As an attorney, you have a wide variety of ways to market yourself and reach your intended audience. Geo-fence marketing for law firms allows lawyers to target their marketing based on a specific location.
Imagine this; if you are a personal injury lawyer, you would be able to target hospitals, outpatient facilities, and even high accident prone areas in your local surroundings. Geo-fencing is a powerful strategy we see more and more legal professionals utilizing in their practice.
What is Geo-fencing for Attorneys?
Geo-fencing refers to a specific perimeter that runs around a location. The process uses GPS coordinates, and when someone carrying a mobile device enters into that perimeter, they will receive your ads. In addition to getting served your ad while they are within that area, they will continue to see ads from your practice for up to 30 days after leaving that location.
How do they see the ads?
There are a variety of ways that potential leads can see your ads. Most commonly, your ads will get displayed on websites that the person is browsing. If they step into your geo-fencing perimeter and they start checking out the local news website they could receive your ad displayed as a banner on the top or side of the page.
In addition to banner advertising, you can also send direct messages via text using geo-fencing.
It’s essential to get your law practice in front of the right audience because consumers today are served with as many as 5000 ads a day. This means they are likely to have blinders on to anything that appears like an advertisement. If you can reach them with an eye-catching, “non-spammy” text, they are likely to respond in their time of need.
Where will they see the ads?
There are a bunch of places you can display your ads. You can also choose to use video advertisements as well. Here are some examples of where your geo-fencing ads display:
- Google Search
- Website Banners
- Youtube Pre-roll Ads
Why Would a Law Firm Market This Way?
Envision being able to advertise to the right person at the exact time of need. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer, you are likely searching for personal injury cases as the result of an accident, whether it be a car, work, etc. There is no way to target that specific audience unless you do it based on location. Where are these personal injury clients spending their time?
Location-based instead of intent based
As you know, geo-fence marketing for law firms is based on a smartphone users location. Once they enter the perimeter you’ve drawn, they will start receiving your advertisements. Back to our personal injury example, you could target hospitals, urgent care, body shops, towing locations, and anywhere else you think might have a surplus of accidents or personal injuries.
At the time when someone is in these locations, they might be looking for you; give them what they want exactly when they need it.
If you compare this type of marketing to other forms (print, billboard, tv, radio), it’s much more disruptive and attention gathering. We are so used to seeing advertisements every day that we tune them out. How many attorney billboards do we see on a standard drive to work?
With geo-fencing, you can send notifications, trigger ads, and send texts when someone enters your specified area. The key to successful marketing in 2019 is disrupting the patterns of behavior.
Depending on the strategy you use, Geo-fencing is highly affordable. Every attorney is doing search advertising on Google, so they are all competing for the same keywords. Terms like “Best Personal Injury Lawyer in “City” used to be a term that anyone could afford. Today, every attorney in your city is trying to outrank you and outpay you for their spot.
Geofencing allows you to cheat the system a little, so while everyone else is competing for the top spot on Google, you are weaseling your way around bringing in leads without having to pay an arm and a leg.
Geo-fence Marketing for Law Firms: How does it work?
Let’s get more specific and talk about exactly how geo-fencing for attorneys works. It’s a simple concept, and we’re going to break it down.
Target specific locations
The first thing to understand about geo-fencing is how the location-based targeting works. If you are an attorney that represents the elderly and abused seniors, you could draw a line around multiple nursing homes in your local area. When the family of the mistreated senior enter the home, they can receive notifications and ads saying that you can represent them in their case.
If you are a criminal defense attorney, you could draw a line around jails and prisons in your area and target people who might come to visit a loved one who is locked up. They might be searching for an attorney for their incarcerated loved one; you display an ad to them saying you can help.
Is it ethical?
From the outside looking in, geo-fence marketing for law firms might seem unethical or downright illegal. It seems invasive or intrusive. It can feel like you are invading someone’s privacy by sending them unsolicited notifications, but the truth is, it’s completely ethical.
Of course, each state has its own laws, so it’s essential to check into your regulations, but there are not advertising rules that prohibit the use of location-based targeting. As always, you cannot make any false or misleading statements.
One of the reasons geo-fencing is not deemed as solicitation is because everyone who enters that specific area is receiving the ads. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer targeting everyone in a hospital, you are targeting employees, doctors, families, etc.
As we said, research the rules of your jurisdiction before committing to any location-based marketing to make sure everything checks out okay.
Geo-fencing Compared to Other Marketing Tactics
By this point, you understand some of the benefits of geo-fencing for attorneys, but let’s break down all the advantages of this marketing strategy when compared to others like Google Ads or SEO.
Geo-fencing vs. Google Ads
If we compared geo-fencing against Google Ads, the first thing that immediately stands out about geo-fencing is the lack of competition. When you are trying to outrank another attorney for a search term on Google, you are competing monetarily so it can quickly become a race to the top. Whoever spends the most, gets the most impressions.
With geo-fencing, it’s simple. You pick your specified area and everyone that steps foot within that area gets served your ads.
Geo-fencing vs. SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of utilizing keywords, backlinks, and other metrics to rank your website or content above everyone else on Google without spending money on ads. This process takes as long as 12 months to rank, and there is no guarantee that you will ever rank for your desired search terms.
Geo-fencing is almost instantaneous. Once you set everything up, you can immediately start serving your ads to people within that area. While it may not be free like SEO, you get more of that instant gratification.
With geo-fencing and SEO, it helps to do both so you can build up an initial flow of leads using geo-fencing while developing your organic marketing for down the road using SEO.
Why Use Geo-fencing for your Law Firm?
Finally, we’ve made it to the big decision. Are you going to start utilizing this powerful marketing strategy to disrupt your audience and create attention for your law practice? Let’s take a final look at some of the most significant benefits of Geo-fencing.
1. Mobile Targeting
31% of law related traffic comes from smartphones, and you do not want to let that traffic slip away. Using geo-fencing allows you to directly target smartphone users at the exact point when they might need you. A personal injury lawyer targeting hospitals and urgent care facilities using geo-fencing will enable you to reach the perfect audience via mobile.
2. Be the First
If you are using something like Google Ads to target your audience, you are likely not the first attorney they are seeing or inquiring about. If you use geo-fencing to target people right when they enter a specific area that is relevant to your law practice, you are catching them right at the beginning of their search. They might still be in the ER thinking about what attorney to hire when you pop up.
3. Stop Competing and Start Leading
There are too many attorneys competing for the same keywords in the same town within the same branch of law. You need to do something different if you want to stand out. Geo-fencing allows you leapfrog over everyone else competing for the same leads. While they’re flushing their money down the toilet, you can scoop up all their leads before they even have a chance to see them.
Geo-fencing for law firms is a powerful way to undercut your competition and get more clients on retainer for less money.
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