We’re legal marketing experts, and we’ve seen a lot of lawyers fail at online advertising before they come to work with us. Whether it’s improperly structuring their Google Ads account, not having a good website, producing minimal/un-optimized content, or not having a strategy in place for Facebook marketing, attorneys went to law school, not marketing school. If you’re a lawyer trying to grow your firm on your own, you might be missing out on potential clients & revenue.
Today we’re going to discuss some of the reasons why lawyers don’t see amazing results from Facebook marketing (which can be a great asset for any firm if you do it right). Facebook ads are cheaper than Google ads, but these ads won’t attract your dream clients if you make the following mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not advertising with lead magnets
Many lawyers’ Facebook ads aren’t different from their Google ads, and that is a huge problem. Here’s why: Facebook and Google are completely and fundamentally different platforms. If you treat Facebook like you treat Google, you’re going to fail because you’re failing to understand that people on Google are searching for you, but people on Facebook are being interrupted by you. No one goes on Facebook to see ads. That means that your ad copy needs to be different, and your offer needs to be different as well.
Another difference for you to note – people on Google who are typing in searches for lawyers need one right now, but people are just on Facebook for enjoyment/distraction. You don’t know if they actually need a lawyer immediately, or if they will soon. According to marketing expert Chet Holmes, only 9% of your target audience is either ready to hire a lawyer right now or open to hiring a lawyer. The other 91% is not thinking about hiring a lawyer, thinking they’re not interested in hiring a lawyer, or definitely not interested in hiring a lawyer. If you want your Facebook ads to be really successful, you need to find a way to engage 100% of your audience.
This means that you’ll need a different strategy. Your ads need to focus on the problem (what your ideal clients fear and desire) more than they focus on the solution (you). Find something that is a problem or that appeals to anyone in your audience, whatever stage of the funnel they’re in, and then frame your legal service as one part of the overall solution. This could be a webinar, an ebook, a podcast, a blog post, a workshop about anything that clients would be interested in, just make sure it IS interesting and that it’s not positioning you as the hero (just yet). Once you get email addresses from Facebook leads, you’ll be able to create more ads and emails to serve to users and slowly take them down the funnel, building loyalty, until they’re ready to work with you and become a client.
Mistake #2: Not thinking mobile-first
The legal industry is one of the few where desktop typically performs better than mobile devices for Google ads (only around 30% of people search for lawyers on smartphones under regular circumstances), but like we already pointed out, Facebook is a very different place than Google. 78% of people only visit Facebook on their mobile devices; 98% of people use any kind of mobile device to browse the social media platform. Only 2% of people are going on Facebook from their laptops or desktops as of April 2020, according to the latest data released by Statista. That means that if you’re not taking a mobile-first approach to everything about your Facebook ads, you’re doing it wrong.
Check your speed, check your formatting, check your creative, check your calls to action, check your conversion process. For lawyers, it’s particularly helpful that people are seeing your ads on smartphones, because calls are probably the most valuable conversion to you; this is a good opportunity to entice users to call you right from where they’re at! Everything needs to be designed to be responsive on mobile devices.
Mistake #3: Not posting organically enough
Some lawyers create a Facebook page purely for the purpose of running ads and then never touch it again, or only touch it a few times a year. This is a no-no; when people are considering trusting you with legal matters, they are going to research you to make sure that you are legitimate, and an empty Facebook page is not an encouraging sign. You should post regularly (read: multiple times a week – share statistics, blogs, videos, testimonials, etc.) and make sure all of your contact information on the page is up to date so that when people do look at your page (and they will), they see you as a reputable source.
Mistake #4: Not using video ads
Video performs well, and more lawyers are realizing the potential it can hold for their advertising. Whether it’s filming a client testimonial or answering common questions in a video or getting b-roll of your whole staff in action, video can be a persuasive medium for prospective leads on Facebook. As long as it’s high quality and posted in the right format for Facebook, attorneys can see great results from video ads and organic posts!
