The Creative Process: From Idea to Action

When it comes to the creative process, if you let a creative team run amok without any sort of road map, you will spend a LOT of time reeling them back in. The creative process ultimately hinges on defining a clear idea of what you want to say to resonate with your audience and to whom you want to say it.

Once a direction is strategized and your creative team is given time to percolate some ideas, they will delve into deeper thinking:

  • Does the concept fit the firm’s brand?
  • Does the concept serve the brand?
  • Can your budget support the concept?
  • If not, what creative ways can you explore to solve the cost issue?
  • Who are you trying to reach, and does the concept speak to your audience?
  • If not, is it really the right concept?

As much as concepting and ideation is critical to the creative process, trust is also a huge issue! Your creative team (if they’re any good) will understand your business, your target audience, and your firm. As a client, are you willing to trust their expertise? On the flipside, are you prepared to share your expertise to fine tune theirs?

You are as much a part of the creative process as the creative team is. Clarity of goal, an open mind and working with a team you can trust will help get you where you want to be, every single time. If you’d like to know more about how Network Affiliates can help you elevate your brand and your creative, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve been helping law firms turn ideas into success since 1981. Give us a call at 888-461-1016 or visit us at

OTT/CTV = Streaming TV….an Opportunity

In this exceptional world filled with advertising, media, mediums, channels and ever evolving targeting options, I invite you to ask yourself this question…. Am I leveraging my advertising investment to the fullest? If you invest in advertising at all for your law firm, you know along with branding your name, expertise, service and results via traditional media, nowadays there are literally numerous expanding opportunities within which to promote your brand.

The Legal Services category is one of the most competitive advertising verticals in the country. With more dollars being poured into your market every year, it’s become more challenging to not only defend and protect your market share, but to realize growth as well. So, what to do? Embrace and explore “new” media. 

One such example is Streaming Television (OTT/CTV). This is a thriving and expanding medium that complements traditional media and may expand your voice in the market by at least one third. According to Comscore’s State of Streaming report, as of 2022, 77.5 million U.S. households use ad-supported streaming services (Please read that again). In fact, more than one half of consumers (55%) use at least one free ad-supported streaming TV service for their program consumption viewing habits.

The national average of homes that receive their TV programming without access to traditional cable or satellite services (known as BBO, Broad-Band Only homes) is now above 30%. So, if you are not utilizing OTT/CTV as part of your overall media strategy, you could be missing out on reaching a significant percentage of your market. And yes, every market is different. According to Nielsen November 2022 data, the Seattle and Atlanta DMAs tie for #1 in terms of market percentage of BBO homes at 41%, and the West Palm Beach DMA has the lowest percentage of BBO homes at 20%. 

Really understanding what and how an OTT/CTV strategy can be an effective option in your marketing plan is critical in implementing a successful campaign. If you have questions (…and you should), we have answers. We enjoy exploring new opportunities and hope you do as well. Feel free to reach out via phone at 800-525-3332, and ask for Tammy Kehe, or email at

55+: Influencers and Decision Makers

In an era of “Boomerangers” and rising housing costs there are more multigenerational households than we’ve seen in decades. As a result of better healthcare and lifestyle changes, the 55+ demographic is actively holding influence over their families and their communities.

If you look at the 55-64 population today, you’re looking at 100% of Gen Xers and over 50% of Baby Boomers. They have significant decision-making power, watch more traditional linear television, and comprise the largest group of news viewers in the United States.

Does your marketing strategy embrace the 55+ audience? If not, should it? Is your brand relevant in this circle of influence and reaching the largest decision-making demographic in the country? They’re watching, they’re listening, and they’re sharing information! That could mean thousands of additional influencers in your market saying, “I saw this lawyer on TV,” “Did you call (x) law firm? They are confident and experienced and know what they’re talking about,” and even better…. “Yes! I have heard of that firm. I used them for my accident and…”

If you aren’t embracing this audience in your media strategy (and yes, creative strategies as well), you are missing out on a mind-boggling opportunity to influence the influencers, and subsequently expand your brand awareness and your market share. To learn more about how Network Affiliates can leverage our expertise with your media and creative strategy and execution (or if you just want to know what a “Boomeranger” is!) give us a call at 1-800-525-3332 (and ask for Tammy Kehe) or visit us at

Live Your Brand Promise

– by Tammy Kehe

What’s your brand promise? First of all, your brand isn’t your firm name, your logo, or even your business’s specialty. Brands are perceptions that live in the hearts and minds of people. They’re about the emotional and psychological connection a person experiences with you, your law firm and the service you provide. What’s more, the apex of successful brand building isn’t just to be well known or recognizable…it’s to be respected, trusted, and even loved.

