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As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly reshaped our world, many began to consider what the “new normal” might look like. Check out this post to see what legal marketing impacts seem to be here to stay over two years after the pandemic began.
In the two-plus years since the COVID-19 pandemic brought much of our society to a screeching halt, people have adapted and changed many of their old habits. Meanwhile, other behaviors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are becoming mere relics of an earlier phase of pandemic living.
Today, the phrase “new normal” has become common as people begin to permanently accept changes the pandemic made to how we live in work. In this post, we are looking at a few of the impacts COVID-19 had on the legal profession, particularly when it comes to legal marketing, that we think are here to stay.
Digital First Advertising
The world has been increasingly digital in recent decades with the advent of personal computers, smartphones, and in-home internet access. However, the legal professional (and often the law) is often notoriously slow to adapt to changing societal times.
Pre-2020 a strong digital advertising strategy was important for most attorneys who wanted to reach their firm’s full growth potential. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and related closures forced more and more lawyers to embrace new technology and heighten their focus on digital-first thinking.
It would be safe to say that two years down the road many more lawyers now recognize that a strong online presence is almost mandatory for sustainable law firm growth. The pandemic encouraged more attorneys to learn about (and accept) SEO (search engine optimization), online advertising, and more.
This is not to say that traditional advertising methods are dead. However, technology does not show any signs of slowing down and COVID-19 only seems to have increased the speed of technological changes and adaptation. Therefore, an increased focus on digital marketing strategies seems to be an inevitable requirement for success in the foreseeable future.
Events are often part of a lawyer’s well-rounded marketing strategy. For years, seasoned attorneys and young attorneys alike have taken advantage of opportunities to participate in and present at industry events and conferences that put them in front of potential clients. For example, many workers’ compensation defense attorneys historically attend employer seminars and insurance industry events on mitigating exposure and risks. Similarly, attorneys are networking with other lawyers, which often creates opportunities for referrals, at CLE and other legal industry events. Law firms frequently sponsored conferences and events to gain more exposure.
When the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted business as usual, in-person events were put on hold. However, platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams rapidly grew in popularity and presented a new solution for holding events. Everything from court hearings and religious services to job interviews, conferences, CLE, and webinars started happening on these virtual platforms.
While some states have started the return to pre-pandemic requirements for lawyers, such as loosening restrictions on court operations and requiring face-to-face CLE, virtual events have not disappeared. Instead, it has become increasingly common for events to offer both an in-person option for attendance, as well as a live, virtual format.
Our conclusion? Virtual events, and in turn virtual networking/marketing through these events, are here to stay.
Social Media Conversations
Social media was not “new” before the pandemic and it was not something that exploded in popularity solely due to COVID-19. However, the pandemic certainly encouraged more discussion about key issues on some platforms and encouraged lawyers to test social marketing strategies.
Two platforms that both seemed to particularly experience an increase in engagement and discussion during the pandemic? LinkedIn and TikTok.
As industries were hit by the pandemic and the associated sudden economic downturn, layoffs became increasingly common. At the same time, industries sought to navigate an unprecedented event that impacted business performance and processes. People transitioned more frequently to digital substitutes for social interactions and the conversation on social networks ignited.
By October 2020, LinkedIn was up to 722 million members and reported “record levels of engagement.” Then, as the economy seemed to move into an upward swing and the “Great Resignation” discussion (and the trend) kicked off. As recently as April 2022, LinkedIn’s steady rise was reportedly continuing.
Meanwhile, lawyers began to explore new advertising channels as they weathered the uncertainty brought on by COVID. Some lawyers took advantage of the opportunity to focus more on social marketing strategies.
One of the most rapidly growing social networks throughout the pandemic was Tiktok. Lawyers who were early adopters of the TikTok trend had the opportunity to take advantage of unique marketing in an unsaturated environment and many saw positive results for their firms.
Related Post: Lawyer TikTok: A New Place for You to Grow Your Practice
We predict that conversations and interactions on social media will only continue to increase into the future and lawyers who engage in the discussion will continue to see benefits for their overall law firm growth.
Remote Client Interactions
In December 2019, many law firms did not routinely utilize virtual intake procedures. Many lawyers did not routinely hold remote depositions. Oral arguments were almost certainly an in-person event for many state courts. The pandemic changed these processes rapidly.
As the profession adapted, lawyers and law firms did too. Lawyers explored video conferencing solutions and implemented them into their daily routine. Those who were quick to adapt to this new remote world had an immediate advantage when trying to connect with new clients.
While this shift may have been initially intimidating, remote client meetings became commonplace. Today, most Americans have now been exposed to the idea of a video meeting and some prefer it!
Even as some of the standard practices of a pre-COVID time start to return to our lives, we predict that people will continue to request video conferencing as an alternative to traditional meetings, especially for routine client meetings and initial intake interviews. Thus, we expect the availability of remote options for client interaction will continue to impact your practice’s marketability and growth potential.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Business as usual is becoming more common across the nation. As your law firm embraces its new normal and revisits your growth strategies and internal processes, you will want to be sure that you do not retreat from the long-lasting pandemic-era changes in how your work and market your firm.Related Posts
- Why Lawyers Should Use Video Marketing in 2022
- 6 Tips for Creating Your Law Firm’s Marketing Plan
- New Features to Help You and Your Clients on the Justia Lawyer Directory During COVID-19