One of the primary reasons why successful law firms attend and sponsor local events is to generate publicity. Years ago, publicity was mostly spread through word of mouth alone, however, in the Information Age brand exposure is most efficiently developed through a holistic online marketing strategy. A holistic online marketing strategy is multi-faceted and should be customized to the unique needs of a company, however, most marketing strategies include content marketing, web design, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing.
Knowing how to effectively sponsor and attend local events is a tool that should be included in every law firm’s marketing toolbox because these offline events can be key to generating more backlinks through link building. Link building is the practice of promoting your website to other website owners in hopes they will include a backlink to your website. Backlinks are an important part of any law firm’s SEO strategy because they not only direct potential customers to your site, but also because more backlinks will increase your firm’s search visibility.
Each stage of the event process from event planning to post-event follow-up offers law firms an opportunity to linkbuild. Law firms can maximize the effectiveness of their on- and off-line marketing strategies by capitalizing on each of these opportunities.
Before the event
When your firm is planning or sponsoring an upcoming event, the first step is to determine which specific webpages you want others to share. Setting up a dedicated landing page for the event is a good option because it allows partners and associates to easily share the link for promotion.
Once a landing page is set up, event listing websites are an easy source of backlinks. Another excellent source of backlinks are bloggers and social media influencers. To begin, research which bloggers and influencers may be interested in the event your firm is hosting. From there, consider which of these are reputable. While it may be more difficult to get links from the most highly regarded influencers, links from these sources will be the most valuable to your firm. Be prepared to offer bloggers or influencers something in return, such as a link to their site on your event page
During an event
Whether your firm is hosting, speaking at or just attending an event, there are marketing opportunities that should not be overlooked. Primarily, individual attorneys should be focused on networking and posting about the event. Attorneys are familiar with networking, as it has always been one of the primary ways to generate referrals. Not surprisingly, most attorneys who attend events do so to network with other attorneys.
Posting on social media during an event is a good way to develop important relationship with others at the event as well as hopefully generate backlinks. However, posting should be strategic. Creating posts that summarize the day’s events can help get your name out there. By tagging the day’s key speakers in a post you may encourage them to share your post, exponentially expanding your reach. And while you should always share any post on both your personal and company profile, you may also consider sending the content of the post to the event organizer.
After the event
Just because an event is over, does not mean the opportunity to expand your reach has concluded. It is important to follow up with the people you met at the event to foster that relationship because it may develop into a cross-promotional relationship. Additionally, if you or an attorney with your firm spoke at the event, you may consider reaching out to attendees to see if they are willing to share their experience on their blog or social media pages.
While it may seem daunting to focus on link building while hosting, speaking at or attending an event, it is a major opportunity that should not be missed. At its essence, marketing is about connecting with other people and informing them about how your firm can help improve their life. Generating backlinks through a concerted approach to local events and sponsorships is no exception.
Tony Chiaramonte is a content developer for law firms at Custom Legal Marketing.