Law firms clung to bus station and park bench advertisements for a long time.

Once word spread about the incredible results of PPC ads, firms jumped on board, even forgoing other long-term lead generation methods like SEO and content marketing.

If you’ve been in the SEO game for several years, you know that it’s evolved dramatically. In the beginning, keyword stuffing — filling a web page with as many keywords as possible — was typical and even expected.

Google made incremental changes over the years to make content more human, preferring semantic keywords and punishing overt keyword use.

Youtube is now the second largest search engine, behind Google, and live streaming has spread to every social media platform.

As valuable as social media can be for your business, it also shifts as often as the wind. Not long ago, Vine and Snapchat were the hot platforms, and now, it’s TikTok and Clubhouse.

But it’s not just marketing that’s evolving.

Online legal services have grown to a market size of $9 billion.

Remaining competitive in today’s market is more complicated than it once was. Yet, it’s easier than ever to reach your target audiences and stretch into new markets.

Keeping up with the trends is the only way to stay relevant, competitive, and in business.

In this article, we’ll break down the latest personal injury marketing trends and predictions. We’ll also show you how to get more personal injury clients today.

You’ll learn:

How to Bring Your Personal Injury Marketing Up to Date with Trends for 2021

The truth is, people don’t think about a personal injury lawyer until they need one.

This often fools law firms into believing that the best way to reach their potential clients is with PPC, focusing on converting users only when they’re already ready to hire.

But it’s caused many law firms to miss the opportunity to grow an audience and generate a steady stream of leads through a website, SEO, social media, and blogging.

The proof is in these law firm marketing stats:

  • Only 47% of law firms have a marketing budget
  • 57% of solo lawyers have a website
  • 30% of law firms have a blog
  • 23% are on Avvo (one of the most prominent law firm directories on the internet)
  • 90% of law firms have a website, but only 38% of them monitor their analytics (which likely means only 38% have optimized websites that drive traffic)

Squandered opportunities all around.

Don’t miss out on creating an engaged audience, consistent leads, and a larger client base from sheer neglect of marketing your fir

However, don’t just jump into any marketing tactic.

Using the wrong marketing tactics for today’s market will result in sporadic leads and a smaller ROI.

We’ve put together this trend list of marketing tactics for 2021. Here’s what you need to know:

Law firms are Focusing on Cost-Per-Acquisition Over Cost-Per-Click

There are three payment structures for search ads:

  • Cost-per-click – based on how many times someone clicks on your ad.
  • Cost-per-mille – based on the number of views or impressions of your ad.
  • Cost-per-acquisition – also known as cost-per-action — you only pay for the leads you acquire from your ad.

 For the same reason, many firms pay more attention to their traffic metrics than their leads, and cost has taken precedence over investing in building brand awareness.

You’ll always have more clicks than leads.

Not to mention, CPC requires a deeper knowledge of PPC and ad performance. CPC also doesn’t have a guaranteed ROI and requires ongoing management.

So why haven’t advertisers made the switch to cost-per-acquisition sooner

Cost-per-acquisition is a granular metric. In other words, if you use it to track other marketing efforts, such as social media acquisitions, display ads, affiliate links, or SEO, you’ll have to track additional metrics to get the complete revenue picture.

Many law firms have stuck with CPC because it’s simple — you can buy your way to the top of the first page of Google. There are more factors at play when it comes to CPA

With CPA, Google favors ads with the highest AdRank.

Your ad spend is only one factor of your AdRank. Another, is your ad score — measured by keyword relevance to the linked page, user experience, and click-through-rate.

It takes more thought and initial work to create ads with a cost-per-acquisition plan but it saves money in the long run.

You’ll only pay for the leads you acquire while maximizing your ROI by creating quality content directed at your target audience. Providing valuable content through CPA ads results in more potential clients reaching out to you. 

Investment in Brand Awareness

Picture this…

Potential clients see your firm’s name in publications, blog posts, and on social media regularly before they need you. You’re creating value and establishing trust.

They see your competitor’s name for the first time in an ad.

Who are they more likely to contact?

PPC ads, social media ads, and display ads are all beneficial to your business. They’ll still bring in the leads.

But, having brand recognition is better.

There are a lot of ways to get more recognition (and appear organically in search results):

  • Be active on several social media channels
  • Be on every relevant directory
  • Hosta podcast
  • Blog consistently
  • Produce YouTube videos
  • Write for trade publications and legal authority blogs

This list barely scrapes the surface of the content marketing outlets available, and that’s okay because the factor that links them is the golden key.

VALUE.

No matter which avenues you take to build brand awareness, commit to providing valuable, actionable information.

Law firms have a unique opportunity with content production because your potential clients have a ton of questions.

You’ve been asked these questions. Over and over.

