Facebook is an interesting platform for advertisers and businesses. Unlike other PPC platforms, it has a relatively low cost per click. That means more clicks and website traffic for your budget. However, many services and locally-based businesses including law firms, don’t necessarily see exceptional returns from it. To many law firms, it’s unclear from their intake forms, how effective Facebook ads can be for generating new clients.
In this article, we’re going to discuss 8 ad strategies you can employ on Facebook to generate new clients for your law firm. These strategies should be combined in order to get the most out of your ad budget and reach your firm’s marketing objectives.
1 – Attorney Image Ads to Landing Pages
The first ad strategy is as vanilla as it comes. When done properly, this has several marketing benefits, including generating more phone calls and form submissions. Image as can either be single image or what Facebook calls a carousel, shown below.
Carousel ads require you to upload multiple images and can encourage people to slow scrolling in their news feed to engage with your ad before clicking.
Use Images in Multiple Ads
One method we recommend is to run multiple ads with different images. You can test copy as well, but it’s preferred to test one variable at a time. Start with the images, since this will be among the first elements of your ad to capture a Facebook user’s attention. Some different ideas of ad images can include:
- Lawyer or Team photo
- Legal-based photo (Lady Justicia, gavel, scales of justice, supreme court, etc.)
- Legal context (family law, crashed car, injured person, etc.)
This can be immensely beneficial in determining the most effective ad creative before increasing your budget or scaling an ad campaign.
Above we can see how many conversions were tracked from our Facebook ads being clicked and actions that users took on the website, in this case contacting the firm or filling out a case evaluation form. From this, we can calculate the expectation of each ad’s performance in the future. The second ad received the second lowest number of clicks, however received more leads than the ad that produced 312 clicks.
Test Landing Pages
The bottom two ads, which are identical performed quite differently from each other. One received fewer clicks with more leads, while the other received nearly double the number of clicks, but only 2 leads compared to 3 for the other. Furthermore, the first ad (2 leads) ran for 2 weeks, whereas the second (produced 3 leads) only ran for 1 week.
These two ads ran to separate landing pages. The first ad directed user clicks to the homepage of the website, generating 312 landing page views, but only 2 leads. The second received nearly half the amount of landing page views, 3 conversions vs 2 in the first example. This second ad directed traffic to a landing page configured with special call-to-actions for mobile phones, where the contact form and phone number were among the first elements seen by users clicking through their smartphones.
Mobile vs Desktop Performance
This becomes much clearer when we look at the performance from the ads and on which devices the ads were displayed. Facebook’s user audience is much larger on mobile devices than on desktop. You have the option to only run ads on desktop, but you would severely be limiting your audience and reach if you did.
Instead, the moral of the story is to optimize your ad’s landing page for mobile traffic. Take the work out and make it simple for them to convert into a lead, either by calling or submitting a contact form to your law firm.
Note: This advice applies for all Facebook ads that direct users to your firm’s website, not just the image ads discussed in this section.
2 – Retargeting to Inbound
One of the things Facebook’s ad platform is most known for is its ability to retarget people who have interacted with or even visited your business. This is a great way to stay top of mind with people who have recently visited your website. It allows you to take a second bite at the apple and convert them a little later down the road when they’re ready to make the decision to contact your law firm.
How does Retargeting Work?
If you have a Facebook Business page, then you’ll be able to go into the Business Manager and initialize a tool called a Facebook Pixel. A Pixel is a special piece of tracking code, similar to Google Analytics, that you install on your firm’s website. Once installed, anytime someone visits your website and they’re also a Facebook user, Facebook is able to record data that marks them as a user who visited your website.
This allows you to retarget ads specifically to that audience at a point in the future. This gives you the ability to do some interesting targeting with your firm on Facebook. The pixel and retargeting options allow you to get very granular on how and when to display ads to past website visitors.
