Videos have proved to be an effective online marketing tool for attorneys. Not only is a video 50 times more likely to be picked up by a Google search than text, video provides an emotional element of persuasion that other media options don’t. Social media sites also understand the effectiveness of video, and display and promote video in unique ways.
From convincing attorneys to provide pro bono assistance to educating employers on the importance of updating HR policies, video provides an emotional connection that makes it an efficient marketing tool. At Allen Matkins, we have produced hundreds of videos. We continually try new tactics, test and analyze the results to ensure our videos are reaching the right audience. If you’ve decided to try your hand at video marketing, here are some steps to start promoting your video content.
It is easiest to host videos on YouTube. Not only because of YouTube’s wide reach and integration with Google — YouTube is the No. 2 search engine on the web — but because you can link YouTube-hosted videos to other sites. This will save you from uploading the video to multiple sites. Yes, you may see some ads or competitor video recommendations after yours runs, but if you want your video to be discoverable, it needs to be on YouTube. If your target audience can’t view videos due to company firewalls, you should look to Vimeo, Brightcove or Wistia.
Google looks at a number of factors when ranking videos in search results. Once you’ve uploaded your video, ensure your audience can find it.
- Make the video public.
- Select the correct tags, based on your keywords.
- Include a clear, short title.
- Write a detailed video description.
- Upload a transcript of the video. YouTube automatically generates a written transcript that can be used to display closed captions, but it doesn’t include punctuation or capitalization. YouTube provides tools that allow you to clean up the transcript, but it may be more cost-effective to use a service to generate clean transcripts and upload them yourself. We use Rev.
- Create your own thumbnail. YouTube will automatically generate a thumbnail by taking a screenshot from your video. However, you can upload your own image (we size them at 1920 x 1080 pixels), which is much more likely to be clicked on than automatically generated ones.
2. Connect Your Video to Your Existing Marketing Strategy
Now that your video is up on your hosting site and optimized for search, you should start linking the video to your other assets:
- Embed your videos on your website.
- Create playlists on YouTube with related videos.
- Send an email marketing your video. You’ll likely need to include an image in the email with a link to the video (either on your website or directly to YouTube), rather than embed the video into the email. Many people don’t have email that supports embedded video. It’s important that the image has a clear call to action, such as a play button. Here’s an example:
3. Post Your Videos on Facebook and Other Social Media Channels
While we advocate hosting your video in one place and linking to it from every other location, there is one exception: Facebook. Facebook videos are autoplayed for each user (as users scroll, the videos automatically start playing without pressing a play button). However, 85 percent of video on Facebook is played without sound. That means the transcripts are even more important. When you upload your video to Facebook, you should also upload your transcript so that Facebook plays your closed captions on the video.
Alternatively, you could create a different cut of your video that has text overlays built into the video instead of the closed captions.
Twitter also has a native video player. However, it is very limited compared with Facebook. Twitter videos can only be two minutes and two seconds long and no larger than 512 MB, whereas Facebook videos can be up to two hours long and 4 GB. We’ve had some success in uploading short promo videos on Twitter.
However, in our testing over the past few years, we’ve had more engagement when posting a captivating image on Twitter that links to a video.
LinkedIn currently does not have a native video application that allows you to upload and post to your network. To share on your feed or your company page, you must copy and paste your link from YouTube to your post on LinkedIn. When you do this, LinkedIn displays a preview image of your video (your customized thumbnail that you uploaded earlier) within your post. Don’t forget to add a link to the video on your profile page as well.
4. Use Email to Promote Your Videos
Email is universal and gives you the ability to target your videos effectively. Just remember to use an effective thumbnail with a call to action, and summarize your video in the text of the message.
5. Measure Results
Using the techniques discussed, you can maximize your investment in video and drive viewership. Online media, however, is continually changing. Remember to measure your results and adapt. We continually try new tactics, test and analyze results to ensure our videos are reaching the right audience.
Adam L. Stock (@adamlstock) is Chief Information Officer at Allen Matkins. He leads the firm’s technology operations, innovation and digital transformation initiatives. Prior to his current role, Adam served as the firm’s Chief Marketing and Client Services Officer. He is a frequent speaker on law firm technology, marketing and client service.
Stefanie Knapp (@StefanieKnapp) is the online marketing manager for Allen
Matkins. She manages the firm’s online communications initiatives, including the firm’s website, videos, and email marketing and social media campaigns.
This article originally appeared in “Engage! A Lawyer’s Guide to Social Media Marketing,” available for download here.
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