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9 Facebook Ad Tactics that Personal Injury Law Firms are Using During COVID (and Getting Immediate Results)

When was the last time that you searched for someone on Facebook and were shocked to discover that they didn’t have an account? It’s probably been a while. We’ve all had that happen, but it’s pretty rare. Almost everyone is on Facebook nowadays. With roughly 2.6 billion active monthly users and 63% of people using Facebook more due to COVID, Facebook presents a large opportunity for personal injury law firms that want to get more cases, especially during this virus. So, what are personal injury law firms doing during these times to get cases from Facebook Ads? The answers are both simple and surprising.
  1. Don’t Drive Traffic to Your Website or Landing Page
A large misconception that many personal injury law firm owners have is that they should be driving traffic to a website or landing page from their Facebook Ads. Here is why this is not typically a good idea. Facebook has three main goals (and these are in order):
  1. Have a great user experience so users will stay on the platform longer and come back more often
  2. Make money from advertisers
  3. Make sure that advertisers make money
When you run ads that take people off Facebook’s platform (to your website or landing page), you are obstructing their first main goal of keeping people on the platform as long as possible. Because of this, Facebook will actually charge you more for your advertising. Therefore, making it less effective. Here is what is working now. Let’s say the goal of your advertising is ultimately to schedule a 30-minute consultation call with the people who are interested. Instead of sending your traffic to a website or landing page, firms that are getting the best results on Facebook are using the Lead Generation objective on Facebook. This allows you to get interested people’s information just like you would on your landing page. However, you do this all without forcing that person to leave Facebook. This results in Facebook letting you reach more people for less money, which means better results for you!
  1. Correct Visuals
Attorneys love to run Facebook ads that they think are very “professional”. These ads usually include them in a suite staring into the camera and speaking very professionally. Here’s the problem. That screams “This is an advertisement!” and it turns people off. In fact, most people will continue to scroll once they see something like this because it reminds them too much of the cheesy TV commercials they have had pounded into them their whole lives. We have found two strategies to work much better for personal injury law firms. 1) The Trojan Horse Strategy The concept behind this strategy is to make your advertisement not look… well, not so much like an advertisement. People don’t like traditional advertising. This is why when law firms make their visual in an ad look like one of their friends could have posted it, it often performs much better. And I’m not talking about the party or political posts your friends do. I’m talking about the fun ones about their lives, families, or friends. When people are consistently being advertised to, they start to form patterns of what to expect. When you break that pattern and something doesn’t look like an advertisement, people are interested and stop scrolling much more often. When you get people to stop scrolling, your advertisement immediately becomes more effective because it catches more attention. Once you have this initial attention, you can rely on the written part of the advertisement to transition the attention into your desired outcome. 2) The Pattern Disrupt Strategy Like the Trojan Horse Strategy, The Pattern Disrupt Strategy is meant to break the pattern of traditional advertising. We often refer to this as “a pattern interrupt” in marketing. When done effectively, it will stop the scroll and greatly increase the effectiveness of your Facebook Ads. This is important to perform in the first 1-2 seconds of your advertisement because that’s usually all you have to stimulate interest. For example, I have done a video ad with a firm before and it started out with someone grabbing a handful of delicious birthday cake with the candles lit. This definitely broke the pattern of posts that are seen in a normal Facebook feed and it peaked people’s interest for a few main psychological reasons.
  • People like birthday cake and commonly have a positive association with it.
  • When a hand flew down and grabbed a large chunk of the cake, people were curious to see why this happened.
  • Because the candles were in the cake, it looked like the person who grabbed the cake might have been in danger (don’t worry, it was set up safely). When we think someone may be in danger, we pay closer attention.
  • The background was well light and appealing as well, so the whole scene gave off a good feeling and engaged dopamine in the brain.
For these reasons, the ad stimulated interest and got great results. You may be wondering, “Gavin, this is great, but what does a birthday cake have to do with my personal injury law firm?”. Here is how we incorporated the beginning pattern interrupt with the offer this law firm was promoting. After we grabbed the cake, we cut to a scene of an attorney speaking and saying, “When you have been injured, insurance companies will do just about anything to try to keep all of their cake”. We then went into the concise pitch for that specific firm. The beautiful thing about marketing is that as long as you play within the rules provided by your state Bar and Facebook, you can get very creative with it.
