Inbound legal marketing is marketing that is focused on getting found by customers. It is the art of “pulling” customers to you rather than “pushing” your message out to them through interruption-style advertising.
No one does a better job of explaining the philosophy and practice of inbound marketing than Hubspot, pioneers in the field. Here is a short explanation from Hubspot on Inbound Marketing:
In traditional marketing (outbound marketing) companies focus on finding customers. They use techniques that are poorly targeted and that interrupt people. They use cold-calling, print advertising, T.V. advertising, junk mail, spam and trade shows.
Technology is making these techniques less effective and more expensive. Caller ID blocks cold calls, TiVo makes T.V. advertising less effective, spam filters block mass emails and tools like RSS are making print and display advertising less effective. It’s still possible to get a message out via these channels, but it costs more.
Inbound Marketers flip outbound marketing on its head.
Instead of interrupting people with television ads, they create videos that potential customers want to see. Instead of buying display ads in print publications, they create their own blog that people subscribe to and look forward to reading. Instead of cold calling, they create useful content and tools so that people call them looking for more information.
Instead of driving their message into a crowd over and over again like a sledgehammer, they attract highly qualified customers to their business like a magnet.
The Foundational Components of Inbound Legal Marketing
In order to execute a successful inbound legal marketing campaign, there are three main components:
1. Content – You need to have a strategy in place to create engaging, useful content. This can include more than just text articles. It can also include videos, infographs, ebooks, webinars, etc. The content is the tool that is used to attract potential customers to your marketing.
2. SEO – Search engine optimization is the practice of making sure your content can be found through the search engines. This is important because search engines currently act as the gateway to the rest of the internet. Search engines are where the majority of your customers will begin the process of searching for legal representation.
3. Social Media – Social media plays an important role in your inbound marketing efforts. It allows you to build relationships with people who can help distribute your content and get the word out about what you do. Increasingly, it plays a larger role in your search engine visibility as well.
People use the Internet in a variety of ways. When your website, blog, profile, or other “professional online presence”, becomes a source of information, answers, and solutions you will see that it attracts potential clients looking for your legal services.
This, in short, is what inbound legal marketing is.