Winner – Corporate LiveWire Global Awards 2020

Winner - Corporate LiveWire Global Awards 2020 - best ‘chambers marketing specialist’

Bar Marketing has won ‘chambers marketing specialist of the year’ at the Corporate LiveWire Global Awards 2020.

The Global Awards represent the pinnacle of business achievement and champion the best in their fields. Corporate LiveWire invites subscribers of its online platform to nominate shortlisted companies to determine each category’s winner.

Bar Marketing attributes its top accolade in the niche chambers marketing category to its ongoing work with sets both in the UK and overseas. Services provided to individual barristers and chambers as a whole encompass the full range of marketing activities from directory submissions to secure deserved rankings in legal directories to training in strategic and operational marketing to strengthen teams’ internal resources.

Commenting on the win, Catherine Bailey, managing director of Bar Marketing, said, “We’re stunned and delighted to gain awards recognition by Corporate LiveWire. Winners are chosen for innovation, ethical practice, industry recognition and, most importantly, service excellence. Our Global Award showcases our unrivalled legal sector expertise. It’s evidence of our results-driven, innovative and client-focused delivery of marketing services.

“This awards success follows hot on the heels of our SME UK Awards 2020 win. It really is an honour to have won these two respected awards this year. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. It’s given us the opportunity to share positive news with our client base amidst all the gloom. And without our clients, Bar Marketing would not exist. Our latest award win is testament to our employees’ consistent hard work and our clients’ unwavering support. We’ve gotten through 2020 stronger together. Long may our long-lasting relationships continue.”

For further information, or to discuss marketing requirements, please contact us.

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Short-listed for SME Awards 2020

Short-listed for SME Awards 2020

We're delighted to have been short-listed for the 2020 SME Enterprise Awards for the Best Barrister Chambers Marketing Consultancy.

The winners are announced at the end of August, so we're crossing our fingers that all our hard work pays off.

We would like to thank our clients who nominated us and those who supplied feedback to the researchers on our behalf, their support means a great deal.

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NEW: Practical Guide to Marketing 2nd Edition – GDPR guide & checklist

NEW 'A practical guide to marketing for lawyers' 2nd edition - GDPR content and checklists

Great news! The second edition of A practical Guide to marketing for Lawyers is now published.

The second editions contains a great deal of updated content (marketing methods never stay still and rules are always changing) as well as featuring a new chapter covering GDPR that becomes law on 25th May 2018.

GDPR is revolutionising any form of marketing that uses personal data. With fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover, failure to comply is not an option. The book’s handy checklist shows you how to obey the rules.

Our hot-off-the-press publication contains all the marketing know-how you need ranging from branding and budget setting to social media and strategy, with a series of essential checklists at the end to help you through your various marketing tasks.

Those lawyers and barristers' clerks lacking marketing expertise and operating with more modest funds can find the guidance they need in our practical book which provides a comprehensive overview of each element of marketing communications. Written in layman’s terms, it’s ideal for newcomers and seasoned marketers alike.

Read more, download a free sample chapter.

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5 top tips for marketing metrics

5 top tips for marketing metrics

Q: So, you’ve set your marketing budget for the coming year but how do you know with any certainty how much each pound spent on marketing brings back in new instructions?

A: Marketing metrics. Conquer the data with key analytics and turn data into information into insights into outcomes. Chambers growth through marketing can only truly be understood via effective analytics.

But, where to begin? Here are five top tips to get you started…

1. Maintaining consistency and alignment
Be sure that your measurement decisions are consistent with your chambers’ established business plan. Align the two (metrics and strategy) for best success.

2. Starting small
Select one marketing tactic to measure, apply the metric and see how it works for you. Then refine the metric based on what you learn. Meanwhile, select an additional tactic to measure. And so on. You can keep building your measurement programme reasonably and gradually, until eventually you’re productively measuring every tactic.

3. Selecting your first tactic to measure
If you’re unsure which tactic to select as your first, either choose an easy or important tactic to measure. Some tactics are easy, some are impossible or nearly impossible, and most are somewhere in between. You can gain experience and confidence more quickly if you start with an easier challenge, hence why to choose the former.

