A Quick Guide to Facebook Ads for Law Firms: Should You Try It?
March 13, 2017
If you’re in the legal industry, you may have heard people talk about using Facebook Ads for law firms.
There’s a reason for that.
Conventional advertising channels like TV, radio or the yellow pages reach everyone, but not everyone needs a law firm, so you end up spending a lot of money on people who have no real interest in your firm (or any firm, for that matter).
In contrast, paid search can get you in front of people who are actively searching for legal assistance. That’s great, but what about all of the people who need your services but aren’t searching online for a law firm?
This is where using Facebook Ads for law firms becomes valuable. Essentially, Facebook Ads combine some of the best aspects of both conventional advertising channels and paid search. They allow you to target very specific groups of people with a potential interest in hiring a lawyer while still reaching broader groups of people who aren’t actively searching online for an attorney.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why using Facebook Ads for law firms may be a good idea and how to best use Facebook to advertise your practice.
Everyone Uses Facebook
To put it simply, your potential clients are on Facebook. In December 2016, Facebook reported that they had 1.86 billion monthly users. 1.23 billion of those users log onto Facebook every single day.
Just to put this in perspective, 87% of Americans use the internet. Of that 87%, here’s who uses Facebook:
- 82% of adults ages 18-29
- 79% of adults ages 30-49
- 64% of adults ages 50-64
- 48% of adults age 65+
I’d be willing to bet that your potential clients fall into one of these groups…
Typically in marketing, if you’ve got an opportunity to advertise in a place where most of your potential clients can be found on a daily basis—and spend an average of 50 minutes per day—we call that a prime advertising opportunity. Facebook Ads are just such an opportunity.
Targeting Your Potential Clients
Now, to be fair, the freeway fits the above description of a prime advertising opportunity (which, of course, is why billboards exist). However, unlike a roadside billboard, Facebook comes with an added advantage: you can choose who you want to advertise to.
This is where things get exciting.
Basically, there are 3 ways to target your potential clients on Facebook: audience targeting, retargeting and lookalike audiences.
1. Audience Targeting
Audience targeting is Facebook’s basic targeting option. Facebook assigns users to various categories based on their internal data and then allows advertisers to pick specific categories to target.
While this might seem like a somewhat arbitrary way to approach things, Facebook’s algorithms are actually quite good, so basic audience targeting can deliver surprising results.
Here’s a quick overview of the options you have available with audience targeting:
Most law firms deal primarily with local clients, which makes this option incredibly useful. Basically, this option allows you to use various levels of location targeting (city, state, zip code, country, etc) to target anyone within a specified radius of that location.
Age & Gender
Depending on who your firm typically serves, this setting can be a good way to make sure that your ads are only being shown to the most relevant demographics.
The “More Demographics” section allows you to target people by their self-described demographic data. For example, you can target parents people who have recently changed their relationship status or even specific income brackets.
Facebook determines a person’s “interests” by looking at the listed interests in a user’s profile and the pages they have liked. Here again, the usefulness of “Interests” will vary depending on the focus of your practice.
Behaviors allows you to target people based on job role, purchasing behavior or other specific actions that a user takes on Facebook.
As you might imagine, while these targeting options are interesting, certain areas of law will get a lot more value out of these targeting options than others. Fortunately, though, audience targeting isn’t your only targeting option for Facebook Ads.
Another effective way to build an audience on Facebook is through retargeting. Facebook retargeting works much the same as every other type of retargeting, with one special advantage: you can use Facebook retargeting to create lookalike audiences.
3. Lookalike Audiences
Hopefully, in the process of marketing your law firm, you’ve collected a large list of emails. The good news is, you can upload that list of emails to Facebook and Facebook will find any profile associated with an email on that list. All of those profiles will go into a new custom audience that you can then target on Facebook.
So, if someone visited your website, filled out a form and then never responded to your outreach attempts, you can use this feature to get back in front of them on Facebook.
However, it doesn’t stop there.
Facebook also has a feature called “lookalike audiences” that identifies Facebook users who are very similar to the users in your email list and creates an audience around those users that you can market to. This algorithm is remarkably effective, which means you can essentially use lookalike audiences to market to thousands or even millions of people who are highly similar to the people who have already expressed an interest in your firm.
As an added bonus, you can use lookalike audiences with your retargeting audiences, too, so you can focus your marketing efforts on the people who are most likely to respond to your ads.
At Disruptive, we’ve seen lookalike audiences deliver incredible results for our clients. In our experience, lookalike audiences are one of the most effective ways to target ads on Facebook.
Where to Send Your Clicks
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best not to send Facebook Ad traffic to your home page. A good Facebook ad will have a very specific message and that message needs to be closely reflected by the content of the landing page.
Unfortunately, as great as your homepage might be, it has to meet a lot of needs, which makes it hard to focus your law firm’s home page on delivering one specific message that happens to match the message of your ad.
Instead, it’s best to create a separate landing page for each new campaign. This will make your ads more effective and allow you to make the most out of those Facebook clicks.
As you create your landing pages, it’s a good idea to use what you know about your audience from your Facebook audience targeting. For example, if you’re mostly targeting 60+ year old women, a picture of a mom with kids may not resonate well with your target audience. On the other hand, a picture of a 60+ client might work a good deal better.
To be honest, if you aren’t willing to go to the trouble of creating specific landing pages for your Facebook ads, running Facebook ads may not be for you. It might get you a lot of traffic, but paying to send a lot of traffic to the wrong page is a great way to waste a lot of money.
Facebook Ads for Law Firms?
So, should you give Facebook Ads a try? Honestly, the answer to that question will depend on your firm and area of focus. In this article, I’ve tried to give you a solid overview of the options Facebook provides, their strengths and limitations and what you need to succeed with Facebook Ads.
If you read through this article and thought, “Oh, I bet that would work great for my practice”, then Facebook Ads are probably worth a shot. If you are currently thinking, “Nothing in here stuck out to me”, Facebook Ads may not be for you.
In our experience, however, Facebook Ads work well for most firms, so if you’d like me to take a look at your situation and give you my two cents, let me know here or in the comments.
How have you seen Facebook Ads for law firms work out? What’s your experience with them been like?