The Internet has changed how we do all kinds of things, from filing taxes to buying shoes. In fact, one of the biggest changes that came with Internet access and smartphones was choice. We’re no longer tied down to what’s playing on TV or what’s available from local stores. People can watch exactly the movie they want to see, right when they want to see it. They can stream the exact album they want to hear within seconds of thinking about it. If an ad is boring, they can scroll right by to something that grabs their attention or resonates better. If they don’t like a website, there are a million others to choose from, and they’re only a click or tap away.
As one presenter at the Google Global Partners Summit in October put it, “You’re competing against the best experience a consumer has ever had.” Where does that leave attorneys who want to bring in more clients and cases? Google tells us that it’s all about putting the focus on your target audience—your perfect clients—and figuring out what makes them tick.
Standing Out in a Skippable World
Google has spoken to the difficulty of standing out in an online world that is increasingly “skippable.” Jamie Kelly attended the Global Partners Summit this year, and he brought back some wisdom for attorneys who want to put Google’s recommendations into action.
This is crucial. You need to understand your target audience and what it is looking for. You absolutely MUST define your perfect client. Of course, as Jamie admits, that’s all easier said than done. “Honing in on perfect clients and understanding all the demographics and psychographics of that audience is something that businesses should be working on constantly and continually,” he says. “The better that you understand your current clients and potential clients, the better you can create something that will resonate.” After all, you can’t offer something of value if you don’t know what your audience finds valuable!
The intention of your ideal audience—the reasons they are looking for you—should always be at the forefront of your mind when you create landing pages, blog and social media posts, PPC ads, or any other components of your online marketing. People will react more positively to information that speaks directly to their needs and approaches readers like people, not like marketing targets. The irony is that you are better able to anticipate the needs and preferences of the audience you want to reach when you take advantage of targeting tools and data.
To capture the attention of your target audience, you need to be aware of what is happening—online, in the world, in popular culture, and with your competitors. These are all the things your audience sees in comparison to your ads and content. “People have expectations for entertainment, and digital marketing is a kind of entertainment,” Jamie says. “For lawyers, doctors, and similar kinds of service professionals, it can be hard to feel like you fit into that.” However, you don’t have to do anything outrageous. It all comes back to knowing your audience. By wisely taking advantage of “micro moments” and offering actionable help, you’ll stand out because you were in the right place, at the right time, and with the right message.
“If you understand the intention, or when and where to get in front of a target audience, then you can run a successful ad campaign on any platform,” Jamie says. Engagement and attention span also vary from platform to platform, so it’s important to take those expectations into account as you create ads and content.
Lawyers running paid ads also run the risk of “numbing” their audiences with repetition, especially on Facebook. “Facebook gives attorneys options to target highly tailored audiences that sometimes consist of a relatively small subset of people,” Jamie explains. “The ad will perform great for weeks or months at a time, but then suddenly take a nosedive. Over time, people have seen the ad enough that they just don’t ‘see’ it anymore. They don’t even slow down as they scroll by!”
So how do you make sure your audience isn’t becoming blind to your ad collateral? Make sure to change up your ads so that people aren’t fatigued by seeing the same thing over and over. Use different images, or considering mixing in some videos. Creativity also plays a big part in catching people’s attention. For example, take a look at this ad:
By putting a fresh coat of paint on a familiar image or something people see all the time, we’re able to surprise readers and stimulate their curiosity.
Getting your perfect clients to take action also ties directly back into understanding intentions and expectations. What do they think they should be doing? What do they expect from you? What are their preconceptions and misconceptions about the problems they face?
Why does it matter? Jamie offers the example of ads for workers’ compensation attorneys. “While an attorney might describe their perfect client as male, between the ages of 30 to 40, and in a blue-collar industry, they also need to take into account that the people who actually reach out about these cases are often the wives or girlfriends of the injured worker.” To effectively spur those viewers to action, you need to understand who you’re targeting and how they are likely to reach out. In this example, you need to be prepared to target both the workers and loved ones who might reach out on their behalf.
Ultimately, if you want your audience to take action, you need to address their expectations and then tell them what to do. Your marketing materials should include clear calls-to-action that let viewers know exactly what the next step is, whether that’s downloading your book, filling out your contact form, or sharing your post on social media.
Foundational Marketing Philosophy That Works
Although advancements in targeting features have made it easier than ever to truly know your intended audience, the core ideas Google presented at the Summit are nothing new. “These ideas were a big part of Google’s thesis at the Partner Summit,” Jamie says. “But they are ideas that are worthwhile even outside of the realm of digital marketing and paid online ads. These are foundational marketing philosophies that any business would do well by staying on top of.”
Do you need help understanding your perfect clients or capturing their attention? Are you having trouble attracting the clients you want or driving them to action?
Reach out to our marketing experts today to talk about how you can put the “wow factor” in your digital marketing.