When it comes to delivering a message to your target audience, the media can be a powerful ally for your law firm. Whether it’s a newspaper, business journal, blog, TV station or podcast, third-party credibility from the right source can bring new business leads, brand awareness and website traffic along with it. Much like the analytics associated with owned media, it’s important to calculate what was gained from the mention. Before your firm embarks on the earned media journey, here are some tips on what to measure.
Driving Unique Website Visitors
Having your firm or one of your attorneys featured in a prominent publication is a great way to increase brand awareness, but the ultimate goal should still be to drive members of your target audience to your website. As the home of your blog, case studies and other valuable content as well as a place to connect with your firm, your website is the ideal location for guiding prospective clients through the sales funnel. This makes tracking the number of unique visitors to your website an essential component of your earned media measurement.
Since most major publications will have a larger audience than your firm, earned media provides an opportunity to reach people who might not know about you or the services you offer. By reviewing your analytics in the days immediately following a media mention, you can determine whether or not the coverage generated unique visitors for your website. Based on the results, your firm can decide if it’s worth pursuing additional coverage in that publication or seek a new media outlet.
Boosting Your Domain Authority
In a world where Google, Bing and other search engines are so heavily used to find goods and services (including law firms), domain authority often determines which result a user will click on. After all, anyone who uses search engines knows the results that are closest to the top will receive the most traffic. While it’s still possible to improve your firm’s rank through on-page SEO tactics, earned media coverage can take it to the next level, particularly with the inclusion of a linkback.
Of course, any coverage will include the name of your firm but when the media outlet also provides a link to your website within the article they’ve written, it acts as a vote of confidence for your website. Search engines recognize the authority of prominent sites with a large following, which most major publications have. The more linkbacks that your firm receives from relevant and high-profile websites, the higher your own website’s domain authority will be.
Getting the Most Out of Your Earned Media
At its core, earned media coverage is a way to spread the message of your firm to a larger audience. Whether your goal is to identify potential new leads or reinforce your message to those who are already familiar with your firm, nearly all publications or news stations will bring in a larger and often more attentive following. However, the potential for reaching more people doesn’t end when the story or interview is published.
Let’s use a high-profile feature in your local newspaper as an example. A reporter interviews an attorney or member of your firm and a few days or weeks later, the story is included in an issue of the paper. That same story is also published in the online version of the newspaper and potentially shared on social media. From there, the possibilities are endless. Your firm’s mention in the feature story could be shared from the website to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or any other social media platform, increasing the reach even further. Google Analytics allows your firm to track the shares of every article you’ve placed, making it an easy and valuable inclusion in your earned media measurement plan.
Earning Additional Media Coverage
If one interview or story is good for your firm, more is even better. In the era of social media, news and information comes and goes in a matter of minutes sometimes. It’s not enough to get featured in a business journal one time and call it a day. Whether it’s in the same publication or a different source, additional coverage is the key to making the most of your earned media.
Keep in mind that if you’re in the early stages of generating earned media coverage for your firm, it may take time to turn one story into two or more but the ball is in your court. By developing your relationships with the prominent journalists, bloggers and influencers in your market, your firm can become a relied upon source that is turned to for information time and time again. Then, all of those articles, videos, interviews and other media hits can be compiled and measured to prove the value of the coverage your firm earned.
As people become increasingly more skeptical of marketing tactics and spin, earned media is critical for developing and maintaining trust with your target audience. Our agency has particular expertise in helping law firms and legal marketers create thought leadership platforms fueled by an integrated strategy of earned media and content marketing that increases leads and cases, improves brand recognition and reputation, while also equipping attorneys to sell. If you’d like to learn more about our 4-step strategic process and how we can help your firm land earned media coverage, let’s chat.