If You Think Lawyer Marketing is Hard Now – Just Wait….

IF YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY, YOU ARE FEELING THE MARKETING PAIN! 

Paid search costs continue to increase while search traffic continues to decline. Gartner predicts a 25% decline in search traffic by 2026, meaning that if they are correct and you rely heavily on advertising in search engines like Google, what will you do to compensate for a 25% loss in new business over the next 1.5 years?

Tiktok for lawyersWith the recent rise of AI and the increasing time spent on alternative information platforms such as TikTok and Reddit, people are finding more efficient ways to obtain information beyond traditional search methods. Gen Z (ages 12-27) now spends nearly 50% of their time on platforms other than Google. The average TikTok user spends more time on the platform each day than on most other social media combined.

In the context of legal search and information, alternative platforms to Google tend to yield more relevant information faster for users than traditional search engines. People don’t want to click multiple times and sift through infinite results when chatbots can now do it for them in a fraction of the time. Additionally, most people prefer consuming video content over reading legal information on their smartphones. All of this spells trouble for search engines like Google, which are perceived by many to now show content they want to display rather than the best and most efficient results. This perception is now fully exposed by alternative platforms that aren’t burdened with the need to generate billions in ad revenue using traditional models to satisfy investors.

MARKETING PLATFORMS ALWAYS CHANGE AND EVOLVE

What do the yellow pages, directory listings, billboards, TV, radio, print, and search engines have in common? They were great for lawyers during their early adoption phases, but once everyone crowded in, competition increased and ad value declined. Although all still exist today, their market share has radically altered over time. Successful marketing is not about doing what others have already done but about continuously finding new and better ways to capture the attention of your targeted clients at a lower Client Acquisition Cost (CAC). Success in marketing comes from adapting to market and consumer attention changes.

At Law Leaders, we constantly evolve and change our advertising to generate new clients and cases for our members. By adopting new channels and AI tools, we have been able to reduce CPM costs by nearly 73% year-over-year and decrease our CAC for new cases by over 41%. This means we create content and grab the attention of people with legal needs in new and innovative ways that most lawyers are not. This requires constant testing and refinement, but it works. How much of this is AI-driven? Nearly all of it!

AI INNOVATION IS FASTER THAN MOST ATTORNEYS CAN KEEP UP WITH

Time to reach 1 million users ChatGPTLawyers have traditionally been slow to innovate and adopt new technologies. Many lawyers stayed too long in declining marketing channels like the Yellow Pages, eventually feeling the heat like a frog in a pot of water reaching a boiling point. With AI, this slow response time means far more attorneys will find themselves in boiling water than ever before. Unlike traditional marketing channels that evolved over years and months, AI is evolving in days and reaching new adoption and usage levels never seen before. For example, look at what happened with ChatGPT since its initial roll-out in November 2022. Now there are hundreds of new chatbots with various strengths, including content generation, SEO, search, video, messaging, automation, emails, music, learning, coding, and more. I now use Claude nearly every day—ever heard of it? I use it more than ChatGPT…at least for now.

STAYING AHEAD AND THE FUTURE OF LEGAL MARKETING

In summary, if you think the last 5-10 years have been disruptive in legal marketing, just wait to see how things will shake out over the next 24 months. Innovation and change are happening at lightning-fast speed, and the minute you get comfortable with your marketing is when you fall behind. Unlike recent channels, the barriers to entry are becoming much more complex and far beyond what your “one digital marketing manager” can handle alone. So be prepared and buckle up for a wild ride!

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