and improve your law firm’s marketing. Below are many of the valuable insights that a BTL legal conference can provide.

Is Out of Home Marketing (OOH) Effective for Law Firms?

Out of Home advertising is just another way to say outdoor advertising, and it’s one of the most well-known forms of advertising within the legal world. Most people think of billboards when they think of OOH advertising, which it is, but there are several other kinds of advertising included in that.

In addition to billboards, OOH also includes:

  • Indoor and outdoor posters and wall murals.
  • Vehicles, such as advertisements on the sides of trucks and buses and even cars that have advertising “wraps” on them.
  • Street furniture such as bench ads and ads on bus stop stands.

The short answer is: yes, they can absolutely be effective with the right message and captivating visuals. The reason that they can sometimes be more effective than digital marketing is because they can’t be scrolled past or fast-forwarded through. There is a consistency of presence that makes them valuable.

In the age of smartphones and devices, Out of Home can be even more effective. In the 1980s and earlier, if someone saw a poster for a lawyer they wanted to call, they had to write down or remember the number until they got to a phone. Now, people can call those numbers instantly. They can also scan a QR code, visit a website, or start a chat on a Google Business Profile. The speed that a potential client can reach out to an attorney from OOH advertising makes it all the more valuable today than it ever was.


TV Ads vs. Over-the-Top (OTT) Marketing: Which is Best for Law Firms?

Television ads have been a long-standing tradition in the world of legal marketing since the late 1970s when they became legal. Recently, however, Over-the-Top (OTT) marketing has been growing in popularity. OTT is similar to TV ads in that they deliver video content, but OTT focuses on sending video content directly to internet devices.

Platforms like Hulu and YouTube TV are OTT, as well as Tubi and PlutoTV and dozens of others. All of these platforms provide digitally delivered content, along with advertising during breaks. Even certain kinds of devices can have their own channels with OTT advertising opportunities, like the Roku player and their Roku Channel. As streaming grows in popularity, more and more of these OTT opportunities have popped up.

There are two primary differences between traditional TV advertising and OTT advertising: selection of audience and time-shifting. In traditional TV, your commercial is shown to everyone in your selected area at specific times during commercial breaks. With OTT, you can be more selective with who you choose to be in your target audience, and your ads air at the time that someone selects to watch it, meaning you have a high likelihood of getting in front of your intended audience.

Another difference is that some OTT ads are interactive, meaning that they can be clicked on and the viewer will be taken to a website. Traditional TV has no equivalent to that.

However, it’s always important to remember that in terms of sheer volume of awareness and level of perception, TV is still king. As traditional generations age, that shift may come soon, but TV still has live programming like news and sports that make it an appealing option.

A smart attorney or law firm will ideally use both, because they potentially speak to different audiences. Older audiences still use TV as their primary entertainment, while younger audiences find their content on screen devices. Depending on the make-up and demographic of your ideal client, one may be preferable to another.

What to Look for in a Law Firm Marketing Vendor

There are dozens if not hundreds of legal marketing companies out there promising the world to attorneys. Unfortunately, as often as not, those companies can’t deliver what they promise, but they know attorneys don’t know any better and they can get a few months to a year of payments before the attorney discovers that. It’s a depressing situation for an attorney seeking a good marketing partner.

That’s why transparency is the key, starting from the beginning of the relationship. A good vendor will have current clients you can speak with so you can ask questions about their results and their expectations and how well they communicate and respond. A vendor who won’t connect you with current clients is doing so for a reason.

Transparency should extend to reporting as well. Any company or vendor who is charging you a monthly fee for services should be willing to do a monthly call with you and your team to provide updates on performance, spend, and potential changes and improvements. A law firm should not only have a call, they should also be provided reports that show hard data on the results of the work or the campaign(s).

And finally, transparency is also about language. Often, a vendor will answer questions for their clients using complicated terminology and heavily technical phrasing. The truth is, it’s almost never because they think you will understand it, it’s usually the opposite. By attempting to speak over a client’s head, they hope to avoid follow-up questions and scrutiny about what they do. None of that spells transparency.

window washer

What Marketing Budget is Ideal?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions regarding marketing. The problem with the question is that the answer comes after crunching some other numbers that are specific to your law firm.

For instance, small business organizations and management consultants might suggest anywhere between 2-8% of your revenue on marketing. What a number like that doesn’t factor in is location and competition, two factors which can vastly alter the amount of money needed to make an effective marketing push.

If you’re practicing in Tacoma, Washington as one of five major attorneys in your practice area, your marketing budget for a 220,000-resident waterfront town is completely different from a marketing budget in the 710,000-resident, highly urban city of Washington D.C. with over a dozen highly competitive firms.

Those factors alter the final answer to the question. No single answer fits everyone’s needs, and that’s why connecting with other non-competing attorneys from across the country from cities and marketing areas similar to your own is your best source of helpful information.

What Marketing Value Does a Legal Conference Provide?

Legal conferences provide a wide lens of experience to pull from, which gives your law firm a diverse base of knowledge and information. The industry experts on stage can provide you the methods and processes, and the vendors can provide you the opportunities and the platforms. Ultimately, though, one of the best resources is the other attorneys you meet and network with at legal conferences. They are the ones from cities like yours, with experience they can share. By learning from them, you can combine what they share with what you learn from industry experts, better preparing you for the conversations and decisions you’ll need to make when partnering with marketing vendors.

You can learn more about Brain Trust Legal Conferences and events here, or you can call (855) 743-1636 from anywhere in the country to speak with a team member to get details about our upcoming events.

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