Your firm can decide to target people based on criteria:
- How long ago they visited (up to 180 days)
- Which pages they visited
- What actions they took/didn’t take (e.g. called, submitted a lead form, etc.)
- How they reached your site (Google AdWords, organic, facebook post, directly, TV ad, etc.)
This makes it a really powerful tool in your marketing arsenal for targeting that showed interested based on another ad or channel and then squeezing as many potential leads out of your advertising campaigns as possible.
For instance, Google AdWords can be very expensive to run, with CPC costs ranging between several dollars up to hundreds per click, based on the local market and type of law. For just a couple extra dollars, you can re-target to those people who didn’t call your firm after clicking your Google Ad, in the hope of converting them into a lead at a later date.
3 – Create a Video Retargeting Funnel
If you’re looking to expand your advertising reach beyond Google, Television or other sources, then Facebook has a lot to offer. One powerful technique is retargeting to people based on their engagement with your previous posts and ads.
Creating a Video Retargeting Funnel with Facebook works off of this exact principle. In essence, you publish a video ad (10 minutes or less in length) on Facebook with some conventional targeting based on your local geographic market and other criteria. The purpose of this video is to push it in front of as many people in your market as possible. Many people won’t pay attention to the video, as it’s by a lawyer talking about a specific area of law. However, several will. These select few are likely experiencing a legal problem related to or similar to the topic you discuss in the video. This audience is likely to watch a good portion if not complete the entire video.
Hence, you can target people based on how much of your video they watched. This way, you can show them one or several more videos on the same topic in front of them. Each successive video targeting people based on how much of the prior video they watched. Ultimately, you can push an offer in the form of a video or static image ad to that narrow audience, telling them to call or book an appointment with your firm.
If you want to learn more about creating a video funnel, check out this article we wrote here.
4 – Exclude Previous Video Views & Website Visits
One technique we use in conjunction with the video retargeting and other strategies is exclusion targeting. Just as we can retarget to certain groups that engage with our videos and website, we can also exclude based on this type of activity.
If your law firm’s marketing objective is to reach as many new people as possible, then this technique can come in very handy.
You can define audiences based on how many times a person visited your website or how much of a video they had watched. When our objective is for a video or ad to reach as many new people as possible, then we can simply instruct our Facebook ad campaign to exclude people that have already visited the website or a specific landing page. For video you can create an audience of people who watched at least 3 seconds of video. Then, by selecting this as an audience to exclude, it will find other users who match your firm’s targeting options outside of this audience. This is an effective way to always be finding new users to show the video to and hence expand your ad’s unique impressions and overall reach.
5 – Keep it Simple with Geographic & Demographic Targeting
Like many modern digital marketing and ad platforms, you have the ability to target your audience based on their location. Facebook is no exception. You can target people based on whether they live in the area or have recently visited a location.
When it comes to attorney marketing, the majority of law firms practice in specific markets and jurisdictions. Therefore, these targeting options are essential for such campaigning constraints and objectives.
Additionally, because Facebook has so much data on their users (something that keeps getting them into trouble..), you’re able to target based on other valuable demographics such as age, gender and language. Combine all of these and you can get very targeted with your campaigns or ads specifically.
Create Highly Targeted Client Personas & Avatars
This can be effective for firms that want to target a specific client avatar or persona as their target client. However, you can also use it to tailor ad creative and messaging to certain groups.
While your firm may offer a variety of services or serve a diverse group of clients, you may want to focus ads toward certain groups. In the above audience, we are targeting Women aged 30 and older, living in Chicago that speak Spanish. This produces an estimated audience size of 280,000 people in that area.
For a family law firm in Chicago serving the Latin American and Spanish-speaking markets, this could be useful. Going a step further, we can add on more demographics, such as relationship status. Targeting only users with a relationship status of Married or Separated brings this number down to less than ⅓ the previous at 82,000 people. Creating an ad in written Spanish, crafted and targeted for this group has a much higher chance of resonating and leading to more conversions.