There are commonly asked questions throughout the industry., AND your prospective clients are likely asking dozens of questions during calls and consultations, right?.

Well-thought-out content strategies answer your customer’s questions and address their pain points and concerns.

  • Create articles about the costs of hiring or vetting a law firm, as well as the trial process.
  • Do a live Q & A session through social media, taking in questions in real-time. 
  • Perform mock trials as Youtube videos or Instagram Reels.

Get creative, but always focus on providing value.

SEO & Semantic Keywords

Law firms will run PPC ads for ten years without a website or any other digital presence.

But if they took just 25% of their PPC budget and spent it on SEO over that ten years, they’d have thousands of pages online, all ranking for dozens or hundreds of keywords.

They’d be searchable.

Let’s put this into perspective:

  • Only 15% of visitors to a website come from paid search (ads).
  • 86% of organic searches come from Google (Bing only receives 6%)
  • Google sees 81 billion visits PER MONTH

Optimizing your website and creating content infused with keywords opens your business to that massive amount of traffic.

But there is a caveat.

SEO doesn’t remain the same. There are around 800 changes to Google’s ranking algorithms each year.

Many are insignificant, and the basics remain the same (such as placement of keywords in the metadata and headlines), but there’s one significant change.

Semantic keywords are more important than ever.

You can’t simply look up keywords for a topic and overload your content with variations of those words. 

Google now penalizes for keyword stuffing.

They go even further than that. They’ll penalize your site for the slightest overt keyword use.

Content now has to sound as human as possible. Meaning, Google props up content that’s more conversational and contains more semantic keywords than regular keywords.

For instance, instead of inserting “personal injury attorney” a few times throughout a piece, you’d use “car accident,” “accident,” “injury claim,” etc.

Simply using terms related to a topic, you’re clueing Google as to who the content is relevant.

Search engines now read your entire page (and your website) to understand it as a whole rather than simply picking out keywords.

Including semantic words only helps to classify it.

Website Optimization is More Important

90% of law firms may have a website, but only about a third are optimized.

Among small law firms, 35% haven’t touched their website in over three years.

That might create a sense of lower competition and security in your market, but don’t let it fool you.

Remember that online legal services are a $9 billion industry, and the internet is only getting more crowded.

To be competitive, you must have a website, and that website needs to rank. This means having:

  • A responsive design that adapts to all screen sizes
  • Faster load times (3 seconds or less)
  • A sleek yet easy to navigate web design
  • Local SEO
  • A blog or other regular updates and additional content 
  • Answers to the most vital questions your audience has
  • A compelling offer to get leads through the door
  • Social proof like testimonials

Optimizing your website isn’t just about adding keywords to your content. It’s about creating a great user experience and meeting the needs of your audience.

The top converting websites have a conversion rate of around 11%, which doesn’t sound like much, but a 1% increase in conversions could double your revenue.

The statistics are on your side, too, because professional service websites convert better than any other industry.

More Engagement on Social Media Platforms

Building an audience might not seem like an ideal strategy for law firms whose clients only became clients once they had an immediate need (not because they were nurtured into it).

But law firms that skip out on social media are missing the silver lining.

Facebook takes in around 26 billion visitors each month.

With that kind of exposure, possibilities are endless, especially considering that Facebook has groups tailored to specific interests and audiences (targeting).

A quick search turns up groups like:

Personal Injury Legal Advice

Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer

Ask A Lawyer

Social media does more than expose you to clients, and there are several arguments for having a presence online:

  • Law firms are a part of their local community, representing citizens and businesses alike.
  • It highlights positive relationships with former clients and the community
  • It brings brand awareness and establishes the law firm as a local authority
  • It shows their involvements outside of the office and courtroom
  • It sheds the stiff and impersonal perception most people have of law firms
  • It puts a face on the law firm
  • Staying engaged in conversations tells you a lot about your audiences’ needs and the kind of content you should produce

Using social media for your business isn’t the same as running ads. Don’t go into it expecting leads to start pouring in. Social media is about being social.

Instead, you’re connecting to the community, building an image, and establishing authority on a topic.

So how does this work for lead generation?

Besides exposing you to audiences you might not reach with other marketing avenues, setting yourself up as an expert works in two ways:

  1. Someone searching for a lawyer stumbles onto your ad or your website. Because they want to vet you further before reaching out, they do a little research. What they find is plenty of good reviews, a professional website, and a well-developed social media presence.
  2. You build a following on social media with authoritative and engaging content. People in your audience continue to consume your content, and thanks to the way specific platform algorithms work, others in your follower’s networks will see your content too. You’ll either reach someone who needs a lawyer right away or convert followers if they need one in the future.

While the second scenario may not seem likely, in actuality, around 35% of lawyers using social media state they’ve gained clients through social media.

