In the four-year anniversary of In Camera Podcast, we’re kicking off the new year by looking at the digital marketing panorama and all the exciting opportunities to innovate.
In this week’s episode, Grace and Liel discuss Forbes’ list of digital marketing trends that we can anticipate in 2023 during an unpredictable economy. Especially in relation to the business of law, it’s all about taking the bull by the horns and being creative during the looming recession.
Listen to the full episode to know whether you should and how to introduce these trends into your legal marketing strategy this year. Let us know in the replies if you will be trying out any of these trends.
Resources mentioned in our episode:
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Liel: [00:00:28] Welcome to our podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations. Grace welcome.
Grace: [00:00:33] How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:00:34] Grace I’m super excited. It’s 2023, and even though we’re recording this episode literally the last day of 2022, I mean, it already feels like the New Year started, right? I mean, we’ve been preparing so much to wrap up 2022 that it’s kind of like we’ve already been working for 2023 for the past three weeks. Don’t you feel that way a little bit?
Grace: [00:00:53] It sure does. It’s rush, rush, rush to the end of the year and then you’re prepping for the next year when. So it does feel like you’re working already, at least a month into the new year. Yeah.
Liel: [00:01:04] I have 100%. 100%. And, you know, is kind of like now looking back at 2022, what an amazing year it was from the standpoint as it felt amazing up to a certain extent to see that pandemic become endemic and be able to really, for the most of it, run business as normal. Right. And as normal now means very differently than it meant three or four years ago, which I also want to point out that right around the time when we are releasing this episode, this podcast is turning four years old, which is just mind blowing. The thing that we’ve been doing this for so long. I know, I know. First episode came out on January of 2019, and here we are, January 2024. So it is very, very, very amazing that we’ve gone through this journey. But yeah, so back to my point I was making here is that, you know, it’s kind of like the new normal settled. We are now in a place where things have felt a little bit more normal than they did in 2020, obviously, and then then ten, 20, 21. But now we’re facing with new challenges. Right. And I think the biggest one that it’s never bodies mind is this unstable economy.
Grace: [00:02:16] Yes, very much so. The economy is on everybody’s mind.
Liel: [00:02:19] Right? Right. What I think could be the best way to kick in 2023 is to really think now that we are starting 2023, talk about the most expected trends in digital marketing, at least according to Forbes. And we’re going to make our commentary on how applicable, relevant or essential they will be for the legal marketing landscape. How do you feel about that?
Grace: [00:02:50] Yeah, definitely. Forbes has been around for a long time, right? They seem to have their finger on the pulse of trends in particular when it comes to business in general. So let’s apply.
Liel: [00:03:01] It. Yeah. And I’ll tell you what, sometimes they do have remarkable and very, very valid points to make sometimes or points really don’t really hit the mark for at least the legal marketing industry. So let’s see what they’re coming up this year with Grace. Yeah, let’s see whether we’re impressed. Sounds like a.
Grace: [00:03:19] Plan. Sounds like a plan.
Liel: [00:03:20] All right, Grace. So digital marketing trends to watch in 2023 during an unpredictable economy. And I like that they already tilt the type of strategies to be relevant in a time we’re not predictable economy. So first one that we have here, Grace Customer success could gain greater traction. Customer success. Grace Is it in your mind heading into 2023? Is that something that you and your organization is getting attention?
Grace: [00:03:52] Very much so. So, you know, you know that as a firm, the law firm, we do our what we call our fireproof planning every you know, I’d say every quarter or so, sometimes every six months. It just depends on what’s going on in the firm. And we recently had our end of year, I guess you would say, annual view into what’s going on. So customer success is probably at top of mind and particularly the way Forbes is discussing it in this article, because when it comes to customer success, if you don’t have any clients, you don’t have business, right? I mean, it’s simple as that. So making sure that your customers are happy and the other things that we’ll get into when we talk about this particular section of the Forbes article, it’s so important. It needs to be the pulse of your firm, of your legal practice, of whatever it is you do in your business. Customers need to be clients first, right? Clients first?
Liel: [00:04:49] Yeah, 100%. Grace So looking at it from a law firm standpoint, right, referrals, returning clients continue to be not just a big percentage of the caseload of a law firm that could be anywhere between 30 to 40%, some some, some cases even greater than that. And we’re talking about a marketing law firm, a law firm that is actually actively running campaigns to generate more leads and have multiple channels from there where they’re generating clients. So 30, 40% is tremendous. Right. But it’s not just that. I think one thing that a lot of law firms realized is that once you’ve signed the case, nothing is yet in the bank, right? You need to retain that client. You need to make sure that they are happy throughout their journey, but not just so that you can come to the end of the case, but also so that you have such a positive experience that they want to refer friends. Family members leave you a great review and if they ever need your help again, come back now. Grace One thing, looking back at the fall, at all of the conferences that we went at, all of the keynotes that we’ve heard, one of the strategies that keeps on coming back and back and being brought up all the time is how law firms are keeping their community of clients engaged. Even past the time that they’ve been serviced by the law firm. And you have all of these client appreciation parties, you know how many law firms are not throwing these galas and these barbecues and different events throughout the year in order to reconnect with the clients that used to be serviced by the law firm.
Liel: [00:06:22] Right. Just to keep them close by and to never miss an opportunity to thank them. Strategies as simple as celebrating birthdays, holy days, all of those things are becoming such an important part of the client journey, even after their cases have been settled or reach an end. And so I think we’re going to start seeing more of that and it’s going to be more normalized. And we’re just going to see a lot of law firms leveraging this type of marketing because it’s obviously the lowest hanging fruit of them all. This is about just nurturing relationships of people who already like and trust you, and it’s the best thing that you can do. So I do love this a lot. Obviously, in the article here, which we will have in our episode Notes, they talk about the different approaches to that, especially consumer standpoint, right? Businesses to consumer standpoint and such. But it’s also being looked at from a B2B standpoint. And, you know, just kind of like to bring in the commentary as a business owner that deals with businesses. The most important thing always and the challenge that never stops being a challenge, right, is how can you deliver more and more and more value to your existing customers? Right. Because what you were doing the year before, it’s not going to suffice to really keep adding to the value and to the quality of the product that you deliver if you just keep on doing the same things.
Liel: [00:07:53] So we always need to keep on thinking what else can we add on? And we as an agency did a lot of things last year that we’re very proud of and that we know that have delivered tremendous value to our clients. And what’s already on our minds here is what are we planning to do this year in order to continue adding to that value and to continue building up this community where we are not just solving some technical needs to our partners, but we’re actually more of a partner in their growth strategy, right, for their law firms and their businesses. So super exciting. I think this is great and I think that’s what it’s all about, right? During times when your an unstable economy, you want to make sure that everything that you’re doing is actually serving, servicing a purpose, and you don’t feel that you’re kind of like lost. And just as you very frequently say, Grace spraying and praying. Right. And I think having trusted partners and having people that, you know, in work and have delivered results for you is a great way of being able to enter these times, especially if you are one of those that is going to be looking at gaining more market share because that’s another thing. And we’re going to talk about it in just one moment that we’ve known has worked very well for a lot of brands during economic downturns. So that’s our first point here. Grace Now, I mean, the next one is it’s almost laughable.
Grace: [00:09:26] It really.
Liel: [00:09:27] Is. But but it’s you know, let’s talk about it. I want to I want to I want to hear what you have to say. Voice enabled search marketing could increase.
Grace: [00:09:39] Could increase. Well, you know, I.
Liel: [00:09:43] I like how we I like how we’ve went from just making statements. That voice search will lead the path from 2020 onwards to maybe there will be some growth in that area because we’ve heard so many promises on this one. Grace And at this point, I don’t know.
