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Cost of Digital vs. Traditional Advertising: How Much Should Law Firms Spend?

Advertising a law firm could require a reasonable budget. This is of course considering the presence of other established law firms who already have loyal customers. However, if well executed, the returns are worth the investment. Law firms can choose between two advertising methods, both of which cost different and have different returns. They can opt for traditional or digital advertising depending on their willingness to spend and expected Return On Investment (ROI). 

Comparing Digital And Traditional Advertising 

The final choice between the two types of advertising can be made after Comparing cost of Digital and Traditional Advertising. First, traditional advertising uses television, print media, radio, billboards, and mail advertising. On the other hand, digital advertising uses pay-per-click advertisement, video marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. This type of advertising seeks to exploit the areas that traditional advertising hasn’t touched yet.  

As both these advertising models have advantages, assess which type seems worth your money. Also, law firms should know how much they should pay when advertising their businesses. 

Costs Of Digital Advertising 

In contrast, digital marketing is more affordable for law firms, and low investment can achieve better results. Also. the number of social media users has increased over the years. If a law firm opts to use social media advertising, it might reach a broader audience without too many expenses. 

Secondly, pay-per-click advertisement has a high ROI as the law firm will be charged once a visitor clicks the advertisement links. This also means you don’t pay for unclicked links. 

Digital advertising is scalable as you can grow your marketing strategies and social media pages with your business simultaneously. Thus, it keeps all the operations in your law firm on the same page. With this, you don’t spend more money advertising when your law firm can’t handle an influx of clients at the moment.

Cost Of Traditional Advertising 

Traditional advertising costs more, and smaller law firms may struggle to maintain their business budget while meeting their marketing goals. The costs of traditional advertising majorly lie in the cost of operations. For example, radio stations and newspapers have digital editions such as websites to simultaneously run activities while still maintaining traditional broadcasting.

These costs have to be covered by the revenue generated by the media, which includes those paid by law firms to advertise. Typically, the cost of advertising will be increased to cater to the operational costs. 

Moreover, producing a TV commercial requires a bigger budget because of shooting and other expenses. Secondly, television channels can increase the prices depending on the season. For instance, the advertisement might cost more during the Christmas period than other times.  

How Much Should Law Firms Pay

Deciding on the right amount of money to pay for both traditional and digital advertisement is a very important decision to make. Your law firm should avoid cases where more money is spent on an advertisement with less to no meaningful returns. 

Therefore, you should budget for your marketing correctly. Most experts recommend that businesses allocate 2% and 18% of the gross revenue to the advertising budget.  However, for law firms, the recommended amount for advertising should not cost more than 10% of the gross revenue. 10% of the gross revenue is ideal for law firms that deal with a steady stream of clients such as personal injury law firms and criminal defense law firms. 

However, law firms that deal with government agencies and other institutions like hospitals can spend as little as 3% of their gross revenue on advertising. 

Also, the amount of money that law firms should spend depends on the nature of the firm. This means, that established law firms will spend less of their gross income on advertising and new firms will spend more of their gross income on an advertisement. New firms can increase their advertising budget to around 15% while the established company can only spend 2% to 5% of their total revenue on advertising. 

This is because new law firms will require more money to create brand awareness. On the other hand, established companies already have loyal customers, and their advertising strategy may not require as much revenue as starting law firms.


As discussed, both the two advertising models are still relevant to law firms today. However, traditional advertising could cost more even though it guarantees a bigger audience and better memory of your business. In contrast, digital marketing is more cost-effective as you only pay once a visitor clicks your link. Also, with digital advertising, you could scale your advertising strategies as your business grows. Therefore, it might be a wise choice if law firms spend money on digital marketing. 

Author Bio

David Shaw is a legal marketing specialist. He shares his insights through guest post blogging. David loves skiing and camping during his leisure time.

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