Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Spring 2017 - Page 32

Digital Advertising for Lawyers , Part 1

By Robert J . Hoglund President and Founder of Hoglund Advertising & Analytics General Partner and Owner of Hoglund , Chwialkowski & Mrozik , P . L . L . C . Roseville , Minnesota

When done right , digital advertising can be a lucrative investment . It reaches people who are searching for your product or service . It can be affordable and effective , and it can produce highly measurable results . It can be a machine that churns out quality leads .

However , done wrong , digital advertising can make you pull your hair out . It can make you feel like you just walked over to your kitchen sink and started pushing $ 100 bills down your garbage disposal ( along with your time , hope and belief in human nature ).
I speak from personal experience . When I first started hiring companies to set up digital advertising for my Bankruptcy and Social Security Disability practice , I got ripped off more times than I can remember . Companies promised me the moon , but only delivered vapor . It was frustrating . I ’ m still smarting from the significant waste of money .
But my colleagues and I couldn ’ t give up on digital advertising . It is the future of marketing . With digital ads , you can deliver your message to people who are actively looking for your type of service . They are buyers . You can target certain geographic areas . And depending on the subject matter , you can deliver these ads for a surprisingly reasonable rate . The Internet is where people go for answers . Our law firm knew there must be a way to reach people effectively .
So my law firm colleagues and I decided to tackle digital ads ourselves . We studied cost-per-click and fine-tuned our strategy . Several million dollars in R & D and several years later , we got our digital advertising running like a well-oiled machine .
So far , my Google AdWords campaign is the backbone of my law firm ’ s growth and profitability . And has been for many years . In an ironic twist , we started a digital advertising agency . We knew we could pass our investment along to other firms and help them take market share .
It ’ s our privilege to publish a series of articles about digital advertising . We don ’ t pretend to know everything about Internet marketing ( who does ?). What we do know is that in most circumstances Google AdWords can be a fact-based marketing medium that delivers Return on Marketing Investment ( ROMI ). We ’ ll share some of what we ’ ve learned , in the hopes that it will help other firms avoid money-wasting quagmires – and find an effective , convincing advertising strategy .
These are not magic answers : No one strategy will help everyone . Depending on your practice area and location , some approaches may work better than others . But here are some observations we ’ ve made over the years , that may be beneficial for you , too .
First let ’ s take a look at what to avoid when approached by a digital advertising agency .
Digital advertising warning signs
Now , I don ’ t dwell on the negative . However , if you see your ad agency exhibiting these symptoms , it may be wise to raise an eyebrow .
1 . They will not let you see their Google AdWords dashboard . A dashboard is a chart or table that lists off key campaign data . It could have information such as clicks , calls , dollars spent , or other variables . You need this information to tell if your campaigns are working . If an agency won ’ t let you see your Google AdWords dashboard , ask why .
32 CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY JOURNAL Spring 2017 National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys