Marketing and Advertising

OTT: Untapped Opportunity for Legal Marketing

Cutting the Cord

The digital advertising world is evolving at light speed. “Do you still have cable?” – chances are that you have been asked this question at least once in the last five years. It’s apparent that nowadays people are more prone to cut the cord and get their entertainment from streaming it over the internet.

According to Leichtman Research Group, cable and satellite TV viewership is plummeting at a rate of more than three million video subscribers per year. Meanwhile, America’s streaming TV audience is mushrooming exponentially as it rushes into the void created by an estimated 63 million cord-cutters.

We are witnessing the migration of scheduled TV programming to personalized, on-demand channels. Today’s TV viewers aren’t restricted by the TV Guide channel to see what programs are on the air. They don’t need to setup their DVRs and TiVos to record the next episode. Instead, they have the power to navigate the same content in a way that fits their busy schedules so they can binge-watch whatever they want, whenever they want.

Parks Associates estimates that 85% of Millennials already subscribe to at least one OTT video service. OTT (over-the-top) services include popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, YouTube TV, and Amazon Prime Video to name a few. All of these services offer pricing options that are extremely difficult for Cable and Satellite TV to compete with. More specifically, OTT does not force customers to pay for bundles that include channels that they have no interest watching – it’s just one price for all-access.

Number of OTT Video Service Subscriptions

Furthermore, Forbes claims that 70% of American households now subscribe to at least one streaming service. That’s over 225 million Americans! Additionally, many advertising researchers such as AdWeek and SmartyAds project that this trend will continue for well over the next five years.

OTT and Legal Marketing

What exactly is OTT and CTV advertising and what does it have to do with legal marketing for law firms?

Until recently, most small and mid-sized legal practices didn’t possess the budget required to advertise on networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, FoxNews, CNN, ESPN etc. That has changed. Today, Internet-Connected TVs (CTV) and OTT platforms provide new opportunities for any firm to stream its advertising locally on major networks. Most importantly, the hyper-local precision capabilities of geo-targeted OTT Advertising makes it one of the most powerful emerging platforms available to legal marketers today.

Streaming services like AppleTV+, Roku, ChromeCast, and internet-connected Smart TVs are able to serve predominantly non-skippable, targeted ads to just about any geographic, demographic, or psychographic audience imaginable. The possibilities are truly astonishing. Below are some of the targeting options available through several OTT and CTV providers.

Demographic Targeting

Allows your law firm’s ads to target gender, age, language, education level, income, and more.

Geographic Targeting

Allows your law firm to serve ads based on the viewer’s location, increasing local relevancy.

Behavioral Targeting

Allows your law firm’s advertising to target relevant interests and online browsing.

Time-of-Day Targeting

Allows your law firm to show ads when your audience is most active to increase response.

Contextual Targeting

Allows your law firm to target viewers watching content directly relevant to your campaign, maximizing results.

Technographic Targeting

Allows your law firm ads to be served based on device, connection speed, and operating system to better suit ad creatives.

Start Your Law Firm’s First OTT Campaign

Competition for the top cases is fierce and continues to increase. If your law firm is searching for more effective ways to reach particular areas of the country, OTT Advertising offers a previously unparalleled opportunity for legal marketers who absolutely insist on growth.

For lawyers that believe in the power of video to reach the clients they serve, OTT Advertising opportunities are financially accessible and highly effective. The Search Engine Guys manage emerging digital growth strategies for an exclusive group of the most ambitious legal marketers throughout the United States.

Schedule your private 30-minute phone consultation to determine whether OTT/CTV Advertising is an opportunity your firm can leverage in the coming year.


Multi-Platform Approach to Mass Torts

Multi-Platform Approach to Mass Torts

When a new mass tort lawsuit emerges, lawyers and marketers know that it’s time to act… and your next step can make you millions!

To get the most leads signed up in a cost-effective manner it is EXTREMELY important to be one of the fastest to market. However, being fast isn’t enough. Casting a wide net across various channels on the internet is proving to be the best way to improve your mass tort advertising. Here is the issue: if you are a digital marketing firm like ours, but you only work in one platform (like Facebook for example), you will only push facebook to your potential clients whether it has the best cost per acquisition or not. I have to ask you, how is this best for you? Simply put, it is not. You must spread your initial investment onto multiple platforms and then MEASURE! You will then see which platform has the best cost per acquisition. Sure, there are times Facebook is the winner. However, there are times when Google paid search is the winner, there are times when HULU is the winner, etc etc. Therefore, as a lawyer, don’t be swayed to put all of your eggs in one basket. Be smart, spread your investment dollars around the first few months and then hone in on the best result for you!