Which brings us to defining your firm’s brand promise. What’s your firm’s “because”? What makes your brand better, special, and the best choice for representation in your market’s legal landscape?

When people talk about your business behind closed doors, what are they saying? What do you hope they say? Imagine a former client is referring your firm to a friend or family member. They might say: “You should call them because they were there for me every step of the way and you can trust them.”

When your employees, clients, neighbors, friends, referral sources, and other thought leaders talk about your law firm, they need something differentiating, elevating, compelling, and honest to say about the relationships and experiences had by those who work with you—that’s your brand promise.

If you’d like to know how Network Affiliates can help you get the most out of your brand and your brand promise, we’d love to hear from you. Call us today at 888-461-1016, or let us know you’re interested online, and we’ll get in touch with you.

Google Suspends My Business Features During COVID-19

Google responded to the COVID-19 outbreak by sending workers home and operating with a limited support team. This temporarily removes certain Google My Business (GMB) features and delays for remaining features are expected.

According to Google, they’re prioritizing “critical health-related businesses and services” to ensure the public has access to important health and safety information amid the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Client Reviews Are Unavailable

New reviews, new review replies, Q&A, and all videos are currently unavailable. Google has given no indication of when these features will return.

While unclear, it’s believed new reviews will be saved and published after Google resumes normal operations. However, with so many reviews getting backlogged, it’s unclear how quickly they will appear.

That being said, now is NOT a good time to ask clients for new reviews. More importantly, asking for a review may not be received well during these difficult times.

Click here to explore our community communication guidelines amid COVID-19.

Log new client information in a reliable place and ask for reviews once Google has made it clear the review process is back to normal.

Business Information

Business information edits are significantly delayed. This includes changes to hours of operation, temporary closures, business descriptions, and attributes.

However, it’s critical that any changes to your operation be reflected in your GBM profile. According to Google, the best way to make these critical edits is via business attributes or posts.

The post functionality, specifically, has been called out by Google as a reliable way to get important information to your clients. Click here for instructions on how to create a post.

Google has also recommended using the COVID-19 post type, which will make the content more noticeable to clients.

Claims, Verifications, New Listings

Claims, verifications and new listings are currently delayed for all non-critical businesses.

Google’s limited support team is manually reviewing new content for health-related businesses and services—it’s unclear how Google plans to prioritize new claims, verifications, and listings for all other businesses.

Frustrated? You’re Not Alone…

If you’re having trouble updating information on GMB, you’re in good company.

Fortunately, there are other ways to get clients the information they need:

  • Add operational changes to your website’s homepage. A pop-up window or top banner will help call attention to important updates.
  • Share operational changes on social media and update business descriptions on these platforms to reflect changes taking place amid COVID-19.
  • Email your client database to help spread the word. Connecting with past clients is also a great way to improve referral business.

While there are certainly challenges your business will face as Google continues to make adjustments, Network Affiliates is here to help.

Connect with our team online or call our office directly at 888-461-1016.

Law Firm Marketing Amid COVID-19

A Message From Your Partners at Network Affiliates

We recognize that with the constantly changing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, this is an unprecedented time for everyone—it’s also unchartered territory for your business.

As a dedicated partner to you and your law firm, we’re compelled to share our strategic thoughts on navigating the difficult road ahead.

Community Communication Guidance

Make no mistake, COVID-19 will impact every sector and industry. We don’t know what the world will look like following this pandemic, so it’s critical that your business is agile and willing to change with the needs of your community.

