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Business of Law, Legal Marketing

7 Questions Attorneys Must Ask a Digital Marketing Agency

Not all digital marketing agencies are well-suited to legal marketing—the key is to properly vet them.

By Rahul Alim  |  June 6, 2016
Art: Questions to Ask Marketing Agency

Harish Marnad/Shutterstock

Digital marketing is not the way of the future…it’s the way of right now. It entails a variety of Internet-based outreach efforts, ranging from email marketing and social media marketing to pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). There are agencies built specifically for digital marketing campaigns, most of them with years and years of experience already.

Whether or not your law firm has ever done any digital marketing, if you’re thinking of hiring a new digital marketing agency, you should ensure you’re employing a company that can bring you the most success. Law firm marketing is not the same as marketing other services, agencies, or products, so not every marketing firm can give you what you’re looking for.

Before you start working with a digital marketing agency, be sure to ask them the following seven questions:

1. “What do others say about this digital marketing agency?”

Like any new service, you’ll want to hear about the experiences other companies and businesses have had working with them. Ask your contact at the agency if they have any testimonials you can read, but be sure to do your own research as well. Companies will usually only provide the best testimonials they have been given, so do a little digging and see if you can find any negative reviews online to get a complete picture.

2. “What else do you do?”

Ask the agency to describe all of their areas of specialty. Marketing only works when each component fits seamlessly together to create a larger picture, so if the agency you’re considering hiring only focuses on one channel (such as only SEO or PPC), you may want to consider someone else.

You’ll want a stable agency that can deliver a great website, understands PPC, knows how to approach social media and can develop a great SEO strategy. Be sure that the agency you hire can master each of these areas as part of one cohesive effort.

3. “What can you guarantee?”

If a marketing agency guarantees perfect success, it is probably a scam. Success cannot be guaranteed, but a dedication to doing their best to bring you success can. Look for patterns of success from previous clients the agency has worked with, and ask for examples of how the agency has brought success to their clients in the past.

While the success of one client does not guarantee success for every client, if the agency consistently brings success to the companies they work with, you have a better chance of gaining success as well.

4. “What will you do specifically for me?”

Any good digital marketing agency knows that each client needs and deserves their own specific marketing plan. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing a proper campaign, so ask what specific areas the agency would focus on to increase your law firm’s success. Beware of cookie-cutter replies.

While the agency might be reluctant to go into detail without a contract in place, a good marketing firm will be able to provide enough information to give you a clear understanding that they take your unique perspective seriously and are willing to work within your own personal needs to bring you results.

5. “Can you describe how you follow Google’s best practices?”

So much of a business’s success relies on how strong their SEO practices are, and how strong an SEO strategy directly relates to how well a marketing agency knows Google’s best practices. If a marketing agency cannot give you an in-depth perspective of how they follow Google’s best practices, you should probably move on to a new company.

When considering what marketing agency to work with, you should only do business with a company that fully understands how SEO works and what needs to be done to get your name at the top of the search results.

Here’s the best test: ask them to describe their white hat techniques. If they waffle, waver, or give any indication that they are anything but white-hat all the way, it’s likely they employ techniques that are not white hat—such companies are best avoided.

6. “Do you specialize in working with attorneys and law firms?”

Marketing a law firm is different from marketing any other service or product, so you will want to work with a company that has provided marketing services to law firms or attorneys in the past. Working with a marketing agency with attorney and law firm experience can also give you better examples of the work that they would do for you. Let their previous work inform your decisions.

7. “How do you measure success?”

Every marketing campaign is different, but your goals need to align with the goals of the marketing agency. If they measure success by a different means than you’re looking for, you may have trouble down the line getting the results you want.

Ask your potential marketing firm how they determine if a campaign has been successful. If their response aligns with your idea of a successful marketing campaign, it could be a good fit.

And make sure you understand what they tell you; there’s a whole language of lingo to describe the technical aspects. The important takeaway from this conversation should be that you know what specific data they’ll be measuring to increase your client base, expand your brand, or whatever your firm’s goals are.

Digital marketing has a mountain of known best-practices and tricks, but it’s far from a-one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re looking to hire a new digital marketing agency, be sure to ask them all of the right questions before making a decision. You want an agency that will work to fulfill your unique business desires and will work with you and your goals to provide you with the results you’re looking for.

Rahul Alim is the founder and CEO of Custom Creatives, a digital marketing agency in Agoura Hills that specializes in attorney marketing and website design.

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