How Law Firms Can Attract New Clients Using Video Marketing

Video Transcript: How Law Firms Can Attract New Clients Using Video Marketing

Hi, my name is Tim Sherrill; I’m an account manager at Mockingbird Marketing. Today I wanted to talk to you about shooting video and why it’s crucial for your law practice, and how it’s an opportunity for people to get to know you before they’ve had a chance to speak to you in person.

 

Video marketing makes Yourself approachable & Relatable

The reason why this video is shot on location at Sahale Glacier, at the North Cascades National Park, it is often useful to share your interests.

As people, we’re attracted to others with similar interests, and you don’t need to be as casual as I am in this video.

You can utilize b-roll footage of working with clients at the office and film yourself in more relaxed attire.

This way, you’re both professional and approachable, providing those watching your videos the opportunity to pierce the veil.

 

Starting your relationship early through videos builds trust

It’s essential to build the relationship early. That’s is another strong reason to have yourself on video, on your website. It establishes that trust at the onset.

We are giving people that opportunity to get to know you. How you speak, your body language. These are all fundamental social ques that we all deal with daily as human beings, as social beings.

You are taking this a step further by putting yourself out there on video sets this relationship in motion.

 

Stronger relationships with clients generate referrals

It’s important to consider the lifetime value of these relationships in what they bring in return. These positive experiences create stories about you, that another person might find relatable seeing you through your client’s perspective.

Now it’s more than just your story told through your eyes.

Again, remember that lifetime value your clients’ have for you and your practice. As your relationship progresses with them, and that trust builds.

Once their case is done and finished, we all know that referral is the best marketing form.

 

It’s Easier Than You Think to start creating videos

All You Need Is:

  • Your Mobile Phone:
    Shoot at 4K if you can, or 1080P is fine
    Manual Focus – autofocus can get jumpy if you lean in or using hand gestures
  • A Small Tripod:
    Joby GorillaPod Tripod works best; they have varying sizes – I linked to the all-in-one version
    You can prop this on books to increase your Camera’s height on your desk or wrap the legs around a pole.
  • External Microphone:
    A Lavalier microphone is preferred – Better audio in, better out in post-production.
    Rode’s smartLav+ is a great tool, with the extension cord accessory.

 

I’ve created a helpful template for people who are getting into making videos, and it’s easier than you think to get started. Especially with our mobile phones these days.

Right now, I’m shooting on my Samsung at 4K resolution.

I’m using an external lens, a Moment 18mm wide-angle lens, to combat the cropping that occurs when shooting videos.

You don’t have to be as fancy as me, but you want to be using an external microphone because your mobile device’s microphone quality isn’t good enough. Especially in these windy conditions, I’m in; there’s a reason why I have a lavalier mic right here(pointing at the mic attached to my vest).

A small tripod is useful too, and there are different mobile phone mounts you can use for your phone.

To get the approximate elevation you want in your Camera, you want to look your Camera in the eye. It’s best practice not to have an upward look at yourself because people are then looking up underneath your chin.

 

Good natural/artificial direct light on yourself is crucial

Another thing to do as well is lighting. I chose this time to shoot my video because we have a decent overcast sky right now. The sun isn’t too harsh on me, with good direct lighting without creating harsh cast shadows.

You don’t want to look like a villain, and if you have harsh shadows going on, that’s how you’re going to come off, unfortunately.

  • Lighting Tips:
    Natural lighting is best if you can swing it. Otherwise, a ring light & light stands can be purchased reasonably cheap to create your own artificial lighting.
    Tip: If not using an LED, be consistent with the temperature of the bulbs you’re using.
    Keep your light even & eye level or slightly below to avoid harsh shadows

 

Template for Creating Videos for Your Law Practice

The extra things I’ve done too with this post, I’ve not only put together my thoughts and experiences from video and the tools I use. I’ve found other resources on the web I find useful as well to explore.

There are different ways of creating video, and my way shouldn’t be the only way, even though the Mockingbird way is a pretty sweet way to go!

Script vs. Bullet Points:

  • You’re an expert orator, I recommend using bullet points to keep yourself from straying too off-topic.
    • A technique is to talk about each bullet separately, pausing between each and collecting yourself, then continuing to the next. No need to start and stop your Camera. Those pauses, awkward sneezes, curse words, etc all get edited out.
    • The goal is for you to be comfortable and yourself.
      • Sidebar: an editing technique is to zoom in or out every 5-10 seconds to retain the viewer’s attention. So pauses ums, & anything else extraneous can be edited out and combined with a zoom function, or jump-cut to maintain a seamless flow of the finished content.
      • If it helps, to physically talk to someone else when recording, have them positioned so when you face them, you’re still looking into the camera lens

Frame Your Shot:

  • Have a Head & Shoulders at Least
    • Full body shots have your face too far away from the Camera. It’s hard to maintain that conversational feel when standing in frame & it’s hard for people to see your eyes.

Avoid Harsh Lighting Angles:

  • If your lighting resembles that of every scene of a villain ever, then you need more even light. Shadowy figures and harsh shadows around your eyes & face are mysterious & untrustworthy.

Positioning the Camera to your eye-line:

  • It’s to keep your Camera approximately level or slightly below your eye-line. This way to the viewer your angle is more conversational.
    • If it’s easier to see your face while talking, feel free to use your selfie camera, be sure that it’s set to 4k video quality if possible because your selfie camera is not as good as your rear Camera.

Look at your camera lens:

  • Looking at your lens when speaking helps avoid an off-angle glance for viewers.

Position yourself with depth in the scene behind you:

Ensuring that you’re not close to a wall or large object.
When you’re too close to the wall, for example, the scene gets flattened & you’re now competing with the wall.

Removing Distractions & Clutter:

A clean space keeps the Focus on you, & be sure to do a quick scene check before you start recording

Learn From Other Video Creators:

 

I want you to know, here at Mockingbird, we like trying new things, and we’re looking forward to taking this adventure with you!

 

Still Not Convinced? Here are More Resources For Embracing Video:

Improved Data. With Google’s recent announcement that videos will appear in searches and webmasters will be provided comprehensive data on the video’s performance, producing tailored content is simple, or at least as simple as any other form of digital marketing. With improved access to data, adapting your campaigns will be a sharp learning curve.

Video Reach Campaigns. While you definitely shouldn’t have third-party embedded videos on your website (it can significantly slow down site speeds by full seconds), you should consider video advertising or posting regular informational blogs on a company Youtube channel.

With Youtube’s updated video, reach campaigns managing multiple campaigns is easy and cost-effective. If you don’t want to manage video ads, a video channel will help build your online presence.

Using Actionable Language That Converts Users Into Leads

Attorneys, Use Actionable Language That Converts users!

Actionable Language puts your clients at ease, safe in knowing that you’re going to help them successfully navigate the law.

It Starts by understanding you’re a guide through the legal system.

You’re experienced practicing the law, and when it comes to your practice areas, sharing that knowledge helps cement your authority, which doesn’t mean showering yourself in accolades.

You need to take things a step further and share how your authority will help, which sets you apart from other attorneys & this begins with removing “I” from the conversation.

It’s Your Client’s Journey. They Are the Hero Seeking Solutions.

As an attorney, you’re well practiced, handling countless matters similar to what your website user is going through. 

It’s important to know that the problems we face in our daily lives reflect

the oldest story ever told, The Heroes Journey.”  

No, we aren’t entering a dungeon to slay a dragon, but if we’re in your clients’ shoes, their problem may as well be a dragon, and as their guide, it’s your job to help provide them the tools to slay it.

