Today, more companies than ever are using behavioral targeting techniques to find the best leads and the page views that are most likely to convert. Making behavioral target marketing part of your marketing strategy can seem tough to start with, but it's also one of the best ways to get a great return on investment online. Case studies have shown increases of 20 to nearly 200 percent in clicks and conversions when companies start using behavioral targeting.
How Does Behavioral Target Marketing Work?
Sometimes, the ads that people see when they visit a website are contextual—that is, they're based on the keywords on the page that they're looking at. Contextual ads, like the ones that you can purchase on a per click basis with Google AdWords, are used by attorneys all over the United States.
However, the sheer number of contextual ads for attorneys online today can make them seem overwhelming. Another way to target customers is to track their behavior on a lot of websites—to see what they're looking for and how they're shopping. Ad networks put “cookies” onto people's computers that detect their behavior whenever they're viewing any of thousands of different websites.
Behavioral targeting lets you use that data to decide who sees your advertisements. Not all potential clients can be reached with contextual or demographic targeting. Behavioral target marketing lets you get to the exact clients you're looking for.
Is Behavioral Target Marketing Ethical?
Some people have been concerned about the potential for abuse of behavioral targeting data. While it's true that a major security breach of ad network information could be very problematic, as long as you're using the most major providers of behavioral target marketing, security should be very tight.
The other ethics concern that can be problematic is tying your advertisements to the behavior of people when it suggests they're seeking someone else's website. If your ad network detects that a web visitor is doing research on a competitor's law firm, advertising to them may be in violation of your state's ethics rules. It's always a good idea to talk to your state bar association about their policies on advertising before you start a new type of campaign, including behavioral targeting.
What Does Behavioral Targeting Look Like?
Behavioral target marketing is something you've probably already seen online, even if you didn't have the words to describe exactly what it was before. For example, have you ever been shopping at an online store for the first time, then saw advertisements for the same store a day or two later? That's what behavioral target marketing looks like for many companies.
You can also see behavioral marketing on Amazon.com, which recommends products based on what you've looked at before. These kinds of behavioral targeting have led retailers to make big gains, because not everyone behaves in the way that their demographic data suggests that they would. Even, say, a 23 woman who is interested in motorcycle parts or a 58 year old man who loves to bake cupcakes would be served well by behavioral target marketing, but not demographically based marketing.
How Do Law Firms Use Behavioral Target Marketing?
Not all companies that use behavioral targeting are retailers. Providers of services, like law firms, can often use the same kinds of “remarketing” capabilities that retailers are using. Let's say someone had already looked at your law firm's website earlier in the day. By joining an ad network and doing behavioral target marketing, you can get your logo back in front of them the next time they're shopping online or reading their favorite web forums.
You can also use ad networks to do behavioral targeting on people who are shopping for services similar to the ones you're providing. This can be a great way to identify people who are ready to convert and are already doing research on law firms.
You may also want to use behavioral target marketing on your website. Behavioral targeting on websites has as its aim giving each visitor a personalized experience based on their previous behavior on your site or on someone else's website.
Do I Have To Do Behavioral Target Marketing Myself?
Okay, so you're not a behavioral targeting wizard yet, but there's good news: you don't have to try to handle it all by yourself. In addition to a number of free web resources, like blogs about behavioral target marketing, you can also hire a targeting company to help you use this new type of advertising. Even a single consultation can help you get your behavioral targeting strategy on track.
You can assign as much or as little responsibility as you want to a behavioral target marketing company. However, you may want to try to arrange a deal in which you keep access to any data that is collected about your company. This lets you be sure of your security even if you decide later to stop doing business with the behavioral targeting company you're using, and lets you use the data for later behavioral marketing campaigns.
Behavioral Target Marketing For Mobile
As more of the web goes mobile, it's important to use at least one big form of behavioral targeting. You want to make sure that the user experience for your mobile users is geared toward their devices, rather than offering them a poorly functioning version of your desktop site.
As you begin to customize your website for mobile users, consider expanding your behavioral target marketing so that you're advertising to these users. They're uniquely positioned to call your firm quickly after starting to research your site, and you need to attract these customers fast: studies show they're less likely to go to even the second page of search results before finding a lawyer they want to call.
How is Behavioral Target Marketing Changing?
Some of the biggest advances in behavioral targeting right now are being made in the area of analytics. Being able to understand why some people will click on an ad but others won't can help you to identify even narrower target markets with an excellent value per click. If you hire a behavioral targeting company to help with your new marketing campaign, they can help you arrange split tests so that you can figure out whether behavioral target marketing is working for your company.