Law firms are always looking for ways to get an edge on the competition. One way to do this is by marketing your firm in a strategic and effective way. But, many law firms don’t know how much they should budget for marketing, or even where to start.
The fact is 63% of firms with 10-49 lawyers have a dedicated marketing budget. That means 37% don’t, which is a huge problem.
In this blog post, we will explain why law firms need to budget for marketing, how much they should expect to spend, and the steps for creating an effective marketing budget.
Why law firms need marketing budgets
It’s no secret that the legal industry is competitive. In order to stand out, law firms need to market themselves in a way that is both strategic and efficient. Marketing helps law firms attract new clients, retain existing clients, and build their brand. Without an effective marketing budget, law firms will struggle to keep up with the competition.
On average, law firms spend 3-5% of their revenue on marketing. However, the amount that a firm should budget for marketing depends on a number of factors, such as the size of the firm, the location, and the practice areas. For example, a small local firm may only need to spend 1-2% of their revenue on marketing, while a large national firm may need to spend 5-10%.
You can learn more about legal marketing in our online training, which can help shape how you approach a budget, as well.
How do you structure a marketing budget?
There are a few steps that law firms can take to create an effective marketing budget. First, you need to understand your firm’s goals. What are you trying to achieve with your marketing? Once you know your goals, you can start to allocate funds towards specific marketing initiatives. These include lead generation and brand awareness, for example.
Next, you need to track your spending and measure your results. This will help you identify what is working and what isn’t so that you can make adjustments as needed. You can keep things simple in a spreadsheet or use financial tools like QuickBooks.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. The legal industry is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Try different marketing channels, strategies, and budget allocations to find the highest return on investment approach.
Marketing is an essential part of any law firm’s business strategy. By taking the time to budget for marketing, you can ensure that your firm is able to stay competitive and attract new clients.
Where should your law firm marketing budget be spent?
These are the main channels you can dedicate your law firm’s marketing budget towards.
Paid ads like Google Ads
Paid ads are a great way to get your law firm’s website in front of potential clients. You can use paid ads to target specific keywords that people are searching for, or you can target people based on their location. Paid ads can be an effective way to generate leads, but they can also be expensive. That’s why it’s important to track your results and adjust your budget as needed.
According to 99firms, 39% of paid advertising budgets go toward paid search (Google), followed by paid social like Facebook, and retargeting. Use these as benchmarks for how you invest in your law firm’s advertising.
Learn more about our course on paid ads for lawyers.
Search engine optimization
SEO is the process of optimizing your law firm’s website to rank higher in search engine results. This can be done by optimizing your website content, improving your website’s code, and building backlinks. SEO can be a long-term investment, but it can also be very effective in driving traffic to your website. It’s ideal to have both long-term and immediate strategies within your overall marketing plan.
Keep in mind that the average enterprise is spending $5,000-$10,000/month on SEO. This budget is put towards content creation, on-page optimization, and backlink building.
Content marketing is a type of inbound marketing that focuses on creating and distributing valuable content to attract and engage potential clients. Consider how you got to this website, for example. Content marketing can include blog posts, ebooks, infographics, and more. It’s one of the most effective methods of building a law firm’s brand and reputation.
Your law firm should invest in producing content such as blog posts, videos, case studies, social media posts, and email newsletters. All of these allow you to reach the target audience, build trust with them, and generate conversions.
Need proof? A study found that 53% of marketers use content marketing specifically to drive sales. Not to mention all of the other reasons.
Your website is often the first impression that potential clients will have of your law firm. In fact, it makes a first impression within 50 milliseconds. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your website is well-designed and up-to-date. If your website is outdated or hard to navigate, you could be losing potential clients. Investing in a good website design will pay off in the long run.
Here’s an example of a website our team at WiseMedia developed for a law firm marketing client. It’s professional, optimized for search engines, and built for lead generation.
Social media marketing
Social media is a great way to connect with potential clients and build your brand. You can use social media to share your content, answer questions, and stay up-to-date on industry news. Social media can also be used to run paid ads.
If you’re skeptical about including social networks in your law firm marketing budget, look at someone like Lawbymike for instance. He’s amassed millions of followers on TikTok alone, generating massive awareness for his legal practice.
It’s important to note that not all social media platforms will be relevant for your law firm. For example, if you’re a family law attorney, you may want to focus on Facebook and Instagram. If you’re a business law attorney, you may want to focus on LinkedIn. Choose the platform or platforms that make the most sense for your firm and invest your time and resources accordingly.
Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with potential and current clients. You can use email to share your latest blog post, announce a new service, or invite people to an event. It’s effective for nurturing leads and keeping in touch over the long term while generating appointments.
The return on investment of email marketing is the highest of any digital channel, generating $40 for every $1 invested.
When budgeting for email marketing, you’ll need to consider the cost of your email service provider, and the time it will take to create your email campaigns. You will need a designer and copywriter to effectively put together emails that can drive bottomline.
Read our article on the best email marketing software for law firms to learn more.
Freelancers and marketing agencies
Last but not least, you should consider dedicating a portion of your marketing budget to freelancers and marketing agencies. While you can do a lot of marketing yourself, there are some things that are best left to the professionals. For example, if you’re not experienced in paid advertising, you may want to hire a freelancer or agency to help you manage your campaigns.
When hiring a freelancer or agency, be sure to do your research and read reviews. You should also have a clear idea of what you want them to do and how much you’re willing to spend. Conduct interviews with them and ensure that they have the experience with your practice areas to drive the best results.
Reach out to our team at WiseMedia if you need legal marketing professionals to grow your law firm.
Final thoughts on law firm marketing budgets
Investing in marketing is essential for any law firm that wants to grow its business. But how much should you budget for marketing?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount you’ll need to spend will depend on your goals, your target audience, and the size of your firm. That said, most experts recommend spending 3-10% of your gross revenue on marketing.
When budgeting for marketing, be sure to track your results and adjust your budget as needed. And if you’re not experienced in a certain area of marketing, consider hiring a freelancer or agency to help you out.
Contact us at WiseMedia if you have any questions or need more assistance with your legal marketing efforts.