So How Do You Convey to Users on Your Website You Can Help Them?:

  • Begin with addressing what they may be going through – Having experience representing numerous clients in your practice area. You can safely speak to what they may be facing.
  • Explain their options and what qualifications they need in an attorney – Having identified trends with previous clients, you can now layout what your client needs in an attorney. At this point, please don’t call yourself out as the attorney they need; instead, ensure your users know exactly the qualifications they need in an attorney, no matter who they choose.
  • Remind users what they’ll continue to face without help – It’s not to be mean. Still, your users need reminding of the pain they’re going to continue to feel by representing themselves or procrastinating by shopping around for a bargain attorney.
  • Painting yourself as the guide toward their solutions – This is your chance to remind users that you meet every qualification you laid out for them in hiring an attorney and that you’re here to help them solve their problems.
  • Sharing your experience & authority – This is your chance for a humblebrag, making sure users know why you’re so experienced in your practice area, building upon that authority.
  • Ensure users hear from your satisfied clients – Sharing testimonials from clients on your practice area page provides someone else’s perspective for a user to gravitate. Associations with other people who are willing to speak of your qualities boost your “street cred.”
  • If you haven’t already, provide that call-to-action – In marketing, you always have to ask for the sale. Providing consistent & apparent calls to action are essential. It may seem tacky, even shameless, but you need clients to stay in business.

It’s Not just the words you use, but how they’re placed on the page.

Actionable Language is also about getting to the point and not burying the lead by ensuring essential content surfaces on the page.  

You are writing for skimmers. Your users are online researching, looking for clear answers, and probably looking at other attorneys too.

Writing dense paragraphs is far from appealing online. You might as well present a wall. Instead, break your page content into sections, allowing users to get a sense of your content quickly.

Below I’ve bulleted out five tips to help you in this endeavor.

5 Tips to Follow When Writing Content for Your Practice:

  • Use headings to Establish a hierarchy – Your H1 mirrors the page title and sets expectations. 
  • Don’t bury the lead – The H1, H2, H3, H4, etc., and bold text highlight main points, with your most important content living under the H1 and H2 headings.
  • If things can be bulleted, then do so – Lists are a perfect or when presenting related points in succession. The bulleted text provides emphasis and is easy for readers to ingest.
  • Be consistent with your calls-to-action – If your goals are email signups, ensure that all your contact options on the page are pointing towards email signups. 
  • Don’t forget internally linking to related content on your website – Linking to more in-depth content gives users an option to learn even more while still getting what they need from the page.

Now That You Have the Tools, Set Time Aside to Write Content.

Actionable content takes practice, and without practice, there is no progress.

Keeping to a schedule is crucial as well. Otherwise, you stop making time to write, and your goals of writing content evolve from a small task to a hill, and then suddenly, you’re confronted with a mountain.

I get it. Your days are filled with client work, and life doesn’t stop after hours.

You still need to focus on personal matters as well.

There is no sense in making gains in your professional life if your personal life is eroding underneath your feet. That may be a bit extreme, but you get my point.

No Time to Write Content For Your Practice? I Have a Solution. 

Find yourself a content writer. Preferably someone familiar with writing for the legal industry, understanding your client’s pain points and practiced in writing for the Web.

It’s crucial to delegate but to the right people. Otherwise, you’ll spend as much time editing as you would have writing the content yourself.

Our Seasoned Content Writers at Mockingbird Can Help You. 

At Mockingbird, we know how to write for the web, and don’t market to just any industry. We are specialists in marketing for attorneys.

We understand our client’s pain points and are more than comfortable writing for the legal industry, and creating actionable content is our staple.

Plus, our extensive practice writing for attorneys almost guarantees your need for edits will be minimal, saving you time.

What are you waiting for!? Reach out, and chat with Emily on our sales team and Conrad, our President and founder. 

They’d love to hear from you, and so would I. 

Resources:

When Good Reviews Go Bad

Reviews are a vital sign of mutual trust between brands and consumers. This means that your law firm needs reviews to signal to potential clients that you are trustworthy and will provide superb services. In previous blog posts we mentioned the danger of negative reviews and neglecting your reviews, but today we’ll be looking at review fraud. 

 

Consumer Responses

Where there is an opportunity to build trust, there is an opportunity to lose trust. This is the case with reviews. We’ve all seen the listings for restaurants that only have 15 reviews, 10 of which are five stars and seem to just be repeats of each other. We usually steer clear of those places. 