The latter option may relate to the most expensive tactic in your marketing plan. Whatever the reasons, if it’s important, get to grips with it.

4. Utilising software where possible
Lots of commercial tools exist for the purposes of monitoring your marketing, ranging from Google Analytics (website analysis) and Klout (social media scoring) to MailChimp (email marketing statistics) and Moat (online brand advertising reviews). Some are free to use too. If you have the cash, paid-for versions and chargeable software (such as DataXu) can be utilised for more in-depth studies.

5. Mastering the full range of metrics
Customer acquisition cost, percentage of customers generated by marketing, brand awareness, organic search ranking, net promoter score / customer satisfaction, conversion ratio, marketing mix modelling, social media mentions, communications share of voice, customer lifetime value… the list is endless. Select your metrics wisely or you’ll have too statistics than you know what to do with!

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Setting up a PPC campaign

Setting up a PPC campaign

Pay-per-click advertising, otherwise known as sponsored links, appear in prominent areas of search engine pages. To get listed in these prime positions, you bid against other chambers for keywords that are relevant to your services. However, you only pay when somebody clicks on your advert. If you bid more for relevant keywords than another set, your advert will be placed above theirs.

To set up your PPC campaigns, follow these 6 basic guidelines…

1. Define your objectives
What do you want to achieve? Are you trying to drive traffic to your website, get people to subscribe to a newsletter, download an e-book etc? Be clear about why you’re advertising as this will help you select appropriate keywords and write a persuasive advert.

2. Choose your search terms
The keywords or phrases you bid on must reflect what your potential clients will type into search engines when looking for your services. Be specific. “Barrister Watford immigration” is preferable to the too-generic “barristers’ chambers”.

3. Set your budget
Decide what you’re willing to pay for your keywords and phrases, remembering that costs will vary with the competitiveness of your market.

4. Write your advert
Your advert will contain a heading, small amount of text and URL. Stay focused on giving browsers the information that will encourage them to click through to your website.

5. Create your landing page
Direct surfers to a landing page that’s relevant to your advert rather than just taking them to your home page. Make it easy for someone to take the next step – whether that’s a subscription, sales enquiry or other call to action. At all times, make it clear how visitors can contact you straightaway.

6. Track your users’ journey
Experiment with different keywords, approaches and budgets to discover which generates the best results for your chambers. Track where users arrive and, once there, how they interact with your site through Google Analytics.

To outsource your PPC campaign planning and execution, drop us a note.

 

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Making your site mobile friendly

Making your site mobile friendly

Remember Google’s mobile friendly algorithm update in April 2015? Labelled “mobilegeddon” in SEO circles, Google’s changes were designed to favour sites optimised for mobile devices.

Google’s reasoning is to make browsing as easy on mobile devices – such as smartphones and tablets – as it is on PCs and laptops. Websites not mobile friendly have too-small text and too-close links which lessons the user experience.

Research shows that we’re all spending increasing volumes of time on mobile platforms and it keeps rising. So, to keep your clients and prospects happy, you need a mobile friendly format.

Fair enough, but how exactly should you go about it? These 4 handy hints should do the trick…

1. Is your site responsive?
Check your web analytics (via Google Analytics – check out our article on this subject on the Infolaw website) to see what proportion of site visitors come to you via mobile as this will help determine how you might need to consider your design needs.

A responsive design will begin with your desired desktop design or layout with certain elements dropped as the screen size shrinks (for tablet then mobile).

2. Test how mobile friendly your site is currently
There are a number of free-to-use tools to test whether your site is already mobile friendly. Google’s mobile friendly test site is an obvious place to start. Go to https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly, type your URL in the bar and click “Analyze”. Results will show the points you need to address for touchscreen use.

There’s also Google’s PageSpeed Insights (visit https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights, type your URL in the bar and click “Analyze” again) which will calculate how quickly your pages load on mobile. Look at your “user experience” and “speed” rankings (out of 100) as well as your “Should Fix” and “Consider Fixing” lists to resolve any issues.

The speed at which your site loads is fundamental, especially on mobile. Any delay will see your browser’s patience snap and go elsewhere.

