Can Radio Commercials For Law Firms Be Effective?
Before we discuss radio commercials for law firms, we need to cover a foundational piece of marketing that will change the way you approach any kind of marketing, including buying spots on the radio…
“Direct Response marketing” is the best method of tracking your marketing dollars.
Direct response advertising prompts a potential client to directly reply to marketing material. Examples of response mechanisms include: completing and sending a form; calling a 1-800 number; or sending a text to a certain number.
Getting direct responses from a specific advertisement lets you track how clients are finding you. This data is useful when deciding what marketing works and what doesn’t. Combined with a client database, you should be able to easily track where new leads come from and if they turn into actual clients.
A Radio Commercial Is Direct Response
The beautiful thing about a radio commercial is that it’s easily repeated, branded, and tracked.
For smart tracking of your lawyer advertising, make sure that each of your radio spots includes a unique way to contact you. A unique Web page or 1-800 number are the two easiest. This way, you can tell immediately whether or not your radio commercial is effective at bringing in new clients.
A big factor in determining if advertising methods or radio commercials for law firms is appropriate (or not) is by tracking the responses.
You want to weigh the expense on advertisements against the fees you get from clients that come in. Remember that in many practice areas, it may take a while for those cases to play out.
So, you need may need to track the effectiveness of the ad over months or even years.
Successful Law Firm Advertising with a Radio Commercial
Radio commercials for law firms should have the same purpose as most other initial contact lawyer advertising. You want to get your information in the clients’ hands.
Your radio commercial needs to clearly explain who and what you are and how listeners can learn more. Offer them your book, direct them to your website, let them know you are the guru of legal knowledge and you’re willing to share it with them.
Whether you choose to voice the radio commercial yourself, hire the familiar voice of a local DJ, or have another professional voice talent do the talking is completely up to you. Many listeners identify well with the sound of their local DJs, but “live read” lawyer advertising often comes off sounding fake and scripted (because it is scripted, of course!). But, some radio hosts are extremely effective at live reads.
So listen to the radio station on which you want to advertise to judge for yourself whether the host would sound right reading your ad live.
There’s a lot more to determine if a radio commercial will be a beneficial form of advertising for your firm. The next part of the article talks about how to best strategize when you’ll be airing your ads.
Harmony Tenney, a direct response radio advertising consultant for lawyers, has shared a lot of insight with GLM. She’s been the success story for many small business owners growing their clientele through radio advertising.
Below are some tips and advice that members of GLM have used in their radio campaigns.
Trial and Error: The Timing of a Radio Commercial
There are 5 major time blocks in radio station land:
- Morning Drive (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.)
- Midday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
- Afternoon Drive (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Evening (7 p.m. to 12 a.m.)
- Overnight (12 a.m. to 6 a.m.)
The most popular, but not necessarily the best, times are during the morning and evening rush hours (Morning Drive and Afternoon Drive). These times also tend to typically be the most expensive.
When scheduling radio commercial for law firms, you need to ask yourself when your ideal client will be listening to the radio. The answer isn’t always during their commute.
Overall, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that you’re not just buying an advertisement. You are buying the attention of listeners.
You should already be looking into the habits of your ideal client when working on other advertising methods. So make sure to include radio usage in those profiles.
Because a radio commercial is only audio, you need to rely on repetition to help get your message to sink in. Not just repetition in the actual radio commercial audio, but also of the entire ad itself.
After you’ve repeated an irresistible offer to your listeners, make sure to state the next step(s) before the radio commercial ends. Should they visit your website? Call a special number?
Direct your listeners where to actually purchase your services.
Your same radio commercial should be aired at least twice per day during your most popular time block.
Radio Commercial Context
You can’t just stick your radio commercial on any station and expect clients to knock at your door. That kind of lawyer advertising doesn’t work in any type of media. You wouldn’t put your personal injury law firm’s website in a directory for general contractors, would you?
The context of your radio commercial is important in reaching your ideal clients. Do they listen to hard rock? The easy-listening station? Or is talk radio the place you think most of them tune in? Knowing which station will optimize effectiveness will help when building your advertising campaign.
Program type surrounding your ad time is also important to getting your message out. If the station has a popular segment or call-in show, try to ride the coattails of that interest.
With a bigger audience, there’s a good chance your ideal clients are also paying attention.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.