How to Create a Law Firm Marketing Budget: A Simple Guide
Law Firm Marketing Strategy » How to Create a Law Firm Marketing Budget: A Simple Guide
Companies in the legal industry spend between 2%-20% of their annual revenue on digital marketing.
According to a 2021 survey, smaller firms tend to spend up to 5% of their revenue on digital marketing, while larger firms spend 10% and up:
As you can see, there’s a significant amount of law firms that spend more than others when it comes to marketing.
How Much Do Law Firms Spend on Digital Marketing?
On average, lawyers and law firms spend between $5,000 to $50,000 a month for various digital marketing channels like Web Design, SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.
Minimum Marketing Budget Attorneys Need in 2024
To start implementing your law firm marketing campaigns, you’ll need to have a minimum marketing budget of at least 2% of your revenue. For instance, if your firm’s annual revenue is $100,000, then your minimum marketing budget is $2000.
Unfortunately, $2000 might not be enough to see positive results from your marketing efforts, especially if you’re in a competitive niche in the legal industry. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a budget that’s a few notches above the minimum requirement and raise it to 5 – 10% if possible.
How Much Should A Law Firm Spend on Customer Retention vs. Acquisition
There’s no exact formula to figure out how much to spend on customer retention and how much to spend on client acquisition. However, it’s a smart move to invest in each of them equally or with one slightly higher than the other, depending on your priority.
Research suggests that it can cost five times more to get new clients than retain existing ones. So while client acquisition and lead generation is important for a law firm’s growth, customer retention is equally important and even costs less.
Additionally, your chances of selling to existing customers is 60-70% while it’s only 5-20% to potential clients.
If you’re a solo lawyer or a small firm with a limited budget but a small clientele, you can try to allot more of your budget on acquisition. More established firms, on the other hand, might want to focus on retention to keep existing clients happy, which can result in more business in the long term.
Which Channels Should Your Law Firm Marketing Budget Include?
Law firms, big or small, need to decide on which marketing channels to use in their campaigns.
Here are some of the most common marketing strategies for law firms:
- Digital Advertising – Digital advertising is any form of paid marketing done online. Some examples of these are pay-per-click (PPC) ads like Google ads and social media ads like Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads.
- Traditional Advertising – Traditional advertising is any kind of paid marketing done offline. Some examples of these include billboards, print, radio, and TV ads.
- Content marketing – These are any type of content created and published online – usually on a law firm website – with the purpose of not only educating the reader but also to promote products and services to them.
- Website – Most law firms have a website to help people find them on search engine queries (Google search), learn more about their services, and reach out to lawyers for legal issues.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO refers to the practice of improving a website’s content so it shows up on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Sponsorships – Law firms often sponsor industry and community events to have the opportunity to connect with prospective clients.
How Much Do Law Firms Spend on SEO?
Small law firms typically spend around $2,500 to $5,000 on SEO campaigns while larger firms spend at least $10,000 to see satisfactory results from their larger marketing budgets.
Content marketing is usually a part of SEO, so you can expect to allot $10,000 of your monthly attorney marketing budget for this strategy.
This amount can be adjusted according to your content marketing strategy, whether you have a one-channel approach like your law firm website, or want to publish content in multiple channels.
Social Media Marketing
Law firms who are aiming for a strong presence in social media need a generous budget to pull off strong campaigns that deliver substantial results.
These days, simply publishing a photo on your Facebook page is not enough to attract an audience. Video content is looking to be the preferred media, and research has shown that people are more engaged when watching videos.
To successfully launch a social media campaign, the average cost is around $100,000 per year or $8,333 per month.
Despite the wide use of online marketing methods like search engine optimization, some law firms still use traditional marketing because it works for their brand.
Here are some average costs of traditional marketing for law firms:
- Billboards – $750 to $2,000 a month for rural areas, $2,500 to $4,000 a month for mid-sized cities, and up to $14,000 a month for major cities and big companies.
- TV ads – a 30-second ad on national television costs up to $100,000.
- Radio ads – Radio ads can cost between $200 and $5,000 per week.
- Newspaper ads – A small ad can cost $50, but a full-page ad can cost anywhere from $2,700 to $100,000 depending on the paper’s circulation and date of publishing.
The average law firm spends a minimum of $2,000 for paid digital ads, usually Google Ads. This can vary depending on your firm’s practice area, as some practices like personal injury are more competitive than others.
The great thing about PPC ads is that advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ads, so it’s cost-efficient and measurable. This makes it easier for law firms to track their ad’s performance and assess their marketing efforts.
How To Create a Law Firm’s Marketing Budget
To create a law firm’s marketing budget, you’ll need to learn some basic metrics that are used in formulating a budget.
Start With Frameworks to Define an Approximate Budget Range
To come up with an exact figure, you need a formula such as the one below:
For example, if your gross revenue is $120,000 per year and you want to allot 10% to marketing, your monthly marketing budget is $1,000.
From this baseline amount, you can adjust the percentage if you feel you would need more (or less) for your law firm’s marketing budget.
Once you get the amount you are happy with, you’ll need to allocate this amount for each marketing channel (SEO, PPC, social media, etc.).
Calculate Your LTV to CAC Ratio
For your firm to be profitable, you need to make three times the cost it took to acquire a client. This is where the lifetime value (LTV) to customer acquisition cost (CAC) ratio becomes an important metric. The ideal LTV:CAC ratio is 5:1.
To calculate your LTV, you take the average amount of revenue from your clients and multiply that with your gross margin and divide it all with your churn rate.
Depending on your practice, churn rate might not always be applicable, as not all legal services are recurring (like personal injury). If this is the case, you can set the churn rate to 100%.
Next, you’ll need to calculate your CAC. Your CAC will be divided into two categories: Marketing CAC and Sales CAC.
Marketing CAC is everything you spend on your marketing campaigns (ad spend, tools, outsourced marketing services).
Sales CAC is the cost of client calls, appointments, onboarding, and anything that involves your clients speaking with a sales representative or account manager.
After calculating both of these numbers, you can compute the LTV:CAC ratio:
The ideal ratio is 5-6, but anything higher than 7 might indicate that your firm needs to work on revising your law firm marketing budget for your firm to become profitable.
Detail Your Marketing Goals
Every marketing campaign, whether it’s a Facebook page content plan or a Google ad campaign, needs to have a goal that is part of your overall marketing strategy. When planning campaigns, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals and get caught up with unimportant details.
Always ensure that each campaign has a specific goal so everyone in your marketing team is aware of what they need to focus on.
Incorporate Spend on Marketing Tools
If you use marketing tools, you can find ways to utilize them to lessen costs. There are many legal management software and tools that enable law firms to save time and money while providing a seamless client experience.
For instance, law practice management software like Clio gives law firms a modern and efficient way to serve their clients for a fraction of the cost of full-time employees.
With these tools, you’re able to onboard clients, send invoices, collect signatures all from a central database.
Budget Your Time
The time you spend on planning, research, and implementing marketing initiatives is part of your marketing cost. Because of this, you’d want to be smart on how you spend your time and ensure you spend it mostly on core work that generates revenue.
A daily schedule detailing how much time you plan to spend on each marketing campaign can help with productivity and focus.
Allocate Budget Across Channels and Tactics
As mentioned earlier, as soon as you come up with an exact amount for your marketing budget, you need to allocate it to all of the channels and strategies that you want to implement for your marketing plan.
Taking this extra step ensures you don’t spend over your law firm marketing budget and keeps you focused on your marketing goals.
Hire a Lawyer Digital Marketing Agency That Provides The Best Value For Any Budget!
If you want to achieve the best results that fit your budget, it might be better to hire a law firm digital marketing agency. On The Map Marketing provides stellar marketing services like SEO, Web Design, PPC, and social media marketing for law firms of any size.
Contact us today to get started with a custom marketing plan that fits your firm’s budget.