Updated: Dec 25, 2020
How digital media trends will impact law firms in 2021. Learn to use social media to be a thought leader. Increase earned media. Develop social media presence.
6 Digital Media Trends Law Firms Will See in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought technology and online marketing to the forefront like never before. Even when pandemic restrictions are lifted, digital marketing for businesses across all industries will remain on top of mind. This is as true for your legal firm as it is for the retailer down the street and the accountant around the corner. Digital marketing is transforming both Wall Street and Main Street.
Many companies across all industries in the past year have learned that “smarter, not more” gets results. Targeted efforts coupled with a concentrated spending strategy drive successful marketing plans. Your marketing goal is to establish yourself as a trusted resource and get your potential clients to see your firm as a well-positioned organization to help them with their legal needs. Effective use of today’s digital media is the key to your firm’s growth and stability in 2021. Below are six trends in digital media for 2021 that can be your legal firm’s ticket to a successful year ahead.
Trend 1 – Thought Leadership
Events have unfolded at a phenomenal rate in 2020, catching many of your clients by surprise. Show them by the content you produce that you can help them navigate the key issues they will likely face in 2021. Begin by posting your own articles on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Twitter is suitable for short comments. Along with posting your own articles, join in the conversation initiated by others. Find other thought leaders in your field and comment on their blogs and tweets. People who follow other leaders may resonate with your comments and responses and begin following you. The key is to be present in the stream of discussion.
Trend 2 – Earned Media
Earned media is content written and published by others. Consumers are hyper-sensitive to “fake news” and engineered images. Organic postings create trust, while paid ads engender skepticism. When objective third parties write about a business or leave a review about an experience they had, people pay attention. Your “thought leadership” articles and postings are the key to gaining earned media.
Trend 3 – Personalized Public Relations
Consider how Google analyzes your internet searches and serves up potentially relevant content before you even ask for it. Or look at how Amazon knows what you are likely to buy and presents you with applicable ads. People today expect to receive personalized information. Mass-media press releases are ineffective at grabbing readers’ attention. Personalize your PR by tailoring stories to specific platforms and audiences. This means knowing where your potential clients are getting their news and consumer information, and then you publish your message there that speaks to their interests and issues.
Trend 4 – Social Media Presence
Your clients are online—all the time and everywhere. To name just one statistic, Facebook usage is up 70% since the start of the pandemic. Instagram and Twitter are also surging. Your ability to execute thought leadership, create earned media, and implement personalization depends on social media platforms. Engagement is the name of the game, and social media is the engine it runs on. Know the right platform for your audience. For example, LinkedIn is ideal for reaching professional clients, while Facebook is best for baby-boomer consumers. It is useful to note that Facebook ads for law firms have proven to be effective while being less expensive than Google Ads.
Trend 5 – Mobile First
In 2021, Google will rank mobile-friendly websites higher than those that do not conform to mobile platforms. This is because the ubiquitous smartphone is how people today connect to the internet, search for information, and buy products. More than 40 percent of internet users depend on their smartphones in 2020, and that number is expected to increase as billions of mobile devices rest in the hands of consumers. If your website does not work on a smartphone, you instantly lose half your customer base.
Trend 6 – Photos and Videos
The images on your website are the first, and maybe the only, impressions clients get of your firm. Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text. Further, videos capture and hold attention better than still photos. YouTube has proven the attracting power of videos. Your website should host good-quality images and videos. Blurry, poorly lit pictures detract from your message. But you don’t need a professional video studio setup. Cell phone cameras and editing software have become quite sophisticated. A tripod, a good light source, and a microphone are the essentials. Viewers trust self-produced videos more than they trust glitzy corporate productions. Content is more important than fancy production. Good content is genuine and informative.
Printed advertisements, circulars, newswire press releases, and TV ads are 20th Century inventions that don’t play well in the 21st Century world. Digital media is the platform of choice for many, if not most, information consumers. The younger the audience, the more influence digital media has. People have turned away from corporate-produced propaganda and are looking for authentic interaction with real people. The trends discussed above rely on one central concept—social media sells. Society today stands on the brink of the digital revolution. The dinosaurs learned an important lesson the hard way—adapt or perish. Increase your digital IQ for a winning strategy in 2021 and beyond.