4 Steps to Auditing Your Law Firm’s Marketing Efforts

8 minutes to read

Are you:

  • Experiencing a decline in incoming cases?
  • Continuously attracting low-value cases?
  • Feeling like your marketing dollars are going to waste?
  • Not sure where to start finding better clients?
  • Ready to improve your law firm’s branding?

You are due for a marketing audit if you can relate to any of these experiences listed above.

The legal industry is constantly changing, and so are its marketing methods. Twenty years ago, the law industry relied heavily on yellow pages, billboards, and television ads. Now lawyers are getting clients through a single TikTok post, a YouTube video, or even podcasts.

Auditing your marketing efforts creates an opportunity for you to review what has and what has not been working for your law firm. You can also use this process to understand what’s happening in the market to keep yourself up-to-date with the new marketing methods — and assess what innovations may work for you.

How to Audit Your Law Firm's Marketing Efforts

Being a CEO of a law firm is not easy. It’s even harder when you are not maximizing your marketing efforts properly. The last thing you need is to lose any investment in a marketing method not suited for your firm.

Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are four simple steps you can take to audit your marketing efforts successfully:

Step 1: Assess What You Have Done

How to audit your law firm's marketing efforts

It is hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. The first step in conducting a marketing audit is to gather all the information and data associated with your past marketing efforts.

Did you run Facebook ads? Were you active on other social media? How much did you spend on Google Ads? Are you still paying for yellow page ads?

Everything matters.

Once you’ve gathered all the information, create a simple spreadsheet to help you organize what you have. Highlight the cost of each marketing tactic and the metrics that help you define whether each campaign was successful.

You can create your own metrics depending on what kind of marketing campaign you are running, but here are a few of the most powerful metrics used to measure marketing performance:

  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): The cost of getting a single new client. CPA is calculated by dividing your overall marketing spend by your overall cases.
    • Pro Tip: Look at acquisition holistically and not just by channel. That’s because every marketing channel has its own way of taking credit for a conversion or sale. For example, Google Ads are always last click, meaning if it’s the last thing someone clicked on before becoming a client, then Google takes credit. Facebook, on the other hand, is first click, meaning if someone interacted with a Facebook ad first and interacted with other marketing channels before becoming a client, Facebook still takes the credit. That’s why a holistic view is the best approach.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS): The return on investment is the profit generated per ad dollar. This differs from CPA in that it looks at the revenue generated directly by marketing activities. For every dollar spent, how many dollars were made?
  • Ad frequency: The number of times each member of your ad audience sees a message, typically measured monthly. Effective frequency is the number of times a consumer needs to be exposed to a message before the advertiser’s objective is reached. There are different effective frequencies by industry and by goal. Some goals might be brand recall, some might be click, some might be another action, and so on.
    • Pro Tip: There is no such thing as too much frequency. It takes at least four times for someone to see an ad before they read it, eight times to remember it, and 20 times to convert.
  • Branded search traffic: The volume of visits to your website that arrived via a branded keyword on a search engine — in other words, users searching for your firm by name, rather than a generic search term.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and the type of marketing you have run in the past will determine what unique metrics you will need to compile to determine what has worked — and what has not.

Once you’ve got all your data recorded and organized, it’s time to start step 2.

Step 2: Assess What You Are Currently Doing

Ideal Client

In step 1, you’ve looked at all that you’ve done. Now it’s time to assess what you are currently doing — and why.

What was your thought process behind the marketing you are doing today? Is it because you’ve seen results, or is it just what you’ve always done? How much is it costing you?

Think about your current marketing efforts.

  • Do they align with the goals you’ve set for your firm?
    • If they don’t, you could be impacting your firm’s reputation.
  • Are they supporting your long-term vision?
    • If they don’t, you could be making your long-term vision a moving target.
  • What metrics are you using to measure them?
    • If you have none, or it’s complicated to measure, you may be overestimating or underestimating certain marketing channels.
  • Have you set baselines and goals for each initiative?
    • If you have metrics but no baselines, the marketing channels may not actually be performing as well as they could be.
  • Do you feel like there is room for improvement?
    • The general answer here should always be yes! Clarify where and how you’d like to improve.
  • How many clients are you attracting through your current marketing efforts?
    • Be sure to think about the billing type for each of these clients based on your practice.
  • Are they your ideal clients?
    • They should be high quality and high value.

Answering these questions will help you better understand where you stand, what’s working well, and where you need to improve your current marketing efforts.

Step 3: Check Out the Market & Competitors

How to audit your law firm's marketing efforts

The best cases will always go to the best marketers, so it’s time to do some research. Who are the best marketers? In order to compete in this new digital marketing age, it’s important that you are up to speed with what actually has been working in the current market.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Who are the leaders currently killing it in marketing (any industry)?
  • What are the leaders in the legal industry doing?
  • What social platforms are being used? Are there any new emerging sites you could try?
  • Are there new features or updates on platforms that you’ve used?
    • Are they beneficial or could they hurt any of your future campaigns?
  • How are the leaders in the legal industry branding themselves?

By keeping up with the market, you may encounter new methods, updates, and trends that could get you better results, save you money, or both. Be open to trying new marketing approaches — but keep in mind that your law firm is unique, so even if something is working for another firm or business, it does not mean it will be a silver bullet for you. Don’t let this discourage you. When marketing, you will constantly be testing to construct your best strategy.

Pro Tip: You can actually see real live ads of your competitors running on social media. Check them out on the Ads Library.

Step 4: Regroup and Re-Launch

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By this step, you will have a full scope of all the marketing efforts you have done so far for your firm, and you will know what others in the market are doing. Now it’s time to assess.

Let’s define what a successful marketing campaign looks like to your firm.

Why are you trying to market your firm? While many in the legal industry are all about the leads, there are many reasons to prioritize your firm to be best known overall. Perhaps you believe you really are the best at what you do because you’ve been where your clients have been and don’t want anyone to suffer the way you might have. Or you used to work for the insurance companies and know how to take them on. Or you specialize in a really underrepresented niche that you know deserves more attention. Think about this and whether your marketing is really communicating your why.

What is the purpose of each initiative? We know, we know — you like to focus on leads. But is that really what every initiative is for? Is it to bring in more clients, or is it to grow your social following? What result from a marketing campaign would bring you the most joy? What outcome would bring you the most disappointment?

Once you’ve defined what a successful marketing campaign looks like to your firm, it’s time to figure out your next steps.

Look over all the data and ideas you have gathered and ask yourself:

  • What has worked for us in the past?
  • What has not worked?
  • What do we want to try?
  • Based on the information gathered, what will be our next push for marketing our firm?
  • Are there a few tweaks you can make to a current campaign that could improve your results?

Once you’ve answered all of these questions for yourself, it’s time to regroup and re-launch your marketing efforts for your law firm.

We’ll go into creating the marketing plan in an upcoming post, but for now, pat yourself on the back for a successful marketing audit!

Final Thoughts

We hope you will use this article as a tool to help you audit and improve your law firm’s current marketing efforts.

Want a professionally-executed 360° Social Audit for your law firm to help get you started? Connect with us here to talk to a legal marketing strategist.

If you are looking to dig deeper into current marketing trends in the legal industry, check out The 2022 Cost for Law Firms to Advertise on Google, The Law Firm’s Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising in 2022, or any other legal marketing resources on the topic!