Right now, consumers are being bombarded with information on every news station, in their social media feeds and inboxes. It’s important that your communications and messaging emphasize your organization’s integrity without pandering to fear or opportunity.

If you feel compelled to communicate with your audience directly, whether via social media, in an email, or on TV, remember that people need to feel safe right now. You and your firm can help establish that safety by being a community supporter, a source of information, and a trusted brand.

What you say to your community, and how you say it, will impact the community’s perception of your brand well after the crisis is over. Creativity, compassion, and relevancy are important concepts to consider throughout the evolving COVID-19 situation:

  • Creativity—messaging that mimics what competitors are saying is likely to get lost.
  • Compassion—people cope differently with stress and anxiety. Be sensitive to the needs of your community.
  • Relevancy—make sure the right message reaches the right people at the right time.

If you need help communicating the right words to the right people, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our in-house team includes creative and media experts who will ensure your message hits the mark on TV, social media, email, etc.

Let’s talk about intake, too. Intake communication has never been more important. With calls down as much as 80 percent in some markets, the outcome of each call matters more today than it did just a month ago.

Is your intake team anxious or preoccupied? How might these feelings translate on a call? What’s more, your team may be fielding questions they’re not prepared to answer. How are you helping them prepare?

Your intake team represents your brand on every single call. This is a golden opportunity to improve your intake process. Use this time to listen to your intake calls and mentor your intake team.

The people calling your law firm are undoubtedly worried, and the COVID-19 situation only makes matters worse. Be sensitive to the many ways people are coping with stress by preparing your intake team.

How Can Your Law Firm Make A Difference?

Many of our clients are already active in the community, providing college scholarships, free rides home, youth helmet programs, and much more.

Consider assessing how your law firm plans to utilize funds typically set aside for community outreach. Since we don’t know how long the COVID-19 crisis will last or what the lingering implications will be, think critically about what your community needs today; for example:

  • As schools across the country shut down and move to online learning, some kids don’t have access to a computer or the internet at home. Reach out to your local school district and find out if children in your community need help getting geared up for online learning.
  • In addition to teaching students, public schools provide 22 million children with free or reduced-price lunch. There are several organizations responding to this food crisis including Feeding America and No Kid Hungry. Donations to your local foodbank can also help ensure kids in your community don’t go hungry.
  • Healthcare workers, police, and firefighters are working overtime and local restaurants are struggling. Consider buying frontline workers lunch or dinner from a local restaurant that participates in takeout or delivery options.

Business as usual won’t work right now—not for you, your practice, or your clients. Think about what your law firm planned to do this year in terms of outreach, and ask yourself: is this what my community needs right now?

More importantly, making a difference doesn’t mean a state-wide relief plan. In fact, the biggest difference you can make is how you care for your employees.

For many workers, this may be their first time working from home or adjusting to a virtual office. They may need supplies, hardware, or time to turn a guest room into a productive work space—and a lot of these things cost money. Make sure employees have what they need to do their jobs well at home.

Parents are also facing unique challenges as they juggle child care, home schooling, and round-the-clock family meals. Be flexible with their new schedule and they’ll find unique ways to be productive at home.

Be patient with employees as they make this transition. We don’t know how long social distancing and self-quarantine will be mandated—anticipating for the worst could be the safest bet. If working from home lasts longer than expected, your employees (and your business!) will be prepared.

Sadly, some law firms may face furloughs or employee layoffs, and we know the thought of this keeps you up at night. If you’re worried about taking care of your team, remember that employees can’t collect unemployment benefits unless they’re officially let go. Compelling employees to quit is not recommended, as they will undoubtedly have a difficult time securing new employment during the outbreak.

Doing right by your employees can make all the difference in the world—but if you have the means to do more for your community, think about what would make the biggest impact—this may mean pausing your firm’s annual charity events or programs and returning to them next year.

Digital Spaces Are Exploding

In addition to community outreach, there are alternative ways to reach out to your community. As social lives shift toward digital spaces, there are new opportunities to engage consumers online.

Leverage your brand on digital platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

YouTube, for example, has 2 billion logged-in monthly users and is the second most-preferred platform for watching video on TV screens among those aged 18 to 34. (The only platform that has greater viewership is Netflix and Netflix doesn’t run ads.)