Grace: [00:10:02] You know, it’s a difficult thing, right? I think it kind of goes back down to even what you were talking about, sonic branding, right? I mean, that’s one of your best in my opinion. I love that presentation and the information that you give on on that type of idea. Right. Because voice and audio books and things being spoken to you and anything having to do with voice is very particular. And it has to do with changing the way people do things. So I think, you know, voice enabled search marketing is a can and can be used properly. It can be a good and a great thing as part of a brand marketing scheme, but not necessarily standalone, right? So when it comes to voice enabled search, I think some people are using it fairly effectively. It has a long way to go. You know, I think it’s still in its infancy in terms of how people can utilize it, but it can be utilized. And it’s it is funny that. It could increase or it’s going to increase. It’s going to be here. And, you know, Google saying, oh, we’re going to be at the top of the market with the voice ads. And, you know, I mean, we’ll see it when it comes, right? I don’t see anybody using it properly just yet, at least not by itself.
Liel: [00:11:18] I love how you break it down because I think voice their like voice, using voice as a way of interacting with technology has actually been very, very helpful and certainly has made its mark in consumer behavior. Right. Things like Alexa. As you were as you were mentioning, other audio first sort of platforms such as podcasts and such. Right. Are now definitely among the preferred ways of consuming content from among consumers. However, here we’re very specifically talking about search marketing. And so while it is very convenient sometimes to talk to Alexa and ask and ask Alexa to order or order more dishwasher for you from your Amazon account, where Alexa already knows what you’ve ordered on historically and just goes and repeats on the order. It’s a very effective and easy way of getting something without necessarily having to spend time into completing. It’s something also very, very, very transactional. Now. When it comes down to search marketing, people trying, for instance, to find a lawyer. Do I feel that people are going to go to Alexa and ask Alexa for that type of information? I do not. I do not see that yet coming. But here’s where I do see these potentially starting to show more, more usage. And that’s people just going to Google. And rather than typing their search query, dictating the search query to Google. So instead of saying instead of typing personal injury lawyer near me, people may feel more comfortable because they don’t have a tie, they don’t have to type. And so, you know, I think we are kind of leaning towards not not wanting to type like we’re more kind of like as as as the least amount of interactions and clicks and typing that we need to put our effort in. I think we’re the happiest. Right. And so I do see people potentially. Go ahead.
Grace: [00:13:26] It’s exactly what you said. Remember how many times exactly your experience? We try to reduce clicks. It’s everything we talk about is reducing the clicks. My husband uses the voice search on my laptop with the microphone every time he does not want to type. And I totally understand that. So I’m completely in agreement with you.
Liel: [00:13:45] It’s yeah. So I do see people rather starting to replace, for instance, personal injury lawyer near me, right. For something a little bit more long tail that is based out of accident lawyer for car wrecks with truck right Very unlikely ever to get typed because of how long and because it’s not much of the way that people are used to typing queries on Google. We kind of like historically, even though there is a trend of becoming more conversational in the way that we write, but historically we’ve been more kind of like telegram, like just putting in the keywords, whereas here it’s more like because you’re just talking, you feel more at ease with just giving a long tail search query. And so I do see there some potential shift in the way that some users, some segments of users. I don’t think this is going to be across the board. I can see this probably being more something that the younger generations are more capable of adapting more easily. And I do see this then impacting the way that we need to optimize our websites and the content that we write to be relevant to answer these type of search queries, but not just that, particularly when we’re looking at search campaigns, page search campaigns. I think it’s going to be very important, particularly now with the inevitable settling of automated campaigns. You’re going to have to kind of allow for the keywords that you’re selecting to be able to be modified to adapt and be relevant to these type of search queries. And so I think, you know, there is definitely a lot of opportunity there, and I think it ties very well with the type of search campaigns that Google is. Projecting for the advertisers to run in the I’m not going to say in the near future already at present. Right. Because it’s certainly all about automation when it comes down to the search campaigns management. So that’s my comment on that. Grace, I’m going to move on to another one, and this is about more brands could leverage micro-influencers for brand promotion. What do you think about this one?
Grace: [00:16:18] So, you know, we are very much into influencers in general. I mean, you know, we do our celebrity craziness every year at a national trial.
Liel: [00:16:25] And that’s not so much micro-influencers in your case. No, they’re.
Grace: [00:16:28] Macro.
Liel: [00:16:29] Certainly influencer marketing.
