As of 2021, the personal injury market is worth $41 billion, indicating that there’s enough money to go around. However, only a handful of law firms get the lion’s share of the pie. And they’re not shy about flexing their advertising dollars.
Top law firms defer to paid search, often paying between $200 to $900 per lead. While PPC ads for lawyers can offer a great short-term benefit, they’re extremely competitive and often unsustainable for most small and medium-size personal injury law firms.
Luckily, you can make a content marketing funnel part of your personal injury lawyer SEO campaign and lower the marketing costs. Content marketing uses organic traffic from search engines to grow your business.
Every day, Google searches drives hundreds of leads to your website. A content marketing funnel lets you close these leads and get a bigger slice of the $41 billion market.
What’s a Content Marketing Funnel for Attorneys?
A content marketing funnel is a model that breaks down a client’s journey when hiring a lawyer. It visualizes the steps a prospect takes once they’re aware of a legal problem until they hire a law firm to represent them.
The model resembles a funnel with a wide mouth and a very narrow neck. The concept of a sales funnel is quite simple. Anyone who visits your website is a potential customer or a lead.
However, not everyone will hire your firm. Only a fraction of your leads will progress to the next stage. The numbers decline until someone hires your firm and the cycle starts over.
4 Stages of a Content Marketing Funnel
A typical marketing funnel for law firms has four stages:
- Awareness (top-of-funnel, or TOFU)
- Evaluation (middle-of-funnel, or MOFU)
- Conversion (bottom-of-funnel, or BOFU)
Typically, most people search for personal injury lawyers after suffering an injury or when a loved one falls victim. Such people aren’t aware of your law firm or how the claim process works. They’re looking for direction, options, and solutions.
They’re curious to know what happens following an accident or unexpected injury. Can one recover lost wages or pursue compensation to help with medical bills? They’re likely to start with general queries to understand the process.
Top-of-funnel content is helpful and educational and designed to drive awareness. It provides genuine answers while offering clear directions to build a relationship.
Because hiring a lawyer is a deliberate decision, the legal industry has some of the lowest conversion rates on the market. Educating a reader about legal options helps build trust while nudging them into thinking about legal representation.
Pairing keyword research with insider insights can help build quality top-of-funnel content. While keyword research tools are helpful, intimate knowledge of the target audience and what they’re searching for wins the day.
During the evaluation phase, the prospect moves to the middle of the funnel. The reader is now aware of their problem and how to solve it – by hiring a personal injury lawyer. They know they need a lawyer but aren’t sure which one to hire.
Middle-of-funnel content sways prospects to look favorably at your firm. It seeks to establish a relationship with the reader and build their trust. The content addresses specific issues and problems facing people suffering from personal injuries.
It lets you showcase how your:
- abilities, and
- experience can help the prospect solve their problem.
It’s more a humblebrag than a sales pitch that highlights the services you provide. Not only that, but it aims to convince the reader that your firm is capable and trustworthy.
At this point, the prospects are ready to hire an attorney, i.e., convert into a client. They’re debating whether they should reach out to your firm for a consultation or keep looking. The third part of your content marketing funnel should make the decision easy for them.
Free consultations are a staple in personal injury cases and a proven way to promote engagement. Use call-to-action buttons to tell the reader what to do, down to the action you wish them to take. Don’t leave anything to chance and assume the reader knows what to do.
Contact forms, click-to-call, or live chat are the most effective ways to interact with your leads. Use large icons, bold texts, and make your call-to-action buttons prominent. Grab their attention and prompt them to act.
The conversion part of a law firm’s marketing funnel caters to prospects initiating contact and those who’ve decided to hire your firm. Hence, a fast and timely response is essential. Set up a follow-up protocol for prospects who call after office hours by having them leave their name and contact details.
An effective content marketing funnel doesn’t end at converting a prospect into a client. It should help you nurture and sustain a relationship with your current and existing clients. Happy clients are amenable to recommending your services to family and friends through word-of-mouth.
Word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing method. It’s free, drastically accelerates the hiring timeframe, and reduces churn. There are multiple ways to delight your client base and convert them into your firm’s advocates and brand ambassadors.
What Kind of Content Goes into Each Stage of a Law Firm’s Marketing Funnel?
Each stage of a lawyer’s content marketing funnel serves a different purpose. But they all work in concert to grow your business. There’s considerable overlap in the type of content to use at each stage. But the focus changes to reflect the reader’s needs.
Awareness Stage Content
The top-of-funnel or awareness content focuses on answering questions. You want to solve the problems your target audience is struggling with.
Long-Form Blog Posts
Long-form is ideal for addressing personal injury and other topics about the legal process. Premium, well-researched content that answers the reader’s questions earmarks you as a subject-matter expert.
Typically, a person at this stage may have been involved in an accident. As a result, they will often turn to Google for answers. Long-form blog posts let you provide comprehensive solutions. They introduce your firm to the readers. Ultimately, this content wins them over with your detailed and extensive knowledge.
Lengthy content allows you to educate the readers about legal options while illuminating the role of a personal injury lawyer. They entice the reader to think of hiring a lawyer and why they need one.