  1. Simple Copy with Correct Structure
Copy is the written part of an advertisement. A lot of the time, attorneys tend to write very professionally and with super proper grammar. Unfortunately, this is not going to give you the results you want when running Facebook Ads. The personal injury law firms we work with that are getting the best results are keeping their copy very simple. A rule of thumb that I like to use is asking yourself, “Could a first grader understand this?” It’s not that the people reading your ad are stupid, it’s that if you make their brains work too hard to understand the advertisement, they are going to determine it isn’t worth their energy. After all, in the 21st century, the average attention span of a human is 8-12 seconds. So you want to make sure you use those 8-12 seconds very wisely to earn more of their time. Here is the structure that we typically follow. We start by identifying who we are trying to reach in the first sentence. For example: “If an injury has occurred, take control”. The way this sentence is structured is important for two main reasons.
  • We want people who have been seriously injured to resonate with this ad.
  • We want to mention this right away so that way people who have not been injured swipe past the ad. This is important because Facebook learns from feedback just like you and I. This is why we want to give Facebook all the correct data we can. Doing this will allow Facebook’s A.I. to better identify and hone in on who your best target audience is.
Let’s continue to the rest of the copy which I right put below us. I’ll break it all down. If an injury has occurred, take control. Many people think that if you 'play nice' with insurance companies, they'll treat you fair... Spoiler alert, they don't. You need to know your rights and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve. Click the “Get Offer” button to get your free strategy session with our top attorney today!" This is very simple yet effective. It first identifies who we are speaking to (as I previously explained). It then hits on common problems injured victims face and tells them how they can solve this problem with a crystal-clear call to action at the end. Also, see how we used the wording “strategy session” instead of “consultation call”? We have found that “consultation call” is used so much that it no longer is as effective. This is why we refer to this as a “strategy session”. Another style of copy that works great on Facebook is simple storytelling. Storytelling has been an effective tool dating all the way back to caveman times. It allows us to relate with others and feel human. The same is true when it comes to your advertising on Facebook. You can tell a simple story about one of your past clients and what they felt like before getting the information they needed. Then transition to what they did to solve their problem and have a clear call to action. When you do this, don’t say something like, “Then, John came to me and all his problems were solved”. Say something along the lines, “Now he is injured, needs to see a doctor, but doesn't have any money. And his stress levels keep going up. John was just about at the end of his rope... But then, John realized knowledge is his leverage in this situation! John got a copy of “Secrets to Navigating an Injury” and the information in this short book turned things around for him. Before he knew it, John was beating the insurance company at their own game, and he was able to force the insurance company to pay his medical bills and other expenses!” The “Secrets to Navigating an Injury” book that I referenced is a short four-page e-book that you would create to help collect phone numbers and emails. Which brings us to our next point.
  1. Valuable Offer
What you’re offering matters a lot. Luckily for you, a free strategy session (or consultation) from a personal injury attorney already has a high perceived value. However, there are still other offers you can use in your Facebook Ads that may work even better. As I referenced before, creating an e-book is one of these offers. It is a good offer for many reasons.
  • It’s free… and people love free. Especially when they don’t know you yet.
  • You are providing them with real value. Whenever you provide someone with real value, they are more likely to like and work with you.
  • You are getting their email and phone number. This allows you to add them to your email list and call them if you want.
  • If you have a software integrated with your Facebook Ads, you can use the email and phone number as assets to help you set appointments in a more automated manner (which I’ll dive into later).
Make sure when you create your e-book you make it very easy to understand and stay away from “lawyer language”. You are going to want to keep this under five pages as well. Write about the most common problems you see your clients having and how you recommend they navigate these problems. And to protect yourself, make sure that in your Lead Form on Facebook, you state that contacting your firm or obtaining your firm’s e-book does not create an attorney client relationship.
  1. Broad Targeting… Super Broad
Personal injury law firms always seem to get tripped up on this part of Facebook Ads. I often hear, “What should I do in the targeting section of the Facebook Ads”. Luckily for you, the answer is much simpler than you think. You want to target a 25-mile radius around your city. Then, you want to make sure that you are targeting people who live in that location. After that, you are done. Are you confused at all? Let me explain. Many marketers like to talk about elaborate targeting strategies that involve lots of moving pieces. This may include a certain age they tell you to target, or maybe they recommended that you geo-target people who have recently been in a hospital near you. While this works, we have found that Facebook’s A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) has gotten so good that we actually get better results leaving our targeting very broad and then letting Facebook figure out who our best target audience is. Facebook does this through the feedback of data. In fact, Facebook’s A.I. learns very similarly to how humans do. It tries something, gets feedback (from the data), and then adjusts and tries again until it is very honed in on the correct demographic that is commonly injured and in need of your firm’s service. You often get better results with broad targeting because Facebook will charge you less for your reach. They charge you less because you are letting Facebook show your ad who they want to show it to. They know who will like your ad and showing the correct ads to the correct people helps make the platform more enjoyable for their users (which is their number one goal). This allows you to still have targeted ads without paying the higher premium for doing so. Often, the targeting Facebook creates from the feedback is actually more accurate than any targeting you or I would do. This is often because it removes guess-work from the equation and just focuses on the non-debatable data. So now that we have the targeting down on your ads, it’s time to dive into your Facebook Ad’s placements. For those of you who don’t know, placements are where your ad is going to be shown. For example, it could be shown on Facebook and Instagram (because Facebook owns both) or just Facebook. Or maybe you want it to be shown on Facebook Stories, and don’t want it to be shown in the feed. Now that we have that defined, you want to select automatic placements on your ads. This will allow Facebook’s A.I. to choose the best placements for your ads to be shown over time. Again, you will get better results doing this. And don’t forget! You want to make sure you have a Facebook Pixel setup for your ads and installed on your firm’s website. This will help you gather more data for ads, and it will help you retarget people who show interest in working with you!
  1. Slowly Scaling Your Budget
I always recommend starting with $10 a day for each ad that you test. So, let’s say that you are spending $10 a day on one Facebook Ad. Let’s also say that this ad is generating one lead a day. Common sense would tell you that if you increase your budget to $20 a day, then you should now be getting two leads a day. This can be true in some instances, but eventually, you will start experiencing diminishing returns. If you start increasing your budget, you should do so slowly. We have seen this work best when you take 50% or less of what you are currently spending on your Facebook Ad. Then, apply that 50% to the original amount and wait at least four days to review your analytics and results before you continue to scale. So if you are spending $10 and you want to scale your campaign, you can take 50% of that (or less) which is $5, and now you will be spending $15 a day. That is what we call vertically scaling because your dollar amount is rising for the individual ad you are working on. However, this isn’t the only way to scale. There is another tactic that we use called horizontal scaling. Horizontal scaling is when you target multiple 25-mile radiuses and spend $10 a day on each one of them. For example, you could be targeting a 25-mile radius around three different cities. In this case, you would be spending $30 a day ($10 a day per ad). The big advantage of this is that you typically don’t see diminishing returns kick in as fast. If you wanted to scale this way, you can scale faster and also get more data on what locations are giving you the best leads in your state. Some personal injury law firms won’t do this because they will only work locally, but I say it’s worth testing if you want to scale and grow! With Zoom.us and COVID making video calls much more common, you can get a lot more done without having to physically shake hands. Plus, it’s typically more convenient for everyone involved! And remember, getting quality leads from Facebook is great, but you must make sure that when you scale, you have the bandwidth to manage these leads and take on the new business.
  1. Taking Advantage of Lower CPMs
What even is a CPM? CPM is marking lingo for the cost it takes to get 1,000 views on your ad. With that being said, the cost of CPMs fluctuates. Facebook Ads are priced in a supply and demand marketplace structure. So when more advertisers spend money on the platform, the CPMs of Facebook Ads go up which makes your ads less effective because you are paying more to reach the same amount of people. The opposite is true when advertising on the platform drops off. When advertising drops off you get greater results with your ads, and this is exactly what Facebook Ads have seen with COVID. Huge companies including many cruise lines, airlines, hotels, etc. have either completely cut or significantly reduced their Facebook Ads spending. Many smaller restaurants, gyms, and brick and mortar stores have also cut or reduced their spending on Facebook. I want to show you the exact difference this has made for the personal injury law firms that we work with. We took CPMs from six months ago and took CPMs from similar campaigns for this month. We saw an average of a 29% decrease in CPM costs. This is a big deal. This has allowed my agency, and firms who correctly utilize Facebook Ads, to see a great ROI amidst all this chaos. As Warren Buffet once said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” Now is the time to be greedy with your marketing efforts.