Safety recommendations during COVID-19 may extend social distancing, which means consumers will turn to digital spaces for education, information, and entertainment. Your law firm can meet consumers in these virtual spaces with minimal spending and a large audience footprint.

Facebook is another digital space your law firm should explore right now. Facebook has powerful audience targeting tools that deliver extreme precision with even a modest advertising budget. Plus, Facebook is reporting a surge in usage across the globe due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Use Facebook to test out new practice areas; we’ve seen great success with campaigns focused on nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, large truck accidents, and more.

Facebook advertising doesn’t need to be complicated or even service focused—in fact, a few kind words, an entertaining video, or a charitable announcement can foster community while maintaining brand recognition.

As we suggested in the first section, explore your creativity, be compassionate, and keep it relevant. YouTube and Facebook are great ways to reach out to your community because it’s where your community is right now.  

The Elephant in the Room: Television Advertising

Social distancing and self-quarantine will undoubtedly impact the number of drivers on the road and, subsequently, the number of accident-related calls your office receives. Your biggest competitors, however, (the insurance companies) are ramping up their marketing.

Reports indicate quarantined consumers are using their extra time at home to review insurance policies, and insurance companies are responding by remaining steadfast in their TV advertising.

Now is a critical time to reflect on the creative commercials your law firm is running—if not auto accidents, this may be a good time to showcase other practice areas (e.g., large truck accidents, nursing home neglect/abuse, etc.).

We also encourage you to consider custom messaging that speaks to the COVID-19 situation, specifically. This is a great time to simply offer support to your community by letting them know they can still access quality legal services via phone, email, or virtual meeting.

Many of our clients have already taken advantage of our in-house creative and production capabilities to enhance their TV campaigns with relevant, timely messaging.

From everyone at Network Affiliates, we remain firmly committed to your brand and business as we embark together on the challenges ahead.

Please know that as your strategic media and marketing partner, we will continue to shepherd your investment throughout these trying times.

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay connected.  

Optimize Efficiency to Supercharge a Media Investment

Legal advertisers know that success isn’t always about how much you spend—it’s how effectively you can spend it.

And while media agencies can certainly spend your money, how are you, the attorney, able to ensure you got what you paid for?

Attorneys and law firms can improve the efficacy of a media investment by analyzing the past and improving financial transparency.

If you’re not getting these things from your current agency, what else could you be missing?

The Post-Buy Analysis

Rates have been negotiated with TV stations and sales reps. The inventory has been purchased and the spots have aired or published. Is this the end of your campaign?

Not by a long shot…

To ensure all advertising ran as requested and that you received the rating and impressions you purchased, your agency should provide a comprehensive post-buy analysis.

A post-buy analysis will help you answer questions like:

  • Did you get the ratings you paid for? If not, who’s following up to get no-charge spots or other value-add bonuses to make up for what was missed?
  • How successful was the reach? Understanding audience behavior and demographic data is essential to future media opportunities.
  • How effective was the buy? Ad rates can fluctuate by quarter. Comparing your agency’s estimated cost and the actual spend can help inform future buys. 

At Network Affiliates, we use post-buy analyses to measure the effectiveness of a schedule’s performance after it runs and to hold stations accountable on behalf of our clients.

If your ad campaigns aren’t getting the attention they deserve, you could be overspending or leaving real money on the table.

Billing Transparency

What does your monthly media invoice look like? Do you get affidavits of performance from every station on the buy? Are the totals listed in gross dollars or net?

Not every agency handles billing the same way. Some agencies report net totals, separating agency fees and commissions. While not necessarily inaccurate, this can lead to confusion.

What’s more, some agencies blind bill their clients, an accounting practice that consolidates campaign purchases into one lump sum, which effectively avoids important details like what creative ran, when it ran, and what the agency is charging compared to the buy.

Do you get to see each commercial itemized on a station invoice? Maybe, maybe not.

Transparent billing is the only way to know that your marketing investment is being managed effectively.

At Network Affiliates, your top sheet invoice includes all your media purchases on a monthly basis. This can include your broadcast TV and cable buys, billboard campaigns, radio buys, etc.