What Works

At TSEG, we manage lead-gen ad campaigns on different platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook, and Hulu Ads (plus many more). We deliver multiple messages to the potential client base and measure the return-data. All data that comes back from an ad is useful even if it doesn’t result in a lead. Once we analyze this data we will discover which ad copy, which creative and which platform works the best. This is the WINNING combination for you. Once this is obtained, we lever your dollars in the best way for you to achieve the best outcome for your firm. This data-driven practice helps us deliver ½ to ⅓ the lead generation costs of our competitors. Guess what? This is not a new practice for us. Since our inception, “data-driven” isn’t a buzzword, that is how we operate. This is the driving factor that lead The Search Engine Guys to be named one of the top 200 privately held companies in the US by Inc. magazine and this process propelled Ngage to the most dominant Chat platform in the attorney market.

Does a multi-platform approach cost more?

The short answer is no. Since we start off with a wide net – we only use a small budget to get started on a particular channel. This initial budget is to start figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. From there we improve on a weekly basis and then increase budgets.

“I Just Want Cases”

Some mass tort law firms have the ultimate goal to get as many cases as possible, without a budget limit. In these circumstances, the client may not care if the case acquisition cost may not be the driving force behind the decision. If this is the case for your firm, multi-platform is still the way to go as you need to generate as many cases as possible.

Multi-Platform Numbers

Below is a glimpse at some of our recent mass tort campaign numbers. These campaigns are running (or ran) on more than two platforms and have detailed strategies on each one.


Is Your Company’s Website Sending the Right Message?

You have probably visited a company’s website and never completely understand what the business offered or what they were selling. A company can spend a significant amount of time developing a well-designed website or writing tons of content, but you may not understand what it is they do. Far too often, the company has overlooked a crucial component – the message that they need to communicate.

Improving your company’s messaging can make all the difference between getting leads for your business or scaring off visitors. It takes time for a business to develop content, however, it is not effective if it neglects to clearly showcase what you’re offering. Communicating what you do and what separates you from your competitors is something that you must get right from the get-go to attract new business, or it may cost you potential revenue.

Effective Messaging

Your website must solve a problem and create value for potential clients. You have a short window of time to convince visitors to your site that the service or product you offer is what they are looking for or need. If the audience can’t understand your message or understand the website content, they will leave in matter of seconds and move on to another business.

Communicating your company’s message isn’t always easy. Most business owners make the mistake of believing that visitors to their site view the business the same way they do. Remember that visitors don’t know your business inside-and-out, and you need to showcase what you do in the clearest way possible.

There are three relevant questions to ask about your website’s messaging, which include:

1. What Is Your Business About?

It’s important to communicate the value your business creates for your market. Although this may sound obvious, sometimes this is overlooked. You need to think about how you would pitch your business to a total stranger in an elevator. When you meet someone for the first time and describe your business, do you use similar words as your company’s home page? It may be wise to ask people who are not familiar with your business to read your homepage and then ask them to explain what your business is about.

While it may not be easy to describe your business in a brief elevator pitch, you can ask this question to narrow down the focus of your business content and to help visitors see the value your business creates.

2. What Makes Your Business Different from Your Competitors?

Working in a competitive world brings challenges. Regardless of how unique or unusual our product or service is, there may already a similar product or service that is offered elsewhere. If you are unable to communicate on your website how your business is different from your competitors, potential clientele may assume your business offers nothing different and lose interest. You need to highlight the strengths of your services or products on your website homepage and make it stand out.

It is also important to refresh content on a regular basis. Adding new content that includes the latest information about your company and your brand is important attracting more customers and drawing in more business. Remember that the content on your site is also a reflection of your brand and its principles.

3. Have You Set the Right Expectations?

Not only should the message on your website communicate the value the business creates and what makes you stand out, messaging also plays a crucial role in establishing credibility for your business and turning visitors into clients.

