Marketing a product or service on a mobile phone is a new and growing practice. There have been several big turning points in marketing history, and we’re living through another one. Beginning with the first newspaper ads in the 1700s, the first radio ads in the ‘20s, the first TV ads in the ‘40s, and the first Internet ads in the 1990s we’re now seeing the first mobile phone ads, apps, and more. It’s the beginning of a new opportunity for businesses of all types and attorneys would be wise to get on-board.
That’s because it’s where your clients and prospects are. Smartphone use is booming in all demographics, not just teens. In fact, 37 percent of smartphone owners are over age 35 (Google). Mobile phones now outnumber TV sets by over 3 to 1,and laptop and desktop PC users by nearly 5 to 1 (CBS News).
The time is now to get up to speed on this revolution and learn how mobile marketing can help you increase client loyalty, generate referrals, differentiate your law practice from the competition, and stay on the forefront of this exciting new technology.
Here are five things you need to know about mobile.
1. Your Clients Are “Going Mobile”
Have you ever gone out to dinner with a friend, only to have them put their phone on the table during dinner to take a call or read a text? We depend on our phones more and more. This includes your clients. Everyone from busy moms to business owners to local officials use cell phones for everything from getting directions to finding local businesses and more. Eighty-three percent of U.S. adults have a cell phone of some kind, and 42 percent of them own a smartphone. Twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults own a tablet or e-reader, up from only 2 percent three years ago. One quarter of smartphone owners use their phone for most of their online browsing (Google). Your clients expect to find you on their phones.
2. Attorneys Need To Be Mobile-Savvy
Clients who used to look up attorneys in the Yellow Pages are now doing research and taking action on their mobile phones. Bardorf Legal Marketing clients are already seeing this trend. On average, 15 to 20 percent of visitors to their websites come from a mobile device (mobile phone or tablet), with a high of 25 to 30 percent. These potential clients expect to find a “mobile-friendly” website – one that works well on their phones and that has clickable links for your phone or email. This helps your business grow and shows that you’re up-to-date on the latest technology, and you won’t lose a client who gets frustrated and moves on to a competitor. More and more, a mobile presence is something clients want and expect from their lawyer.
3. Apps Aren’t Just For Games
A mobile application (app) is software designed to perform a specific function on a mobile phone, tablet, or other mobile device. Many attorneys assume that apps are mostly for games, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Some of the most popular apps are designed for business, social networking or productivity. People are now using more apps than ever and 80 percent of mobile time is spent on apps (Flurry). Most apps are used for seeing maps and directions, followed by social networking, accessing local information, reading news and checking bank balances (comScore). A mobile app is a new marketing tool for attorneys.
4. A Mobile App Will Connect You With Your Clients
One way for individual attorneys and small law firms to take advantage of the boom in mobile phones is by offering their clients a mobile app. The “AttorneyConnect” mobile app keeps your clients engaged and connected to you and your law practice. A mobile app like this works through your existing communication channels – email and phone – so there’s nothing new you need to manage or subscribe to. It’s free for clients and a minimal marketing investment for you that will have great returns.
The typical attorney app may include your firm’s logo, photos and address; practice areas; contact information; directions; referrals; reviews; email; appointment requests; and a link to your website. Most importantly, a mobile app for solo practitioners and small firms can help you increase client loyalty, generate referrals, differentiate your law practice from the competition, and get on-board with the biggest marketing opportunity in twenty years.
5. Mobile Can Help Grow Your Business
It’s easier than ever for potential clients to call an attorney when you’re just a click away.
Getting smart about mobile marketing will help you tap into one of your greatest assets — your client base — your best source of repeat business and referrals. When you “go mobile” you stay connected with your clients through the privacy of their personal mobile phone and your business grows.
Ian M. Bardorf is an Internet marketing and social media advisor to attorneys and law firms seeking to grow and advance their business via the web. This article is copyrighted as original content by Ian M. Bardorf and Bardorf Legal Marketing. This article may be reproduced or republished with appropriate attribution and credit.