The law firm’s guide to millennial marketing

10th October 2019
Author: Chris McKay
Posted in: Legal, Strategy & planning

Despite being every marketer’s worst nightmare as a target demographic, millennials currently spend an eye-watering $600 billion every year in the US. They are the dominant age group among workers and almost 30% of them occupy management roles. So why are law firms struggling to come up with a millennial marketing strategy that works?

Although that number might look pretty huge, we can’t forget that millennials are under much stricter financial constraints than previous generations. Millennials earn 20% less than their parents. A study by Young Invincibles found that workers aged 25 – 34 earned a median salary of $40,581 a year in 2013, which (adjusted for inflation) is about $10,000 less than in 1989. To put the final nail in the coffin, millennials have about double the student debt compared to the last generation.

Gif of a man lost in an empty wallet

They also don’t typically respond to traditional marketing tactics. A recent survey found that only 1% of millennials said a compelling ad would make them trust a brand more. Yeah, you read that right. 1%.

If you want to tap into this misunderstood generation, your law firm needs a millennial marketing strategy that factors in their financial sensitivity and uses a variety of non-traditional marketing methods:

1. Look to social media

90% of millennials go online daily, but you’ll need more than just a shiny website to impress this demographic. Because they’re averse to direct marketing, millennials want to feel like you’re not forcing your message down their throat. You need to let them come to you.

One of the best ways to do this is through social media. You’re less likely to convince millennials with ads and web copy because it’s a one-way form of communication. Social media, on the other hand, focuses on conversations and is a more natural way for them to interact with your law firm. It also allows them to see your communications with other clients and prospects, which can help build trust.

Millennials are significantly more likely than other generations to find an attorney through social media – 63% vs 33% – so you can’t afford to leave out this channel from your millennial marketing strategy. Use social to help build an online persona that is trustworthy, friendly, and dependable.

2. Take a strong social/environmental position

In a recent survey by RetailMeNot, 74% of millennial internet users (aged 22 to 37) said more brands should take public stands on important social issues. This echoes the findings of the 2019 Deloitte Millennial Report, which found that millennials use very personal reasons to start and end relationships with companies, usually related to the company’s positive or negative impact on society.

By being vocal on your support for a social or environmental cause that resonates with millennials, you make your law firm look more attractive than competitors who don’t take these stands. Make sure your support for your chosen issue is visible across your website and social media to maximize exposure.

However, it’s essential that you’re seen as creating a positive impact. While the Deloitte report found that 42% of millennials said they have begun or deepened a relationship with a company due to a positive impact on society or the environment, 37% said they have ended a relationship because of a company’s negative impact.

Gif of woman saying

If you’re serious about your millennial marketing strategy, you might have to make some changes to your firm. But you won’t be the only one. In a 2019 global survey, 73% of CXOs said their organizations had changed or developed their services in the past year to generate positive societal impact.

3. Offer lower-cost services

With the tighter financial restrictions placed on millennials, it’s probably no surprise to hear they’re a generation of people less willing to make big expenditures. This is one of the major pain points facing the law firms who want to attract them.

Although millennials are influenced by a law firm’s social impact, digital content, and social media presence, this could all be trumped by pricing. Almost 80% of millennials are heavily influenced by price and 66% of millennials would switch brands if they were offered at least a 30% discount.

It can be difficult for law firms to attract and maintain their millennial clients due to this price sensitivity. While no one would expect you to lower your fees for everyone just to appease one generation, it could be effective to offer stripped-back service options.

Millennials are very DIY-focused because of their unwillingness to make large expenditures and will often wait until they’ve exhausted all of their DIY options before seeking out a law firm. If you offer legal services at a flat fee, give them the option to do some of the initial work themselves, and then swoop in with a cheaper service package that finishes off the job for them, you position yourself to be a more feasible option for the more price-sensitive millennials.

4. Create content that stands out

43% of millennials say blog content is an important information source when they’re choosing an attorney. This is significantly higher than the average for other generations, where only 19% say the same. Content is key to your millennial marketing strategy.

Creating content for SEO is a great method to attract this digital generation. It works better than traditional direct ads because it’s much less aggressive and allows them to “stumble” across you organically during their online research.

But you won’t be alone in this method. More and more law firms are using blog content to attract millennials so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a meaningful impact with your content.

As well as your blog and PDF content, consider creating more interactive pieces that actually encourage people to engage with it (yes, that was a shameless plug).

Gif of woman saying

5. Leverage online reviews

One of the major challenges to any millennial marketing strategy is the fact that traditional marketing tactics don’t work that well. Particularly when it comes to choosing a law firm, millennials are much more likely to trust a stranger’s opinion over any direct marketing methods you use.

According to FindLaw, millennials are twice as likely to look for online reviews of attorneys compared to other generations. Encouraging your most loyal clients to write online reviews for your firm could go a long way in attracting more clients.

Millennial marketing strategy overview

It’s a tough old world out there for millennials and the firms who want their patronage, but it isn’t hopeless. Understanding the behaviors and circumstances of millennials is key to this marketing strategy.

Still not convinced why you even need to get millennials on your side? As they grow older, pay off their loans, and move up the career ladder, their wealth will just grow and grow. In fact, it’s expected that by 2020 millennials will be spending $1.4 trillion a year.

Gif of Drake

The quicker you change up your marketing to reflect the digital, socially-responsible, and peer-reviewed content that millennials are proven to respond to, the quicker you’ll see results.