If you’ve ever had a sudden craving for a chocolate bar after watching an ad, you’ve experienced demand generation first-hand. Lawyers—like candy companies—can use these demand gen techniques to create awareness of their service and their brand.
But what is demand generation and how is it different from lead generation? First, it’s important to understand the key differences between demand gen and lead gen. Then, you can see how these strategies work together in a digital environment to attract and convert more clients. Let’s go!
Demand gen vs. lead gen
Both of these strategies help your law firm generate more business—but they do so in different ways. Demand generation sets the stage for successful lead generation.
Imagine that your law firm is a fancy new restaurant, positioned at the end of a winding road. To grow your business, you need to convince people to turn onto your road, take a look at what you offer, and then sit down for a meal.
Demand generation and lead generation are like the on-ramp and off-ramp of your business.
Demand generation (the on-ramp) gets the traffic flowing in your direction. It’s about awareness and education. You achieve this by setting yourself up as an authority, explaining what you offer, and getting people to notice your unique brand.
Lead generation (the off-ramp) goes beyond interest and awareness. It’s about taking action, and moving people off the highway of curiosity toward a specific destination. In the restaurant analogy, it’s like opening the door of the restaurant or asking to see the menu.
To sum up, demand gen is about creating awareness of what you offer. It’s the 10-second Super Bowl ad that shows a person blissfully eating a branded chocolate bar.
Lead gen is about capturing and directing that awareness toward action. It’s the appealing wrapper on the chocolate bar positioned at eye level in the checkout line that convinces you to actually buy the candy.
Together, these strategies can propel your legal practice forward.
How does demand gen work?
Let’s dive deeper.
Does my firm really need demand gen? Not all law firms need demand gen, but it is very important in some areas of law—especially highly specific niches or newer areas of practice. In these areas, you may need to educate potential clients about your services if they could be confusing to laypeople.
For example, if you offer subscription-based legal counsel for small businesses (fractional general counsel), you may need to educate your audience that this even exists. Similarly, you may need to educate your audience about divorce mediation. People know how to Google “divorce” and some might know to Google “friendly” or “amicable” divorce, but they may not know that mediation is an option.
How does demand gen work? You create content that explains your brand and your service, starting from awareness to preference.
Here’s the journey that a potential client will go on:
Awareness: “I’ve heard of XYZ Law Firm, what do they offer again?”
Knowledge: “XYZ Law Firm offers divorce mediation, right?”
Consideration: “XYZ Law Firm is an option if we need divorce mediation.”
Favorite: “If we need divorce mediation, we should go with XYZ Law Firm.”
Here’s how you can create awareness and authority around your service and your brand:
- Educational webinars
- Insightful content
- Thought leadership
- Networking events
Be careful not to create too much content.
Successful demand generation requires feedback
Asking for feedback can be uncomfortable, but hard data is the key to understanding whether or not your firm’s demand gen efforts are working.
Look at metrics such as overall website traffic, social media engagement, and content downloads. Dark social can play a role in lead generation, but that comes after demand gen.
Remember, you may need to calibrate your content to get the results you desire. This is normal! Analyze your data and refine your strategies over time. Request feedback from clients and prospects to stay up to date with the changing market.
Review and next steps
Demand generation is about getting potential clients onto your highway so that you can turn them into leads, deliver a service, and then charge them for it. It’s a critical tactic for law firms with unique or new areas of practice, where potential clients may not even know the service exists, let alone your law firm.
Law firms can use both demand gen and lead gen in concert to boost business and grow their reputation.
Book a free consultation with a digital marketing expert to discuss whether demand gen could be right for your law firm. If you’re a growth-oriented law firm and you need digital marketing services, Omnizant gets results quickly and transparently.