Every week, I must get 2-3 calls from frustrated attorneys disappointed in the results they are realizing from their online marketing efforts. The most common complaints? “I’m not on the first page of Google.” “I am getting calls, but they’re not the right kinds of calls.” “My SEO company isn’t providing fresh content on a regular basis.” “Pay-Per-Click has never worked for us.” “It’s taking forever to get my web site redesigned.”
These are all very important concerns. Yet, they also underscore a troubling trend – Why is everyone obsessed with online marketing to the absolute exclusion of everything else?
Don’t get me wrong. Online marketing has many, many benefits. For one thing, costs can be contained. Second, it encourages prospect interaction. And third, the internet plays a integral role in allowing lawyers and law firms to establish their reputations and burnish their credentials. Hence, online marketing certainly has its place.
But it does not represent the full range of tools available to the attorney or law firm seeking to attract new business. And who isn’t? In fact, each of the three objectives noted above can be approached using more traditional methods.
For example, while most marketing vehicles may not completely approach the lower costs of online marketing, most also do not require the same commitment of time. When an ad is done, it’s done. When a piece of mail goes out, it’s gone. Similarly, seminars and local business trade shows are a great way to encourage interaction with prospects. Finally, a media relations campaign that is intelligently developed and professionally executed is still the best way to highlight one’s expertise in a given area.
Keep in mind as well, that with all of the attention being paid to search engine optimization, pay-per-click and social media, the playing field is that much more open (i.e., less cluttered) in all of these other arenas.
Net, net… there is no question that online marketing holds a very important place in the arsenal of legal marketing tools. But it is hardly the only one.