Digital advertising is a great tool for a lawyer to employ, depending on the type of practice and type of cases that the lawyer hopes to generate. However, it is not a one size fits all solution. Digital advertising really refers to a number of different tools, all of which are constantly evolving.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing is basically buying a position for your firm on search engines and are geared to certain keywords or search terms. Your purchase and placement occur in a virtual auction-like marketplace where the cost of “buying” those words may vary greatly depending on their popularity among those seeking them and what they are willing to pay. In addition to the keywords, your advertiser may also want you to define the demographics of those to whom you want your placement focused – by geographic location, age, education, work, career, etc.
Digital Banner Ads
Banner ads are what most people think of when they hear digital ads. These are the advertisements that appear at the top, bottom, side or even in the content of pages that you view or visit. A click on the ad takes you to a landing page where viewers can learn more, submit contact information, etc. You can buy ads on particular sites, or you can leave that to the advertiser, who uses algorithms based on your target audience demographics to identify the sites that they typically visit.
Social Media Advertising
Social media has its own advertising. One form is akin to banner ads and works similarly. Another form is a paid post which appears in the newsfeeds of users (again with the demographics you define). Yet another is a boosted post where, for a fee, you can have a regular post appear more often in the feeds of those again whom you define.
Data & Analytics
With digital advertising comes lots of data. You can get reports about who clicked on your ad, how many clicked on your ad, how many times they clicked on your ad, how long they spent on your landing page, etc. You can also pay for follow-up advertising, where those who click one of your ads will see repeated ads from you for a period of time after they leave. You’ve probably experienced this type of following as you’ve roamed the internet or social media.
Digital advertising generally requires the lawyer advertising disclaimer to be placed somewhere in the process. And as with other advertising, digital advertising must be filed with the Alabama State Bar. One has to be careful defining recipients of digital ads or boosted advertising posts as defining the recipients too narrowly could amount to solicitation, which is not allowed by our Rules of Professional Conduct.