3. Find out what clients using mobile devices actually want
Next, think about what clients want when they visit your site so you know what your mobile version should look like. Check your web analytics to look at:

  • What pages are most popular?
  • What proportion of visitors use mobile devices?
  • Which pages do visitors tend to jump to from your home page?
  • What are the most-used drop-down navigations?

4. Keep your mobile design as simple as possible
Based on the above analytics, provide less text, smaller images and fewer menu options accordingly. Here’s a quick checklist:-

  • Include sufficient white space around buttons to avoid users accidentally clicking the wrong link
  • Make form-filling easy with drop-down selections and limited text entering
  • Avoid dense copy and small font size because they’re harder to read on smaller devices
  • Decide which features are a necessity and which you can lose

You’re always welcome to instruct us for guidance.

 

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On-page SEO perfection

On-page SEO perfection

A keyword is a word or sequence of words that a search engine uses to index web pages when browsers type them into the search bar to locate companies, products or services.

Sometimes called organic keywords, these differ from pay-per-click (PPC) keywords in that they’re free. Paid-for results appear under the “Sponsored” headings; organic in the natural listings directly underneath and to the side of these.

Typically, tactics for boosting your ranking on search engines will vary between organic and paid keywords strategies. With PPC, costs are constant. You need to keep paying to appear against certain keywords and ultimately outbid your competitors.

For organic success, however, it’s all about writing content that will index well and drive revenue-boosting traffic your way. So organic’s important.

The way to perfect organic listings is on-page search engine optimisation (SEO). This is both the wording on every page of your website and each page’s metadata. The former needs no explaining. The latter is text such as your page titles and page descriptions within your content management system (CMS).

We’re here with 10 top tips to get you started with on-page SEO…

1. URLs: keep your URLs short and keyword rich. The first 3-5 words carry most weight.

2. Titles: title tags are the most important element here. Where possible, start with strong keywords (rather than use them in the middle or end).

3. Multimedia: images, videos and diagrams reduce bounce rate and increase time on site; both of which influence Google ranking factors.

4. Outbound links: links to external related authority sites boost a page’s rank.

5. Keyword-rich first 100 words: fire your biggest guns first to emphasise your page is all about those keywords.

6. H1 tag titles: check that your CMS allocates a headline tag to your main title. This may be automatic.

7. Loading speed: this is another ranking signal so ensure pages are quick to load. If not, get on the case of your website hosts!

8. Long content: as a general guide, aim for 1500 words per web page, particularly when targeting competitive keywords.

9. Social sharing buttons: search engine algorithms like these plus you’ll engage browsers better if they’re prominently displayed.

10. Bounce rate: with high bounce rates, search engines will penalise you. To reduce your bounce rate, write compelling copy, add internal links, create straightforward navigation and invest in a clean website design.

Get in touch for SEO support.

 

 

 

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Three steps to setting your chambers’ marketing budget

Three steps to setting your chambers’ marketing budget

To set the scene, a marketing budget is effectively your marketing plan written in terms of costs based on your estimates as to the spend required to promote your chambers’ services to achieve your defined objectives.

Without a solid budget, you can easily accidentally overspend on marketing costs so it’s a control mechanism. Similarly, you can underspend which may have a disastrous impact on your revenues and could backfire on you this time next year when you’re fighting for your share in your set’s budgeting allocation.

But, budgeting’s not an easy task. With such an important role to play in your success, you can’t afford to get it wrong. We’ve got three steps to help you organise current finances, determine where to spend marketing pounds and make strategic adjustments throughout the year.

Step #1: Organise your financial information
Get organised about your current financial situation. When you’re working around estimates, it’s impossible to create a realistic marketing budget.

Understanding your finances starts with your revenue information. You need to know how much money your chambers makes on a monthly basis and the variations that might exist. Although income can vary significantly month-by-month, you must use reliable revenue. This is the minimum amount your chambers earns each month. Anything over this monthly minimum is extra revenue that cannot be added to the budget because it’s changeable.

Next, subtract your business expenses. This includes everything from office space rental to clerks’ room salaries. Monthly expenses should be subtracted from revenue before defining your marketing budget. A realistic budget plan will always focus on income that exceeds expenses, not just total revenue.

When you’ve determined disposable income available for your chambers, decide where this money will be spent. Marketing is only one business area so divide the money based on your strategic goals, of which marketing should form a key part.

