Despite being treated as a new phenomenon, influencer marketing has existed for a long time. We’re not talking about the tacky edited Instagram photos or annoying Facebook adverts where ‘celebrities’ shill various goods for stupid prices and meagre discounts. Influencing supersedes this definition. People have always been subconsciously influenced by media choices and stimuli around them through advertising. The only difference is nowadays it is not a billboard or a poster, but a digital video, Instagram account or blog doing the talking. When it comes to influencer marketing for law firms, again, this is not a new concept. Throughout history, prominent voices in law have risen to the top.
Think about the conferences, talks and events you’ve visited. Without realising it, the keynote address or speakers have been influencing your thoughts and decisions. Nowadays, influencer marketing for law firms is a very powerful tool. One of the biggest assets any law firm can have is credibility. If you mark yourself out as a trusted expert, or as having access to trusted experts, you become immensely credible. That sort of credibility becomes a USP for your law firm. That USP is the competitive advantage you need to succeed over other mid-market and mid-size law firms.
Influencer Marketing for Law Firms: Debunking Myths
Before diving deeper into influencer marketing for law firms specifically, it’s worth debunking several more general myths about influencer marketing:
Influencer marketing is just for B2C and not for B2B
Influencer marketing is now pervading every way of life. Whether you call them influencers or experts, chances are there are people in your industry who shape common thoughts and attitudes. Harnessing these dialogues and even engaging directly in them can help your law firm stand out from the crowd.
Influencer marketing is always expensive
Whilst it’s true that traditional influencers tend to command huge fees to post on Instagram, legal influencers often are more interested in engaging in quality discourse and discussion. Whilst a fancy dinner can never hurt to cement a relationship, they are more likely to want to invest in your personal brand because you have an interesting or innovative approach to law. Alternatively, you might be looking to share their success stories in order to help others.
People don’t listen to influencers
Although it can be hard to prove tangible benefits in the short term, positive associations can only be good for your law firm. If someone is unsure about working with you and researches you against a competitor and they have a back catalogue of podcasts, guest blogs and other content with reputable industry names and organisations, there is a strong chance you are not going to get that business!
Every influencer is the same
When it comes to influencer marketing for law firms, it’s not just about finding stuffy suits and the same voices. Digital transformation has led to law taking so many different directions. As a result, there are many characters to explore and communicate with.
Once you cast these four misconceptions out, it becomes very clear how influencer marketing for law firms can be extremely beneficial for you, in terms of making connections and also showcasing your own brand. With this in mind, how can you ensure your law firm nails the influencer marketing game?
Like so many things in business, influencer marketing is more effective when it is planned and managed properly. Although it might seem like an exciting opportunity to get your brand name out to a wider audience, it can quickly turn into a costly and ineffective venture if you haven’t got the right foundations in place.
Spend time investigating your prospective influencer’s values, ethos and ethics. It’s vital that everything aligns, so due diligence will always benefit you. Building a strong relationship between your legal brand and your influencers is integral to having a successful partnership. However, that relationship will only foster and blossom if you are pitching at the right level.
Finding Your Voice
Once you have sorted out the logistics behind your plans, you can begin looking for the right voices. The key to influencer marketing for law firms is pitching to the right content creators and voices. If you can find someone who shares your views, or has a similar background, this can often be a good fit. Alternatively, you can look for someone who you view as a ‘rising star’ and help to elevate their voice further. On the other hand, you can try and speak to more prominent voices and look at how you can mutually work with them to encourage new voices into the industry.
It’s important to remember that some influencers may look for financial remuneration. Although you don’t want to fall into the trap of simply paying for nothing, think of the longer-term tangible benefits of the partnership. You should use this knowledge to help you set your budgets and plan your attack.
Don’t Just Think About Sales
Although it might feel at first that you are not getting much from it, influencer marketing for law firms (like SEO) is a slow burner. It’s better to be promoting quality content that takes more time to pin down than just churning out nonsense.
Another big thing for influencer marketing for law firms – especially for smaller and newer firms – is not to be afraid to ask the influencer about your audience expectations. It’s likely they’ll have a much better grasp on who you are talking to and what makes them tick. Influencer marketing for law firms shouldn’t feel prescriptive.
The best legal brands that use influencer marketing have avoided falling into the regimented, prescriptive feeling. Instead, it’s off the cuff, quality content and debate that dominates.
Less is More
Once you’ve agreed on your core goals together with your influencer, it’s time to start creating and promoting content together. Promoting your content and ideas on social media is the best way to start. We’ve already covered social media for law firms in detail, but for influencer marketing for law firms, it’s different. Sharing informative and original content will mark you out as a trusted source of information. Collaborating with your influencers can open you to more new marketing opportunities.
However, it’s important to also not go overboard. People want to engage and learn about influencers via social media. But they don’t want information overload.
Sharing content regularly and often is always going to be more effective than either not posting at all or bombarding your audience. Slice of life snapshots from influencers can be effective, but they also can be distracting. Above all, you have to make sure you are spending the right amount of money to promote your content. It’s great having influencers and producing a lot of quality content, but if you are not spending money to make the content visible, it’s always going to be an uphill battle.
The Bigger Picture
When it comes to influencer marketing for law firms, the most successful companies are those that think on a grand scale. Influencers have prominent voices and want to articulate their views and voices to the widest possible audience. Keeping it local and small-scale might make your marketing cheap in financial terms, but it’ll also make it seem cheap in terms of quality.
If you are engaging with multiple voices, you want to look at how you can bring them together. This could be a shared podcast that you regularly chair. In other cases, it might be more appropriate for you to smaller intimate meetings to discuss specific topics or problems that similar size law firms share. Alternatively, bigger companies could host an event to allowing your influencers to communicate and speak to like-minded peers in the legal industry to educate and inspire them.
These are just a few ideas that you can take advantage of, but the most important thing is to impress upon your influencers why your idea is going to take their personal brand to the next level. The mutual benefits for you and your brand will intangible in their view, as long as they feel they are truly benefitting from the relationship.
The Final Word: Influencer Marketing in Law Firms
With COVID-19 crippling a lot of small and medium law firms, and businesses in general, effective marketing has never been more important. Although it takes time to get it right, doing so can help to elevate your brand and ensure you avoid the dreaded spectre of financial problems.
With influencer marketing in law firms becoming an increasingly common marketing tactic, it’s important that your firm does not miss out on this opportunity. You may not realise the benefits in the short term. However, the credibility and prestige that comes with a good influencer evangelising for your firm is huge. What’s more, opportunistic marketing with influencers can potentially expose your law firm to new customers and revenue streams. All of this adds up to more customers through your door and more revenue coming into your business.