The world of legal digital marketing is full of jargon and analytics terms that aren’t always the easiest to understand. If you keep up with the latest strategies, you’re probably at least familiar with some of these terms, such as conversion and click-through rate.
But there’s a frequently overlooked, often misunderstood metric that can make a huge difference in the most successful legal marketing strategies: impressions.
Some view impressions as mere vanity metrics that never correlate to tangible results. Others pass them by altogether, not factoring them into their reporting and strategies at all.
We’re here to pull back the curtain on awareness campaigns and how impressions factor into true marketing success.
What Are Impressions?
An impression is an instance of your ad landing in front of a user. An impression can be served on a search results page or on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Wherever there are eyes, there are ads; wherever there are ads, there are impressions.
For example, let’s say you run a video ad showcasing your law firm’s unique value proposition on Facebook. Whether the ad is retargeting a user who has visited your website but didn’t convert or someone who performed a Google search for an attorney in your area, this targeted ad shows up on their news feed.
Impressions report the number of times your ad appears on a computer or mobile screen. They represent the quantity of viewers you are exposing your firm to, and the volume of opportunity you are giving yourself to nurture those viewers into future clients.
What Can Impressions Tell Me?
Many legal marketers assume that clicks are the only valuable metric to pay attention to, since clicks indicate a certain level of interest or commitment — a click is an action, after all.
But this approach is missing a fundamental piece of the puzzle.
You see, impressions are the central focus of an awareness campaign.
Awareness campaigns, like the Crisp Social Stack program, are critical components of top-of-funnel efforts, aimed at bolstering brand recognition and helping more people learn who you are and what you stand for.
Why Use an Awareness Campaign?
The purpose of an awareness campaign is not to get that user to immediately take an action — a click, a call, filling out a form. That’s for further along the funnel, where they’ll be headed if you’re able to connect with them with your top-of-funnel content. Awareness campaigns are a vital part of the journey, and the destination is a much more rewarding result than a mere click.
Consumers today require more touchpoints than ever. 15 years ago, the average consumer typically needed just two touch points when making a purchase decision. Today? It can take anywhere from 20 to 500 (Think With Google).
Especially in industries where the conversion depends on a specific need in time (like legal, when a person often doesn’t look for an attorney in earnest until they’re in a crisis), staying top-of-mind is one of the most crucial foundations of a strong marketing strategy.
Before that prospect is ready to call your law firm, they have to:
- know who you are
- remember who you are
- understand how you can help them
- feel connected to your story
- have confidence that you will competently guide them through difficult experiences
Then they need to have a legal need.
All these factors make it clear: you have to be everywhere, all the time.
An awareness campaign is the foundation of the winning marketing strategy you are striving to build. By continually reinforcing top-of-mind awareness, every other marketing effort will be amplified. Someone who has seen your ads everywhere, all the time is more likely to recognize your firm on a direct mail piece and actually pay attention to what it says. They’ll feel familiar enough with your firm that they’ll open the email from you and be more receptive to the messages inside. They’ll associate your firm with helping people, serving the community, being a trustworthy advocate.
Inundating digital channels with your messaging ensures that people will see you again and again, the way driving by the same billboard every day burns its message into your brain with repetition.
Impressions mean one thing, but frequency is what makes you known.
And these days, best known beats best.
Once you are known (and trusted) by a wide range of people, your name is the one they will think of when they get in that accident, run into trouble with the law, get served divorce papers, or have any other legal need in the future.
Not to mention how inexpensive it is to run awareness campaigns on social networks like Facebook. Compared to all the other marketing options in the toolbox (don’t even get us started on the cost-benefit downward spiral associated with billboards, PPC, TV, and more than half of the other options on the table), there is no better bang for your buck than shooting for those impressions in the places your ideal clients spend the most time.
It’s less expensive, and the tracking capabilities are beyond anything traditional mediums offer.
Awareness campaigns are the most cost-effective strategy for identifying more engaged audiences that you can target to hone in your messaging. Read on to learn how awareness campaigns are the first step of a robust marketing strategy that will lead to better (and better quality) leads in perpetuity.
How Awareness Campaigns Lay the Groundwork
Awareness campaigns that serve lots of impressions are typically very broad to start. The target audience is not narrowed to the most specific demographics or online activity. Not everyone seeing the ad needs your services right when they’re seeing it.
This is actually an advantage at this stage of your marketing funnel, especially if your law firm hasn’t invested in a whole lot of marketing efforts yet. This is because awareness campaigns can show you which groups of people your content is truly resonating with.
By analyzing the data from an awareness campaign that casts a wide net, you can determine which audiences and which specific demographics you should be targeting even further down your pipeline and with other marketing efforts across the board.
From there, you are able to tailor your targeting to the people that are truly connecting with you and your messaging. By focusing on conversion efforts on the most interested prospects, your marketing dollars will go further and give you a bigger bang for your buck.
For example, when you run campaigns more focused on lead generation and more concrete conversions — when you are prompting them to take an action — you will know exactly who will be most receptive.
Impressions to Conversions to Cases
The biggest takeaway to keep in mind is that your awareness campaigns (and all the impressions they serve) are a crucial first layer to your law firm’s long-term marketing efforts. Starting with this kind of campaign, and building upon it with mid- and bottom-funnel marketing, is the most strategic way to build a streamlined system of bringing in new cases.
All the pieces work together to optimize your efforts at every stage, creating a seamless experience for you, your clients, and the growth of your law firm.
For a fuller picture of how this works, check out this keynote from the 2018 Crisp Game Changers Summit, in which Crisp CEO Michael Mogill demonstrates what it takes to capture and keep your ideal client’s attention in the new legal landscape: