With the year-over-year increase in online activity, it makes sense for law firm marketers to look closely at options to expand the firm’s online presence. A recent “tweet” from CNN’s Twitter feed showed that for the first time ever more viewers get their news online than from radio or newspapers. Paper phone directories are rapidly becoming obsolete as searchers hit Google or the online versions of the white and yellow pages.
There are many options to expand your firm’s online presence, including various social media sites, blogging, online ads, or pay-per-click advertising. Video offers an additional way for you to reach out and educate prospective clients. A recent Nielsen survey in January 2010 showed that YouTube had over 100 million visitors who viewed over 6 billion video streams! Google’s Local Business Center now even allows you to link a YouTube video to your Google listing so that people searching Google can click on the clip and view it.
Video can be integrated with your website, uploaded to YouTube or even created as a stand-alone program to run in a paid-advertising spot. There are a few things to know before you create that video:
- Your goal for the video is NOT to sell, but instead to educate
- The video doesn’t necessarily have to be a slick professional production – sometimes a clip with a “real” person using a regular camcorder can be just as effective
- Point of caution – you still need to carefully choose clothing and keep visual appearance crisp. A ‘sweaty’ lawyer on video can come across as untrustworthy, have powder on hand. Take a test shot and look objectively at the appearance and make the needed adjustments.
- Determine the audience you wish to reach ahead of time and gear your video to that audience; your on-camera speaker and the actual script he or she follows will change based on the practice area and anticipated audience
- Be specific in your topic – choose one topic and provide a mid-range of detail
- Keep it interesting and relevant
- Length is less important than content and value – a boring 2-minute video will have viewers backing out, while an interesting 5 minute clip may keep their attention
- If you post the video on YouTube, make sure you reference relevant keywords so potential viewers can find your video
Remember that most consumers don’t think much about the law until they are impacted personally by a legal issue. Whether they have been involved in a car accident, need a will, are going through a divorce, or have been arrested for DWI, all of a sudden they need a lawyer or advice. Your goal in producing and posting a video is to begin a long-term conversation with potential clients, educating them before that need arises. Video can be a cost-effective alternative to market your law firm.
For more information about using video to market your law firm, or to learn about LMA’s innovative educational television news program format Spotlight on the Law, please contact Lauren Black at firstname.lastname@example.org.