The complete marketing mix for a successful strategy includes paid media, owned media, and earned media. We’re often more concerned with parts of paid and owned strategies, talking about Google ads, display ads, social media ads, on the one hand, and newsletters, SEO/website, and organic social media, on the other. However, people sometimes tend to forget earned media, which can be a significant mistake as they can bring substantial gains to your Law Firm (and every business).
Law Firm growth through digital marketing is a complex process. Depending on the location, the practice areas, the buyer persona, and the core goals, you can select to start with one (or a couple) of the most well-known strategies. Going for PPC in Spanish, for example, if the demographics are right, can lead you to optimized conversions and excellent ROI. Other attorneys select SEO, which requires time and continuous efforts to generate organic traffic and rank on the top spots of the SERP. If you’re following our blog, you already know that we preach for the benefits of Hispanic Google Ads that can give you a significant boost without the commitments of traditional media. That doesn’t mean we work in silos, though; we value earned media and strongly believe in their potential. Today, we’ll dive into their meaning, opportunities, and we’ll look at tips and examples that can guide your Law Firm to success.
What’s the meaning of earned media?
Earned media are generally perceived as the more challenging to achieve because they are practically out of your reach, but the “gifts” they bear can sometimes outsize other opportunities. There are several earned media categories, so let’s start by breaking them down.
- Reviews. We’ve explained how important reputation management is for law firms. Any customer review on your GMB, Facebook, Yelp, or any other platform is a form of earned media. Remember, how you handle the reviews we generate is equally important; it tells a lot about how you treat and serve your clients, even in the unfortunate event of a negative review.
- Influencer, blogger, YouTuber mentions. That’s not the most common to read about, especially for Law Firms, as most of them are professionals and mainly aim for paid posts. No matter if it’s rare, one of your clients may be active on social media or blog posting, and describe their experience with you on an article, short video, or even a social media post (on Facebook, Instagram, or even Clubhouse).
- News mentions or appearances. Are you involved in a big case, or you’re helping out your community in times of need? Such efforts could attract the attention of news outlets that could write about you on their websites, invite you for a podcast conversation, mention you on the radio/television, or even get on live for a discussion.
- Word Of Mouth. Some people insist that word of mouth can be one of the powerful selling tools for a business. That’s relevant to law firms, as satisfied clients can talk to their peers, family members, and friends about your services and potentially yield new clients. WOM is often mixed with forms of paid marketing, such as referrals, but it wouldn’t qualify as an earned media.
Earned media isn’t anything that you pay for or that you own. For example, it’s no form or ads, neither advertorials (if you pay for a polished article that’s paid media), nor anything related to your website or other Law Firm assets (such as blog articles or videos).
The following, for example, is an excellent example of community-based social media posts, but it’s not earned media since it’s a sponsorship.
Who’s doing it right, and what can your Law Firm learn?
- Getting invited on a podcast means that you are doing something right; it could be your fearless litigation or contribution to the community. Here, we have singled out Mike Morse, who accepted the invite from In Camera podcast, talking about his backstory, achievements, and his (then) upcoming book, fireproof. Upon joining the episode, among other potential benefits, gained exposure to the niece audience of the podcast and mentions/links that can boost a possible link-building strategy. If you such a chance, don’t miss out. You can get all the good stuff from this as earned media and repurpose the content for use on your owned media.
- Getting posts on social media. Facebook mentions, tags on Instagram posts or stories, and tweets can be a great way to get a boost through earned media. Below, for example, we singled out a post from a criminal law firm that went viral. As you notice, it was reposted by a Twitter user with over 4500 followers. What can you learn from this? Be consistent with your social media, stay creative and relevant, and you can end up getting similar attraction and results.
- Getting reviews and following up with them. As we already mentioned in this article (and numerous others), that’s one of the most critical elements of success. It’s an essential factor in the customer journey, and you can stand out, showing to prospective clients that you not only do a great job fighting for your people but also respect them and value them at every step of the path.
- Earned media is one of the most challenging yet essential elements of a marketing strategy.
- It might be harder to achieve and measure, but it can prove to be a very profitable strategy for your Law Firm in the long run.
- Stay on the lookout for what brands in other verticals are doing right, how they thrive with earned media and find ways to implement their tactics for your Law Firm.