In the image above, you’ll see a blog post curated to answer a common question many car accident victims have: can I file a lawsuit if I didn’t suffer physical injuries? This is a way to provide answers the user wants and move them down the funnel and closer to reaching out for help.
Comprehensive and well-optimized content ranks highly on Google, driving organic traffic to your website. The average web user combs through three to five blogs before deciding what to do. They’re more likely to remember your firm if you keep showing up at the top of the search results.
Social Media Posts
Over 90 percent of the marketers in the US use social media to grow their reach and generate new leads. Law firms can use social media – from Facebook to Instagram to LinkedIn and beyond – to grow online authority and become thought leaders.
People are likely to follow and interact with your brand for informative content, building brand awareness. You can also build brand authority and earn the reader’s trust and attract new leads.
YouTube simplifies your ability to harness the power of video marketing to grow your law firm. The platform allows you to create a YouTube channel for your brand and use it to increase your reach and brand presence.
Videos are increasingly becoming an asset in online marketing because they’re personal and easy to consume. Video consumption is at an all-time high. In fact, some people prefer watching video clips to reading lengthy blog posts.
With videos, you can give your marketing campaign a personal touch while explaining away complex legal processes. A touch of your sunny personality and expert knowledge makes a great combo and can generate leads.
Better yet, you can include a strong call-to-action in the video description, inviting the viewer to visit your website for more information. You can also provide your contact details so that they can get in touch.
Ebooks and Guides
Legal processes can be lengthy and complicated. Most people find them infuriating and intimidating. Downloadable guides and eBooks let you eliminate this problem for your clients while building subject authority.
You can create detailed eBooks with checklists, or guides, explaining away processes, expectations, mistakes, or bursting misconceptions. Post the guides on your website and invite the readers to download them.
Besides providing deep insights, such assets double as a giveaway to let you build your mailing list.
Evaluation Stage Content
When a prospect enters the evaluation stage, they’re aware that they need to hire a lawyer but need clarification on the why. They also require a little more convincing that your firm is the right match for their needs.
It’s not enough to tell the readers of your abilities. You need to show them. Simply put, it’s an opportunity to toot your own horn. Luckily, there are numerous ways to humblebrag about your victories.
Blog posts allow you to introduce your specific services without coming off too strong. The reader is looking to hire a lawyer, but they aren’t sure who is the best. They have some doubts and could use a nudge in the right direction.
Dig into your records to find some common sticky points. What are the common objections you encounter during consultation calls? Create compelling blog content to address these issues. Such content will help build trust. Also, it will improve your onboarding process, since the prospect knows what to expect.
Don’t shy away from advising clients how to claim without hiring a lawyer. Just be sure to highlight the drawbacks. You want to explain why proper legal representation delivers better results.
Case Studies & Testimonials
Given the stakes in legal proceedings, clients gravitate towards law firms with an established history of winning. Case studies and testimonials are highly persuasive middle-of-funnel content. Deep down, each client seeks a lawyer to help them win their legal battle.
This type of content lets you weave your successes into compelling stories about your clients’ victories. Each piece should explain the problem, your approach, solutions, and how it resulted in a win for your clients. Back each claim in the case study with facts and evidence to build credibility and believability.
Prospects at the middle of your sales funnel have a vague idea why they need a lawyer. Incorporating email marketing into your funnel helps your conversion rates by allowing personalized marketing. You can segregate them into various stages and address their specific needs at each stage.
The ability to niche down makes email campaigns highly effective in growing your conversion rates. Emails return $32 for every $1 you spend on marketing. That’s an ROI of more than 4400 percent.
Start by using downloadable guides, checklists, and reports to build your email list. Then use an email marketing tool to automate the process and segment the list into various categories for a more persuasive approach. For instance, you can use categories such as car accidents, workplace accidents, slip & fall, and more. Only send related news and information to each category, and explain what you can do to help.
Create a Content Hub
Law firms have diverse areas of specialization, and that calls for a considerable amount of content. For instance, a personal injury firm could handle defective products, car accidents, premise liability, wrongful death, and medical malpractice cases.
You must generate content highlighting each of these services while making them easily accessible. Proper categories help you address each topic exhaustively and build topical authority on Google.
Content hub groups content to help prospects access the information they need quickly without wading through a mass of irrelevant content. It helps keep the information segment flowing into the next stage of your marketing strategy. It also helps avoid keyword cannibalization. That’s where two pieces of content try to rank for the same keyword.
Conversion Stage Content
Prospects who are this far down your marketing funnel are warm leads. They need a personal injury attorney. They are already holding your firm in high regard, and could be persuaded to retain your services. They’re on the verge of making a hiring decision. Here’s your chance to swoop in and seal the deal.
Galvanizing the prospect into action helps break their moment of indecision. Ask prospects to contact your firm. Show them how-to, and offer a few options. Use visible call-to-action buttons, clickable links, icons, or images to draw the reader’s attention.
Explain how each method works and avoid generic terms such as “click here.”
Use phrases in the active voice to tell the user what to do:
- Request a free consultation.