 

This is because consumers are immediately significantly less likely to purchase a product or use services of a business they suspect of violating their trust. In a survey done by Bazaarvoice, 54% of consumers said they wouldn’t buy a product if they suspected reviews of being fake. 82% said they would buy from a brand again if they lost their trust.

 

And how can a review lose the trust of a consumer? Well, there are a few main red flags. The top warning sign for consumers is multiple reviews with similar wording, which 55% of consumers said was telling. Other red flags include content of the review not matching the product, bad grammar and/or misspellings, and an overwhelming number of positive reviews. I mean, you wouldn’t trust Mockingbird if we had 150 reviews all saying a variation of “Their sandwiches are delicious. Great service!” 

 

So how can you fight review fraud?

A large percentage of review fraud is perpetrated by the business owner, so you are your own best defense. Avoid the temptation to write your own reviews, even if your clients haven’t been following through on their end. 

 

Another good way to fight review fraud is by regularly checking your reviews. Make sure you know who they are coming from, whether it’s from clients, competitors, or the clients of your competitors. If you see a positive review from an unknown source, don’t blindly accept it. Not all good news is actually good news. A positive review from an unknown source could actually be a deterrent for potential clients. 

 

The final way to show your trustworthiness is to respond to the reviews you know to be true. If a client leaves a positive review, respond showing your appreciation. If a competitor leaves a negative review, respond calmly and deliberately, encouraging them to rethink their negativity. 

 

By being active in your online presence you can control your own narrative. If you would like help with reputation management, contact us here at Mockingbird. We have some experience in that.

What Does “Trust” Mean for the Legal Industry

Google can and will provide answers for just about any question you might have, but just because it provides the answer doesn’t mean you need to accept it. From queries regarding laws to questions about health, a lot of user searches impact the legal industry. Because of this, it’s important to understand how and where users trust their search results. 

 

A recent survey by Path Interactive looked into this very question, focusing specifically on medical and political queries, but touching on legal advice. These graphs show some of their findings from a sample size of 1,100 respondents:

Legal decisions: 13% never, 24% rarely, 23% sometimes, 32% often, 7% very frequently
From Moz.com/blog

 

What Can We Read Into Here?

The first thing we can take away is that fewer people make important legal decisions than medical or financial decisions based on information from Google. Only 32% of respondents often make legal decisions based on Google results, compared to the 39% who often make financial decisions and 37% that often make medical decisions.

 

So what does this mean? Well, for one let’s take a few things into account here. We learn to take care of our health and finances from a pretty young age, without professional help. Most of us learn how to handle a common cold, injuries, and basic savings and spending. We don’t all learn how to appeal a criminal charge from our parents. 

 

This means that more people may feel comfortable handling their own financial and medical issues based on advice from Google, but will seek professional advice for legal questions.

 

The fact that fewer people make legal decisions based on Google results is probably actually good business, since that means consumers are less likely to take things into their own hands and will instead hire a professional. User’s distrust of Google might be to your benefit. 

 

Using the Data 

Beyond making major life decisions, the survey looked into whether users find featured snippets and knowledge panels trustworthy. For the most part, they do. Of the respondents between the ages of 26-35, 44% find knowledge panels very trustworthy and 25% find featured snippets very trustworthy. 

Chart showing decreasing of trust in featured snippets as users get older, but most users still trust them
From Moz.com/blog

 

Chart showing inreasing trust in knowledge panels as users increase in age, but still high trust levels across the board
From Moz.com/blog

This provides a good opportunity for visibility. If users are looking for trustworthy information but are less likely to make legal decisions based on search results, they are likely looking for professional help. You are that professional help. If you can grow your image through trustworthy content, you can grow your client base.

 

Why None of This Is New

E-A-T has been a part of Google’s best practices for a long time now, with the “T” in E-A-T standing for trustworthiness. In an ideal world, you would have been producing trustworthy content for years now. Maybe you already have been. Good for you!

 

But if you haven’t been producing trustworthy content, you really should start. You don’t need a lot of it (content for content’s sake isn’t worth it), but proving your firm to be a helpful resource usually pays off in the long run.

