Shield Your Eyes From Vanity Metrics

Advertising and marketing have changed significantly in the last 60 years. The most obvious one is technological advancement. In the 1960s, marketers relied on print media, radio, and television. These have been replaced with the internet, social media platforms, and smartphones. This shift not only speaks to how audiences are reached but also how they interact with marketing efforts (content), 

The other elements we need to look at are advanced analytical tools and the amount of data available to study and misinterpret. This should be no surprise to anyone, but this data is used to send targeted ads to specific demographics, people with particular interests, and even those with certain behaviors. Because of how much data is available to anyone who knows where to look, it has become too easy to focus on the wrong information. Clicks, visits, followers, engagement, and open rates are overrated and don’t tell the whole story. You have to look at correlation, not just causation. Relying on superficial data forces your firm down ineffective paths to reach goals that won’t get tangible results. 

Understanding Vanity Metrics 

Vanity metrics are numbers that look good on paper but don’t necessarily correlate with your law firm’s goals. Examples include likes, followers, and page views. These metrics are easy to measure but hard to link directly to revenue or long-term engagement. I often ask people if they would prefer 100,000 likes or $100,000. (If you read our blog, this exact question surfaces intermittently.) Vanity metrics inflate your perception of success without showing actual impact. 

For instance, a high number of social media followers does not guarantee that your content reaches or influences these followers due to algorithms that filter content delivery. This leads to people celebrating numbers that aren’t directly connected with a legitimate marketing effort, like getting more referrals. Likes or followers may increase, but this doesn’t mean these users engage with your content or will ever become clients. 

Focusing heavily on these metrics shifts your attention from important goals like referrals and the quality of your clients. If you are a business law attorney, having someone call you to ask whether you can help with their divorce is a waste for you and the potential client. The worst part is that people spend excessive money to boost these vanity metrics. These metrics are misleading and paint an unrealistic picture of where your firm truly stands. 

What You Should Be Focusing On

Focus on data that matters, such as increasing your referrals. By consistently positioning your firm as the authority through educational content, you will be top of mind when potential clients or fellow professionals need your services. This results in more referrals and repeat business, effectively closing the referral gap that many firms experience. Focus on the following:

  • How many people are in my audience?
  • How many referrals and repeat business am I getting from them?
  • Is my content providing as much as I expect to receive? Is there value in the information you’re sharing?
  • Is my marketing giving me better clients?
  • Has it been easier to convert a prospective client into a paying one? 
  • Can I charge the rates that I am worth?

Ultimately, any marketing effort aims to achieve a higher return on investment, and that’s where an effective content strategy delivers. It leads to better returns from all marketing initiatives, from networking to advertising. You’ll experience a better conversion rate, opening up more strategic opportunities to grow your firm’s presence and profitability. This alignment increases satisfaction for you and your client and enhances your practice’s efficiency and profitability. Focusing on these concrete results rather than getting distracted by vanity metrics, your firm can develop a stronger, more profitable, and sustainable practice.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!