B2C vs. B2B Legal Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide for Attorneys

Attorneys face unique challenges when it comes to marketing their services. Top among them is understanding the fundamental differences between Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) marketing strategies. In this blog post, I’ll explore the distinctions between these two approaches and the most effective tactics for attorneys in each category. Additionally, we'll discuss the execution of a referral marketing campaign to maximize client acquisition.


B2C Marketing for Attorneys

Business to Consumer marketing primarily targets individual clients seeking legal services. These are often criminal, family, personal injury, and bankruptcy attorneys, to name a few. To effectively engage with potential clients, law firms should consider implementing the following tactics:


  1. Content Marketing: Creating informative and relevant content that addresses the legal concerns of the target audience can be highly effective. Blog posts, articles, and social media content that offer valuable insights and solutions can establish an attorney as an authority in their field and build trust with potential clients.
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Ensuring your website and content are optimized for relevant keywords will improve your online visibility and capture clients in their time of need. B2C attorneys should focus on local SEO to attract clients in their geographical area to maximize their efforts. 
  3. Social Media Marketing: Utilizing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), Threads, and TikTok to engage with potential clients can be beneficial. Visual content like infographics and videos can help attorneys showcase their expertise, stand out and humanize their brand. Often, the clients have a pain point they are trying to relieve and want to know that the attorney will do this for them. 
  4. Paid Advertising: B2C attorneys can invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to target specific demographics and geographical regions. Google Ads and social media advertising are excellent options for reaching potential clients directly.
  5. Online Reviews and Testimonials: Positive online reviews and client testimonials are powerful social proof for B2C attorneys. Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews on Google My Business and Yelp. Yes, Yelp. We’ve seen a number of B2C law firms driving significant traffic to their website from Yelp. 


B2B Marketing for Attorneys

Business to Business marketing focuses on acquiring corporate clients and law firm partnerships. Examples of B2B law firms include corporate, contract, intellectual property, employment, tax, and mergers and acquisitions attorneys. To reach potential B2B clients effectively, attorneys should consider implementing these tactics:

  1. Thought Leadership: Demonstrating expertise through thought leadership pieces, whitepapers, and speaking engagements can help attorneys gain recognition within their target industries. INGAGE manages the public relations efforts for high-level B2B attorneys who have significantly grown their books of business through public relations. 
  2. Email Marketing: Building an email list and sending personalized, informative newsletters can inform potential B2B clients about legal developments, showcase the firm’s capabilities and lead to inquiries. 
  3. Networking: Attorneys should actively participate in industry events, conferences, and networking groups to build relationships with potential corporate clients and other law firms.
  4. LinkedIn Marketing: LinkedIn is a powerful and often underutilized platform for B2B marketing. Attorneys should optimize their profiles, join relevant groups, and share valuable content to connect with decision-makers. At INGAGE, we manage the LinkedIn profiles for many B2B attorneys to ensure they are staying connected, engaging, and providing relevant content to their target clients and referral sources. 
  5. Referral Partnerships: Collaborating with non-competing businesses, such as accountants or financial advisors, can lead to referral partnerships that benefit both parties. 


Executing a Referral Marketing Campaign

Referral marketing is a cost-effective way for all attorneys to expand their client base but it’s even more crucial for B2B attorneys who often seek clients who work closely with other professionals. Consider these steps to execute a successful referral campaign:

  1. Identify Potential Partners: Determine which professionals or businesses have a client base that complements your legal services. Reach out to these individuals either via LinkedIn, email, phone calls, or attending events they attend. Once you’ve made contact, schedule a call or meeting to ensure your potential referral partner has a positive reputation and shares similar values.
  2.  Establish Clear Incentives: Offer incentives to both the referring party and the referred client. This could be monetary but doesn’t have to be. You can mutually agree to refer work to each other or oftentimes, business owners are just happy to introduce their clients to other like-minded individuals. 
  3. Create Branded Marketing Materials: Develop materials that referral partners can use to promote your legal services, such as brochures, business cards, or verbiage that can be drooped into an email. 
  4. Monitor and Track Referrals: Implement a system to track the referrals received from your partners. This will help you measure the campaign's effectiveness and show appreciation to your partners for their referrals.
  5.  Express Gratitude: Always thank your referral partners for their support and acknowledge the value they bring to your practice.


Stay Connected: In today’s fast-paced world, getting lost in the shuffle is easy. Be sure to implement a communication strategy to keep you in front of your referral sources. This can include connecting on LinkedIn and posting regularly, sending email blasts with resources they will find helpful, and scheduling regular check-ins. 

In summary, understanding the distinctions between B2C and B2B marketing is essential for attorneys looking to grow their client base. By implementing the right tactics for each category and executing a well-planned referral marketing campaign, attorneys can enhance brand visibility, attract new clients, and foster valuable relationships within their target markets. Embracing these strategies will pave the way for success in the competitive legal industry.


About the Author

Katherine Doble is the president and founder of INGAGE. Since founding the firm in 2011, Katherine has developed award-winning social media and online campaigns for all sizes of organizations, from top Fortune 500 companies to privately-owned businesses. 


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