Many law firms aren’t utilizing social media. Only 54% of law firms use Facebook right now, while 79% are using LinkedIn. It’s safe to say there’s a lot of room for improvement with that statistic.

Video Marketing

Youtube is the second largest search engine and sees around 33 billion users each month. That’s around a third of all internet traffic.

In addition to Youtube’s traffic is the use of video on blogs and social media.

82% of Twitter users watch video content on the platform. Yet, only 24% of law firms use video in their marketing.

The demand is growing. 

Instagram has both reels and live streaming. 

Facebook allows for video posts, video ads, and live streaming. 

LinkedIn recently added live stories.

Even podcasters are using video to record their conversations with guests to post across social media and Youtube.

New statistics are also showing that having a video on a landing page increases conversions by 80%.

If that isn’t compelling enough, here are a few other incredible statistics:

  • Video marketing raises brand awareness by 54%
  • Video marketers gain 66% more leads than those who don’t use video in their marketing
  • 54% of consumers want to see more video from businesses

Video marketing should be in your wheelhouse.

But how should law firms use video marketing to attract clients?

Law firms are already using video to repurpose blog content, introduce lawyers on a firm’s website, and answer client questions.

Some firms have taken a more creative approach.

Michelle Murphy, owner of Wilson Murphy Law, uses her social media to share tips on contract and trademark law. So far, she’s built a following of over 7,000 users on TikTok. Some of her most popular videos have upwards of 200,000 views.

Adam Oremland, Oremland Law Group owner, uses his Instagram account to speak to his nearly 170,000 followers. He’s developed such a large and loyal following because he uses humor to deliver genuinely helpful cases. Almost all of his videos are mock personal injury cases.

White & Case law firm uses video to break down complicated legal issues, explain regulations, and outline those regulations’ implications. They share their videos directly to LinkedIn.

Besides using videos on social media, law firms also reap benefits from adding one or two videos to their website. Add a video to:

  • Your firm’s About page
  • Case Studies
  • Testimonials
  • Articles
  • Lawyer profiles

If adding a single video to a landing page can increase conversions by 80%, imagine what a complete video marketing strategy could achieve.

Podcasts

Podcasts are on the rise, and that’s no secret considering the emergence and immediate jump to fame of Clubhouse, a platform built entirely for audio. Did you know that 38% of law firms produce podcasts?

That number will only rise in the coming years, for several reasons:

  • Podcasts fit an on-the-go lifestyle, allowing businesses to speak to a different kind of audience (one that prefers listening over reading).
  • It makes it easier to create new partnerships and connect with other professionals in your industry.
  • It builds trust, loyalty, and authority just like social media does.
  • Again, like social media, podcasts are humanizing.
  • They’re low cost and time saving (you can even use the transcript as an article)

Podcast listeners are very engaged. Listeners subscribe because the topic interests them or provides valuable and applicable information.

The format also makes it easier to stay engaged since they can listen while driving, working out, walking, or doing mundane tasks around the house.

80% of podcast users listen to entire episodes.

Starting a podcast is relatively simple, and repurposing the content for social media, articles, and your website only makes them more enticing.

Which Marketing Tactics Work Best for Personal Injury Lawyers?

It isn’t a matter of which marketing tactic is better for personal injury attorneys.

All of the above tactics will work to bring in more personal injury clients.

The question should be — which marketing tactics are best for your audience, budget, and goals?

To determine that, get to know your audience.

Not on a surface level. You need to dig DEEP to figure out:

  • Who your most prominent clients are
  • What industries they work in
  • What titles they hold at work
  • Their demographics (particularly their age)
  • Which social media channels they engage in
  • The kind of content they consume and share

Details like age, industry, and work title clue you into the kind of content your audience might consume and where they hang out online.

The goal is to reach them where they already are, not divert them to a platform they aren’t using just to consume your content.

So, meet them where they are by getting to know them.

How to Conduct Audience Research

In most cases, it doesn’t take much digging to hear what your clients have to say. Every law firm should already understand the industries your audience works in and the pains they have.

If you predominantly handle workplace injury cases, you’re likely to see a trend in your client load.

However, to get a more detailed picture and find out which marketing channels to use, you can’t just base your decisions on case trends.

There are a few methods you can use for user research:

Interview past clients — your past and current clients are your best source of information. They can not only provide you with testimonials and case studies but can also give you significant insight.

There are several ways to get this information if you’re not comfortable with flat out interviewing clients:

  • Invite them to be on your email list and send a survey out to your list all at once
  • Ask as they fill out a contact form on your website (“Where did you hear about us?“)
  • Ask in the initial consultation (or have them fill out a survey)
  • Use a client feedback form to ask what kind of content they’d like you  to provide and where

Dig into client profiles – Asking clients direct questions about their social media might not always be possible, but there are other ways to glean this information from past and existing clients.