Step #2: Decide where to spend marketing monies
Once you know the total amount potentially available for marketing, decide how you intend to spend the money. If you have a limited budget, then you should consider lower-cost activities such as small print adverts, social media and email marketing. With a larger budget, you can afford some events, sponsorship, ambient advertising, printed newsletters and more.

Integral to this stage is reviewing which activities have worked in the past. If email newsletters do the trick, then you should continue, even if you have the funds for more expensive alternatives.

Also, consider which channels allow you to reach the right audience. This comes down to customer profiling and finding out where your clients and prospects hang out.

When considering a new marketing channel, you should set aside some funds for testing. Since you don’t know if it’ll work for your chambers, you should only use a small portion of your budget. Once it’s tried and tested, invest a little more.

Step #3: Assess data and make appropriate changes
The final step to build a solid marketing budget is analysing the plan and making adjustments which impact positively on revenue. Ultimately, marketing is designed to achieve more revenue. If any of your activities don’t do this, then it’s better to remove and try something else or invest in proven activities.

Evaluation’s the process of comparing performance and recording changes to revenue – has it increased, decreased or stayed the same and can you attribute to any particular marketing activities?

Always keep the budget in mind when you make decisions on marketing spending. That way, you can explore different ideas and find the best marketing mix for your chambers.

 

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10 killer web copywriting tips

10 killer web copywriting tips

Use these 10 copywriting tips for knock-out content that’ll tempt browsers onto your site, lower your bounce rate and encourage repeat visits in the future.

1. Learn to write powerful headlines
All your copy is worthless if your headlines don’t entice visitors to click through and read further from the outset.

2. Be concise
People have shorter attention spans than ever; particularly in an online capacity. Use short sentences and short paragraphs. Of course, there are occasionally exceptions to this rule.

3. Remember the important details
Who, what, when, where, why and how are critical for good copywriting.

4. Use short words
Simple words communicate better than big words and pompous language or corporate speak. It’s easier to read and makes it feel more like a conversation.

5. Make it skimmable
Online readers don’t read everything word for word. Instead, they scan to find what they’re looking for so make your content easy to skim. Use various formatting techniques that break up the text and draw the reader’s eye to important points, for example headings, subheadings, bulleted lists and images (or other media) with captions.

6. Craft a compelling call to action
What happens when your reader’s finished your page? Call them to action by requesting they visit another related web page, complete a contact form, download a white paper etc.

7. Use positive language
Write sentences with positive words ie. “Don’t get left behind” might become “Get ahead of the competition”. Sometimes negative language is necessary and adds variety to your copy, but don’t overdo it.

8. Back up your claims
Logic influences decision making. Use statistics, research data, case studies, testimonials and other sources to prove what you say is true.

9. Balance text with images
Not a copywriting tip as such but incorporating various media (like photos, videos, infographics, slides and more) in your website makes a huge difference.

10. Link to reputable sources
Nothing online exists in a vacuum. Linking out to high-quality websites is helpful for your visitors. And, associating yourself with other credible websites will do wonders for your own reputation.

Contact us for assistance with your website copywriting projects.

 

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How to schedule posts

How to schedule posts

Even the most reliable clerks in chambers have time off work occasionally. After all, everyone needs a holiday and it’s impossible to plan for sickness. Of course, there are many reasons for absences, unexpected or otherwise. The point is this: you can schedule LinkedIn posts in advance. So, if you’re due some time off work, your LinkedIn page doesn’t have to stop with you.

In our experience, Buffer’s a popular tool for scheduling posts. Its free-to-use ‘Individual Plan’ allows you to schedule up to 10 posts at any given time. This is only for one social media account though. To connect up to 10 social profiles and store up to 100 scheduled posts at a time, subscribe to the paid-for ‘Awesome Plan’. Head to buffer.com to make a start.

In terms of monitoring conversations people are having about your chambers on social media (and, ultimately, take part!), Hootsuite’s just the job. It’s purpoted to be the world’s most widely used social relationship platform. You can track your interaction history and analyse conversations around the globe (in various languages). Be exactly where your audience is and join in the discussions. Go to hootsuite.com to sign up.

 

 

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