 

In Conclusion

Expect your incoming clients to have done some research on their case prior to hiring you. People are becoming more proactive online, and the legal industry is one of the industries where consumers are less likely to try and take problems into their own hands. This is to the benefit of law firms. It means that users are not only searching for reliable information, which you can provide, but are also looking for someone to hire, which you can also provide. 

 

If you want to learn more about how your content can improve your business, you might want to look into our content development plans. Mockingbird has years of experience helping law firms audit their content and develop ongoing plans. Contact us to learn more.

The Quickest Way to Piss of Your Customers

Is there a quicker way to piss of a customer than making them feel like you don’t care?

For firms handling intake, one of the biggest challenges is politely rejecting inquiries from people your firm is unable to help. People intuitively know that sometimes there’s nothing that can be done, but the courtesy of an explanation goes a long way toward making the caller feel better when the conversation comes to a close. If the prospect feels blown off, rushed, or like they’re being treated poorly because you “can’t make money off them” you’re far more likely to end up getting a one-star review. These are the types of negative interactions that linger long after the call is over.

If someone needs help, they want to at least be heard.

Now a quick example of what not to do:

We recommend CallRail to all of our customers and have found their service to provide a reliable call tracking solution that does everything we need in order to properly report on cost-per-inquiry by marketing channel. The quality of their product is top-notch, but in the off chance you need to resolve an issue, their customer service is woefully lacking.

As is the case with many companies, issues are addressed with a ticketing system. There’s a phone number you can call if you need immediate assistance, but CallRail seems to be doing whatever they can to hide that number and force people through their ticketing system. This isn’t necessarily a bad practice from the company’s perspective, but it’s not particularly customer friendly.

This morning I went to fill out a ticket and was met with this:

CallRail Won't Let You Submit a Ticket

Assuming user error, I tried submitting a ticket multiple times under different accounts and received the same error every time. Not one to be discourage by a one-off bug, I emailed the ticket directly to their support and immediately received this email:

Hi Jason,

We’ve recently updated our ticket submission process to give you the best support possible, and emails sent directly to support@callrail.com will be met with a no-reply email. We’re still here to help, and you’re still able to reach us!

To receive help:

Please submit a ticket through the Submit a Ticket link in our Help Center.

From there, you’ll be able to monitor your ticket status and reply to the support team member handling your request.

We’ll reach out to you via email once we’ve received your ticket (usually within 24 hours).

If this is urgent, please call us at 1-888-219-2787. Our phone support hours are Monday thru Friday from 9:00am – 6:00pm eastern time.

Thanks!

The CallRail Support Team

Not the response you want when the system they’re funneling you toward is broken. So, I picked up the phone and gave them a call. What should have been a simple ticket was now a 15 minute process.

The phone call lasted long enough that I started writing this post in frustration, and abruptly ended with a message that all their agents were currently busy, and a reminder that “You’re able to submit your issue by going to support.callrail.com and clicking ‘submit a ticket.” Then the call was terminated!

I can at least appreciate the inadvertent comedy in CallRail’s final message.

Much like a prospect that just wants to be heard, I’m now in a position where publicly venting is my sole outlet. Not a place you ever want someone that’s interacted with your business to end up. I don’t even care if CallRail can actually resolve the issue I was initially inquiring about. It wasn’t urgent and what I wanted might not have been possible. The more important issue is that they weren’t available to listen or provide an answer, and as a business, that’s inexcusable.

Regardless of whether you can help someone, making sure staff is well-trained to listen and provide a polite response can go a long way toward preserving your brand. The worst thing you can do is leave someone feeling like you just don’t care.

High Funnel vs Low Funnel Marketing: Knowing Your Jargon

The language of marketing has always been designed to isolate clients. Marketers use technical jargon to upsell and confuse prospective clients; an unethical power play. Well, here at Mockingbird we’re trying to tear down those walls. By providing definitions, we’re opening doors to the tough questions. We’ll start by talking about the Marketing Funnel.

