Category Archives: Marketing

Best Snapchat Marketing Agencies 2019

Snapchat, founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel, is known as a young person’s app. Why should you take this app seriously if you’re a business owner? Last quarter, Snapchat brought in $298 million in revenue. Snapchat currently has about 186 million daily active users. Snapchat earns about $1.60 per quarter in revenue per daily active user.

Like other free social media companies, Snapchat earns revenue by advertising to its user base. The average Snapchat users open the app over twenty times per day and spend about thirty minutes on the app. The daily average of total Snaps created by users is around 3 billion.

As users spend more time on computers and mobile devices each year, companies are spending more money on digital advertising. According to a recent report by MAGNA, online advertising sales now account for 51.5% of all U.S. advertising sales. Digital advertising allows companies to obtain better data on return on investment (ROI), and precise demographic targeting.

If you are a business owner over the age of 34, chances are you do not personally use Snapchat. But that’s no excuse for dismissing or not understanding the app. 85% of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 18-34, with just 15% over the age of 34. On a given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34-year-olds in the United States.

Plenty of Snapchat users are age 25 or older, meaning they have real purchasing power. Snap’s fastest-growing demographic is 25 and up, with more than 50% of Snapchat’s new daily users coming from this group.

If you’ve never used Snapchat but want to reach Snapchatters through advertising, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Luckily you don’t need to become a Snapchat user in hopes of learning the app, because you can hire an agency who has experience in Snapchat advertising.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you everything you need to understand about Snapchat advertising and how to find the perfect Snapchat advertising agency for your needs. I’ve also combed through hundreds of websites and user reviews to bring you a top five list that has the best of the best agencies, so you don’t have to spend hours of your time comparing them.

What You Need to Know About Advertising on Snapchat

If you aren’t already a Snapchat pro, you need to begin by learning the basics about how Snapchat advertising works. Once you grasp the fundamentals of Snapchat’s advertising services, you will be better able to choose the right agency to run a successful campaign on your behalf.

What Does a Snapchat Ad Agency Do?

The best Snapchat advertising agencies bring years of experience, knowledge, and insight to help you choose which type of campaign to launch. You will set goals together, and discuss budgeting. Depending on whether you already have a marketing department, the agency may or may not assist you with branding. Then they will create a branded ad to run on the platform.

A good agency works with you to determine goals, adjust existing marketing materials for Snapchat, and adjust and optimize your ads over time to meet your goals. They will use Snapchat’s metrics as well as their tools to report results to you on a regular basis, so you can understand your return on investment (ROI) and make important decisions with confidence.

What Can a Snapchat Ad Agency Achieve for You?

A Snapchat ad agency can achieve a plethora of different marketing goals for a business. Some business owners have false assumptions about the limitations of digital advertising on Snapchat, but in reality, the platform is a great place to achieve various desirable outcomes:

  • Increase in-store sales
  • Increase online sales
  • Promote new products
  • Lead generation
  • Promote your app
  • Promote videos

At its core, Snapchat advertising is about forming relationships with dedicated daily active users. The platform is conducive to creativity, and a good agency will offer up their creative skill set, paired with an analysis of your needs, to create a vision together with you.

Snapchat can make it easier for users to find out about your business and share what they’ve learned. It can help you find new online or in-person customers or leads, and create deeper relationships with existing customers, improving your conversion or sales rate.

The app is also great for creating excitement and momentum around the launch of new products, services, and even apps. If you design and launch a great app, Snap is the perfect way to keep users engaged and telling the world about your app.

Precise demographic targeting on Snapchat helps to ensure that your target audience views your advertising videos, and the built-in metrics (as well as in-house ad agency tools) allow you to customize further and target the appropriate demographics, building on your success.

Options for Advertisers

Snapchat offers different options for advertisers, so another reason you probably want to go with an agency is that the various options can get a little bit overwhelming. There are three main types of ads:

  • Snapchat Ads
  • Lenses
  • Sponsored Geofilters

All Snapchat advertising is interactive to varying degrees.

With Snapchat Ads, advertisers get to decide between Web View (also known as interactive Discover Ads), Long-Form Video (used to drive traffic to trailers, for instance), Articles, and App Install (a short video with a call-to-action to install an application at the end).

Snapchat Lenses are a perfect example of Snapchat’s innovation. Users taking selfies use lenses a LOT. They are a visual overlay of an image or animation that shows up on the phone screen of anyone viewing an image, and they have shown excellent results for increasing brand awareness and purchase intent. Snapchat Lenses can reach about 16 million users per day.

Geofilters are similar to lenses but linked to a specific place or cause. If you run a restaurant, for example, an ad agency could create a geofilter campaign to help promote brand loyalty among existing customers when they visit and increase brand awareness among their friends. National delivery campaigns have resulted in exposure to 40-60% of daily users!

3V

Snapchat’s 3V philosophy, or “Vertical Video Views,” is another feature that sets it apart from other social media platforms. Because most users capture and view the video in a vertical or portrait (as opposed to conventional horizontal or landscape) orientation, Snapchat has embraced this tendency and applied it to advertising.

Native Snapchat ads are vertical-made and mobile exclusive, filling up the whole device screen. Short video ads are perfect for telling your company’s story. The ads are always full-screen with the sound on, and Snapchat’s internal studies show that vertical ads perform up to nine times better than traditional mobile video ads!

3V means your company probably can’t use its existing videos for Snapchat advertising, but a good Snapchat advertising agency will set you up with everything you need to understand and meet Snapchat’s unique creative requirements for future ad video submissions.

Ad Pricing

Snapchat offers advertisers daily, weekly, and annual rates and their minimum daily spend budget is $100 to get on the platform.

Snapchat uses a pricing approach called goal-based bidding (GBB). The pricing structure varies depending on what type of ad you purchase (Web View, Long-Form Video, App Install, Article, Lenses, or Geofilters).

Goal-based bidding is offered by cost-per-thousand, which is called “CPM” for short. You can place CPM bids for swipes (which are like clicks), impressions, or app installs depending on the type of ad. The CPM price will vary with different kinds of advertising and different user actions.

