Author: Sam Borrett | Date: 14 February 2023

Marketing Budgets for Law Firms – What’s the Cost of Promotion?

Planning a law firm’s marketing budget brings many questions. How much should my firm spend? Which marketing channels work best? Should I hire employees or work with a legal marketing agency?

No matter the size or sector of your business, your marketing budget should help improve client acquisition and increase firm revenue. In this guide, we’ll explore how much budget law firms should allocate to marketing — and the deciding factors for your practice.

What’s the average marketing spend in the legal industry?

While the actual marketing spend is different for each law firm, there are some similarities across the legal industry. Many sources tend to base their marketing budget figures on a percentage of revenue rather than cash value. For example, Thomson Reuters found that the average law firm spends around 2 per cent of its gross revenue on marketing.

Other sources vary — anywhere between 1 per cent to 20 per cent of revenue might be dedicated to marketing strategy. The reason for that fluctuation is the huge number of variables — there are many different legal marketing channels, fields of law and sizes of firms, each influencing the type and amount of budget needed.

For example, a large law firm in a hyper-competitive sector might have a vast budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Meanwhile, a small law firm might focus on local search engine optimisation (SEO) to find potential clients nearby.

So how much should our law firm be spending on marketing?

Simply put: there is no right or wrong answer. Your firm’s marketing budget might vary hugely depending on factors like:

  • The size of your company
  • Your practice area and the catchment area of potential clients
  • The specific legal services you offer
  • How established your law practice is already
  • Which marketing activities and metrics best suit your goals.

As such, your law firm marketing strategy budget will be unique to your business needs. The best way to find out is to speak to an expert legal digital marketing agency — talk about your requirements, listen to suggestions and create a marketing plan that provides the return on investment (ROI) you need. You can begin that process by contacting Legmark today.

How much budget do law firms need for SEO?

A good SEO strategy can help you reach new clients that are searching for your specific services. We’ve already seen SEO expenditures bringing massive rewards for law firms. For example, our most recent Legmark Legal Sector Website Performance report saw firms generating organic traffic from keywords worth over £100,000 per month.

There are many deciding factors affecting your SEO budget, like:

  • The type of law and how competitive your niche is
  • Your area of practice — are you targeting rankings in a big city or a small town?
  • Are you a new business, or do you have well-established competitors?

Any past SEO work might also influence your budget. If there are any existing issues, it’s usually best to fix those before moving forward with further marketing efforts. Initial SEO services, such as a technical audit and data collection, can often provide a strong direction for your SEO strategy.

How much budget do law firms need for content?

Your law firm’s content marketing budget will depend on a few factors. The most obvious is the size of your marketing department — do you have enough internal resources to create quality content? If not, you might work with an agency or freelancer.

When outsourcing content creation, you often get what you pay for. Strong, specialist legal content writers will likely cost more than a general writer, for example. However, quality content usually pays for itself with targeted lead generation, increased brand awareness and improved conversions.

There are also technical questions: Does your law firm’s website design support your content and keep prospective clients on-site? For many legal firms, working with an SEO content services provider is a cost-effective way to climb the rankings.

How much budget do law firms need for paid search and PPC marketing?

Your paid search and PPC budgets will also have several deciding factors. First, your legal niche will dictate how much clicks cost. For example, our most recent Legmark Legal Sector Website Performance Analysis report found that the average cost per click for personal injury law firms was 15 times more expensive than for contract lawyers.

Your paid marketing campaign budget will also depend on your targets. What specific ROI are you looking for? Speaking to an expert law firm PPC services provider can help determine your unique goals and paid strategy, helping ensure the best ROI for your marketing spend.

How much does it cost to hire an internal marketing team?

Hiring an internal marketing team makes sense for some law firms. Average salary expectations for some common roles include:

It’s also helpful to consider workloads — will your marketing strategy generate enough work to justify full-time employees?

When deciding on a marketing budget for your law firm, weigh the above salaries against working with a third-party marketing agency. In many cases, using outsourced marketing services is a cost-effective way to access expert knowledge. You might consider hiring a marketing manager to coordinate with agencies and take responsibility for the results.

Law firms have many options when it comes to allocating their marketing budgets. There are many factors to consider, from location and niche to your competitors and internal resources. Working with a legal digital marketing services provider can help you develop a marketing strategy that works for your business, ensuring the best ROI for your budget. Contact Legmark today to get started.