Mistake #5: Not including a call to action button
Facebook gives you the option to add a CTA button to your ads. Options include “Read More”, “Send Message”, “Apply Now”, “Book Now”, “Contact Us”, “Download”, “Get Offer”, “Get Showtimes”, and “Learn More”. Now obviously, some buttons are going to be better than others depending on what you are advertising for. However, for any lawyer advertising anything, having a CTA button is better than not having one. One company performed a test and found that not including a CTA button on Facebook ads increased the cost per lead by nearly 2.5 times, because it gives users a clear next step to take and distinguishes whatever you’re offering from a typical post. For lawyers, lead cost is already expensive, and you need to do anything you can to bring it down.
Mistake #6: Not retargeting
We already mentioned that only 9% of your target audience is ready right now or open to hiring you. The other 91% aren’t at that stage and don’t have a positive attitude towards hiring you. Studies show that not all of that 9% aren’t going to convert on the first pass, either, which means if you aren’t retargeting, you’re probably missing out on a high percentage of conversions that you could be making if you were persistent and continued to show ads to thoes users. Some companies have found that remarketing ads on Facebook are 76% more likely to get clicks and 70% more likely to inspire conversions.
Mistake #7: Not sending traffic to relevant landing pages
We’ve pointed out the glaring differences between Facebook ads and Google ads, but here’s a similarity; you never want to send your user, who you’ve worked so hard to get and paid so much money for, to a generic page (like your home page) or to an irrelevant page. If you send them there, they may have a hard time finding what they’re looking for, get frustrated, and leave (a completely preventable tragedy). You need to send them to a landing page that was designed just for them and instantly delivers what they’re looking for. If you’re serving them an ad for a certain legal service you provide (car accidents, for example), you don’t want them to go to a page about general personal injury. Send them to a landing page that matches the ad you delivered.
Mistake #8: Not creating lookalike audiences
Facebook has access to an immeasurable amount of data that you do not, and they let you tap into this with lookalike audiences. This is an audience that you create based on individuals who “look like” your target customers. You enter information for people who have called your firm, filled out a contact form on a landing page, downloaded a resource on your site, signed up for your newsletter, watched a Facebook video for a certain amount of time, and more. Facebook will take this information and use it to connect you with other people on Facebook who behave like or closely resemble your target audience.
If you don’t utilize lookalike audiences, you’re only interacting with the people you already know, which limits your reach!
Mistake #9: Not tracking
Some of the other mistakes we’ve mentioned are bad, but this one is fatal. If you’re not using the Facebook pixel to track your advertising efforts, you are missing out on a wealth of information that you could be using to your advantage. With any marketing endeavor, not tracking can kill your chances for growth because you don’t know what’s working, what’s not, and what you can optimize.
The Facebook pixel can help you target custom audiences (like people who have visited your website within a certain number of days, people who visited a particular page on your site, etc.) and show you what conversions are most valuable to you. You can also create dynamic ad templates based on specific actions that users took. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer and someone visited your car accident page, you can serve them an ad that is specific to car accident representation. The Facebook pixel is an extremely useful tool that you must use if you’re going to see good results from your Facebook marketing campaigns!
Mistake #10: Not testing
If you don’t test, you don’t know that your strategy is the best. Testing is the only way to ensure data-driven results!! You can test Facebook lead forms – forms that pre-fill information for users and allow them to submit it without ever leaving the app. You can experiment with carousel ads and different ad formats. You can test different images and ad copy. You can test a number of different variables (just remember to test them one at a time to get accurate results). When you test, you find out what performs well, and you can be sure that what you’re doing is the most effective way to get results.
Have questions about Facebook marketing for attorneys? Empirical360 is a Facebook Marketing Partner who has managed hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad spend. We specialize in helping lawyers grow their firms and reach their dream clients through social media marketing and PPC! Contact us today to get a FREE month of marketing and find out how you can make more revenue.
Shea Antonucci - Author
Director of Content Marketing
Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!