You can also purchase each type of ad several different places: from Snap Ad Manager, Snap Ads API partners, the ad auction, or direct from Snapchat via an Insertion Order. If you hire a professional Snapchat advertising agency, they’ll help you decide the best strategy to use, and the best place to buy your ads.

Demographics, Targeting, and Metrics

Snapchat features excellent built-in demographic insights and targeting techniques, which makes it a capable platform for precisely targeting your advertising to the appropriate user and getting a good ROI.

Here are some ways Snapchat allows you to target user demographics:

  • Interests – Snapchat has 60+ interest categories including topics like festivals, news, politics, and parenting, all based on users’ actions on the app
  • Classic demographics – based on factors like name, age, language, household income, and education
  • Location
  • Device Attributes – device, OS, carrier, and network
  • Snap Audience Match (SAM) – Create a custom list, discover a new audience similar to your current audience, a list of all customers who have engaged with your content, and more.

An agency that specializes in Snapchat will know the ins and outs of running a targeted Snapchat campaign with these built-in features and pass the savings on to you, the advertiser.

Snapchat’s metrics allow for instant feedback on the effectiveness of an ad campaign. An agency will share these metrics with you, and work with you to apply the valuable lessons contained within the data.

There are five significant metrics Snapchat uses to verify your ads’ effectiveness:

  • Reach – users reached by the ad, and their demographics
  • Viewability – the number of users who have viewed your ad
  • Resonance – information on people’s thoughts and feelings about your brand derived from Snapchat and partner polls
  • Reaction – the impact of the ad on driving purchases or other actions
  • Verification – the number of times Snapchat has attempted to serve your ad

With dozens of ways to target demographics and numerous ways to verify the effectiveness of an ad campaign, Snapchat can be a treasure trove for advertising just like Facebook advertising or a complicated nightmare, depending on your comfort level with the platform.

Instead of trying to learn from the ground up, most businesses looking to advertise on Snapchat or advertise on Twitter should choose from among the top ad agencies that specialize in Snapchat.

Top FIVE Snapchat Advertising Agencies

Take the guesswork and anxiety out of winning customers on Snapchat by going with a proven ad agency. If you haven’t already gotten an idea of what you want out of an agency from the previous sections, here are our top picks.

#1 Firebelly Marketing

Firebelly Marketing is a social media marketing agency initially founded in 2007 in Indianapolis, IN. Their singular mission is making brands more likable and profitable via social media. Firebelly is our top pick for Snapchat advertising; they offer social media audits, social media management, ad management, blogging, community management, and influencer marketing.

The marketing director of a rug and furniture company hired Firebelly to increase the growth of their audience. Their customer base and traffic grew throughout the social media campaign, and Firebelly was able to deal with any conflicts that arose. The client was impressed with the way Firebelly exceeded expectations in a tight and competitive market.

Firebelly is the 2018 winner of Sprout Social’s distinguished CULTIVATE award for going above and beyond in providing excellent social media services to clients. They aren’t cheap, but their premium services are of great value.

#2 Media Bounty

Hailing from London, Media Bounty is the U.K.’s leading social media marketing agency. They focus on long-term growth through deep insights, outstanding strategies, and “kick-ass creative.” Media Bounty only works with bigger companies with an ad buy budget of at least $10,000 per month.

The marketing manager of Cellar Trends, a beverage distributor company, hired Media Bounty for SMM and digital branding. They say that the “number of video views has increased markedly since Media Bounty was first engaged” and find the team’s exceptional understanding of marketing technology to be “a hallmark of their high-quality work.”

Media Bounty isn’t an inexpensive agency, but they regularly handle campaigns in the millions of dollars, so you know they’ll bring a winning perspective to meet your advertising needs. They have received three awards from The Drum’s Recommended Agency Register, and two awards from RAR Digital Awards.

#3 Viral in Nature

Viral in Nature, based in Calgary, Canada, is multiple award-winning ad agencies entirely focused on SMM. Three different market research companies have selected Viral in Nature as one of the top social media and agencies in the world.

The owner of an outdoors lifestyle brand hired Viral in Nature to increase his company’s social media presence. The agency oversaw social media campaigns and created relevant video content. The owner says Viral in Nature were excellent listeners, and the campaign went smoothly with excellent results.

If you run a smaller company with a tight budget, Viral in Nature is a good choice. Their relatively low cost per hour makes them attractive for smaller organizations, and they will bring you a good return on your investment.

#4 AdvertiseMint

Based in Hollywood, CA, AdvertiseMint is another agency that focuses exclusively on social media marketing. Depending on whether you have other needs, that could be a pro or a con. Some companies choose to merge their Snapchat advertising into their overall marketing campaign, but others benefit from allowing an SMM specialist to manage their social channels (Instagram, Facebook, Google Ads).

If you need a new perspective on digital marketing via Snapchat or need a campaign rolled out ASAP, you can’t go wrong with AdvertiseMint. They pride themselves on their agility and fast-paced ad campaigns.

#5 i76 Solutions

When i76 Solutions began as a digital marketing shop in Philadelphia, PA they were tightly focused on strategy, execution, and analytics. They later grew into a full-service marketing agency that delivers their customers results in all areas of marketing, but they maintain a strong focus on digital marketing and social media marketing.

AAA Mid-Atlantic, a car insurance and emergency roadside assistance provider, ran a seven-figure campaign with i76 Solutions. Within six months, they had earned significant upticks in brand awareness and membership rates. AAA says that the i76 team was “innovative, detail-oriented, and knowledgeable.”

I76 is a top marketing agency in Philadelphia. Their skilled team of designers and developers can work with you on every aspect of the digital process.

Wrapping Up

In the world of Snapchat advertising, the learning curve is long, but you shouldn’t let that discourage you from targeting customers through the platform. Unlike the old days of digital marketing when a company could handle everything in-house, the current climate dictates that it is wiser to delegate.

