YouTube. The word evokes images of cute kittens, crazy stunts and viral video classics, like what happens when you mix Diet Coke and Mentos. It’s not where you would expect to find interesting and helpful videos on timely legal topics by some of the leading lawyers on the planet. Yet. In September, I was a panelist in a webinar focused on using video in the legal marketing mix, along with marketing innovators Adam Stock and Adam Severson.
The webinar, sponsored by the Legal Marketing Association Social Media SIG, offered a primer on marketing videos for lawyers, and here are some key points.
Why Use Video?
All three panelists have all used video to market lawyers and their services. Adam Stock, who is CMO of Allen Matkins, explained that web pages that feature video are 40 to 50 times more likely to end up on the first page of Google search results. “Google loves video,” he said. “It is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).” He added that Allen Matkins’ website saw 30 percent more traffic after the firm started to use video on its home page, and the site now features more than 150 videos.
“Video gives you the ability to deliver emotion like no other media. It’s the best way to capture an attorney’s personality. Clients hire lawyers, not firms. Video gives clients a chance to get to know our lawyers,” said Stock.
“At Allen Matkins we took an approach of experimenting by creating videos of types of communications we would normally do with clients. This provided us a basis for comparing the performance of videos to written or online communications formats. The strategy that we used and the results that we got are summarized in this video, which was created for the 2012 LMA Your Honor Awards.”
Adam Seversen, who is CMO of Baker Donelson, saw an increase in web traffic of more than 500 percent once his firm started to promote its Entrepreneur Minute videos. Baker Donelson sends a weekly email to a growing list to promote its Emerging Companies industry group, featuring a one- to three-minute video on topics of interest to entrepreneurs. The practice group’s page quickly became the most visited practice group page on the website, and the weekly email and video tip has attracted attention of traditional media and has been reposted on industry blogs.
Well-produced video on law firm websites can build credibility for the attorneys and the firm. Video is also very mobile-device friendly—somethings that’s worth considering since as much as 30 percent of law firm web traffic originates from a phone or tablet.
When to Use Video?
The panelists described using video in a variety of ways, including:
- Microsites promoting a particular industry or practice group. Videos become mini-news stories to illustrate an aspect of the law or how a court ruling could affect clients.
- Event invitations or announcements. Brief videos can be used to create excitement around a conference, seminar or merger announcement.
- Community involvement. Video is a powerful way to communicate stories, including how an attorney’s involvement in a charity makes a difference in people’s lives.
- Highlighting and recognizing clients of the firm (with their written permission, of course).
- Introducing a new service, product or solution to a complex problem.
- Email newsletters and blogs.
- Internal communications about a new initiative, service or practice group.
How Do I Start Using Video?
The panelists agreed on some basic start-up concepts:
- Start with something newsworthy—for example, a topic you might include in a client newsletter. Avoid boring “about the firm” or “attorney bio” videos. Snooze.
- Consider hiring a professional videographer and editor to start out. Aim for broadcast-level production levels. After you get the hang of it, considering buying a quality HD camera, editing software and training someone in your firm to edit and produce videos.
- Animations, professional titling and graphics make a video more like what people are accustomed to seeing on television, and therefore appear more professional.
- Be aware of small things that can be a distraction, such as background noise and bad lighting.
- Keep the video no more than three to five minutes long.
- Host your video on Youtube.com, rather than on your website, and simply embed the link on your website or blog page.
- Promote your video content through social media and distribution channels such as JDSupra.com and conveycontent.com.
Dig Deeper : Sample Videos
Here are sample videos from the panelists:
- Internal launch video developed for Faegre Baker Daniels to generate excitement and enthusiasm for its merger
- Entertaining promotional video invitation for Faegre & Benson’s complex litigation seminar
- Entrepreneur Minute videos promoting Baker Donelson’s Emerging Companies practice
- Introduction of new Baker Donelson lateral to firm
- Legal alerts describing changes in the law, intended for clients and potential clients
- Video press releases/thought leadership videos focused on industry survey results and insights
- Events/thought leadership videos spotlighting industry developments
- Community involvement videos used for clients and recruitment
- Legal Marketing Insights, 25 interviews of marketing and business development professionals used for online training and knowledge sharing
- Business Class Series videos of innovative clients (right column)
Mark Beese is President of Leadership for Lawyers, LLC , a consultancy dedicated to helping lawyers become better business developers and leaders. He also teaches Marketing and Business Development at the University of Denver Sturm School of Law. Mark is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and the former CMO of Holland & Hart.