Some websites lure visitors with clever messaging, but they fail to deliver on their promises. Your message must set the right expectations and convince potential clients that you will deliver the products and services as stated on your business site.

By effectively communicating what your business offers, how you differ from the competition, and setting and delivering on expectations, you can demonstrate your company’s value to visitors and boost business based upon the message and content listed on your website.

The more content you have, the better the website, but don’t forget that the focus is on quality above quantity. Your business content and messaging can only be useful if your audience finds the information on your web site insightful and valuable in the long run.


Live Video in 2019

There are many different digital marketing strategies that will increase the demand for companies’ products or services. Some of these strategies include social media, chatbots, artificial intelligence, video, and live video. One essential digital marketing trend for 2019 is live video. Live video goes one step further than video in that it instantly allows consumers to connect deeper with the specific brand. Forbes magazine states that, “Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.” This one fact alone should encourage companies’ to experiment with live video. Companies can easily stream videos through Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Livestream.com, and YouTube Live. The ever increasing amount of live streaming platforms allows companies to easily market themselves with live Q&A’s, behind the scenes experiences, and product demonstrations.

We hope these facts encourage you to take your marketing videos to the next level. The Search Engine Guys can implement live video into your digital marketing strategy and help your brand soar.


Five questions to ask your digital marketing agency before hiring them

Working with a digital marketing agency can increase the speed and return on your digital advertising investment. An agency most likely has the resources and experience to achieve better results than either an in-house team or the up-and-down world of freelancers that come with widely varying skills and ability.

However, while most agencies will be quick to assure you that they have the capabilities to meet your digital marketing needs, you don’t want to be oversold. Choosing the right agency can reduce costs and lead to faster and more pronounced growth, while choosing the wrong agency for you can mean the wrong fit, a lack of results, and can be costly.

To choose the right agency for you, it is a good idea to ask some specific questions to see how they align with your expectations:

1. What is your process?

You can tell a lot about how well a business understands your digital marketing needs when they describe how they’ll meet those needs.

This slightly less-common question (compared to the standard “how can you help me?”) requires the agency to tell you how they work and how they’ll handle your campaigns. You can also tell how experienced and knowledgeable they are about your specific needs by how well they can describe their process to you.

2. What experience do you have handling clients in my field?

Here, you get more directly into the experience of the agency. While many will claim to be able to meet your expectations, not everyone will have experience in your particular field.

Ask to see examples of their previous work for clients that are similar to your business and your marketing needs. If they can’t produce them, they may not have as much experience or expertise as they claim.

You may be tempted to go with an agency that is unproven in your field, in the hopes that they’ll bring a fresh perspective or new skills to your campaigns. That decision is up to you – and could pay off with the right agency. For other business owners, trusting your campaign to an experienced firm that can show results in your field lessens the risk that you’ll spend money to get little or no return.

3. How do you use digital marketing for your own brand?

Perhaps experience isn’t as important to you as the skillset available at the agency. In that case, you’ll discover a great deal from how they market themselves. You might ask to see how they’ve handled their own campaigns to get a glimpse of the creativity they will show your campaign.

This isn’t the most important factor, however. Many successful agencies do little for their own brands, largely because they are focused mainly on their own clients’ success.

4. When will I see results and what will those results look like?

Agencies can be either too reluctant or too eager to answer this question, and that’s telling in both cases. If they aren’t willing to pin down precisely what success looks like within a reasonable span of time, that may indicate they lack the capabilities to deliver.

On the other hand, a time frame that seems too short with results that sound too optimistic should also make you reconsider.

Look for a reliable, scientific means of proving positive results and a time frame that gives enough time (but not too much) to start seeing those results. Digital marketing should take half a year or more to start seeing improvements, depending on your industry and area of focus. Make sure you have a way to measure the success of the agency with some data at some point during the working relationship.

5. What will this cost?

Cost is always a significant concern any time you are investing in your business. Before settling on your digital marketing agency, make sure you set some hard numbers, and there’s an understanding of just how much you are willing to invest to meet the results you expect.

Once you’ve received the right answers to these questions from a digital marketing agency, you’ll be in a much more comfortable position to select the team that is right for you. It’ll be easier to decide on the agency with the capabilities to meet your expectations and to deliver the results you are looking for.