If you are willing to look for an agency outside your company to run your Snapchat advertising campaign, you can reap all the rewards offered by Snapchat: innovative features, relationship-building with a loyal user base, precise demographic targeting, extensive metrics, and enough options to suit nearly any type of advertiser.

If you’re having trouble deciding which agency to go with, we recommend Firebelly Marketing as the overall top pick. They’ve been around a while, but they know how to adapt to new trends. Because they focus exclusively on social media marketing, Firebelly brings the depth of knowledge you’ll require to run a successful Snapchat campaign.

Advertising Guides

Best Facebook Advertising Agencies
Best Instagram Advertising Agencies
Best Twitter Advertising Agencies
Best Snapchat Advertising Agencies
Best Google Ads Advertising Agencies
Best YouTube Advertising Agencies
Best Amazon Marketing Agencies
Best Mobile Advertising Agencies

8 Steps To Creating A Law Firm Blog That People Want to Read

Thinking of starting a blog on your law firm’s website? That’s great. Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to share eight easy steps to creating a useful and popular blog. Let’s go!

Would you like a list of blog topics to get you started? Subscribe to receive this free resource.

Don’t Speak in Legalese

dont-speak-legaliseImage Courtesy of CT Employment Law Blog

Depositions, adjudications, affidavits, oh my! Unless fellow lawyers are your intended audience, tone down the law speak. Your clients will quickly feel overwhelmed by legal terms that they don’t understand.

Here’s the caveat: you should use it as a relevant keyword initially– somewhere in the first couple of paragraphs in your blog post. Then, define the keyword and break it down so that your audience understands what it means.

Here’s an example:

A prospective client arrives on your blog after searching for the term “expungement dallas, tx.” This person has a fuzzy idea of what expungement means. They only happened upon the term when asking around about removing a youthful indiscretion from their permanent criminal record. Your site needs to educate them on the bare basics of expungement and then provide relevant insight you’d like to include, based on what a prospective client will understand.

Always keep your intended audience in mind. Adjust your conversation accordingly.

Focus on Only a Few Topics

focus-on-onlyfew-tipsImage Courtesy of California Labor and Employment Law

You may be multi-passionate, but you might excel at one specific area of law. This is where you probably focus your practice and where you should also focus your blog.

Instead of trying to be all things to all people, zoom in on the one topic (or handful of topics) that your audience wants to know more about.

How do you determine the best topics to tackle in your law blog?

Consider what your clients or colleagues (depending on your audience) ask you about the most. There has to be recurring questions that you get asked frequently: that’s the place to start. As you fill up your blog with content, people will ask you more questions. Of course, that can also inspire new posts.

The bottom line: start by the answering the questions people ask you most, no matter how basic.

Add Images

add-imagesImage courtesy of China Law Blog

No one wants to look at a wall of text, no matter how engaging. You’ve got to break it up with imagery to keep your audience’s attention. Imagery also helps illustrate ideas and convey your tone– whether it’s funny, pensive, or artsy.

I have a secret source of free images– actually, it’s not secret at all, and of course it’s legal. There are hundreds of amazing stock libraries available with 100% free images to spruce up your site.

All you have to do is visit one of the sites below, save the image you like, and then upload it into the body of your post when you’re ready to add it.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add this note: check copyright usage. Most of the images in these stock libraries are under the Creative Commons license, which allows you to use the images for free. Some photographers or websites require a link back (attribution). The usage requirements are always listed, but are subject to change.

So, here are my favorite stock libraries:

  1. Foter
  2. Gratisography
  3. Pixabay
  4. Magdeleine
  5. Unsplash

And if you’re looking for something a little more local, a little more personal, check out Flickr as well. It’s a little murkier when it comes to licensing, but here’s a guide to finding free blog post images for your firm.

Make it More Readable

make-it-more-readableImage Courtesy of Richard Harris Law

Images aren’t the only way to add visual interest to your blog. There’s yet another way to increase the readability of your blog: white space. Instead of lengthy, five-to-seven-sentence paragraphs, chop it up into bite-sized nuggets.

Now, I know this goes against everything you learned in grammar class, but remember this: you’re not writing a dissertation, you’re writing a blog post. Unlike your college professor, website visitors don’t have any incentive to read your entire blog post. If it looks long and tedious, it’s going to get passed up.

Take a look at how I’ve structured this blog, for an example. You may notice that there are no large clumps of text. Most paragraphs are three or four sentences long, but I may throw in a one sentence “paragraph” for emphasis and variety.

Like so.

Breaking up your text in this way makes it easier for visitors to read your content.

Post Frequently

post-frequentlyImage Courtesy of Ohio Employer’s Law Blog

There’s nothing worse than coming to a blog, loving it, and then realizing it hasn’t been updated since 2009. Helloooo… Where did you go? It’s lonely in here.

You don’t want your visitors to feel that way.

Your visitors rely on you to keep your blog current and relevant to their needs. Once you start a blog, commit to regular posting, even if you don’t have many (or any) visitors at first. If you post regularly and follow the other steps in this guide, they will come.

Plus, a regular posting schedule will entice visitors to subscribe to your blog, and return often.

Choose Clever Titles

choose-clever-titlesImage Courtesy of Lowering the Bar

Before people actually read your post, they’re going to read your title. Does it draw them in?

Your title doesn’t need to be packed with keywords to grab attention. Funny phrases, interesting questions, and controversial statements can all engage the reader. Here are a few considerations for a great title:

  • Create a list post (i.e. 10 Reasons Why, 7 Things to Consider…)
  • Create a how-to post (i.e. How to Hire a…, How to Find…)
  • Add a benefit to your post (i.e. Here’s What You Need to Know About X…)
  • Keep it simple but catchy. The reader should be know what the topic is about before clicking.
  • Keep it short. Nothing longer than 60 characters, or under 10 words.

Create Categories

create-categoriesImage Courtesy of Cruise Law News

People come onto your law blog for very specific reasons. Let’s say you have a family law practice. Some visitors may want to learn about adoption, and others about child support. You specialize in both.

To accommodate visitors, create categories that make it easy for them to isolate posts of one topic. They should be able to find more of what they’re looking for by clicking on the category section and selecting a topic.