Plus, instead of sending checks to a dozen different stations, our administrators manage the entire billing process seamlessly.

Billing transparency is essential to how we run our business. If your current agency isn’t willing to review their billing procedures with you, ask yourself, why?

To learn more about Network Affiliates or to schedule a free competitive market analysis and/or media audit call 888-461-1016 or fill out this quick contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing: What’s Right for Your Practice?

If traditional marketing has performed well for you in the past, why go digital? Or, if you’re already in the digital space, why spend more money on traditional marketing?

Here’s a quick look at both to help you decide.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing (or outbound marketing) has a long history; it’s well-researched, and proven to get a message in front of a large, attentive audience.

Traditional marketing includes virtually all advertising before the internet: TV advertising, direct mail, billboards, print, radio, you name it.

Think of traditional marketing as a large paintbrush: it covers a lot quickly but can lack important detail.

Traditional marketing works. Data shows that television and radio advertising are still top performers. It continues to be a primary source of lead generation for nearly every business in every conceivable industry, and there’s still no better way to build brand recognition.

But in the digital age, can you ignore the efficacy of digital marketing?

Digital Marketing

If traditional marketing is your large brush, digital marketing lets you create fine brush strokes.

Digital marketing can target an audience with near granular precision, taking into account several parameters simultaneously (e.g., age, interest, location, etc.).

Digital marketing includes a range of online approaches: website design, search engine optimization (SEO), written and video content, the list goes on and on.

More importantly, digital marketing allows your practice to nurture relationships with prospective, current, and former patients. And what’s more important than building relationships with the people you serve?

Social media marketing, for example, maximizes the best-known marketing tool: word of mouth. And these days, few things are more trusted than a personal recommendation.

Finally, digital marketing capitalizes on interest, especially, using various tools to drive prospects to your digital doorstep.

However, there are trillions of doors in the digital landscape. But with effective digital marketing, you can be sure the right user gets to the right door at the right time.

Get the Best of Both Worlds

If you’ve already enjoyed success with traditional marketing, don’t abandon what you’re doing for a digital-only plan. Traditional methods work, but you wouldn’t believe how much more effective those efforts can be combined with digital marketing.

And if you’re already in the digital space, why not boost your web traffic and analytics with a TV branding campaign?

Combining traditional with digital guarantees your practice is making the most of its marketing dollars. Working with an experienced legal marketing agency ensures the right combination.

What does your mix look like? Let’s find out! A quick phone call can get the ball rolling today. Call 888-461-1016, or contact Network Affiliates online, and we’ll get in touch with you.


Content Creation Tips For Your Website

Content is your website’s workhorse. It can motivate visitors to contact your business or quickly send them to your competition.

Creating “great content” is easier said than done. Everyone, ourselves included, would like every blog post, infographic, or video to be a home run. But that’s not how it works in reality.

Some do well. Some are duds. But we’re a digital marketing company. That’s our job – we make content, analyze, and improve it.

But what if you’ve just started your law firm and don’t have the budget for a company like us? Or maybe you’re a marketer tasked with maintaining an attorney’s blog?

Do you know where to start?

That’s what we’re going to answer. Here are some tips you can use to create content topics for your law firm’s blog.

Finding Topics

There’s no “one size fits all” approach to topic generation. You can get ideas from questions your intake specialists have answered, question-based queries you’ve found in Google Search Console or Google Analytics.

You can also scour your site’s form submissions for topic ideas.

Regardless of where ideas come from, there’s no way you can remember all of them. Make a list in either a small notepad or a digital note taker like Google Keep. Jot down the general topic, why you thought it was interesting, and the original source if applicable.

You may not use all of them, and that’s fine. But at the very least, you’ll have some ideas to fall back on when you draw a blank in the future.

Traditional brainstorming works, too. If you have time, get together with other people in your firm to come up with ideas. They’ll bring a different point of views to the table and suggest ideas you may not have thought of.

And if all else fails, there are multiple topic generators available online. This one from Hubspot spits out a few ideas for you.

Generators are helpful, no doubt, but they’re by no means perfect.

