Why a website is not enough

Why a website is not enough

Why a website is not enough

At TOMD, we’ve spent years developing bespoke websites for legal and professional services firms that reflect their brand, expertise and values.

This means that we understand just how vital it is to tailor your website in a way that speaks directly to your target audience(s). Everything from design and content to imagery and navigation have a role to play in showcasing your brand and the services you offer.

One way to ensure you are speaking to the maximum number of clients is to create distinct sections on your website that target specific groups. Most law firms can achieve this by creating webpages relating to their various practice areas. Clients who feel ‘seen’ by a firm, and who feel that their pain points and concerns are reflected on the firm’s website, will be more likely to become loyal clients and brand advocates.

By its nature, however, a website is a passive marketing tool. It sits and waits there for people to come and find it – which is why it should only be one part of your messaging with existing and potential clients. The next step is to create a holistic content communication plan to actively drive clients and contacts to your website.

Regular contact

Gone are the days when a family would use the same high street solicitor for their every legal need for the entirety of their adult lives. In fact, a recent survey published on the SRA website found that almost half of consumers shopped around online to find a suitable legal adviser, whilst one in five used review websites to read about others’ experiences before committing to a particular provider. This shows that today’s consumers are more discerning and less loyal to a particular firm – meaning it’s up to firms to put in the effort to attract and retain business.   

So what does this mean in practice?

Well, say you’ve just supported a client through their divorce. Once everything is finalised, you part ways and never contact that client again. When they next require legal support, they might have no idea that you offer a particular service because you’ve never communicated about it to them. And it’s also possible that other law firms have been communicating with your client much more than you have.

Your content communication plan

Having a content communication plan based on timely, interesting and relevant information is crucial. Keeping in touch with appropriate information designed to engage clients and keep your brand front of mind can add value and reaffirm your position as their trusted legal provider.

The type of content you should be sending will vary depending on your firm’s key areas of focus and your clients’ own interests. The ideal plan doesn’t exist as every firm is different, but a good content communication plan will be based on content that interests and adds value for the recipient, and which makes them aware of related services that may be of use to them either now or in the future.

Why you should segment your database

One of the most important considerations when devising your content communication plan is to ensure that the right information is going to the right clients.

Segmenting your database means dividing your client list into groups based on specific traits. This can include their personal characteristics, financial situation and other factors, like geographical location and the services you have provided.

 Doing so can ensure that clients only receive information that is relevant to them. Of course, clients can belong to more than one segment!

Sending clients an email that is entirely irrelevant to their circumstances can cause more harm than good. For a start, it can give the impression that you do not understand – or even cater to – their needs. This might lead clients to reconsider whether you are the best firm for them.

Database segmentation can help you avoid potentially embarrassing scenarios – like sending a recently divorced client an email about your expertise in pre-nuptial agreements.

Campaigns can help keep your content focused

Client communication can be much more effective if you commit to sending out the same message across your website, emails, social media and other channels. These multi-channel campaigns might be organised around a key event in the calendar – for example, you could do a family law campaign on sorting out child arrangements over the Christmas period, or a conveyancing campaign in March or April, when the property market is usually at its peak.

You could also organise your campaigns around topics that are a key strategic focus for your firm – for example, you might have hired a specialist employment lawyer and want to get the message out to clients and prospects about your knowledge and expertise in employment law matters.

Either way, a campaign will typically last a couple of months and could include videos, guides, social media posts and articles on your chosen topic, to help you build a well-rounded and accessible campaign that reaches the maximum number of recipients.

Make room for current events

The law is complex and ever-changing – so keeping your clients up to date with legislative changes that could affect them can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field. Whilst it’s very important to have a plan in place throughout the year to ensure you have content going out regularly to your clients, it’s also vital to stay flexible to ensure you can capitalise on trending topics where they do arise.

Think beyond the website

You have worked hard to secure your clients’ loyalty; a content communication plan can help ensure you don’t lose them. Of course, targeted campaigns can be extended to potential clients and introducers. But to keep your existing clients, simply having a website (however good it is!) is not enough: you need to actively drive people towards it.

At TOMD, we can provide all the content you need to communicate with your clients. We offer bespoke legal content written by experienced specialists, as well as videos, guides, social media posts and much more. We can also track your campaign and help tailor your messaging for maximum effectiveness.

About the author
Mike Johnstone specialises in providing practical marketing, content and client communication advice and solutions to professional services firms. Over 20 years ago, he co-founded The Outsourced Marketing Department (TOMD). Each year, Mike and TOMD work with closely with a number of law firms, solving their marketing challenges by delivering easy to use solutions, services and...