When you’re creating your blog posts, make sure that you’ve created and then selected specific categories.

Consider creating at least three categories for your blog. If you’re stuck, I’d start out with: advice, opinions, and news.

Be a Source of News

be-a-source-of-newsImage Courtesy of Overlawyered

As a lawyer, it’s your job to stay up-to-date on the most relevant news stories. If you work as an immigration attorney, you’ll probably have an opinion on the current political discourse about refugees.

Bring it on. That’s what a blog is for– it’s a place to add your commentary and unique perspective to the conversation.

Don’t be afraid to insert your take on hot topics.

Would you like a list of blog topics to get you started? Subscribe to receive this free resource.

 

The Biggest Mistakes Lawyers Make With Advertisements

Lawyers depend on advertisements to build an awareness of their legal services and attract new clients to their firm. While traditional methods are still in use, online marketing (via Facebook Ads and Google Adwords) are becoming the common trend for advertising.

If you’re considering to use advertisements for your law firm, here are some of the biggest mistakes lawyers make and what you can do to avoid them.

Unfocused Marketing Campaigns

You may have a large budget to spend on marketing your law firm, but if you don’t have a focal point you’ll be spending your money on nothing. You can create a generic “contact for a free consultation” marketing message and take anything that comes in the door.

Or, you can segment your marketing message and target the specific legal services you offer. Invest your time and money creating marketing messages related to the specific cases your law firm handles.

Once you concentrate your marketing efforts you can find the right prospects for your firm.

Poorly Written Content

The content you publish on your website is a representation of you and your law firm. The internet is filled with spammy websites and people know when they’re being sold to.

Your content should be informative, error-free, and relatable to the people you think will read it.

Also, to improve the effectiveness of your content, add logical and emotional reasons to hire you. People are searching for someone who can truly help them with their problems.

Use your content to tell people you understand what they are dealing with and that your legal services are here to help.

Asking For Too Much

Your advertising efforts may be effective and delivering high traffic to your website. However, you may find that no one is contacting you for more information or to start a consultation.

If you’re asking prospective clients too much information in your contact boxes, many prospects are likely to turn away. People are constantly concerned about their privacy and with the rise of identity theft, there is a hesitancy to sharing personal information online.

Nonetheless, lawyers require some information to begin evaluating their case and being able to respond to it. Only ask for as much as you need and after receiving their contact information you can begin to ask the questions needed to get their case started.

Complex Web Design

There’s nothing more frustrating for a visitor to a website than a complex and confusing web design. This is known as your bounce rate, which is the number of visitors that come to your website then leave right away.

When you’re putting your legal services online, consider your visitors. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the most useful information my visitors need?
  • Does my law firm web design have a clear call to action (i.e. call for a free consultation)?
  • Is my contact information easy to access or will a visitor have difficulty finding it?
  • Does my website invite visitors to join my social?
  • Would adding a pop-up lead capture improve my conversions from visitors to clients?

If you’re struggling to come up with an effective web design for your law firm, consider these best law firm websites from 2017.

Also, if you have analytics set up on your website (i.e. to monitor where visitors are coming from and where they are frequently visiting) find your best content and feature them in the sidebar of your content pages.

Spending Your Entire Marketing Budget

Whether you’re using Facebook Ads or Google Adwords, you have complete control over the duration and style of your marketing campaign. If you spend your entire budget without testing different ideas, you may end up with a lower return than you hoped for.

Start by setting your budget low and creating a series of tests to see which messages make the most impact on your target audience. The analytics offered in Facebook Ads and your Google account can help you determine which campaign is effective and could use more of your marketing budget.

Incongruent Landing Pages

In the world of advertising, having a congruent message is crucial. You’re marketing message and your landing pages should live up to the promise you’re making.

Advertising something like, “Steps to take after getting in a car accident,” then sending them to a landing page with a promotion to your service may not deliver the best results.

The purpose of proving valuable content online is to establish yourself as an authority in law as well as trustworthy.

Use your landing pages to capture leads in exchange for content that people are looking for.

Not Focused On Converting Visitors

You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising to get traffic to your website. However, if your website is not developed to turn those visitors into clients, you’ll be wasting your marketing budget.

The purpose of any website, especially a lawyer’s website, is to convert visitors into clients. There are many ways to do this. You can send visitors clicking on your Facebook Ads to a landing page requesting their email in exchange for valuable content.

Or, perhaps the most effective method of converting traffic, is by adding live chat to your website. Having the ability to communicate with visitors while they are live on your site allows you to address any questions they may have and arrange a consultation immediately.

The alternative would be to hope they find your contact page and send you an inquiry.

Not Having A Unique Selling Point

Having a distinct call to action is an important feature for any lawyer’s website. In addition to that, your website should have a unique selling point which differentiates your legal services from others online.

What makes you different from other law firms? How can you help more than other law firms with the same legal services?

Having case studies and client referrals on your homepage are one way of showcasing your legal abilities to prospective clients. However, you should take a moment and ask yourself what can you offer that differentiates you from your competitors.

Now that you know some of the mistakes lawyers are making with their advertisements, you may want to review advertising regulations from the State Bar.

Choosing The Best Social Media Platform For Your Brand

Here’s a question that’ll give you a deer-in-the-headlights look: what social media platform should you focus on?

You’ve heard a little bit about Twitter, you use Facebook to keep up with your friends and family, and you watch YouTube everyday, but how can you use any of these platforms to advertise your legal services?

That’s not the only question you have about social media. I’m sure you’ve asked yourself one or more of the following:

  • Can I be on more than one platform?
  • How do I get more people to follow me on this platforms?
  • What if I don’t do it right?
  • How do I find time to post on social media when I’m already busy as it is?

If you’ve asked any of the above questions, this post is tailor-made for you. We’ll tackle all of them (and more). By the end of this post, you’ll be confident in which social media platform to choose and how to work it like a boss. Are you ready? Let’s do this!

Would you like an example of law-related brands that get it right on social media? Subscribe to receive this extra resource.

