A recent survey from BTI Consulting indicated that law firms are prioritizing revenue growth over all other priorities for 2012. Improving your ability to market to clients is the most important thing that you can do in order to save money while getting more new business than ever. If you understand demographic data, you'll be better able to identify target markets that are likely to respond to your marketing. You'll also be able to differentiate your advertising to different demographics, which can improve your click through rates and conversion rates.
#1: Create Different Advertisements for Men and Women
One of the demographic categories that attorneys seem oddly reluctant to use is gender. If you've noticed in your practice that the men who visit seem to have a particular type of concern while women have a different one, you're not alone. This can be true in fields as diverse as education law, labor law, divorce law, and even estate law. However, most attorneys are still advertising to men and women of particular age groups when they market to small demographics on Facebook and other social networks.
The most important factor for creating click through is having a call to action in your ad text that attracts potential clients with a call to action that is understandable and relateable. If people don't feel that they can relate to your call to action, they won't click the ad—so don't show men advertisements that identify women's concerns, and vice versa.
#2: Target Based on Income Level
Most attorneys know what band of income demographics they're targeting. Attorneys who are planning large estates and forming trusts for wealthy clients should make sure that they're targeting sources online that wealthy demographic groups are likely to use. That doesn't just mean the obvious and expensive demographics targets like the Wall Street Journal. It also means researching some niche websites that will be cheaper to use for advertising purposes but will still target a high percentage of clients that meet your income demographic goals. You may also want to target people in demographics with specific types of jobs (for instance, executive jobs) that you know to have income in the right band with your advertisements on social networks like LinkedIn.
#3: Use Pinpointed Geolocational Targeting
If you know that the vast majority of your law firm's clients come from within a mile of your offices, why market to your entire region? You need to use geographically based demographics to make sure that you're optimizing your marketing efforts to grab the exact potential clients most likely to convert and schedule a visit at your offices. Being able to get customers in precise geographic demographics used to be very difficult. In fact, most of the time, the tightest demographic most services would allow is zip code. However, that's starting to change—and it's all because of geolocational services like Foursquare and the now-defunct Gowalla.
These services have made it much easier to target a precise location. If you use Foursquare's full advertising capabilities, you can create a “fence” around whatever area you want. Anyone passing through the “fence” will be targeted with your advertisement. You can target whole neighborhoods or just areas that are near to the locations where you think your most likely customers are likely to be.
#4: Identify Age Demographics to Target
Remember that not every age demographic is equally likely to need your legal services. Some age demographics are more likely to need divorce attorneys, while others are more likely to need education attorneys or estate attorneys. This means that you should be identifying the age distribution of your current client base and responding to these demographics in your advertising. Consider marketing to more than one age demographic for more business, but only if you see that two or three age demographics have at least a significant presence in your existing client list. Trying to market to clients you're not familiar with can result in you wasting a lot of money on ads that don't really address their concerns.
#5: Tailor Your Message in Social Media for Demographics
If you're making your Facebook status updates available for all of your Facebook friends, consider changing up your strategy. If you make people part of a demographic based list as soon as they start following your page, you can target those specific demographics when you make status updates and show them only to the people likely to be interested. This ensures that you're not creating brand fatigue from users who are seeing a large number of your marketing updates.
#6: Choose Market Segments Based on Profession
LinkedIn gives you the option of targeting a demographic as specific as a particular job title. Not all lawyers will be able to effectively use these demographics, but if you're working at a boutique firm you may be specialists in a very particular kind of case. If there's a specific job title you want to market to, you may be able to find an incredibly specialized demographic market. Instead of targeting these decision makers indirectly, this kind of testing of demographics ensures that you will be able to get the direct contact that is most valuable.
#7: Pay Attention to Accessibility Concerns
When you're targeting demographics who are older, you may want to be particularly sensitive to their concerns about website accessibility. Older and disabled demographics may need to have websites that are easy for them to use with assistive technology to help with mobility or sensory issues. You may also want to make sure that your website is still visible clearly even with older browsers and computers with slower internet connections. While more older people than ever have internet access, they don't all have the newest hardware and software.
#8: Analyze Performance by Demographic Group
When you have targeted particular demographics, you need to do analytics to understand what's actually successful or not. Every demographic should be tested separately so that you can get a clear understanding of what works best in your targeting efforts.