Grace: [00:16:31] Yeah. So, you know, when it comes to micro-influencers, I tend to leverage that for social media because, you know, I’d say Tik Tok or YouTube, I’d say famous people, quote unquote, or more. They’re a little more micro-influencers. They’re not as big as obviously like, you know, Danica Patrick and, you know, John McEnroe that we had two years in a row. So I kind of agree with this. I think that people are trying to be heard in a sea of digital marketing that is getting a little overwhelming. Right. And so I can understand that they want somebody that they know like and trust and a micro-influencers, a best way to do it without having to spend millions.
Liel: [00:17:15] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Grace. I 100% think Micro-influencers is a terrific investment for spokesperson marketing. I think it’s it’s excellent. And why why is the hype on micro-influencers. Well, because they tend to, to, to have a smaller following but a much more engaged community of followers. So rather than trying to reach millions through a bigger celebrity here you are reaching anywhere between maybe 50 to 100000 people at once through these micro influencer. But the thing is that the impact and the influence that these individuals have over their community is far greater than what some of the other bigger celebrities could actually have. Now for law firms. Why is this so relevant? Well, because you you’re most likely also are more confined into a market. Right. You’ll probably want to work with someone that is extremely relevant to a particular age group within your demographic area. And so this gives you the opportunity of honing in into that without necessarily having to go and make a partnership with someone like a mike Tyson. I don’t know why am I coming up with Mike Tyson, but like Mike Tyson, that potential is going to have followers all over the world. And while it may be very cool that you’re reaching people in India, it doesn’t necessarily mean much to your business. And so for that reason, it’s very important that partnerships like micro-influencers are actually considered because the targeting can be very, very, very relevant.
Liel: [00:18:52] And then also the impact of the campaign is much greater than it is when you can potentially do something and cost wise, you know, there’s also that element is not as costly. So I definitely see here a huge opportunity. I think there is already you know, I don’t know if it’s fair to call this micro influencer or no, but I remember during the Krisp conference this year, John Morgan was talking about the partnership that they struck with, you know, college basketball player. Right. And that actually worked extremely well. It was in Atlanta, I believe, so that they struck that deal. And so they had, as a spokesperson, one of these players from college basketball. And and it worked out brilliantly. Right. Obviously, that sponsorship was more cost effective than if they would have potentially partnered up with an NFL star from an NFL team. Right. So it’s just kind of like really understanding not just how big of a star you can get, but how much impact can you actually generate with with the partnership. And I think thinking micro thinking about the type of individual that has a big impact in their community that they’re at least in followed engage with is way more important than just looking at the sheer number of users that they have.
Liel: [00:20:25] I think it’s very easy to get misguided by vanity metrics when it comes down to this type of influencer type of marketing. So huge opportunities in there. Where do you need to look at look at your local community, look at what’s happening at a local level? Yeah, 100% it is. I mean, you know, it is paid marketing, but it is grassroots from the standpoint that you want to see who are the people who are. Watched and listened and followed inside your community and find ways to partner up with them. Grace We’re going to move on because we have one here. That is the chapter of hybrid events may close. And honestly, I’m clapping my hands here because I could not be happier about not having to hear the term hybrid events ever again. I honestly learned to live with them for a while. I think they served a good purpose for a while. It was kind of like a situation that something was better than nothing. But I mean, now that we’ve gone back to in-person events, in-person networking, in-person a lot of things, you know, hybrid events and virtual events for most of it suck.
Grace: [00:21:46] You can’t get the same experience. We all learned that. I think over the last two years that no matter what you do, you are not going to have the same experience as in person. It’s just impossible.
Liel: [00:21:57] Yeah. So here’s the thing. Here’s where I’m standing with it, right? I’m still of the belief something is better than nothing. 100%. But I do also believe in the value of making the effort to showing up to being in person. You know, Grace, I think also another thing is that one of the things that has stayed with us past COVID is a little bit that tendency of being more remote in every aspect of our dealings of everything, right? We now hold more Zoom meetings, we now are able to do more over email. We’re more able to automate a lot of the processes that we do. And so we’ve become very good into limiting personal interactions, right, and being more efficient, which is not a bad thing. But at the same time, when you’re done all of these things, you also want to make sure that you can balance off a lot of it with quality in person interactions, whether it’s with your community, with your team, with your clients. Right. And I think. One of the amazing things, at least I appreciate a lot as an agency of going up to these events is the opportunity of being able to have face to face conversations with people that maybe wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable enough to call us or send us an email.