Are these valuable leads? Why communication is key to optimizing PPC campaigns

What do you define as a conversion? A conversion, in internet marketing, occurs when a visitor on a website completes a desired goal, such as filling out a contact form, calling the phone number, or engaging in an online chat platform. That is the simple way to look at a conversion. On the other end of the spectrum, a conversion to a business owner may be defined as a purchase or a potential client sign-up. This is what makes our conversion numbers so important and something we always want to focus our efforts on.

Of course, it is not reasonable to expect all conversions will be high-dollar purchases for an e-commerce business or million dollar cases for a law firm, but at some point the conversion must be valued. Too often, I see a disconnect in communication between the marketer and the client when discussing which conversions from a paid ad campaign were worthwhile. This information is important to the marketer so they can figure out what keyword brought in that million dollar conversion and they can continue optimizing their PPC campaign. With this information, paid search experts can really focus on what is worth their time and effort, versus wondering, “Sh*t! Are these actually leads?”

Most marketers find themselves wasting time focusing on conversions/leads that may not be a qualified lead. This stresses the importance of following up with your clients to make sure that the leads you are bringing in are worth their time and money.

To sum this up, it’s important to ask yourself and your client the questions below when considering what to focus the campaign budget on and how to tailor the ads for those big-money keywords.

  • What does an ideal lead look like?
  • What are things that can make a lead disqualified?
  • What are you willing to spend for a qualified lead?

Communication is KEY. As a marketer, we can create pivot tables to analyze our ads and keywords with our conversions to better optimize our campaigns. But if the client says that 80% of those leads were junk, then our optimization is thrown out the window. We must follow up with clients on a consistent basis to make sure our efforts are giving them great return on investment. By implementing this practice, we can set up a pivot table of QUALIFIED leads and focus our efforts where they really need to be.


How Effective are Google Ads?

Spending money to advertise on Google is not cheap, so it’s a smart question for any business to ask how effective paid search marketing is in 2018. Have browsing habits evolved? Do people still click on ads?

In a 2017 study of Google users, 60% of participants responded that they will click on any result that is relevant to their search, regardless of whether it is an ad or organic result. Only 24% of participants responded that they would actively avoid clicking on ads. This means that 3 out of 4 people will still click on your ad if it is relevant to what they are looking for.

Because these potential clients are already looking for your product or service, it’s merely a matter of a click and an action (phone call, internet purchase, email, contact form, etc.) on their part to convert that into a sale or a potential sale.

Inbound marketing strategies like paid search advertising tend to generate a more significant return on investment (ROI) than outbound marketing strategies (email campaigns, scattershot social media advertising, postcards, flyers, etc.) because your audience is specifically looking for your services.

It is important to hire an experienced and reputable internet marketing firm as a resource to handle your online marketing efforts, including creating and managing your paid search campaigns. It is entirely possible to spend (and lose) quite a bit of money if you do not set up and manage the campaigns the right way. By hiring a firm that has experience in running successful campaigns, you can rest easier knowing that your money is being spent the right way.

If you are considering hiring a firm to help you take advantage of the more than 160 billion searches per month on Google, there are a few questions that you will want to ask your rep, including:

  • Have you handled campaigns in my specific industry before?
  • What type of ad spends have you worked with in the past?
  • What is the spend-range that you recommend for my specific campaign?
  • What is the communication process like? What type of reporting do you provide?

Once you have discussed their experience and plans for your particular campaign, you can be comfortable in handing the keys to your paid search advertising over to professionals who do this on a daily basis. As always, make sure to select a firm that you trust, and someone who you know will be looking to maximize your return on investment.


Communication is the Root of All Success

Have you ever purchased a service from a marketing company who promised to be there for you no matter what happens? After signing up, did your account manager fail to answer your call, or return your call much later in the week?

This is a clear sign that the company is either a.) unable to keep the commitment they made or b.) are trying to hide something from you. Companies don’t usually stay silent when they have positive results to show and are often quick to avoid you when something negative happens. The whole key to successful marketing is figuring out what is is working and what is not. Your success should be their success. Marketing is not a science and there isn’t just one equation that is successful for everybody.

Every account is different and there needs to be an ongoing dialogue between the account rep and the client. Marketing companies should use the data from campaigns that are not working just as effectively as they can from campaigns that are delivering. An unsuccessful campaign can tell them what efforts are not worth the time, effort, and investment, and they can instead put more work into strategies that are currently working for others.