Once you have some topic ideas to work with, it’s on to the next step.

Format and Creation

Next: what is the best way to present the information you want to share? Blog post? Podcast? Infographic? Video? Text?

It’s your website. Your content. The format you chose is only limited by time and talent.

Speaking of talent, you’ll need to figure out who’s creating the piece. Perhaps you’ll take it on yourself if you have the time, or you may delegate it to someone in the firm as a collateral duty.

If you don’t have the time or talent, there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing the work to a freelancer or a marketing company.

Cost might be a factor, so shop around to find the best combination of price and quality, but be careful. If you pay five bucks for a blog post, it’s going to read like a five-dollar blog post.

Know Your Audience

When creating content, try to understand the person that’s going to interact with it.

Yes, you can create personas, but that will require more time and resources than you probably have available. And if you’re starting with a new website, a persona will demand a lot of information that you won’t have yet.

Personas work by helping you identify your audience and create content they’ll act on. But personas seem to work better for companies selling a product or service to a specific audience.

But you don’t need personas to understand who your audience is.

As an injury law firm, you know that your audience is:

  • An injured victim or their family member
  • Stressed out about their current situation
  • Looking for help
  • Probably not a lawyer

The best advice is to keep it simple. If you’re writing a service page or blog post like you would a legal brief, you’ll lose a lot of people before delivering your pitch.

Keep your audience’s needs top of mind when writing content for them.

Content Needs a Goal

The content you’re working on needs a purpose. Do you want to generate cases? Do you want to improve interactions on your social properties? Or is it an informative piece, letting site visitors know about important changes in the law?

Your content should have one goal.

By limiting the content’s workload, it’s easier to see if the content was a success or needs adjusting. If it’s successful, you can make an educated guess as to why it was a success and replicate it for the next piece.

If it underperforms, figure out what went wrong and don’t make the same mistake. Or change the current content and see if you get better results. Take notes as you make these adjustments.

There isn’t one “right way” to create a piece of content. Companies like Hubspot and Moz offer helpful tips you can use to get the most out of your effort. But at the end of the day, trial and error work best for a specific audience.

If content generation is new to your law firm, there may be more failures ahead than successes. Don’t give up. It gets easier over time.

Measuring Success

However you define successful content, free tools like Google Analytics, Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Facebook or Twitter Analytics make it easy to measure.

If your firm has a Facebook page or Twitter account, you won’t have to do anything but login and monitor your posts.

Google Analytics, Search Console, and Bing’s Webmaster Tools need to be set up before you use them. All three are free, but someone will need to add a few snippets of code to the backend of your website.

The goal or purpose you gave to the content will determine what analytics data you review. For example, if you wanted a piece to do well on social media, you’d look at data from Facebook and Twitter.

Google Analytics and Search Console show if people spent a lot of time on the page or converted to leads. And Google’s Search Console and Bing’s Webmaster Tools would give you a rough idea of how the piece is performing in search results.

The data you find should inform the changes you make in new content, and it will ultimately drive your success.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Odds are your content won’t do as well as you’d hoped. That’s fine. Analyzing content gives you a chance to see what worked and what didn’t.

If you think something worked, replicated it on your next piece to see if you were right. Conversely, if you think something specific caused the content’s failure, make that change and see what happens.

Again, there’s no silver bullet to content creation. It’s a never-ending wheel of content ideation, creation, and publication with each piece (hopefully!) performing better than the last.

If you have questions about content marketing, don’t hesitate to call content professionals for help.

At Network Affiliates, we offer a range of content services that’ll work for your audience and budget while supporting a comprehensive media strategy.

Call us today at 888-461-1016, or let us know you’re interested online and we’ll get in touch with you!

Are These Social Networks Worth Your Time?

Snapchat and Instagram are two visual social media platforms with big user bases.

Between 150 and 166 million people use Snapchat every day, while Instagram pulls in numbers north of 500 million.

With so many users, should law firms be marketing on Snapchat and Instagram?

We’re diving into these platforms and explaining how they work, what they do, who uses them, and if they’re worth your firm’s time and money.  Continue reading “Are These Social Networks Worth Your Time?”