Here’s some totally non-creepy advice: find out where your ideal client lives (online) and set up shop there.

If you’re focused on corporate, tax, or labor law, your clients are probably on the social platform LinkedIn. LinkedIn is for professionals who are looking to hire for their companies. That’s why it would make sense to be there if your law firm services businesses and not individuals.

On the other hand, if you’re focused on individuals and not businesses, you’ll find more success on platforms like Facebook. Family law, personal injury, and bankruptcy lawyers can do well with a representation on Facebook.

We’ll go into more detail a little further down below.

Can I be on more than one platform?

Absolutely. You can be on one or five. That said, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. It takes time and effort to make posts for each platform. If your target client doesn’t exist on a specific platform, there’s no need to be there, no matter how popular that site is.

For example, if your client is all corporate all the time, there’s no need to be on a personal-leaning platform like Instagram.

How do I grow my list of fans and followers?

You’ll grow your list of people who follow you by posting valuable information and doing so consistently.

Don’t post sporadically. If you post multiple times per day every day for two weeks and then go dark for two months, you’ll lose a lot of subscribers when you decide to post again. Why? Because they’ll forget who you are and wonder why you’re posting in their feed—or they’ll just unsubscribe after your lengthy absence because they figure you’ve left for good.

Also, engagement matters. You can’t just post a bunch of self-promotion about you and your law firm. You should take the time to interact with your followers. Answer their questions, even if they’re not directed directly at you.

What if I don’t do it right?

Unless you infuse politics, religion, and too many cat pictures in your social updates, you’re going to be fine. Scratch that last part—there’s never enough cat pictures on the Internet.

bullet-cats

Image Courtesy of Know Your Meme

The most important thing to remember in your social strategy is to provide value to your fans and followers.

What does this mean for a law firm? Discuss current topics, especially those related to your area of practice. Are you an immigration attorney? Highlight human interest stories in the media that may inform or entertain your followers. Are you a labor attorney? Your audience may enjoy a series of visual infographics that illustrate (and make plain) current labor laws.

Remember: Don’t aggressively tout your services. Give as much information as you can. They’ll crave more.

How do I find time to post when I’m already busy as it is?

For just about every social media platform, there’s a scheduling service that can help you automate your posts. We’ll highlight them below.

Twitter

You have 140 characters or less to say something epic. The average Twitter user is between the ages of 18-49 with a college degree. Slightly more men are on Twitter.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Bankruptcy, Business (Corporate), Civil Rights, Criminal, Entertainment, Environmental, Family, Health, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Labor, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Tax

Why you should consider this medium:
Twitter is great for connecting with other lawyers, sharing inspiration with your followers, and providing quick bursts of useful information.

When to post: 1pm – 3pm Monday through Thursday and Sunday

post-planner

Image Courtesy of Post Planner

When not to post: 8pm – 9am everyday and Fridays after 3pm

How often: three times a day to as much as you’d like

Best practices:
+Use Buffer or Hootsuite to automatically post, even when you’re away from your computer.
+Ask questions and post polls to encourage interaction.
+Use a lot of #hashtags (around five is the sweet spot).
+Follow new people every day to grow your potential followers. Use Twitter’s “who to follow” recommendations to find more people who’ll love your content.
+Favorite retweets to show your gratitude.

Facebook

Approximately one out of every seven people on earth have a Facebook profile. That’s reason enough to create a business profile here.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Bankruptcy, Civil Rights, Criminal, Entertainment, Environmental, Family, Health, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Labor, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Tax

Why you should consider this medium:
Use Facebook to grow your community, promote events, and help explain complicated subject matter. There are a lot of people on Facebook, so it’s a good place to start no matter what type of law you practice.

When to post: 1pm – 4pm Mondays through Thursday

When not to post: 8pm – 8am or on Saturdays

optimizely

Image Courtesy of Optimizely

How often: No more than five times per day

Best practices:
+Ask questions.
+Include photos with every post to grab people’s attention.
+Upload a cover photo that shows off who you are.
+Keep your posts to 40 characters or less.

sumall

Image Courtesy of Sumall

Instagram

This visual medium appeals to the young crowd (under 30). It’s used mostly by women in urban areas.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Criminal, Entertainment, Family, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Personal Injury

Why you should consider this medium:
Instagram is all about visual stimulation. Use this platform to share daily inspirational quotes, post behind-the-scenes images, and share a day in your life. You can also post graphics that illustrate a complicated law or idea.

When to post: Daily

When not to post: n/a

How often: Two times per day

Best practices:
+Hashtags are your friend. Use them to get discovered in organic search.
+Follow hashtag trends and engage in the conversation.
+Encourage user-generated content by asking your followers to post under specific themes with your personalized hashtag.
+Use captions for clarity.
+Follow those who follow you and like your posts.
+Use high quality images.
+Use services like Schedugram, Onlypult, and Latergram to schedule out your Instagram posts.

YouTube

The largest demographic on YouTube is between the ages of 25 to 44. It’s highly targeted to millennials, though.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Bankruptcy, Business (Corporate), Civil Rights, Criminal, Entertainment, Environmental, Family, Health, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Labor, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Tax

Why you should consider this medium:
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. It also serves as a wonderful discovery engine. Your client can reach you simply by typing in keywords like “bankruptcy law for Florida.” As long as you’ve added this term to your video, you’ll pop up in the search results.

When to post: Monday-Wednesday: 2pm-4pm EST

Thursday-Friday: Noon-3pm EST

Saturday-Sunday:  9am-11am EST

trackmaven

Image Courtesy of TrackMaven

When not to post:

Over the holidays (July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, end of December and beginning of January)

hypebot

Image Courtesy of Hypebot

How often: It’s more about consistency than how many per week

Best practices:
+Keep your videos under three minutes long.
+Unless your law firm is moonlighting as a sitcom, don’t include a long intro with a theme song. It’s a waste of your three minutes.
+Post on a regular schedule, whether that’s once per week or specific days each week.
+Respond to comments.
+Film your video in landscape mode, not portrait.

