Five Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your TV Advertising Online

On July 1, 1941, the very first paid television commercial advertisement aired. Bulova watches paid somewhere between $4 and $9 for the spot, which simply showed a modified watch face and hands, and the Bulova logo and tagline. As time marched on, so did the evolution of television advertising, and the costs associated with its placement. The Statistics Portal listed television ad revenue at 73 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, with growth in the offing at an estimated $81.7 billion in 2020.

Forbes Magazine lists the amount of overall ad revenue spent by attorneys for the same service in 2015 at $892 million; a figure that grew 68% from 2008. No matter what type of law your firm practices, or who your target audience is, television advertising is still very much alive and well as a way to reach potential clients.

The question isn’t whether television is still a viable advertising source for attorneys, as the revenue accompanying the figures are continuously growing. The question is, how does your firm get those advertising dollars to evolve from ad viewers to converted clients? We have a few tips to help get you there.

Tip One: Convert Television Commercials to Direct Ads

IAB Research states that 78% of US adults who watch television use another device while doing so. These devices provide access to the internet, combined with the ease of searching anything and everything that pops into one’s head. That type of search power supports a separate study by Management Science Journal states that 37% of internet users reported that a television advertisement prompted them to conduct an online search for the company’s services currently displayed on their larger screen.

As the survey’s results came into focus, Kenneth C. Wilbur, one of the study’s contributors, concluded that “In a multichannel environment, brands and marketers need to think carefully about how customers will respond to offline advertising…Whether this was the aim of the ad or not, TV campaigns will drive spikes in search activity online.”

Simply put, access to online campaigns, including landing pages, website, microsites, social media accounts and review sites offer an immediate response mechanism for viewers of TV ads. When the jump is made from your firm’s television commercial to your online platforms, the continuation must be consistent throughout the marketing channels. This leaves little room for confusion by the viewer and delivers a cohesive message to your audience.

Potential conversions can be lost through the lack of synchronization between offline and online advertising messages and the channels in which they are found. The incredible fact is, it is not just television commercials that are driving legal-focused searches. Forbes found that 78% of the top 100 Google terms searched are associated with litigation, which means the online usage of the audience in need of attorney services exists at an exorbitantly high level.

Much like your overall attorney brand is important to create top of mind potential in your practice areas and geographical markets, so is the agreement between your television advertising and online presence. Do not take the audience’s attention to your campaign likeness for granted. Also, do not assume that everyone is going to immediately seek your firm out based on the commercial’s airing. From a television commercial’s airing, an accomplished and successful approach to driving traffic to your site is directly related to your firm targeting the proper audience.

Tip Two: Target Your Audience

When a TV-promoted product or service is targeted to the accurate audience, the conversion rate is known to increase two to five fold. Two to five times growth potential is nothing to sneeze at and certainly should get your marketing department or partner’s attention. Targeting the proper audience means more than focusing on an advertising time slot. After all, your media placement will be determined by a plan you have already signed off on, so the focus on when your commercials will air is predetermined. You know when the commercials are going to run, but how do you know they are successful?

When a potential client reaches for their electronic device, whether it is a cellphone or tablet, the effective communication transfers to your firm’s online mechanics, including:

  • Properly designed landing pages
  • Optimally constructed websites
  • Mobile performance friendly websites
  • Enhanced legal focused Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • First rate legal focused Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing
  • Superior social media presence
  • Age appropriate content and communication tactics (i.e., hashtags, verbiage)
  • Easy to use contact forms/links

Second screen usage, and the audience behind the glow, is paramount to target market success. Second screens are described as the devices the aforementioned 78% of people are using as they watch television. These are the devices they will use to look up your firm, while your commercial is airing.

Mobile website optimization is important to your audience’s success in finding you, and navigating your services properly – without confusion or frustration in load times or resizing complaints. These devices vary depending on the age of your target market. Millennials and Generation X gravitate towards smartphones as their second screen, while elderly individuals prefer tablets. While the difference may seem insignificant in the physical screen size, it is critical to your web design and optimization requirements. Just ask anyone who has visited a site that is not optimized for mobile use. Chances are they closed the tab almost immediately.

Outside of the individuals who are openly seeking an attorney for a specific need, the secondary goal of your legal advertising, and the online presence behind it, is to drive useful litigation to those who may not currently understand they have a valid claim. Your television ads deliver a social connectivity to those who may have never considered legal services as an answer to their physical or psychological needs, possibly caused by the negligence of another. When these prospective clients arrive at your online profiles as a result of viewing your commercial, be ready to use your presence as a virtual law office and celebrate your services appropriately.