- Call toll-free.
- Request a callback.
Without calls to action front and center, you’re leaving too much up to chance.
Follow Up Emails
Email campaigns are highly effective because they allow you to segment your audience according to their position in the marketing funnel. You can also customize the content from your last interaction and nudge them towards the next stage. Sending a follow-up email is up to 70 percent more likely to move a prospect through the next phase of the sales funnel.
Advocacy Phase Content
Advocacy is a complementary step that helps to reduce churn and grow your clientele painlessly. The last step in your marketing funnel turns most of your clients into brand ambassadors. Advocacy requires a little bit of personal touch as it entails creating a rapport with every one of your clients.
You can create a sequence of emails outlining how the claim process works during a personal injury settlement or hearing process. As a result, you will educate your clients and stay in touch.
You can create a mini update on your website or social media handles touting your latest wins. Seize every opportunity to remind your clients and prospects that you’re all about winning.
Pick the most convenient mode of communication that allows you to send a personal message to each client. You can use a personal email, phone call, or text to check on your clients and update them on progress.
Moving Potential Clients Through the Funnel
The personal injury market is enormous. But it’s brimming with competition, making it challenging to convert new leads.
A well-structured marketing funnel can lower the amount of competition you face and grow your conversion rates. Content marketing can help tower against your rivals.
Stay Top of Mind
To cement your place in the minds of your target audience, you should:
- Post continually: Since awareness content caters to the general audience, it must stay fresh and relevant. Regular updates let you keep your finger on the pulse and engage your audience, especially on social media.
- Create a monthly newsletter: A monthly round of helpful news or your most read content can help establish touchpoints with your mailing list. Keep the newsletter short, spicy, and entertaining to increase the open rates and avoid reader fatigue.
- Engage on social media: Keep an active presence on social media by sharing your blog posts and inviting your followers to comment and engage with them.
- Respond to reviews: Show clients – former, current, and prospective – that you’re staying on top f feedback and are engaged in all aspects of your practice. Don’t underestimate the value of attorney reviews – and your responses to them (both positive and negative).
The top of funnel content makes your audience aware of your firm and its services. But it also helps them remember your brand. Your name comes to mind if they or their loved ones get into an accident, are arrested, or face another legal issue and need a lawyer.
Distribute Your Content
You need to distribute your content widely to gain traction and attract readers. News articles, social media, blogs, legal directories, GMB, and YouTube are some of the best distribution channels for legal content. However, you should match content to the best distribution channel, since not all platforms are created equal.
Visual content, such as graphics and infographics, outperforms text-only posts on social media by a factor of two. However, long-form content gets more engagement on websites.
Embedding video content in your blog posts helps break the monotony, improves ranking, and helps to clarify sticky points. Be sure to optimize the video for organic search to improve rankings and visibility on search engines.
Build Topical Authority
A proper content strategy makes your website a one-stop-shop for anyone seeking specific legal advice. Building topical authority turns your website into an authoritative resource trusted by readers, search engines, and other web admins.
When you create great content other websites will link to it, growing your brand’s readership and search rankings. Quality content makes your website a go-to resource for people looking for legal services. Ultimately, the results are lead generation and conversion efforts.
Tracking a Law Firm’s Marketing Funnel Efficiency
It’s not enough to create a sales funnel for your law firm. You need to track its performance and use the findings to improve efficiency.
These metrics allow you to track the performance of your funnel:
- Traffic: Google Analytics can help you identify the most successful content, so you can serve your readership with more of them.
- Dwell time: Checking how long a reader lingers on your website can offer insights into the reader’s pain points.
- Bounce rate: What happens when a visitor enters your sales funnel? Bounce rate calculates the number of people that click away without exploring other pages on your site.
- Shares and Likes: Social media makes it easy to track engagement using shares and likes. Use these numbers to gain deeper insights into your audience. What type of content do they prefer? When are they most responsive? What are they more likely to share?
- Engagement: How your audience engages with your content helps to gauge resonance. The audience will comment or initiate a discussion on posts that resonate with them. Search engines use engagement to prioritize posts on social media to serve the user more of what’s popular.
Based on these metrics, you can identify if an aspect of your content marketing funnel isn’t working. But, knowing where in the funnel you’re losing steam is important – because you can take actionable steps to fix it.
Let Our Law Firm SEO Experts Take Charge of Your Content Marketing Funnel
The personal injury space has some of the most expensive CPC rates on the market. That makes paid search a struggle for most law firms. And, paid ads can be a great short-term solution, but in order to truly grow and get consistent calls, you need a strong organic SEO for lawyers campaign.
Organic traffic is a crucial part of effective personal injury law firm SEO campaigns.
As part of that, a well-defined content marketing funnel allows you to attract legitimate leads and grow your business.
LawRank can help. We have the best law firm SEO specialists in the business – and we know just how important every aspect of the content marketing funnel is to success. Content is king – and we pride ourselves on the exceptional, meticulously crafted content we produce for clients just like you.
Contact our law firm SEO company today to discover how we can grow your law firm and help you become the go-to attorney in your market.