Radio advertising for the small law firm
For small law firm attorneys, radio marketing is an interesting prospect. It can be a platform for simple :05 promotional sponsorships on local radio shows and/or stations (like local NPR affiliates) to help increase a firm’s brand awareness in a community. Another avenue is to produce thirty or sixty-second radio commercials, to air during commuter rush hours. These commercials can target specific practice areas and/or target market needs.
All in all, it appears that radio will work best for general branding, driving listeners to the law firm’s website for more in-depth details and contact information. They could also play well to people who are in car accidents or are facing a DUI and are looking for legal representation.
It’s pretty wild to think that, in this day and age, radio is still very relevant, and can be quite influential, for any brand looking for local exposure (Nielsen studies confirm this). Most small firm attorneys focus their efforts on the local/regional community, so radio can make a lot of marketing sense.
Once you’ve given careful consideration to your firm’s USP, marketing strategy, competitive marketplace and budget, you can start the process of creating a great radio commercial campaign.
What do you want the radio commercials to accomplish? Most likely, you’re going to want the radio commercials to get your phone ringing or your website contact forms sent to you. Either way, you’re going to want to build into any radio campaign a direct response element. What this means is a telephone number or website address (maybe both) should feature prominently so anyone listening can get it down.
The following are aspects of radio production your firm should consider before embarking on having a radio ad created:
Production value/voiceover talent
One of the biggest failings of small law firm marketing is bad production value. If a firm is going to invest in making a radio spot, they should try to use the best talent possible. This doesn’t mean you have to spend the year’s marketing budget on your production. It means to not make production decisions on cost alone. Your radio spot must catch attention, and be taken in by the audience with minimal effort. The voice talent’s read must be evaluated for their overall delivery, not just for enunciating the words well. What’s the overall vibe, clarity and delivery of your message? Thanks to digital advancements, high-quality radio production is more affordable than it’s ever been.
Creative Idea/Straight Forward Offer
Your radio spot will need to be creative to stand out. That said, any offer you make needs to come across as straightforward and honest. Since most law firms will utilize radio for branding and for driving the audience to their website and telephone number, it’s a sound strategy to be creative up front to get the audience’s attention, and finish with a clear call-to-action and contact information repeated at least twice.
Simplicity & Clarity
You have thirty to sixty seconds. Packing too much into the commercial can overwhelm an audience, creating sensory overload. Leave the kitchen sink in the kitchen. If the kitchen sink is what’s so impressive about your practice, then at least try to pick the top practice area to emphasize in the commercial.
Use sound effects to enhance the message
Radio is the theatre of the mind. In TV you can just show someone. In radio, you show them with sound. It’s both a burden and a benefit of radio advertising because it’s both harder to do but more impactful when done well. Use of sound effects must be considered as the ad is written, and the use of sound that is irrelevant or detracts from the believability of the spot is a detriment to ad’s effectiveness.
The legal industry already suffers from an image problem. The best radio ads flow from an authentic connection to a product/service’s uniqueness, passion, and identity. Being real makes your spot believable and enhances credibility.
Your call-to-action must be relevant, compelling and simple enough to grasp quickly. Relevant means it matters to a potential customer. Compelling, for law firms means it has a “that’s what I’m looking for” factor.
Get Their Attention From The Get-Go
The first impression of a great radio ad must provoke a desire for further listening. If not, the radio ad will be categorized by the brain as the same old noise it always hears and it will be blocked out. Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your audience’s attention right from the start.
What’s In It For Them
One of the biggest mistakes made is assuming people care how your firm works before they care what it’s going to do for them. The ad must answer the question: what’s in it for me? How will it impact my life in a way that I think it will make my life better, happier, or easier?
It’s Easier Than It Sounds
Producing great radio commercials is harder than it sounds. When contemplating creating a radio commercial for your firm, it’s a good idea to listen to the radio advertising industry’s best.