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve likely already acquired reviews of your service.

In many cases, review sites link to social media profiles or show other information about the reviewer.

This makes it easier to look into the types of platforms your clients engage in. By scanning their accounts, you can see which they’re most active in, the kind of content they consume and share, and the groups they belong to.

An in-depth look at your clients is for the sole purpose of figuring out how to serve them better and how to reach more people like them.

Check for niche groups and forums – If you can’t access existing and past client information, the next best thing is to look for niche groups and forums.

Simply search: “{niche}+ Forum”

Engaging in forums gives you a way to connect directly with the people that need your help. You can either engage in these forums like you would on social media (always advised), or you can use them to gather information.

Speak to these individuals to gain an understanding of which social channels they prefer and how you can better serve them.

How to Choose Which Marketing Channels to Use

Once you’ve gathered all the user research, you’ll know where your audience hangs out and can start investing time in those channels.

You may find no trend in social media use or that your audience engages on multiple platforms.

If this is the case, it doesn’t mean you have to create content across all channels. It’s better that you don’t.

By jumping into multiple social platforms at once, you don’t have a chance to get a feel for how the channel works and what kind of content works best.

Every channel requires regular posting and engagement to be successful, and spreading yourself too thin across too many channels will negate the purpose of using social media.

Start with one or two channels.

Choose channels that either complement each other or allow you to reach different audiences with different types of content.

Facebook and Twitter are two complementary channels.

Live stream on Facebook and engage in groups where your niche hangs out. Deliver thought leadership and build a network on Twitter.

They’re two different channels that reach audiences in very different ways.

Once you’ve mastered one or two mediums, you can consider expanding to other platforms.

Analyzing Existing Marketing Efforts

26% of law firms don’t track their leads and conversions at all.

That means that they’re either not putting any effort into marketing their law firm or pouring massive amounts of time and money into methods that might not be working at all.

In addition to the firms not measuring their conversions, are the firms tracking vanity metrics like traffic, click-through rate, page views, follower counts, etc.

Not tracking leads and conversions does little to progress your marketing and even less to increase conversions.

To know which channels are worth it — which ones bring in the most significant number of leads (or are at least growing brand awareness) — you need to check your analytics.If you’ve paired your website up with Google Analytics, you’re able to monitor:

  • Ad campaign conversions
  • Referral sources to your website and landing pages (which social media channels are driving traffic to your web pages)
  • Conversions from each channel
  • Conversions from your website, including blog content

You’ll find most of that information in the Acquisitions sections of your analytics account.

The easiest way to measure conversions from all of your channels, from blogs to social media and PPC campaigns, is to send everything to the same place.

Monitor all traffic sources through conversion goals in analytics.

Here’s the process:

  1. Design a thank you page on your website that’s only accessible by filling out a sign-up form.
  2. Create a conversion goal in your analytics account (Admin>Goals>New Goal) for the thank you page. (Make sure to add the URL of the page itself as the conversion destination).
  3. Set your CTAs and forms across your website, campaigns, and landing pages to redirect to that thank you page once submitted. (Be sure to do this for all future campaigns such as social media ads or social campaigns)

You can even add pop-ups, lead magnets, or a simple PDF download option to each article and send those sign-ups to the thank you page.

Over the next few months, let Google Analytics collect the data.

Run an assessment of your conversions every three to six months, which gives you enough time to see what’s working and make adjustments for the next quarter (or half).

There are several ways to view the results.

In most cases, you’ll simply look into your Conversion Goals Overview. But you can look at landing page reports to see how many leads were brought in by each page.

Conversion goals will also show you which channel those leads came from, including social media.

If you want to monitor your SEO efforts:

Google Analytics provides insights into your organic search traffic, but there’s more to know than that.

Tools like Ahrefs allow you to monitor:

  • Keywords you rank for
  • Your position in search results for those keywords
  • Backlink profile
  • Domain rating
  • Organic traffic to pages on your website based on keywords

Google Analytics is one of the best tools for tracking results, but it isn’t the only way. Use all of the tools available to you to get a complete picture of your online profile.

Building Your Personal Injury Attorney Marketing Plan

The question of how to get more personal injury clients has no simple answer.

Each law firm must understand its audience, budget, and goals and devise a plan that fits.

But considering those factors alone isn’t enough. It’s all too common that law firms pour money into older marketing tactics that no longer work.

To meet client and firm needs and remain competitive in a crowded industry without wasting money, you have to pay attention to marketing trends.

First, account for where your law firm is now.

What methods are you currently using to gain clients?

Which avenues are bringing in the most leads?

Next, set goals for where you want to be.

Once you’ve set goals, you can develop a more functional plan to reach them.