Liel: [00:23:30] But yet because there we are and they can just come over and have a conversation with us, they feel compelled in doing so. Right. And so it allows you to create just a more open and inviting and approachable way of connecting with individuals that otherwise you may have not been able to connect. Needless to say, people that you already work or know, you know, the experience of just being able to share moments with them is greatly appreciated, right? Because as much as Zoom is terrific for communications and for keeping us effective, it still lacks a little bit that personal interaction. And the same goes for for your for your team, right. The fact that you can communicate very well and manage your daily activities resume through Slack or teams, through project management, software and such doesn’t mean that there is not a terrific amount of value to gain from every every few months or a few times a year, spending three or four days with all of them just creating memories and having good quality time, right, to strengthen the bonds of the team. And I know you just did that a few weeks ago, and.
Grace: [00:24:42] We have our corporate retreats. You know that the value of the in-person touch and connections, I mean, you said it best when it comes to creating that memories that you can’t have otherwise. It’s it’s great. You know what I mean? Otherwise, you you lose that human connection. And we are all people. So we have that need to interact with other human beings. It’s just it is a physical need at that point for people. Because you saw what happened right during the pandemic when people didn’t have the choice to interact with each other anymore. And it became very difficult for people. They became depressed. And there’s a reason for that is because we we are humans and we need each other. So this it hybrid was great. Like you said, something was better than nothing. But now that we can go back to seeing each other again every couple of months or once a month or whatever it is that you do it, it’s the best way to keep that interaction and that engagement with your fellow person and business person and client.
Liel: [00:25:46] Yeah, absolutely. Grace. So the last one point that we have here in the article, we could see brands leveraging, leveraging more experiential digital channels. So I’d like to break this down into two because there is one path to read this. That is the metaverse, right? The metaverse, I don’t think it’s worth spending a lot of time talking about the metaverse because I don’t see we talked about it last year. We speculated a lot about the metaverse. And so far we’ve not seen enough signs that consumers are actually leveraging it, businesses going into it, investing into it. Projections being made out of this. It’s great, but we’ve not yet seen a real impact of the metaverse in consumer behavior. So for that reason, honestly, I’m just going to box that up, put it in a closet, and we’ll revisit it down the road. However, I do think, though, there is a lot of very amazing things that can be done in the way that you’re doing your out-of-home marketing, right? Your billboards. Obviously now with technology and having the ability of creating display billboards, I think law firms can and should become very more creative in dynamic in the way that they showcase messaging on billboards so that they can really keep up with times, display creatives that are relevant and that they have some real memorable message to them. So I think there is a big room in there and then there’s other technologies, right, that have emerged and that we’ve seen them already starting to get used more and more and more when it comes down to out of home marketing.
Liel: [00:27:25] You know, there’s very exciting things that are being done with these big trucks that have signs all over them. And they they go in caravans of three or four or five, just, you know, going through the Las Vegas strip, displaying your law firm in there. Very impressive stuff. Really very, very impressive stuff. So I think there is a lot of opportunity there to create an impact in the type of creative that you’re using. I mean, obviously, experiential marketing can also be what we were talking about earlier in the conversation is how are you creating experiences for your existing clients or clients to come and join you and interact with your team and with your brand ride events? It’s one of those things that has become a very popular way for law firms to keep their client base engaged. And I think it’s wonderful and I hope that we continue to see not just more law firms doing holiday parties for their existing clients, but also coming up with new things, with new experiences for different demographics, for different age groups that are actually relevant to them and that can help them stand out. Right. And I think that’s going to come up and we’re going to start seeing more and more and more law firms gaining a lot of recognition potentially for these type of events that their sponsoring and creating for their communities. And, you know, a good example on that. It could be what Mike Morris did believe this year with the with a adopt a pet initiative that they had going on.
