Attorneys who have used advertising agencies have often simply allowed these agencies to decide on target markets and where to put their ads. However, as the economy has made it tougher for lawyers to stay competitive, many attorneys have ditched their agencies in favor of better target market contact opportunities online. But how do you take advantage of all the target markets the internet has to offer? This guide will help you identify target market opportunities that are tailor made for your firm, and how to identify which internet marketing platforms are most likely to be helpful in reaching those potential clients.
Who Visits Your Office Today?
The first question that attorneys who are interested in developing a new target market need to ask is who is already visiting. Today, with 9 out of 10 potential clients looking at internet sources before deciding on a lawyer, just about any target market can be reached online—even older people and people in rural areas who might have been isolated or without internet access just a few short years ago.
At the same time, the internet is an intensely personal medium. Even the most expanded cable package offers only a few hundred options—the world wide web adds more web pages than that in English every minute. This means that not everyone's seeing the same internet: a 14 year old fan of Justin Bieber isn't likely to be looking at any websites that are identical to those being watched by a physicist at a national laboratory. You should try to orient your advertising to the kinds of websites that your clients visit. In some cases, you may be able to guess these—for instance, if your clients keep asking you to give them a Twitter or Facebook address, you should consider developing target markets within those sites.
If you're not sure what websites your target market is visiting, why not try asking them? You know that your target markets will probably look a lot like your customers do now. That means that your target market population can be polled—just ask a broad cross section of your clients what websites they typically used and whether they're active on particular social media applications. If you find that a large number of people in your target market are Foursquare users, for instance, you might want to start going there—you'll have the advantage of people ready to provide tips and check-ins at your location.
Do You Need a Change?
If you're not sure who your target markets should be because you're not happy with the target market currently coming to your office, consider the reasons you want a change. Is it possible that you could look for a new target market while also identifying new target markets—giving you the best of both worlds? Remember the old saying: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Having an established target market you work well with may be a much safer strategy than aggressively pursuing new target markets that may or may not pan out.
One situation where you may really need a change is when for whatever reason, your target market is decreasing in total size. If, for example, you specialize in law for a particular industry, but that industry has now left your town, you're going to need to find new target markets. You may want to use an analysis tool to determine what kind of target market you'd be best off targeting in your specific geographic area.
Using Competitor Research
One way that you can figure out some keywords to target is to look at what your competitors are already using. If your competition has a record of getting high search results, see what they're doing to improve their organic search engine optimization. This can be a great way to learn what techniques are really working. At the same time, keep up on the most important trends in search engine optimization so that you can stay ahead of competitors. Remember that if their strategies are working, they may become complacent and stop looking for new ways to get ahead—take advantage of that to capture new target market demographics as they become targetable. With new social media tools taking advantage of microtargeting to niche target markets, chances are you can find some niches your competitors haven't yet targeted.
Marketing to Your Target Markets
Once you've got a target market in mind, consider what that specific market is looking for before you create the ad copy for that market. Don't just use the same ad copy. A good internet ad should include a specific call to action that makes people want to click—one of the biggest advantages of developing target markets is that you'll know what makes those potential clients tick. You should use your understanding of their motivations to write copy that would create curiosity and a need to be satisfied—and then satisfy that need in part through your landing page.
Monitoring Your Marketing Campaigns
As you begin new campaigns that are based on the motivations of your identified target market, you need good analytics tools to help you understand which ads are working and when and where they work best. You should have a different landing page for each of your ads that can help you identify which of the ads have brought the most clients to your pages. You can also keep track of the results you're getting from organic searches, so that you know which related keywords you should search engine optimize for in the future.
More Target Markets: Broader or Deeper?
When you've used a particular target market for your advertising for some time, you may start to wonder about growth and branching out. Before deciding to advertise to other groups, though, consider using a strategy that involves using additional services to target the same demographic. Keep in mind that people from the same demographic target markets may use significantly different websites. You may want to get more market saturation with the same market on several sites before choosing to branch into broader demographic target markets.