Pinterest

Approximately 69% of Pinterest users are women. Sorry James Brown: on Pinterest, it’s a woman’s world.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Bankruptcy, Family

Why you should consider this medium:

If most of your clients are women or families, you should definitely consider creating a profile on Pinterest. It may even be a good idea to pay for promoted pins (this is a paid ad on Pinterest).

When to post: 2pm – 4pm and 8pm – 1am

When not to post: 5pm – 7pm

How often: Five posts per day

Best practices:
+Add a thorough description on your pins (this is what they call a post on Pinterest) to make it easy for people to find you.
+Vertical images are better than horizontal.
+Use Tailwind, Viraltag, and Viralwoot to schedule your pins on Pinterest.

tailwind

Image Courtesy of Tailwind

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social platform for professionals, most between the ages of 30-64. It’s strictly business here.

Types of lawyers who should consider this medium:
Business (Corporate), Entertainment, Intellectual Property, International, Labor, Real Estate, Tax

Why you should consider this medium:
LinkedIn is the best place to reach businesses who may need your service.

When to post: 7am to 9am and 5pm to 6pm Tuesday through Thursday

When not to post: 10pm to 6am and the weekends

coschedule

Image Courtesy of Coschedule

How often: One post per day Monday through Friday

Best practices:
+Give endorsements and get endorsements.
+Write posts on your legal discipline to increase your expert status. +Focus on writing how-to and list-based articles.
+Add photos and videos to spice up your posts.
+Join legal groups.
+Don’t include #hashtags (it’s not useful).

Overall Tips

+Interact with your audience whenever possible. Respond to comments.
+Use the 80/20 rule. Post helpful content 80% of the time, and market yourself 20% of the time.
+Only focus on the social platforms that provide you with the most engagement.
+Create a consistent visual brand on your social media platforms. Check out this post for more details on how to build a visual identity.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the perfect social media platform isn’t so hard now that you’ve got this guide to help you out. Remember that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for your legal practice, and you may have to experiment with different platforms to see which one gives you the best results. If you need extra guidance, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Would you like an example of law-related brands that get it right on social media? Subscribe to receive this extra resource.

Best Live Chat For Lawyer Websites

Choosing the best live chat for your law firm’s website may come down to pricing, support, and functionality. Before reviewing a few live chats you can use for your website, let’s look at a few key features to help in your decision making.

The first thing to understand is what you can do with live:

  • Pre-chat Message: provide a pop-up to a visitor to prompt them toward clicking the button and starting the live chat session.
  • Pre-chat script: provide a series of questions the visitor must answer before the live chat session begins.
  • Proactive Live Chat: offering a live chat session to a visitor upon arrival.
  • Reactive Chat: waiting for a visitor to initiate the live chat button.
  • Unavailable Chat: when live agents are not available, an optional form is sent to the visitor to provide their email.

Next, in the marketing world, turning a website visitor into a paying customer (or client) is known as a conversion. Live chats are a great tool to increase conversions if you know how to use them.

Quick Tips for Live Chat

Take into consideration the following when choosing and setting up a live chat solution on your law firmès website:

  1. Who Will Be Responding to Chat Requests? Will you be handling the chat notifications or an assistant? There is also the option of hiring a virtual receptionist and outsourcing. Are you aware of the ethical implications to answer legal related questions?
  2. How Are Chats Being Answered? If you understand the ABA’s ethics rules for lawyers, you’ll know what kind of information you can or cannot collect during a live chat. If you have chosen a live chat with outsourced assistance, will they be given a script? Are they proficient in English? How should they handle sensitive information?
  3. What Are Your Costs? There are many live chat solutions available and prices range from completely free to high hourly rates for active chat agents. You may also find the option to pay per lead or to pay per chat.

Now that you have an idea what to look for in a live chat software for your website, let’s look at a few options.

Live Chat for Lawyer Websites

Client Chat Live

Overview: Client Chat Live offers live chat solutions for small business, medical practices, and legal practices.

Installation: Their installation team provides you with the HTML to include on your website and simple steps to get started.

Features:

  • Proactive Pop-ups: invites visitors to start using the chat messenger
  • Branded chat boxes
  • Monthly chat reports (include all chats, summary of visitor details, and analytics)
  • Custom scripts for their operators
  • Live phone transfer
  • CRM Integration
  • 24/7 operator availability

Languages: Available in English and Spanish  

Pricing: Contact the company for a free quote. 

Legal Chat 24/7

Overview: Legal 24/7 is a live chat provider dedicated exclusively to lawyers. They offer a team of trained operators capable of using legal language. They can also assist in designing custom chat scripts that suit your law firm’s style.

Installation:  N/A

Features:

  • Legal training operators with focus on conversion
  • Live phone call transfer
  • Live chat 24/7/365
  • Branded chat boxes
  • Analytics
  • CRM integration
  • Lead notification (email, phone call, etc.)

Languages: Available in English and Spanish

Pricing: Pay per lead. Contact the company for more details.

Apex Chat

Overview: Apex Chat offers both live chat software and professional agents 24/7/365. They have agents specialized in personal injury, criminal defense, bankruptcy, family law, immigration, estate planning, and other legal areas. Apex Chat is a leading provider of live chat solutions for lawyers.

Installation: N/A

Features:

  • Multiple chat agents available 24/7
  • Live phone call transfer
  • Practice area trained operators
  • Pre-defined scripts
  • Customizable messenger (for branding)
  • CRM Integration
  • Geo-mapping and routing
  • Detailed reporting

Language: Available in English and Spanish

Pricing: Pay per lead, with the ability to cap billing. For more information, contact their sales team.

The following live chat providers are not specific for legal services.

Chat.io

Overview: Chat.io offers a highly functional live chat messenger for your website. You’ll see a simple chat messenger in the bottom right corner of your website with the option to add the chat agent’s image and personalized message. They also offer 14-day free trial.

Installation: After you sign up for your account, you’ll receive an HTML code to place on your attorney website. They offer easy-to-understand instructions for this task.

