For many industries, a potential customer will pass through a series of checkpoints before they make a decision to purchase. These checkpoints are the stages that make up a marketing funnel and they generally follow a logical order from awareness of a business to eventually the purchase of a product or service. Although these stages tend to occur organically for most client journeys, a business can optimize their marketing funnel to improve its effectiveness and drive sales.
For attorneys, optimizing their legal content marketing funnel can result in a more aligned client base and better lead-to-client conversion. Read on for more information on legal content marketing funnels, their essential functions, and the four stages of a legal content marketing funnel.
What is a legal content marketing funnel?
A general content marketing funnel outlines a customer’s journey with a business from the beginning stages of interest to the final purchasing stage. For attorneys, your content marketing funnel will describe the journey your potential client takes with your firm from when they become aware of your practice to when they become your client. The “funnel” metaphor represents the gradual filtering of website visitors from a broad point of interest to someone who is ready to hire you.
Typically, a potential client’s journey will have four major stages that include:
- Awareness. This refers to when the potential client is either inquiring about legal representation, or doesn’t yet know they need representation but is conducting research about their legal problem.
- Consideration. At this stage, the potential client will likely conduct some comparative research to determine the best attorney to either represent them or answer their questions.
- Decision. The potential client makes a decision on who, if anyone, they’d like to hire.
- Advocacy. In this final stage, the client continues to advocate for your firm’s services after they’re no longer in your care via word of mouth, referrals, and other methods of support.
How does a legal content marketing funnel work to drive business?
An intentional legal content marketing funnel makes for an effective digital marketing strategy for attorneys because it provides a guiding hand to your potential clients throughout their journey to hire you. Without a marketing funnel strategy, you may be relying on potential clients to intuitively take themselves throughout the process of finding your firm, researching their legal problem, building trust and confidence in you, and reaching out. With a marketing funnel, you’re guiding a potential client through these steps in a way that supports them and also helps you keep them engaged and improve the probability of conversion.
Essential functions of a good legal content marketing funnel
A functioning and effective legal content marketing funnel strategy will take a potential client from the early stages of engagement all the way to the finish line. If your marketing funnel is designed with intention, it should work to:
- Attract potential clients.
- Engage with potential clients.
- Capture their contact information.
- Nurture them throughout their journey.
- Convert them into paying clients.
- Retain them.
- Help you ask for referrals or positive reviews.
In order for your marketing funnel to continue to be successful in achieving the desired functions, it may require ongoing optimizations and testing. In this case, it’s helpful to regularly review your analytics and make adjustments to your marketing funnel as needed.
Four stages of your legal content marketing funnel
For attorneys, your content marketing funnel will typically be divided into four major stages that mirror your potential client’s journey. Continue on for more information on the four stages of your legal content marketing funnel.
Awareness is the first stage in your legal content marketing funnel. At this point, a potential client is either aware they need to seek legal representation or they’re attempting to research a legal problem they may be experiencing. For either reason, a potential client will then connect with your website through a search engine by a relevant search query.
At this stage, your website can work to attract these potential clients by publishing web content that answers the common questions they may be searching. For example, a potential client might achieve awareness of your law firm after getting in a car wreck and suffering injuries. After the accident, they conducted some research about what their next steps are, and were connected with your website through an FAQ page about car wrecks relevant to their area.
Website content that supports the awareness stage of your marketing funnel includes:
- Practice area pages
- Blogs and FAQ pages
- Social media posts
- Ebooks or other forms of gated content
In the evaluation stage, your potential client is aware of their legal problem and has discovered a potential solution – to hire an attorney. While your potential client is in the evaluation stage, your website content should be working to build trust and confidence with them so they are comfortable moving forward to the hiring stage. Pieces of content in the evaluation stage should discuss specific issues that the targeted audience faces as a result of their legal matter.
This stage is also an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, expertise, and experience in your area(s) of practice. A potential client should know how and why you are the best attorney for their legal problem and feel that you are competent and trustworthy.
Other website content that supports the evaluation stage of your marketing funnel includes:
- Case studies
- Attorney bio
- About the firm page
At the bottom of your legal content marketing funnel is the conversion stage. This begins when the potential client has made the decision to hire an attorney, but is still considering their options. This stage works to make the final push to convert them into a paying client.
There are a few conversion stage strategies that are proven to be effective for attorneys, such as:
- Free consultations
- Call-to-action features such as buttons, click-to-call phone numbers, and contact forms
At the conversion stage, your potential client has a very strong intent to hire an attorney. To make sure you’re the attorney they hire, it’s helpful to have several calls-to-action throughout your website that encourage them to reach out to you. In addition, follow-up emails can be a valuable conversion tool for potential clients that don’t convert right away.
Advocacy or Word-of-Mouth
The most effective legal content marketing funnels don’t tend to end with the conversion stage. Instead, your funnel should support a way for the client to continue advocating for your firm’s services after they’re no longer in your care. This can look like word-of-mouth referrals, leaving a positive review, or recording a video testimonial.
Grab potential clients at the top of your funnel with LawLytics
The LawLytics website platform makes it easy to create the content that works to grab the attention of your potential clients at the top of your funnel and keep them engaged throughout their process to hiring you. Whether it’s adding new pages or creating optimized practice area content, LawLytics is fully loaded with the tools and tech attorneys need to be successful. If you would like to know more or see the technology in action, schedule a 20-minute interactive demo with a product expert.