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Social media is becoming more essential for businesses to be on in order to stay relevant in such a rapidly changing world. Among the many industries and types of businesses are law firms. Many lawyers that advertise on Facebook know they have someone running their ads, but don’t even know if it’s working or not.

Do Facebook ads work for personal injury and accident lawyers? Facebook ads work for most industries, including lawyers. Personal injury lawyers can run profitable and successful Facebook ad campaigns. However, it typically requires finding the right parameters such as budget, audience and creative.

However, many of the lawyers we speak say they don’t see strong indications that clients are finding them through social media or that their marketing spend is being put to good use at all via social media.

So in this article, we’re going to look at the key elements and thinking that go into running ads for injury lawyers on the social media giant’s ad platform. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what Facebook ads can do and how affordable it is or its cheap CPC (cost per click) is. So we’re going to take this opportunity to clear some of that up as we talk about law firm marketing on Facebook.

How to Run a Profitable Facebook Ad Campaign for Personal Injury Lawyers

Facebook offers a really dynamic and wide range of advertising options and capabilities on their platform. For the most part, they’ve made it pretty easy to navigate. But there are certain things you should do in order to see a good return from your Facebook ads.

Don’t Expect “Magic” from Social Media Ads

There are certain “tricks” that can get you some very good and interesting results for injury ads, say targeting hospitals. However, their policy guidelines specify that you cannot engage in any sneaky campaigns like that. If they don’t like your tactics, then they could ban or suspend your ads account.

Instead of tricks, there are some basic, but fundamental components required for building out a solid ad on the social media platform. They are:

  • Proper Budgeting
  • Location & Demographical Targeting
  • Creative & Ad appearance
  • Understanding the visitor’s intent
  • Understanding Network Effects

Let’s go through each of them briefly to see how we can plan our Facebook ad campaigns and launch them with well-defined, but simple setting to see the best results.

Budgeting Ads
This is part of the “magic” I was referring to with Facebook ads. Don’t set unreasonable expectations that because ads on Facebook have an extremely low cost per click compared to AdWords and search ads, doesn’t mean you’ll acquire a new client for $50 dollars in ad spend.  

Set aside a budget for ads that makes sense compared to what you pay to generate a new client from other advertising methods. Don’t expect to spend $500 per month if you know that it costs you $750 to acquire a new case.

Social media works, but it’s probably not going to lower your CPA (cost per acquisition) by very much. If cases were so much cheaper and easier to come by on social, every firm would be advertising on it aggressively. That said, it works. Just be realistic budget-wise.

Audience Targeting
Basically, you need to define a basic, fundamental audience to target via Facebook’s ad network. The two main things you want to get right are geographic and demographic targeting. 

Either at the ad set level or defined in an audience will be your location and geographical targeting settings. For this, you’ll want to select either “Everyone in this location” or “People who live in this location” and then search for the cities, zipcodes or states that you want to target.

Tip: As someone who has observed how my friend’s profiles over time and seen how their Facebook account says they still live in location A, when I know they moved away, I recommend selecting “Everyone in this location”. This will advertise to people currently in the area. It may pick up tourists and people visiting your area, but it’s better than targeting people who are not in your area.

Next, you’ll want to define your demographics. Unless you have very specific key demographics and client persona which you know will work on Facebook, we suggest keeping this open up. You can set age ranges between 25 and 65+, set both male and female, select the languages you want to target and move on. 

Pro Tip: If you want to target multiple languages, split up your languages at the ad set level. For example, if you were targeting English and Spanish, you would create one ad set for each. Then, you can create ads written in English and Spanish and run ads in 2 languages.

Yes, these are very basic steps and campaign settings. The idea isn’t that you won’t create more complicated campaigns and audiences. That should be performed during testing and optimizing your ad campaigns. The audience you create with these basic settings will serve as your default and starting point when experimentation and optimization.

Creative & Ad Appearance
Creative and Ad appearance are critical to your ad’s success. The creative is really what the end-user sees. It has to resonate with your target audience (i.e. people who have been wrongfully injured). There are entire courses on this subject alone, so if you’re serious about having your ads created properly, you should contact a legal marketing expert that can help. Later, we’re going to discuss some of the different types of ad creative you may want to implement into your own firm’s Facebook campaigns.