Tip Three: Deliver Virtual Legal Solutions

Just as internet shopping allows the world to order everything from dog food to running shoes, and food delivery to rental cars, individuals seek legal representation in the same manner: by typing in a few keywords into the search bar and hitting the search/return button.

With a dynamically designed and optimized website, your firm can – and should – deliver legal solutions before personal contact is even made. Captivating ads that transfer from television to online success carry your target market through the message, delivering an immediate comfort level where they seek a call to action once they arrive.

This call to action can be presented a number of ways, including:

  • Compelling landing pages
  • Microsites
  • Creative campaign statements
  • Video of TV commercial (ensuring they have found the correct attorney)
  • Simple contact forms/information
  • Share buttons
  • Links to social media sites
  • Positive rating and reviews

Research has determined that 60% of the adult online users in the United States, or approximately 110 million people, have sought an attorney at one point in their lives. What’s more is that 32% of those users, or approximately 58 million, sought legal representation in the past year alone. Your virtual law firm is selling a service, and it has to be easy to maneuver and understand. The audience has arrived. Now what do you want them to do? Optimizing the user experience from search to conversion gives you the opportunity to reach an audience who needs an attorney, and has yet to make a decision on which firm he or she is going to choose. Whatever the purpose of their visit is, your ability to provide a solution should be unmistakably clear.

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Tip Four: Continuity in Communication

Whether your call to action is an online contact form, or a phone call initiated from the prospective client, it is only possible to be the legal answer they are looking for with continuity in communication.

Your brand transfers from the viewer’s introduction to your firm through a television commercial, streams to your online presence, and manifests into personal interaction. If the stability your brand upholds through the final phase is punctuated by non-responsiveness or unfriendly phone communication with your staff, you will lose a lead that made several chosen steps to get to you. Speaking on behalf of most consumers, this could be taken as a personal slight. And, despite the positive approach between awareness and contact, would not use you firm. In fact, when consumers feel slighted by the final steps of service correspondences they may be compelled to say something negative about your firm – even though they have not used your services. Continuity in communication is that important.

Branding is equally important to a law firm’s success, simply because it places their name and marketing efforts at the forefront of the public’s mind when they consider their need for an attorney. A robust online presence will keep these individuals engaged and connected to your services, while allowing them to share your information readily and effortlessly within their social networks online or in person.

Your firm’s communication practices should reflect the trusted online appearance that led a client to personal contact. These communication tactics will vary based on your target market’s age, and your legal areas of focus.

If you are a divorce attorney, your contact form may differ from a contract attorney’s in an effort to respect the discretionary needs of your client. Knowing your audience and communicating with them accordingly is critical, and including your client’s personal needs in these options will only deepen their trust in your discussions. This positivity creates more than a trusted working relationship. It creates a physical marketing tool in the person who is satisfied with your service.

As your firm grows, it is important to evolve with your audience. Your communications, and especially online interaction and relevance, will need to be evaluated often to ensure you are not leaving any prospects on the outside looking in. Individuals who are in need of legal representation often feel as if they have nowhere left to turn to solve their issues. It is important that their concerns are at the forefront of your advice.

Tip Five: Evolve with Your Audience

Your target audience will be the first indicating source of necessary change where your marketing and communication tools are concerned. Currently, there are three age groups/ audiences that require three different types of communication focuses, based on personal contact preferences and interactions:

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1960)

  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Telephone conversations
  • Voicemail message

Generation X (born between 1960 and 1980)

  • Email
  • Instant/Text messaging
  • Cellphone heavy (not face-to-face)

Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994)

  • Social media
  • Instant/Text messaging

Text messages outrank phone calls as the dominant form of communication among Millennials. If they are your target audience, adding a Short Message Service, or SMS, feature to your online contact options is a perfect way to communicate and remain relevant as a legal source to this particular group. SMS is a text messaging service component that crosses phone and online platforms, allowing contact options beyond phone calls or emails.

Although email is a great option for a broad audience, studies show that it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. The latter has an open rate of 98%, while email has only a 20% open rate. This makes a significant difference if you are targeting a younger audience.

Generation X, while not exactly as motivated to make or take phone calls as they once were, are the middle generation who is willing to communicate via email, messaging and social media alike. They are closely tied to their cellphones, and like the idea of being within reach at any time.

Joline McGoldrick, Research Director at Millward Brown Digital points out the critical disparity between age groups stating, “Millennials and Baby Boomers have adopted different screen habits. Understanding these differences is critical for successful targeted marketing.”