As the client, it is essential that you feel comfortable to contact your rep whenever you have questions about anything. At the end of the day, the marketing company needs to be responsive to your concerns, feedback, and suggestions. They don’t have to agree with you and should be comfortable enough with you to voice their own concerns or tell you why they disagree with specific suggestions, but again, a healthy dialogue needs to take place.

Make sure you get to know the history and the strategy of the marketing company that you are signing a contract with. Also, be sure that your representative gets to know you as well. You should have a very good idea of what kind of company they are and how they handle their business by the flow of the conversation leading up to the signing of the contract.If they are missing scheduled calls or are rescheduling meetings consistently, these are red flags that most likely will not change when you sign up with them. Also, communication should not be limited to emails. There need to be phone calls included here and there to maintain that communication, trust, and professional relationship. It’s better to over-communicate than to not talk at all. Communication is the first step to solving any issues and alleviating concerns and needs to be present in every step of business.


Bing Attacks Google Shopper in New Ad Campaign

Microsoft launched a holiday themed ad campaign attacking Google on Thursday. The smear campaign is aimed at online shoppers and promotes Microsoft’s Bing search engine over Google’s for holiday bargain hunting. The “Scroogle” campaign, as it’s known, focuses on Shopper, Google’s product search engine. With the tag line “Don’t get Scroogled,” Microsoft hopes to bring attention to Google Shopper’s inorganic search results. The search engine only displays results from products and merchants that pay the company a fee.

Google introduced plans to change it’s product search on May 31, 2012, in what Microsoft calls an “under-the-radar announcement.” In that announcement, Google stated it was transitioning Google Product Search to “a purely commercial model built on Product Listing Ads.” The new Google Shopper went live October 17, 2012. Microsoft claims that when a search engine limits choices and ranks them by payment “consumers get Scroogled.”

According to Bing Senior Director Stefan Weitz, Bing Shopping results are based only on relevancy. “Bing results incorporate top deals from merchants across the Web and the rankings you see aren’t dependent on which advertisers paid to have their products listed.” Weitz added that Bing provides a number of tools to assist online shoppers, such as “aggregated expert and consumer reviews, product specs, related products, and many other filters.” He says shoppers can use bing to “get a great deal without having to dig through a ton of advertisements.”

Critics of the “Scroogled” campaign call it hypocritical. Bing also partners with merchants, the most notable of them being Shopping.com. The two announced a partnership last year with the search engine stating that paid offers would be “highlighted throughout Bing Shopping, including search results and product pages.” Weitz claims this model differs significantly from Google’s as Bing Shopping “includes millions of free listings” and ads are “listed separately and labeled clearly.”

Google has not responded to the “Scroogle” campaign directly. When reached for comment, the company issued a statement saying “Google is a great resource for shoppers to find what they need, at great prices for their loved ones this holiday season.”


Google to overtake Facebook in Display Advertising

According to research firm eMarketer, Google is likely to exceed Facebook in selling online display ads in the United States.  Google is expected to have a 15.4% share of the U.S. market. eMarketer said  Google is projected to make $2.31 billion in revenue from online display ads. These are more profitable than the text-based ads that appear next to search results and account for the bulk of Google’s revenue.

This lead in online display ad marks a historic day for Google. This is the first time ever that it will be the leader in three different modes of online advertising: display ads, web-search ads, and mobile ads.

eMarketer calculates that Facebook will hold 14.4% of the market this year with $2.16 billion in U.S. revenue. Back in February, eMarketer predicted that Facebook would be on top with 16.8% of the market and Google with 16.5%.

 

 

(Graph from The Wall Street Journal)

eMarketer estimates that the display ad market to grow 21.5% to almost $15 billion in the U.S. this year, compared to last year’s $12.3 billion. Collectively, Google and Facebook will have nearly 30% of this year’s display ad revenue. In the year 2014, eMarketer predicts the two companies to have 37% of the market.

Google continues to make it easy for advertisers to use one source for all of their online marketing needs, via traditional desktop Adwords, Mobile adwords, display ads and re-marketing – both within their search network and on thousands of partner websites within Google’s content /display network.

Contact us at The Search Engine Guys if you would like to explore options for PPC advertising on Google’s network.

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