Understanding the Visitor’s Intent
If you track your website traffic and activity using an analytics tool like Google Analytics, then you can see that your traffic sources will show very different user behavior and experience metrics.

As we can see, the user behavior metrics tell very different stories based on whether a user found this website organically or found it through Facebook. One of the main reasons this occurs is because of user intent. 

When someone is using a search engine, it’s because they’re searching for something. If you receive lots of organic search traffic, you probably know people are typing in “injury lawyer near me” and you’re receiving phone calls from that and lower bounce rates in your analytics.

When people visit you from Facebook, you have to get into their mindset. They visited your website either:

  1. By mistakenly clicking on your ad
    or
  2. On purpose
    In this case, b) is preferable to a). 

But that alone doesn’t necessarily mean that people want to call or message you, or even stick around very long for that matter. 

Think about the headspace of someone on Facebook. They came because they’re bored and scroll through their newsfeeds, play games and share stories.

Not because they need a lawyer right now.

They might have been curious and clicked on it. They may know someone who needs a lawyer and decided to click or may need an injury attorney themselves. So your metrics are going to tell a different story and that’s okay. Most people on social media are on the bus, waiting in a line up or just bored. They’re just passing the time on social media.

People who need a lawyer “right now” are going to go to a search engine and find a lawyer near them to call “right now”. People taking a 15-minute break to check out their Facebook may remember to search for your firm later but aren’t as likely to convert or get on the phone now.

Understanding Network Effects
When you distill it down, Facebook’s algorithm is trying to do two things:

  1. Make money
  2. Provide the best user experience

While it’s important for Facebook to continue making money off of its massive advertising platform and inventory, it’s always putting the user experience first. If not, it wouldn’t be able to retain users and people would eventually migrate to other platforms.

One of the most important parts of running a great ad, regardless if you’re the newest online retailer or a personal injury lawyer is focusing on engaging through the creative. 

Video is becoming increasingly popular. An easy way for any lawyer to do this is by using stock videos. Find a 15 to 30-second stock clip that’s (somewhat) related to your area of law and make sure it will stop users from scrolling through their newsfeeds.

A car accident lawyer could use a stock video like this:

And with the right copy and call to action, you could turn this into a great ad during the winter months.

There’s still nothing wrong with using photo ads. We’ve found that team photos typically work well. The right stock photo can go a long way too.

You can also share your blog articles and boost them. This can work very well too. The idea I’m trying to draw here is that in order to engage users, you want to use engageable, interesting creative media that will make people want to see your ad. 

Don’t just think about conversions and traffic when you advertise on Facebook. Focus more on creating ads that will get likes, comments, and shares. Because people are content and engage with your ad or post, Facebook’s algorithm will want to share it with more people. 

User experience in your ads will take you a very long way on Facebook. So create great ads that please users and the algorithm.

Shares are another powerful effect from social networking. It works pretty well if you’re sharing articles and your blog content. Essentially, you don’t have to specifically target the accident or injury victim that you’re trying to advertise to. You may reach their family or a friend first who shares the ad or post with them.

The key here is to understand that the social network’s algorithms make it behave more like an organism than a machine. The happier it is, the better your campaigns will perform.

Running an Ad Campaign

We’ve created a list of sections below that will definitely help you towards optimizing your campaigns and facebook marketing.

Key Concepts to Facebook and PPC Ads

If you’re new to advertising on Facebook or even law firm PPC ads in general, then there are several concepts you want to be aware of. The first has to do with how ad campaigns are structured. There are 3 main components to any campaign and they are:

Campaign – This is where you define the overall scope of the ad campaign, including the budget, timeline, and schedule as well as the objective.

There are a number of different objectives that you can aim for, but be careful. Learn and do research on them before assuming your campaign should you the leads or conversions objective. This setting will actually alter how the algorithm works and sometimes the best setting to sign up new clients isn’t conversions, but instead using an objective like reach or engagements.

Ad Sets – This is where you will configure most of your ad’s settings for building your audience, including geo-targeting, demographics, interests and many other parameters you can select from.

