Marketing initiatives by trial lawyers and plaintiff’s firms are now highly sophisticated and take advantage of broadcast TV and online content marketing to reach massive numbers of potential clients.
The rapid growth of broadcast legal advertisements alone has grown six times faster than all other industry advertisement from $531 million in 2008 to nearly $900 million in 2015, according to the report Trial Lawyer Marketing Broadcast, Search and Social Strategies.
The primary marketing tools used by trial lawyers are:
- Television broadcast advertising
- Online content marketing
- Social media platforms
The product mass torts, asbestos, and data breach areas of law are the ones most effectively using these digital marketing, which have proven to be both recession-proof and politics-proof.
Legal broadcast advertising has grown more than 68 percent over the past eight years, doubling its share of the local spot television market during the same period. Legal television ad spending, unlike other major TV advertising categories, such as automotive sales, restaurants, and product retailers, has consistently increased both before and after the Great Recession in 2008-2009.
Legal advertising is not only recession-proof, but also politics-proof, as it does not decrease during election years as it does for other advertisers, due to higher spot costs and lower spot availability.
Legal advertisers are more frequently securing highly desirable broadcast spaces with a high concentration of advertisements shown during syndicated talk shows and local news spots, which is the highest premium advertising spot.
Trial lawyers are primarily utilizing daytime and early morning spots, in efforts to target potential litigants as these spots are typically viewed by the most vulnerable populations.
Securing premium television spots is an effective approach for longevity because once a spot is secured, that legal advertiser often has the right of first refusal for future advertising space in that programming spot, allowing trial firms to gain more strategic advertising space once other spots become available and retain those advantageous positions in the years that follow.
Top Lawyer Advertisers
Of the near $900 million spent on broadcast advertisement, a few law firms are major players utilizing this venue, spending in excess of $10 million per year.
- Akin Mears tops the list, spending over $25 million
- Morgan & Morgan and Pulaski & Middleman spending over $24 million.
In addition, the major law firms are advertising in many markets, partnering with local firms for name recognition, regional trust, and knowledge of the local legal environment.
Three legal topics dominate the broadcast advertising market, including prescription drug claims with spending of $53.7 million, medical devices at $45.7 million in broadcast advertisement spending, and asbestos/mesothelioma with spending at $45.6 million.
Successful attorneys have switched to content marketing:
- Nearly one-fifth of law firms have made investments in content generation in the past two years.
- 60 percent of law firms have hired a content generation or management service.
As a result, trial law firms are beginning to create single topic, informational websites on specific torts to help consumers injured by dangerous drugs. The websites also connect those users to doctors, treatment centers, and legal options, while also collecting contact information.
Links within the content direct users back to the host law firms and collect contact information, which can be used to coordinate outreach to those potential clients who have searched or requested further information on the specific area of law.
Twitter and other Social Media
Trial lawyers and firms also utilize social media, such as Twitter, as a non-traditional means of advertisement by connecting to networks and conversations with key influencers, activists, journalists, and advocates of various legal topics. Firms connect through social media for both publicity and information.
In asbestos/mesothelioma litigation, a large, longstanding Twitter network of online community of activists, advocates, and “super-tweeters” exists, according to Trial Lawyer Marketing Broadcast, Search and Social Strategies. It consists of mesothelioma survivors and caregivers, asbestos activists, cancer centers, doctors, and attorneys specializing in asbestos/mesothelioma litigation.
This network of 9,500 accounts produced 50,000 posts discussing the medical, social, personal, and legal issues surrounding asbestos and mesothelioma during a three-week period.
Trial lawyers and firms are able to connect with Twitter advocates, such as Linda Reinstein, a mesothelioma widow, who identifies herself as “dedicated to preventing asbestos-caused diseases through education, advocacy, and community action.” Reinstein has a large follower base and a high volume of twitter activity.
By connecting to twitter advocates such as Reinstein, attorneys, and firms are able to share information, resources, and its services with survivors and advocacy groups and connect with key influencers such as doctors, treatment centers, other activists, and journalists by sharing the posts of users with large follower counts.
The Kazan Law Firm has sponsored the twitter account Meso Cancer Circle that provides a prime information resource for patients and survivors of mesothelioma, allowing them to join conversations and connect to medical doctors and the cancer research and treatment community.
Firms, including Cohen Milstein, Lieff Cabraser, Michelle Drake, and Nichols Kaster, receive the most monthly search keyword demand in the data privacy and data breach arena. A strong expert core consisting of data security defense attorneys, data security academics, cybersecurity experts, journalists, and trial lawyers, dominate the social media conversation in this field.
Litigators and journalists share information, allowing news to flow between trial lawyers and the media to drive interest and traffic in data security lawsuits by publicizing legal services and information on cases being litigated. Trial lawyers are also able to track posts of key influencers in the field to keep abreast of breaking news and contribute to ongoing online conversations.
Through the use of social media networks, trial lawyers and firms are able to establish credibility, publicize lawsuits, and connect to advocates for referrals and activism.