Features:

  • Create canned messages
  • Check chat status
  • Share files
  • Create smart or manual chat (for offline)
  • Use on multiple websites and integrate into Facebook
  • Receive chat ratings
  • Access to agent profiles and transparency
  • Only $10 per teammate/month

Please note, this chat service only offers access to their live chat software. If you need agents, you may have to outsource.

Other live chat software similar to Chat.io include:

These live chat services offer manual live chat solutions. If you don’t have the staff to manage your live chats, you can outsource and provide scripts or set up an autoresponder requesting contact information.

Overall, the benefits of using non-legal focused live chats would be their affordability. However, the inability to hire staff available 24/7 can lead to missed leads and prospective clients.

In contrast, the live chat services devoted to the legal industry include operators who can speak both Spanish and English. In addition, with pricing being pay-per-lead from talented operators focused on conversions, you’ll get exactly what you pay for.

Best Google AdWords Advertising Agencies 2019

If you are interested in online advertising, it pays to understand and consider Google AdWords. Google earned over $95 billion (approximately 86% of its revenue) from advertising last year because their pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model is highly effective. Whether you are an entrepreneur who’s just starting or have millions to spend on advertising each month, you need to have AdWords on your radar.

If you’re already proficient at online advertising and promotion, you may be able to learn AdWords on your own or hire a suitable employee. Some people run their paid search strategy in-house.

But most business owners and managers already have their hands full with running a successful business or even already using a Facebook advertising agency, and the complexity and long learning curve of AdWords are obstacles to successful PPC campaigns.

Big and small businesses often choose to hire a professional agency to assist with implementing and running an AdWords campaign. Hiring or training one employee may be less cost-effective than going outside your company.

A PPC agency that specializes in Google AdWords can provide you with valuable advice, devise short- and long-term strategies, and save you time and money navigating the world of pay-per-click advertising.

Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing an agency to assist with AdWords, beginners may find it difficult to select the right agency – or even to understand what the differences are between one PPC agency and another. There are hundreds of agencies out there, but unless you know a thing or two about AdWords, it’s hard to choose the right one.

I’ve put this guide together to make your life easier. I’ve compiled the most important facts to consider when choosing an AdWords agency, so you can learn the basics without putting in hours of research. I’ve also combed websites and read hundreds of reviews of different providers to bring you the best of the best in the world of AdWords agencies.

What You Need to Know About Google AdWords

Before you hire an agency, you need to understand some of the basics of Google AdWords. The whole point of hiring an agency is for you to focus on the things you’re good at, but without a basic understanding of AdWords, you won’t be able to find the right agency for your business.

Hire an Agency Experienced in Your Industry

You may encounter dozens or hundreds of different AdWords agencies as you search for the perfect match. Here’s a simple test to narrow that number down: does a given agency have experience in your industry? If so, they’ll know norms and benchmarks like typical cost per click (CPC) and return on investment (ROI) for your specific niche.

You don’t need someone with direct experience in your precise area of focus; experience in a similar area works, too. For example, if you sell and install vinyl siding, an AdWords agency that’s worked with a roofing contractor would probably be a good match.

Before you hire an agency, be sure to check if they’re more experienced with sales as a service (SaaS), lead generation, mobile marketing, e-commerce or Instagram marketing. Even if the agency is the best in the world at lead generation, if you need PPC management for an e-commerce business, you may need to look elsewhere.

AdWords Certified and Google Partners

At a minimum, you want a firm that’s AdWords certified and part of the Google Partners program. That isn’t the only relevant criterion in selecting a provider; it’s a relatively low bar, so anyone who doesn’t have these credentials should be ruled out automatically.

Any agency that’s AdWords certified has passed certification exams and must maintain a minimum monthly AdWords expenditure of $10,000. If an agency has this certification, you can know they have some level of competence. Google Partners get inside tips from Google as well as beta-testing opportunities, both of which can provide your business with a competitive edge.

Hire a Multidisciplinary or Networked Agency

For best results, you need to hire an agency with a multidisciplinary team, or one that has established connections with other high-powered specialists. Pay-per-click (PPC) is a huge part of advertising for many businesses, but it’s not a standalone proposition.

If you hire a PPC specialist, you’re also going to need to track conversions, design a landing page, probably engage in email marketing or e-commerce design, and the list goes on.

If you hire a multidisciplinary agency, you’ll save money through sheer efficiency as opposed to hiring multiple contractors. If you don’t, you’ll face some of the same downsides you would have faced going with the do-it-yourself approach: juggling vendors and trying to coordinate the AdWords project when you’d prefer to be managing other facets of your business.

Different Agencies Have Different Pricing Models

The PPC advertising industry has multiple pricing models that will determine how an agency gets paid. Here are the most popular models:

  • Hourly
  • Percentage of ad spend
  • Performance-based
  • Milestone-based

Hourly is the most common pricing model, and also the most straightforward. It’s easy to understand what you’re paying, and therefore the hourly pricing model is attractive to small businesses with low budgets who are interested in keeping PPC advertising costs manageable.

Percentage of ad spend is the second-most common pricing model among AdWords agencies. With the percentage of ad spend, you will typically pay the agency between 15-30% of your total PPC expenditure.

Percentage of ad spend is an excellent choice if you want to stick with a set budget, and let the agency take care of the rest. If your business is large or if you have plans to scale, you can get better deals with the percentage of ad spend.

Performance-based pricing is similar to a sales commission for the agency. They get paid based on a predetermined performance metric like impressions, clicks, conversions, or revenue from ads.

The best part about performance-based pricing is that you know the agency will work hard to give you results. Some agencies combine performance-based pricing with a base rate or minimum rate per month.

Milestone-based pricing is similar to performance-based pricing, but it is based on agreed-upon medium- and long-term goals. Companies that offer milestone-based pricing will typically require longer-term contracts and have a detailed approach to onboarding you and understanding your company’s needs.

Is There a Contract?

Some AdWords agencies require contracts, and others don’t. This decision is best left to your gut instinct and personal preference. If you own a small business and want to test the waters of AdWords advertising, you may be more comfortable with a month-to-month commitment. That way, the agency has to earn your repeat business each month.

Not all contracts are created equal. If you get involved with a contract-based agency, make sure the arrangement suits your needs. If you know you want to commit to PPC advertising, you may be attracted to performance-based or milestone-based pricing with a detailed long-term contract that benefits both parties.

Ad Rank = Quality Score x CPC Bid

“Pay per click” sounds simple and easy, but there is more to running an AdWords campaign than just paying for clicks or conversions! Google computes your actual ad rank from the CPC (cost per click) bid and Quality Score.

For AdWords, you want the highest possible ad ranking and the lowest possible cost per click bid (CPC bid). That means you need a high “Quality Score.” The Quality Score is Google’s hidden metric that takes into account your click-through rate per 1000 impressions or views, time spent on page by customers, and more.

A good AdWords agency can help you with all of this, meaning you can save money buying clicks if you hire a professional rather than do it yourself.

Don’t Neglect Organic SEO

According to Clutch’s 2018 Small Business survey, 45% of small businesses invest in pay-per-click advertising. Of those that do invest in PPC, 90% also use organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.

You will get a better return on investment (ROI) by spending your advertising money on PPC and SEO together, and even coordinating your strategies (for example, applying lessons learned from PPC campaigns to your SEO approach).

PPC is an excellent choice for short-term return and a wise way to direct your growing revenue to accelerate growth further, while organic SEO is an essential long-term strategy if you want to become an online leader in your industry.

Track ROI

Any good AdWords agency will track all sorts of variables for you like cumulative ad spends, quality score, conversions, impressions, and cost per click. But you must not neglect the most important outcome of all: return on investment!

If you are getting a positive ROI, you can learn from your success to get even more revenue. If you aren’t getting a positive ROI, it’s important to know so you can stop wasting money and fix the problems.

To track your ROI, you need to keep a record of every single cent you put into AdWords and PPC advertising, including costs other than ad spend. You also need to use tools that allow you to see data like cumulative sales from advertising leads or e-commerce clicks, or ensure that the agents you’re working with show you that data.

Some agencies will help you track ROI, but you need to discuss this up front.

Top FIVE Best Google AdWords Advertising Agencies

Here are our top five picks, narrowed down from thousands of listings and hundreds of user reviews.

#1 Disruptive Advertising

Founded in 2011, Disruptive Advertising is an industry leader in PPC advertising and Google AdWords. They are industry pioneers in A/B testing, scaling, geo-targeting, and other revenue-building tweaks that can improve your ROI. Disruptive is known for working with businesses of all sizes, from nationally-known retailers to companies with relatively low monthly advertising budgets.

Ryan A. says he appreciates Disruptive Advertising’s proven systems and the way everyone he’s worked with has been on the same page. Since he switched to Disruptive a few months ago, his sales are at record highs, and his overall costs – including the agency fee – have come down. He says he cringes when he sees the missed opportunity in not beginning work with Disruptive sooner.

Some clients reported that their account was repeatedly moved from one client manager to another as Disruptive was recently reorganizing, but Disruptive has since resolved this situation. They deserve their reputation as perfectionists.

#2 Ignite Visibility

Ignite Visibility is an online marketing agency based in San Diego, CA, founded in 2012. They specialize in pay-per-click, website design, web development, social media marketing, and viral marketing.

One of Ignite Visibility’s clients, the Chief Marketing Officer for a boutique cosmetic company, says that the agency helped the company meet its goal of sales conversions. Ignite visibility used a strategy that combined PPC digital marketing, content creation, social media, and organic SEO. The client was particularly happy with the high-quality reports that Ignite generated throughout the campaign.

Ignite’s main selling points are their versatility, excellent communication, and reporting.

#3 AdVenture Media

AdVenture media belongs to a small and exclusive group of Premier Google Partner agencies. They were awarded that credential because they have produced outstanding results for their clients. AdVenture is 90% PPC-focused, and as one of New York city’s fastest-growing PPC ad agencies, they currently manage over $50 million in advertising budgets.

The director of marketing for a medical oxygen group reports that under the management of AdVenture, the company’s ad spend has decreased while the number of leads has stayed constant. He says their clear communication, quality deliverables, and excellent results justify the investment.

AdVenture’s online marketing educational content has reached over 900,000 students and is worth checking out if you want to learn more about digital advertising.

#4 Loud Mouth Media

Loud Mouth Media is a top-ranked pay-per-click agency in the UK and is also a Premier Google Partner agency. They have offices in Belfast, Dublin, and Glasgow. The agency provides a fully-managed digital marketing service that is 70% focused on PPC. They earned awards for “Best Small PPC Agency in the UK” two years in a row at the 2017 and 2018 UK Search Awards.

An online clothing store manager who approached Loud Mouth with a limited budget says business is growing and website traffic is on the rise. She says Loud Mouth Media went above and beyond to accomplish all goals, and is a reliable partner.

Loud Mouth is a good choice for an all-in-one solution if you want to combine your PPC strategy and organic SEO, as I recommended earlier.

#5 CPC Strategy

The appropriately-named CPC Strategy agency is 100% focused on providing pay-per-click services. In particular, they focus on e-commerce and PPC for various retail channels.

The owner of a retailer specializing in cooling products says that CPC Strategy has increased the number of customers and revenue per customer, and is an excellent deal.

They excel in responsiveness and are always available, providing answers to his important questions immediately. He appreciates their transparency of operations and extensive experience.

CPC Strategy is our top pick for a Google AdWords agency if you run an e-commerce business and check if they can also do Amazon advertising.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re an entrepreneur running a brand-new startup or the CEO of a high-revenue established company, you can benefit from hiring the right AdWords agency to handle PPC advertising for you.

Look for a multidisciplinary agency with specific experience in your niche. Consider what pricing model best suits you, and whether or not you’d like to enter into a contract. Be sure to track your return on investment so you can be confident your dollars are being put to work properly.

If you haven’t already settled on an AdWords agency check out our top pick, Disruptive Marketing. They have the perfect blend of experience, innovation, reliability, and scalability to work well for almost any size or type of online business.

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