The way we like to think about ad sets is as the glue between the parent campaign and the ads and ad creative themselves. Your campaign may be seeking to get sign up car accident and injury clients.

You want to target several demographics. Sticking with our earlier example of English and Spanish speakers, we could create an ad set for each language and then create 1 ad in English for the English ad set and repeat the process for the Spanish ad set. 

You can see this represented in the diagram above. 

The ad creative and copy in both languages are separated at the Ad Set level, or the “audience” level to think of it another way.

Ads – Finally the ads, this is the ad copy and creative (be it an image or video), the headline and a call to action button linked to your website’s landing page. The ad-level of a Facebook ads campaign is the only part that end-users will see.

Ad Types & Campaign Strategies to Test for your Firm

With a better understanding of the ads ecosystem, you should wonder how this can specifically apply to advertising your personal injury legal services on Facebook.

A large part of finding success on Facebook ads is continually testing, trying new things and not giving up immediately. 

Especially for a type of business that isn’t very sexy and people don’t tend to be drawn to – attorneys and legal services. People don’t want a lawyer, they either need one or they don’t. So be creative and find different angles and methods to engage your audience.

With that said, here are a couple of different approaches to test when advertising your law firm and services on Facebook.

Re-targeting Only – Instead of trying to spend a lot of money and running an ad to tens or hundreds of thousands of people in your area, just retarget people who have already visited your website, whether from Organic, search ads (AdWords), or otherwise. 

You can run ads for as little as $1 per day (although the budget will depend on how many people you’re retargeting) and generate several more leads per month from people who visited your website previously but would have otherwise not contacted you.

Email Opt-ins – I see this more often with lawyers that graduate from law school and hang up their shingle. However, email lead magnets can be a great way to control your traffic and reach out to people before they’re ready to hire an injury or accident attorney.

Instead of trying to get them to call you now – which they don’t want to do, because they’re on social media (i.e. user intent) – get them to give you their name and email address in exchange for a guide talking about car accident injury and insurance claims in your state or province.

Reach vs. Engagement for Video Ads – If you can invest the time and money into hiring a legal marketing expert that knows how to create highly engaging, effective video ads then you’re bound to have an ad that will perform well in terms of pleasing users and the algorithm which will get your ad maximum exposure.

So instead of creating 1 campaign, create 2 with the same ad sets and targeting and split your budget between them. One will use the Engagement objective while the other uses the Reach objective.

Video vs. Photo ads – Because ad creative and media is so fluid and dynamic, the end creative product can vary and be anything. We’ve heard and seen first-hand video and photo ads perform better and worse. It depends on the final product. So have your marketing agency come up with one or several of each media format and test them against each other.

Many times the audience and budget are not the problem, its the ad and the fact that it doesn’t work or get lawyers any new leads is because the ad creative and copy just didn’t stop users from scrolling and resonate with them.

Boosting Posts Instead of Ads – Finally, one of our favorite ad methods on Facebook is sharing posts and content. With a Facebook business page, you can boost your posts, which means paying Facebook to show your post to more people. 

It’s an ideal way to advertise on social media as people are seeking to browse and consume content leisurely in their app. Therefore, paying to promote your blog posts and articles that give your relevant audience info about their injury or insurance claim can go a long way on Facebook. Especially for getting mentions in comments and shares from people who know someone that’s injured.

When you share a post it only reaches a small percentage of your followers and that number has declined from 16% in 2012 to less than 3% now. The great part about boosting is that it allows you to target an audience similarly as with actual ad campaigns.

Tutorial on Running your first Facebook Ads Campaign

It’s much easier to see a video on how to set up your first Facebook ad campaign, especially if you’re going to run and manage the ads yourself. Surfside PPC makes a ton of really helpful video tutorials for pay per click advertising (mainly Google Ads) but has an excellent 1 hour tutorial on Facebook Ads for beginners.

Results We Achieved for our Personal Injury Campaigns

We have run multiple campaigns for personal injury lawyers on Facebook and other forms of PPC ads. We prepared a case study looking at how one of our campaigns was able to generate more cases for both the law firm’s full range of services, but also to build some ads specifically targeting injury claims. 

We were able to drive conversions at a cost of $300. Facebook can definitely work, but it’s not going to lower your cost per acquisition.