Boomers generally prefer phone conversations, with voicemail messages as their favorable contact channel when unavailable to take a call. This means proper phone etiquette, and clearly composed messages are imperative to a firm’s success in dealing with the older generation’s legal needs. In the end, the marketing message is the same: Consumers are dictating their communication channel preferences. It is up to the service providers, attorneys included, to keep up with these predilections and fine tune them accordingly.

While the difference is audiences is significant, marketing to any of these audiences requires the same detailed, concise communication efforts. It is never okay to skimp on information, no matter the format it is being delivered, especially when the focus is legal. Although you may need to adjust your message, and its complexity, it must be thorough and deliver the necessary information sought by the requestor.

 

Tracking & Fine Tuning

By necessity, chance or design, fine tuning your legal message and the brand that is behind it requires constant consideration. Whether you are examining your media plan, or tracking new clients by asking how they heard about your firm, your company deserves marketing function and focus.

An abbreviated contact request isn’t the only thing that has changed in communication channels. Individuals, no matter what service or product they are seeking, are not taking the time to type URL addresses into a browser to reach a website. They are now simply typing in keywords or search phrases to find what they need. This tactic stresses the importance of your firm’s SEO and online presence being in premier shape at all times.

As technology evolves, so do the ways individuals seek legal representation. Currently, rating and reviews are the latest source of finding an attorney online, which means if you haven’t started your campaign to gather reviews from clients, you are already behind the other attorneys in your area who have. Soliciting reviews on Yelp, Google Business or even Facebook delivers next level marketing exposure, and here’s why:

  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation
  • 83% stated they use review sites as a first step in finding an attorney
  • 70% of these prospective clients will travel to an inconvenient location to seek out an attorney who has better reviews
  • 72% of consumers admit that positive reviews allow them to trust businesses more than if there were no reviews at all
  • 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses, and this is exactly the type of positivity reviews can provide

Positive reviews are strongly associated with trust in the legal community, and building that segment of your firm’s profile can make or break your business going forward. While this is a growing segment that requires focus, additional marketing channels are still equally important. Each of your firm’s marketing components should be examined regularly, including website design and optimization, SEO focus, and social media profiles and communications.

If your firm changes in any practical way, including adding a new partner or moving from one location to another, your marketing endeavors should change with it. The reflection of your firm should be all-encompassing in your marketing strategy. If you have news about your firm’s success, share it! Do not be afraid to let people know you are growing, moving or winning!

If you have case studies, reviews and rating that have prompted a change in your online standing, allow your SEO and website optimization teams to use that information in your favor. Everything that boosts your firm’s success is worth sharing with your marketing team, and those who help maintain your online presence and optimization.

Conversely, do not be afraid to make changes to elements that are not working. Your marketing efforts and goals are measurable, and should be evaluated regularly to understand what is working, and what isn’t. Those measurable segments can include:

  • Website traffic
  • Social media followers
  • Number of reviews
  • Search engine results ranking
  • Shared blog posts/social media upsets
  • Contacts made
  • Converted clients
  • Cases completed

Another easily accessible statistic is simply asking prospective clients how they heard of your firm. Keep track of those responses, and measure them against your marketing efforts.

Conclusion: You Are Not In This Alone!

Oh, believe me. It may feel like it. Marketing success is a fickle beast. One minute everything you are doing is absolutely working on all fronts. You can’t miss! Business is booming! And suddenly, your phone hasn’t made a sound all day, and it feels like it is time to question everything.

Although there is some evidence that certain legal representation needs are cyclical, like divorce filings in the spring – once the holidays are over, or DUI arrests over holiday weekends – due to increased checkpoints, there is year around success in focusing on your image.

Television advertising, online cohesiveness and an overall positive internet presence will help your firm develop into a consistently successful brand. Success will not appear overnight, and measurable segments cannot be obsessed over to understand whether or not they are working.

Allow your marketing partners to help your firm traverse the seemingly complicated world of SEO, website optimization, social media profiles and interactions, and reviews and rating procedures to get the most out of your budget. We can help you employ important trade tips that are budget-friendly, and highly effective, including PPC arbitrage methods that allow your firm to bolster its online presence at your competitor’s television advertising expense.

Attorneys focus on the law, and the world is happy to know that the legal professionals are keeping up with the complications within the courtrooms, so the rest of us do not have to. Owning a company is tough work on its own, with day-to-day operations and revenue stresses at every turn. Being an attorney who is charged with representing another successfully on top of it, only compounds the daily time requirements necessary to achieve greatness.

Attorney marketing is not only our specialty, but our passion. We can help you enjoy results in areas where your campaign is currently lacking by creating a personalized assessment designed solely for your firm. Do not allow the online world and its dictating force to overwhelm you. We are all in this together, and we are here to help. Let’s go!