Should Attorneys Purchase Ad Space at Local Sporting Events?
When you are advertising your firm, local tends to be better. Local publications and print advertisements are cheaper, better targeted, and ultimately more effective. However, not all local advertising opportunities get the ROI that small law firms need.
Ad space at local sporting events is one of the most common, pardon the pun, pitches that small businesses get. These opportunities seem like a good idea. The reps selling ad space at local events will talk to you about branding and exposure within your local community.
However, these ad reps won’t talk to you about your return on investment. That is because they wouldn’t know how many sales their ads generate if they generate any sales at all.
Why the Potential Client’s Legal Journal Matters for Your Ad
There are two main types of ads you can buy at sporting events; small print ads that are placed in the event program, or billboards visible throughout the entire stadium. Before you consider either option, you must put yourself in your potential client’s shoes.
First, you need to develop an avatar client profile. Think about the type of cases you want and the type of client that you like to work with. If you have one particular type of client that you like to work with, you can begin to deconstruct their behaviors and personality.
Next, think about how potential clients find your law firm. If you are like most small firm attorneys, your best lead source is probably referrals. You can try to use billboard space to attract the attention of other attorneys and generate more referrals, but direct mail is more effective at getting better referrals.
You must think about the potential client’s journey. People don’t pick attorneys arbitrarily. They don’t see a billboard or a 1 x 1 black and white ad and think, “yeah, that’s the divorce attorney for me.”
How Potential Clients Find and Hire Attorneys
With all the power of Google at their fingertips, potential clients are empowered to research every aspect of their legal issues. You will want to enter the potential client’s mind during this research phase of their journey.
How can you achieve this with a billboard at a local sporting event?
Your typical “branding” ad won’t enter your law firm’s name in the client’s mind. You MUST consider how you can achieve this with the space given to you. The best way to do this is by offering a unique selling proposition.
By creating a unique selling proposition, you are standing out in the marketplace in a big way. You are offering something that no other attorney offers, and because of that, your advertisement will grab the potential client’s attention.
Your billboard ad at a sporting event should be attention-getting, not boring and typical of the industry.
Are Billboards at Local Sporting Events Effective for Small Law Firms?
Here’s the bottom line: A billboard or print ad at a local sporting event won’t revolutionize your law firm. If you design your ad using Great Legal Marketing principles, then you may see one or two decent cases. When you do the math, one or two cases may be all you need to get a positive ROI, but a local sporting event shouldn’t be your only marketing investment.
If you really want to know how your billboard ad is doing, you should implement marketing tracking that will give you the data you need to make your next smart marketing investment.
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.