  1. Testing
Being able to get quantifiable feedback from your Facebook Ads is quite a beautiful thing. It allows you to test and optimize your ads in a relatively short period of time. Long gone are the days of guess-marketing where you spend money and just hope it pays off. Having this feedback from your ads is great, but you must know certain principals when testing different Facebook Ads. Here they are:
  • Act as if you were a scientist
    1. Only change one variable at a time when testing ads. If you change multiple things at once, you won’t know what made the advertisement better or worse.
  • Give your ads enough money and time to get enough data to make decisions.
    1. We typically give an ad four days until we know if it has the potential to be a winner or not. If it passes the first four days, we then give it a week for Facebook’s A.I. to optimize the ad from the feedback. After this week, we will let it run and continue to test new versions of it.
  • Test everything
    1. You want to test the creative (visual part of the ad), the copy, just the first sentence, just the last sentence, the offer, the location, the budget, etc.
  • Know what’s most important to test
    1. The Creative and the offer are what we have found time and time again to be most important to nail down while testing.
  • The same ad will only work for so long
    1. We have had some amazing ad campaigns for personal injury law firms that fizzle out after two weeks. This is not uncommon. You must have new angles (which involve new creatives and copy) ready for when your current ad starts to have decreased effectiveness. I really can’t stress this one enough. People don’t like seeing the same thing over and over again.
At the end of the day, a large factor to your success with Facebook Ads is going to come from testing. So make sure you are actively testing!
  1. Correct Software
Let’s say you follow steps 1-8 perfectly, great! What you should do now is find a software that allows you to know when a lead has submitted their information to your firm. Facebook Ads won’t do this for you. This is why you need a software that will alert you when you have a new lead. This is massively important! According to a study done by Harvard Business Review, leads are 60 times more likely to work with you if you get in contact with them within the first hour they reach out to you. The likelihood of this goes even higher when you contact them within the first five minutes! Now that you know speed is an essential part of a successful Facebook Ads Campaign, what software should you use to alert you when a new lead comes in? I recommend Zapier for this. Zapier allows you and other members of your team to get real-time email and text notifications on when a lead is submitted. These notifications will include the name of the prospect, the email address, and the phone number they submitted. Now, if you really want to prioritize speed and get the most out of your leads, there is another option. You can find an agency that has built out a software that will send automated texts, emails, or automatically connect you (or a member of your team) on a phone call as soon as the lead arrives. My agency, Empathy Digital Marketing, has an easy to use software that does just that, and it really does wonders (plus it never takes a day off)! Whatever path you chose, make sure that you prioritize the speed in which you are reaching out to these leads! Conclusion As you can now see, Facebook Ads are not that hard to understand. When used correctly, they can yield your personal injury law firm great results. Especially with COVID driving the price of ads down. In order to get these results, it’s important to:
  1. Keep traffic on Facebook
  2. Use visuals that don’t look so much like an “advertisement”
  3. Keep your writing very simple with a clear call to action
  4. Make sure you are providing a valuable offer
  5. Keep your targeting broad and let Facebook’s A.I. target for you
  6. Scale your spending without making mistakes that lead to diminishing returns
  7. Take advantage of the low price of Ads due to COVID
  8. Test Test Test
  9. Use a software that sets you up to successfully reach out to your leads in a very fast manner
If you follow all these steps, you will be among the top of personal injury law firm advertisers on Facebook, and you will see a ROI that reflects that. Of course, you don’t have to do it all on your own! Our team is well versed in Facebook advertising for personal injury law firms. If you need help with your Facebook Advertising, contact us today.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. This is great, thank you for sharing. However, I do have one question. How much should I be spending if I want to target my whole state?

    1. Great question Ted! The best way to approach this would be to start with a test baseline. I would recommend spending $10 a day for four days to start. Then start scaling using the method discussed in the article. When you start to see diminishing returns on your cost per lead you need to check two things.

      1) How long have you been running the same ad? You may want to test a new ad because the diminishing returns may be due to the ad being seen too much. You can check the frequency in the breakdowns tab of your ad and see how many times people have been seeing your ad.

      2) You may be spending too much each day. Decrease the budget by $5 a day and see if your results become better. This may be the only fix you need!

      – Gavin

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