 

The labels on the left refer to the stages of the funnel; the labels on the right are the page a consumer might be on at that stage in their journey

 

What is the Marketing Funnel?

The marketing funnel is the funnel being referred to when marketers talk about “high funnel” or “low funnel” tactics. The term was coined long before the internet and covers the broad stages of converting a consumer to a client. The stages are:

  • Awareness
  • Opinion 
  • Consideration
  • Preference
  • Purchase

 

In layman’s terms, these might be:

  • Becoming aware of the brand/problem
  • Doing research about the brand/problem, finding the solution (the product)
  • Doing research on other solutions, or products
  • Deciding which product they prefer
  • Buying (converting)

 

What is High Funnel Marketing?

High funnel marketing is in reference to strategies that target brand awareness over direct conversions. This might mean promoting blog posts, coordinating scholarships, or sponsoring events. It’s about getting your name out there, meeting your clients where they live.

 

What is Mid Funnel Marketing?

Mid funnel marketing is catching consumers who you know are aware of your business but might not have become clients yet. This is often in the form of remarketing, or advertising to people you know have visited your website. This reminds them of your brand and of the problem they’re looking to solve. Mid funnel isn’t as common of a term, but it has its place.

 

What is Low Funnel Marketing?

Low funnel marketing is targeting people you know are about to become clients. It’s the people who might have something in their cart but haven’t proceeded to check-out in the past week. It can also be advertising to people directly searching for the problems you cover. If you’re an LGBTQ+ friendly family lawyer specializing in child custody in the North Platte, Nebraska area and someone types “same-sex child custody lawyer Lincoln, NE,” you should target them specifically. 

 

Is High Funnel or Low Funnel Better?

It depends on your goals. If you are trying to increase traffic to your site and broaden your market then high funnel is probably good for you. If you are just trying to get clients, low funnel is preferable. Of course, the best option is a balance of both. You can’t have a business without brand awareness, but you also can’t have a business if no one is buying anything.

 

How Do I Keep People Moving Down the Funnel?

Remarketing is a good way to keep people moving and in the funnel. Previously mentioned about mid-funnel marketing, remarketing mainly just reminds consumers that if they haven’t found a solution for their problem yet, there’s a brand that has solutions. You’ve seen remarketing in action when you look at a product then see ads for that exact product everywhere for the next three days. It’s considered a highly effective strategy.

 

Where Does this Blog Post Fit in the Funnel?

This blog post would be considered high funnel, as it’s targeted at a more general audience than our specific market. Since it’s informational rather than opinion-based it’s designed to be picked up by search engines and answer people’s general questions on marketing funnels. If you start seeing ads for Mockingbird or decide to look at what services we offer, you’ll have entered the middle of the funnel. If you eventually become a client, congrats on two accounts! First for making it all the way through the funnel, second for getting a great marketing team for your law firm.

Google My Business is a Necessity (Even if it Goes Premium)

Last year Google sent out surveys to local businesses to see how much they could potentially charge for premium Google My Business memberships. This led to a bit of panic, but has yet to be implemented. What I’m here to argue is that your firm needs Google My Business, whether you need to buy a subscription or not.

 

Visibility

Even if they do implement charged services, GMB listings will still be free to claim. These listings are the best way to get your business on the map in a very literal sense. You claim your business and then you appear on the map. When a client searches “Lawyers near me” you need to show up.

 

NAP Consistency

Your name, address, and phone number are about the most important details of your business that you want to express. As far as Maslow’s hierarchy of marketing needs, your business name is pretty much at the bottom of the pyramid. GMB is a good starting place for ensuring your business details stay consistent.

 

Review Consolidation

As far as review collection goes, GMB makes it pretty easy. The service collects reviews from Yelp, Avvo, Lawyers.com, and various other platforms. This makes it easy for clients to find average ratings and for you to keep track of your reputation

 

Driving Conversions

Finally, I want to touch on the main reason to build out your GMB profile: it drives conversions. Really well. You can see this on Google Analytics: Conversions → Multi-Channel Functions → Top Conversion Paths → Primary Dimension: Default Channel Grouping Path. See where GMB ranks in your conversions. Here’s how it’s done for just a few of our clients:

 

In summary, GMB works in favor of local businesses. The main benefits of GMB aren’t the ones Google is thinking of charging for, so take advantage. If you don’t have GMB, you’re really falling behind. Please catch up.

