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Content Marketing

Five Characteristics of Highly Effective Legal Videos

By Michael Mogill

You can create a video that simply exists on your website, or you can create legal videos that help you capture new clients and cases. While there is no magic formula to creating effective legal video content, there are general rules and guidelines you can follow to ensure that your video is positioned for success.

If you’re venturing into the realm of video marketing for the first time (or if you’re looking to fine-tune your content), here are five common characteristics of highly effective legal videos.

1. Storytelling

People make decisions based on emotion. This is one of the main reasons why video marketing is so effective. More compelling than just facts on a screen, video allows you to humanize your law firm and connect viewers with your practice.

Effective legal videos build trust and engagement by telling the story of your practice, encouraging viewers to trust you in their time of need. But highly effective videos do this by emphasizing the why of your firm — not just the what. Of course you practice law, but why do you do what you do, and why should prospective clients choose you over every other attorney? The key here is to build rapport with viewers — to build a connection. It’s not enough to say, “We will fight for your case.” Every attorney says that. Highlight your passion and conviction through your personal story. Once you build a narrative that viewers can believe in, your video will drive engagement.

2. Differentiation

This may seem like Marketing 101, but a surprising number of attorneys struggle with this idea. There are thousands of attorney videos and, truthfully, nearly all of them look the same.

Sitting behind a desk and explaining your practice like every other attorney does will not differentiate your firm. You need unique content that compels viewers to watch.

Give thought to why people hire you. Go as far as asking clients why they chose you over every other attorney. This will give you an idea of the unique value that you offer clients; your unique differentiator.

Focus your video messaging to highlight the key value proposition that sets you apart from other firms, and you will be able to carve out your unique space in the market.

3. Focus on Your Audience

Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating — 89 percent — for all types of content marketing. So why are they rarely included in legal videos?

There’s a disconnect between what many attorneys find important and what the audience finds important. If your audience doesn’t care about your brand message they won’t hire you. Step back and determine the unique value that clients gain from hiring you, and then communicate that through your video content.

For example, if you’re a personal injury attorney, you provide legal services, but that’s not the core value that clients are looking for when they come to you. They are looking for a way to get compensation for their injuries that will lead to a better life. They want help out of an unfortunate situation.

If you use your video marketing to reflect your audience’s pain points while showing them the solution to their problem (hiring you), then you will see higher conversion rates from your video content.

4. Production Value

Your video is a direct reflection of your brand, and it will be the first impression many prospective clients have of your law firm. According to Brightcove, 62 percent of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a low-quality video, and 23 percent would hesitate to buy from the brand.

Traditionally, legal video content has not been of the highest quality, so high-quality production is one way that you can set yourself apart. Here are some questions to ask when producing your video marketing content:

  • Is it filmed with a professional, high-resolution camera?
  • Is this unique content (custom storyboarding, shot plans)?
  • Is the imagery visually engaging?
  • Do the graphics look professional (logo, titles, typography)?
  • Is there B-roll (supplemental footage inserted as a cutaway to help tell the story) used to establish scenes and diversify the shots?
  • Is there music to set a tone?
  • How is the audio quality?

Creating content that combines high-quality production with a targeted, tailored message will best position your video content to achieve your marketing goals.

5. Part of a Bigger Strategy: Where to Share It

One of the biggest mistakes law firms make is forgetting to consider how video content will tie into their overall marketing strategy. Where should you place your video on your website? Which marketing channels will you share it on?

Your website: For starters, research shows that videos embedded “above the fold” (the part of a website that is visible without scrolling) receive much higher play rates than videos placed below. If placed at the top of a webpage, play rates hover around 56 percent. If placed below the fold, play rates drop to 28 percent.

YouTube: In addition to your website, be sure to share your video content via YouTube. Behind Google, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. Google owns YouTube, so they highly favor YouTube and other video content when ranking web pages. In fact, websites with video are 53 times more likely to rank on Google’s first page. Just creating a video isn’t enough, though, as Google uses engagement rate (how much of your video content viewers watch) as a major ranking term for video content. Poor-quality content leads to viewers clicking away quickly, giving high-quality content higher ranking in searches.

Social media: Also, be sure to share video content via your social media channels. Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared via social media than other content types. When uploading a video to Facebook, be sure to embed it natively (upload directly to Facebook) rather than copy-pasting a link into the news feed. This is key because it will allow your video to autoplay when users scroll past, raising engagement.

Email: Another quick tip is to include video content in your email footer. Services like Xink provide tools that allow you to update your entire team’s email footer simultaneously, allowing you to send visually engaging emails to help seal the deal with prospective clients.

Although many factors determine a successful video marketing campaign, following these five steps will get you started on the right foot. Contemplate how video ties into your overall strategy, focus on your audience, consider your unique value proposition, communicate this message with stories, and convey it all with well-produced video content.

Illustration ©

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Michael Mogill

Michael Mogill is the President of Crisp Video Group, a national legal video marketing company that produces high-quality legal videos for attorneys all over the country. His company is consistently recognized for creating engaging videos that help attorneys increase case values and revenue. He has been featured in Forbes, Avvo, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and in ABA and PILMMA publications. Follow Michael @mmogill.

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