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Law firm websites gain marketing traction

The site will focus more on social media in the next year, according to Dack. Like many sites, the Foley Hoag home page links to Facebook and Twitter. The site also has seven blogs, with multiple lawyers contributing to each one. Now hosted by a third party, the blogs will be brought into Sitecore so that metrics can be obtained for blog content. 

Social media is playing an increasingly important role in creating trusted relationships, and that is true for law firms. “Companies are no longer in control of their brands,” asserts Erick Mott, VP of community at Sitecore. “Brands are shaped by people who talk about them online and how companies respond in real time.” While being the focus in online comments may be uncomfortable for some traditional firms, it is inevitable. “It’s also an opportunity,” Mott says, “because the firm can now learn from and engage its audience with the firm’s website serving as a community hub.”

Things to know

Web designers and WCM vendors agree that product features are not really at the heart of the issue. “The first question should be, ‘What do you want the site to do?’ ” says Guarnaccia. “It’s not so much about how you edit a page. You want business results. For example, when your company connects its website to its CRM system, you know if someone who called is the same one who spent time on a particular page of your site. That way you are building meaningful connections with a prospect that will support conversion.”

It may sound obvious, but it’s a factor often ignored by organizations in all fields: Websites need to be maintained. “Content needs to be relevant and interesting,” says Foster. “In addition, not everyone has the time or the resources to dedicate to marketing 24/7, so finding ways to be more efficient with those resources is critical. For example, the site can be set up so that prewritten blog posts are in the queue and one is posted each day—but someone needs to be actively involved.”

The change to digital marketing presents challenges, especially for traditional industries such as the legal field, but it also offers new opportunities, especially for understanding the business through analytics. “Law firms should have tracking and measurement tools in place on every element of their business, including but not limited to web analytics,” maintains Foster. “They should know where their clients are coming from, and what the return is on each one. The same goes for marketing efforts. Was it a video that catalyzed the client’s response or a free report that was sent out? The whole business model should be measurable.”  

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