The Social Media Sites You Shouldn’t Ignore

Social media is a medium that can’t be neglected when building an online business profile. It provides an opportunity to interact with your community and control your online persona. According to a study, social media can also help build your page ranking.

 

In the study, which looked at results on branded searches, social media profiles and pages ranked page one in a high percentage of searches. One site that stood out for branded searches was LinkedIn, which was the most commonly appearing website in the study.

 

From searchengineland.com

 

Facebook was the second most common website, showing up for 246 out of 500 companies. 

 

So what does this tell us? 

 

For one thing, it tells us that having a social media presence is vital for online reputation management. You have full control over your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, you have less control over your reviews (but you still have some). When a potential client hears about your firm, the first thing they will do is look you up. By having multiple sites you control on Google page one you are crafting your image.

 

So how can we take advantage of this?

 

Well, you can build out your profiles. If you don’t have a Facebook or a LinkedIn business page you should build them. If you already have them, update them. Post regularly and maintain your presence.

 

Will Mockingbird help me make a Facebook?

While the team here at Mockingbird will help with online reviews and social media advertising, we do not maintain our clients’ profiles. That’s something you’ll have to figure out.

Survey Says: Manage Your Reviews

A recent survey by BrightLocal has shined a light on how important reputation management is for businesses. 

 

The survey, which polled over 1,000 Americans of varying ages, looked at what percentage of consumer left reviews, read reviews, and let reviews influence them. While the results shouldn’t be surprising to anyone in the marketing industry, they certainly help to prove the point that reviews are vital for the success of a business, especially with Google My Business’ new carousel review feature.

 

How Consumers Read Reviews

Time

Over 80% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, with younger generations being more likely to consult online reviews. They spend an average of about 13 minutes reading reviews before making a decision, with 18-34 year-olds taking upwards of 18 minutes and 55+ year-olds taking under 10 minutes.

 

Trust

As expected, good reviews are good. 91% of consumers responded that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business. Similarly, 82% said that negative reviews make them less likely to use a business.

 

 

This is especially telling, considering 76% of total consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends. The level of trust increases with younger audiences, with 41% of 18-34 year olds saying they always trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

 

Review Legitimacy

Of course, consumers don’t always trust every review they see. Some factors they pay attention to beyond the content include:

 

  • Recency
  • Star rating
  • Number of reviews
  • Business responses

 

 

The general consensus is that reviews over three months old are no longer relevant.

 

Consumers are particularly worried about fake reviews, with 82% claiming to have read at least one fake review in the past year. The increased number from 2018 suggests that there are either more fake reviews online than before or consumers are simply becoming savvier to them. Either way, you want to keep them off your platforms.

 

 

Responding to Reviews

Responding as a business owner may seem unnecessary and time-consuming, but is worth it. 71% of consumers responded that they were more likely to use a business if they had seen that the business had responded to reviews. This is an easy way to maintain control of your reviews and your image while still allowing your customer’s voice to be heard.

 

Requesting Reviews

One of the best ways to control your online presence is by asking your clients to leave reviews. Of the 67% of consumers asked to leave a review, 76% left a review. 33% of consumers were never asked to leave a review. That 33% is a huge missed opportunity for businesses, especially with so many options for reaching out to consumers.  

 

Businesses reached out to customers in a number of ways, including:

 

  • During the sale;
  • In a follow-up email;
  • Over the phone;
  • On a receipt;
  • In an SMS message;
  • In exchange for a discount; and
  • On a business card

 

Managing Your Reviews

Reviews are your opportunity to build your community around your clients. By responding to their comments, asking them to write reviews, and making accounts on multiple platforms you are setting yourself up for success. 

If you feel like your law firm could use some help with your reviews, contact Mockingbird. Reputation management is just one of our specialized services.