8 Steps for Creating the Ideal Marketing Plan. Need Help Deciding on Your Firm’s Ideal Marketing Plan? We Can Help
Every law firm out there should have a marketing plan of some sort, no matter how big or small. While the specifics of your firm’s marketing plan may not resemble any other plan exactly, it’s crucial to not only research and invest in a solid marketing strategy but also find the best ways of implementing it over the long haul.
So, what exactly are the steps toward creating a marketing plan that fits the needs and growth aims of your firm?
Just as marketing is inherently complex – especially in this digital day and age – so too are the steps to designing and implementing an effective marketing campaign.
But, fear not! We’re here to help you decide where and how to begin.
That is, we’ll pinpoint the main steps – from the initial stages of analysis, clarifying overall business objectives to be accomplished, and deciding on the ideal budget, to where you should aim to end up as your marketing plan gets off the ground.
For All the Marketing Newbies Out There…
First let’s have a look at what a marketing plan can include, just in case you’re rusty on the specifics of marketing in the digital age.
For starters, digital marketing should be viewed as a machine with many interconnected cogs performing their own functions to advance the movement of the whole (i.e., your firm’s business development).
What are some of the most important online “cogs?”
Effective Web Design and Development
We’ve discussed the importance of web design and development in many articles – most recently in one that dove into crafting the perfect homepage. Having a website, then developing and optimizing it to full capacity, is rule number one for every marketing plan.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Optimizing your site via quality content output, effective use of keywords and title tags, internal and external linking, and much more will help potential clients easily find your site (and therefore, your legal services) as they poke around on search engines such as Google.
SEO should be regarded as the bread and butter of every marketing plan.
At Black Fin, we believe that effective digital marketing begins with effective SEO. And since it’s the beginning of everything, we tailor all marketing efforts that follow with SEO ideals in mind. Read more about our one-of-a-kind marketing philosophy here.
Informative, Accessible Content
Your site should showcase informative, up-to-date content that meets search optimization standards across all webpages and blog articles. With so much online content amounting to rubbish these days, skimping here won’t do your marketing strategy any favors.
Through Social Media Marketing
If your firm isn’t already on social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or others, it’s high time it is. Your website and social media sites should work together to promote one another, widening your outreach across multiple platforms. This, in turn, will broaden viewership, click conversion, and ultimately your firm’s clientele.
Email Campaigns, Press Releases, and Other Outreach
In partnership with solid content marketing, email campaigns and press releases can help further your outbound marketing efforts among interested clients when they’re strategically crafted for your target demographic. Because these tactics can lead to click conversions and thus higher business intake, they are great methods for widening and interconnecting your general marketing scheme.
8 Steps for Creating the Ideal Marketing Plan
1. Evaluate Your Current Situation
Here, it’s important to take a good, hard look at your firm’s current digital marketing efforts and evaluate them accordingly. Does your firm have a website? If not, why not? And if so, how is it performing? Does it receive a steady stream of web traffic from diverse sources? Is it retaining viewers’ attention and ultimately lead to client conversion (through contact form submissions, prospective case consultations, etc.)?
How about content? Does your firm host a blog that’s full of informative, optimized, updated content? And how about social media? Is your firm consistently performing well via social media platforms? Do you regularly publish content and links that direct viewers back to your site? How about the use of paid ads, if your firm has opted to use them? How are these performing in terms of overall impressions, click conversion rates, and your firm’s ROI?
While there are a lot of distinct and complex factors to engage with here, the first step to creating a comprehensive marketing plan for your firm is to take a step back and deeply evaluate your marketing efforts as they stand right now.
Then, once you have a clearer idea of where you are and where you want to be, the steps toward getting there are much more focused.
2. Come to the Drawing Board Prepared
Begin planning your marketing scheme by researching to determine what types of marketing strategies exist, which ones have proven successful for other law firms like yours, and which ones you think could be feasible to implement in both the short and long term. The more you research and prepare, the more effective launching your marketing campaigns becomes.
3. Create Your Own Goals and Objectives
Based on where your firm’s marketing currently stands and what research you’ve already done toward crafting your own marketing plan, now it’s time to set tangible and measurable goals and objectives.
For optimal effectiveness, try to decide short-, medium-, and long-term marketing objectives that are realistic for your firm and its marketing staff, budget, timeline, and any other constraints.
4. Give Your Marketing Plan Some Deadlines
Of course, goals and objectives (no matter how feasible) are nothing more than floundering intangibles without dates and deadlines to ground them. Using your research and well-planned list of goals and objectives, the next step is to decide what should be accomplished and by when.
Not only will they effectively outline your marketing plan, but having realistic deadlines makes it much easier, in the long run, to determine which marketing methods are successful or not based on performance indicators and metrics results.
5. Budget Appropriately
There’s no doubt that marketing can be expensive. We’ve already pointed out that the ROI can bring high yields, but it’s important to budget fairly and consistently in accordance with goals and objectives as well as the timeline assigned to each.
Having too low of a budget can mean nothing more than an ill-fated marketing scheme, while having an unrealistically high and spend-heavy budget can mean a quick burnout of resources.
Your firm doesn’t need to invest an arm and a leg in its marketing plan, but some investment is required. To learn more about possible budget options and how to determine the best budget for your firm, contact us today.
6. Get to Work
Analyze your goals and objectives, with dates and budgeting in mind, to decide which marketing tasks can be done in-house and which are best left to outside professionals. Here, each law firm will be different, having distinct abilities, availability, and comfort levels.
If some of your firm’s marketing can be done in-house (e.g., content creation, email campaigns, social media upkeep, etc.), be reasonable with expectations and deadlines. If more complex aspects of your firm’s digital marketing plan (e.g., SEO, paid ads, web design and development, etc.) are too much for your in-house staff to tackle, plan to solicit the services of professionals.
7. Track Your Progress
Don’t let the work you’ve put in to steps two through four go to waste: You can use a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) and digital metrics to monitor your marketing strategy’s growth and success over time.
Learn more about how to use digital metrics to your firm’s marketing advantage by viewing this blog post.
8. Periodically Reassess
Based on your initial goals and objectives, as well as the successes (or failures) they experience over the short and long term, your firm’s marketing plan will naturally evolve over time. This isn’t a bad thing; in fact, it’s indicative of growth and progress, even if that means forsaking some strategies for other ones.
Try to remember that your firm’s online branding is always changing. As such, your marketing methods may have to change or be adjusted gradually, too. And we absolutely encourage this if these adjustments result in a stronger marketing plan.
Out with the old, in with the new – or, at least the slightly modified.
Need Help Deciding on Your Firm’s Ideal Marketing Plan? We Can Help
At Black Fin, we have been assisting clients just like your firm for many years with all things digital marketing. We know exactly how a tailor-made marketing plan can advance your new client development efforts and take your firm to the next level.
We specialize in all things digital: From SEO to web development, social media outreach, content marketing, and much more. We can analyze your existing performance and help you create a marketing plan that optimizes your site to prospective clients. To see what our clients have already said about us, click here.
If you’re ready to step up to the drawing board and get planning, we’re here to partner with you along the way. Contact us now to get started.