You can’t always plan for the big events that impact your client base. However, you can position yourself to react to those events in ways that benefit your potential clients—and, ultimately, your business. If you can be the brand your “perfect clients” see when they need you, and if you can deliver the right message in that moment, the rest all falls into place.
Hofmann & Schweitzer is definitely a law firm that understands the benefit of a client-focused reaction to current events. Their clients are largely injured seamen and construction workers, and the firm’s success very much depends on being able to be there for people, when and where it matters!
As an example of how they do it, I’d like to tell you a little bit about how Hofmann & Schweitzer reacted after the collision between the USS John S. McCain and M/V Alnic. It’s an excellent illustration of their client-focused strategy in action. And, even more importantly, it’s a great lesson in what it takes to make a timely connection with a very small segment of your audience and capture that goal with precision.
Find the Focus in the “Micro-Moment” Moment
Shouting a big “HIRE ME” message into the faces of people who have recently been injured or lost a loved one is obviously inappropriate, and it’s not very effective from a marketing standpoint, either. That first contact with your target audience tells them a lot about who you are and what they can expect if they choose to work with you. If you seem self-serving, that’s the takeaway. If you seem helpful, professional, and knowledgeable, then that’s the takeaway.
The choice should be obvious! But how do you make that delicate connection?
Google talks a lot about the “micro-moment,” which it defines as “an intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need—to know, go, do, or buy.” The whole idea is for digital marketing to meet customers at the right points in the customer journey and fulfill their needs in that moment. That “human focus” and personal connection is really the core of all good marketing—and it’s hugely important when you’re trying to reach an extremely narrow audience online!
Hofmann & Schweitzer recognized early on that they needed to be a compelling source of help and knowledge for crewmembers and their families in the aftermath of the collision. There were important details and deadlines to communicate about this specific event, as well as foundational information about the legal rights of seamen and how to get help. A “generic” campaign wouldn’t work for this goal. Instead, it had to be timely, compelling, and totally tailored to their target audience.
For this campaign, the focus wasn’t “personal injury.” It wasn’t even just “maritime accidents” or “Jones Act cases.” Instead, they really zeroed in on the people most affected by this specific collision, and they looked at the best ways to connect those people with relevant information before time ran out.
It doesn’t get any clearer or more focused than that!
Of course, to accomplish such a laser-focused goal, they needed a strategy that would capture a pinpoint target—and they needed it fast.
How to Aim for a Pinpoint Target
As longtime clients of FWM, Hofmann & Schweitzer started this campaign with a strong overall marketing strategy already in their corner. They have a great website. They engage in ongoing optimization and link-building strategies. They stay on top of their local citations. They keep their website stocked with new content, and they manage their pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns carefully.
This is all a huge bonus because their goal with the USS John S. McCain campaign was shaping up to be a tough one. The challenges of the small target audience and the strict time limits imposed by the final filing date meant they really only had one chance to do it right.
Along with the FWM team, they sat down to carefully develop and deploy a complex strategy that included:
- Press releases. A press release hits multiple media outlets at the same time, increasing the likelihood that your message will reach potential clients that might not otherwise see your ads, visit your website, or seek out information on their own. It’s also a great way to push out time-sensitive information before the “expiration date.”
- Content production. This campaign was an opportunity for the firm to really make a connection, offer help, inform, and motivate people to take action to protect themselves. Thin, generic content just wouldn’t cut it. Instead, they worked with the FWM writing team to create content for this campaign that was super relevant, super digestible, and super actionable.
- PPC management. A short-term, highly focused campaign like this is the perfect place to use PPC. However, you have to do it wisely. For this campaign, we worked out customized ads, a realistic budget, unique targeting, and a cost-balanced strategy. For example, we created separate PPC campaigns for Japan and the United States to further segment their audience and get the most of their budget. We also managed and adjusted their PPC advertising as incoming data confirmed what was working and what wasn’t.
- Custom landing page. Focused campaigns can drive a lot of traffic to your site, but your site has to be ready to receive it. For this campaign, we created customized landing pages that highlight the most important and relevant information for people clicking through the firm’s paid ads and coming in from relevant organic searches. This meant targeted visitors didn’t have to dig around for the right information or wonder what to do to get help.
Social media boosted posts. It was important to get the messaging out to potential clients before the final date to file, so social media was a natural place to get busy. Boosted posts can dramatically increase a post’s exposure, and sites like Facebook give you incredible options for targeting narrow audience demographics—truly game-changing for a campaign like this!
Small Focus Brings in Big Results
With all of those tactics knit together, it was a mighty strategy that brought in real results. The campaign was a huge success for Hofmann & Schweitzer, and they were happy with the number of new, highly targeted clients it generated for the firm. Between the campaign, word-of-mouth referrals, and their supportive marketing strategies, they tell us they’ve signed 27 new cases!
All in all, we loved working with them on this project, and they were—as always—deeply knowledgeable about their marketing and receptive to recommendations.
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