Grace: [00:28:59] In the backpack.
Liel: [00:29:01] And so and then you have the backpack thing also as well that’s already kind of like their staple but they continue creating all of these different community events that at the end of the day, they are having a big impact in the in the community and they’re turning into very, very positive moments and experiences for the people who attend. Right. So they’re associating the brand with something that they also hold as a very fond memory in their minds. So that’s a powerful association to have with your brand, Grace. This is it. This is the end of the conversation. We need to come up with three takeaways because it’s the first episode of 2023 and three three takeaways. Plus, we’ve been doing this for four years. So what’s what’s going to be your first takeaway Grace?
Grace: [00:29:53] It’s a lot easier to retain clients than it is to gain new clients. Not only is it easier, but it costs less. It’s in every marketing dollars and cents principles that you’ve ever read. So spend more time on retaining your clients and keeping your current clients happy then you spend on gaining new clients. Please, if that’s the only thing you take away from this going into 2023, I can’t tell you enough how important that is because one good word from one client will go much further than anything else you can do.
Liel: [00:30:32] Yeah. So client experience 100%, right? They’re at the forefront of everything you need to win at that. You need to really see how can you become the best at it in your market. Now, Grace, I want to talk a little bit about something that we may have not directly addressed in the conversation, but it’s kind of like being the underlying base of this entire conversation, and that’s marketing on an uncertain economic time or an unpredictable economy. And I just want us to revisit, you know, the last time that we were in a situation where things for failed for different reasons, but still unpredictable when it comes when it came down to the economy. And that was the beginning of the pandemic. Right. And the one very big lesson that we all learned there just by looking at the companies that we were all looking back in the day, whether that is Zoom, whether that is Amazon, whether that is Tesla. Right. Those who retracted lost, those who persisted and stayed on one big ride. This is the time to go after market share because you should rest assured that a lot of people in your market are going to retract and are going to release and they’re going to panic. And then what that means is that you’re going to be put up in a position where you can increase market share.
Liel: [00:31:59] And not just that, but you can do it at a lower cost and fairly effectively if you are surrounded by the right people and the right team to advise you and to assist you and to help you drive this forward. And I think that goes back. Grace You know, as you’re saying it from a company or from service provider standpoint, you want to make sure that you’re retaining your clients from a consumer standpoint as the client, you want to make sure that you have partners that you can trust and that helped you navigate through these time. So you can expand and you can leverage according to what you are capable of doing, right? I think that’s a very, very important mindset that we should not forget. And as I’ve said before, you know, there’s evidence that has shown us time and time and again how much growth big law firms have had during these times. Right. Law firms that were not necessarily big during the beginning of economic downturns, that has come on the other side, much bigger, much stronger and still growing despite everything that was happening around them. So, you know, I think that’s an important message to remember. And we have one last take away Grace.
Grace: [00:33:24] I think that it’s perfect on the heels of what you’re saying. The last takeaway I have is create an experience for your clients and whatever that means, whether it’s experiential marketing or setting your firm up for success or having events for your clients, whatever that means to your firm and the way you do your marketing, do it. Because if you don’t create the experience for your clients, someone else will and they’re taking that market share from you. So most lawyers become lawyers because they believe in something, right? And so believe in helping other people. Take that a step further and just do what you believe in and help others by creating an experience that you would want to be a part of. And so I think my final takeaway is look into experiential marketing, grassroots marketing, everything having to do with creating that experience for your client that you would want for you if you were in that same spot.
Liel: [00:34:23] Excellent takeaway, Grace, good advice as well. And with that said, let’s be excited about the New Year and make it a great one.
Grace: [00:34:34] Grab the bull by the horns and let’s go.
Liel: [00:34:36] That’s right, Grace. That’s exactly what we do here. All right. Well, until then, when we’ll have our next conversation. Take care of Grace.
Grace: [00:34:45] Thank you, Liel. Talk to you soon.
Liel: [00:34:52] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Your coworkers leave us a review and send us your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you next week.