6 – Use the Almighty Lookalike Audience + Geo-Targeting
If you haven’t heard of Lookalike audiences, it’s one of the most powerful, automated targeting features that Facebook’s platform has to offer. Essentially, when one (or several) of your campaigns is performing well with one or more custom audiences you’re using, the only problem you may run into is wishing you could scale that audience and find more people like the one you have defined. It’s performing well, but you don’t know how you may go about doubling, tripling or even 10-xing the segment audience that is working for your firm and converting into lead forms and phone calls to your legal practice.
Lookalike audiences allows you to do just that. Facebook has AI and machine learning algorithms that take all of the user data for your ads’ custom audiences and finds patterns and commonalities among the users. Not just based on their profile data, but behaviors and interests as well. As it digests this information, it then attempts to find other users on the platform demonstrating the same patterns and behaviors.
The one caveat is that Lookalike Audiences are built on a National level. This means that when you create a lookalike audience, it will ask you what country to create the audience for.
Not to worry..!
After you have created the lookalike audience, you can then fold it into a Saved Audience. This allows you to specify attributes like age, gender, language and location (like we saw above). Combining those two features gives the power of a lookalike audience narrowed down to the specific regions your firm desires to market to.
7 – Frequency Capping
Earlier we looked at how we can improve our ad campaign’s reach by excluding people who have visited our firm’s website or seen a specified, minimum duration of our ad video. However, in many cases people will see our ad, but won’t visit our website – ever. They’re simply not interested and don’t want to click through or even watch the minimum amount of 3 seconds of video that may be our criteria for excluding them in the future.
Facebook has a way to get around this so that we can indeed keep reaching new people and limit the number of times our ad is shown to people in our audience.
By tweaking these 2 parameters – impressions and days – you can control how often people see your ads. We recommend still displaying your ad more than once, after all, people may be scrolling through their news feed or other parts of the app rather quickly the first time they see your ad. However, this will depend on your CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and your total budget. From this you can calculate how many times and at what frequency you can afford to display your ads to people on a recurring basis.
The advantage to this is the bigger your budget in combination with limiting your impression frequency per user, your practice’s ad will be able to reach more people in your target audience.
8 – Promote Your Law Firm’s Blog Articles
A significant amount of what people share and engage with through their social network news feed are stories and articles, whether from news websites, blogs or otherwise.
Running an ad that promotes your law firm’s blog is a great way to engage people that are interested in reading and learning about legal issues related to them. While your paying to have your blog article promoted as an ad, the audience won’t necessarily see it that way. Instead, they see a headline of a preview of an article that may be related to a legal matter they, a friend or relative may be going through.
This is an excellent way to target and build an audience. You’re likely to get some conversions from directly promoting the article and demonstrating your firm’s expertise through the blog, but there’s more.
We discussed earlier how you can retarget ads to people based on their interactions with your website. You can in fact combine this with a retargeting strategy to segment the audience that reads any or specific blog articles and pool them into a custom audience.
You can then create a retargeting campaign specifically for people who read a blog post earlier. Once you have enough visits, engaged users and conversions from these retargeting ads, you can then roll this into a lookalike campaign, which you can target your blog articles to. Then wash, rinse and repeat the process to scale your Facebook ads and increase your firm’s intakes!
There you have it. 8 different strategies that we’ve used and have found work. The thing about digital marketing and, more specifically Facebook, is that you have so many tools and features at your disposal to build different approaches to marketing and advertising campaigns. Using specific strategies in combination with each other and finding your firm’s optimal will help you optimize your digital marketing and get your more leads while lower your cost per acquisition.
Speaking of optimizations, remember that Facebook is where you define, target audiences to publish ads to. Once you have people click on your ads and visiting your website, you have to ensure that your site and its landing pages are optimized to convert visitors into phone calls and conversions. As we saw at the beginning in #1, your website is just as important (if not more) than your ads when it comes to seeing a healthy ROI from your campaigns.