In a new blog series, mmadigital's Dez Derry examines the challenges faced by lawyers in gaining competitive advantage through digital marketing. In his inaugural post, he looks at the growing role of video in law firm marketing.
Thankfully the days when law firm marketing was no more than a bright shiny brochure have moved on. More and more law firms now have digital marketing at the heart of their marketing strategy and are engaging with clients in ever more creative ways.
One particular area that has witnessed rapid growth is video. Whether to convey a complicated message, highlight a new product, or even just to do something fun and quirky, a video is an ideal way to engage an audience and can create a strong following.
Who's doing what
There been some great examples recently, Riverview Law’s tongue in cheek look at the hourly-rate struck a chord with general counsel and raised a few laughs to boot. On a more serious note, a series of videos from industrial disease firm Roberts Jackson offered a very personal message from its solicitors and featured first-hand experiences from claimants, which had the phones ringing and accountancy firm Mitchell Charlesworth used the power of video to showcase its work in the context of clients’ businesses.
However, law firms are habitual rule breakers when it comes to making good videos, falling into the same traps time and time again. For every firm getting it right, there seems to be another getting it wrong. I’ll save the blushes of the bad and ugly by instead offering up some insights on where law firm videos most often go wrong:
Wake me up when it’s finished
I have lost count of the number of videos I have viewed, or started to view, only to have hit the escape button after five minutes. Countless research studies have shown that in the case of video, less is definitely more. Aim for something between 30 seconds to three minutes. Any longer and your audience may switch off.
Why say in 100 words what you can say in 20?
Producing lengthy and technical marketing copy is something law firms have been guilty of for decades and now this has crept into video. You need to make every second count. View the video content as you might an elevator pitch – keep it timely, concise and speak in plain English. Remember, people buy people and that’s why video can work so well for law firms.
I don’t get it
To be fair it isn’t just law firms that are serial offenders in this area, but the inappropriate use of humour is one of the biggest mistakes businesses make when it comes to videos. If you’re going to use humour in a video, make sure people will get the joke. Otherwise the video will be misunderstood at best and at worst, thought of as just plain weird.
So now what?
No matter how clever, creative and interesting a video is, it needs to have a purpose. Make sure that you encourage your audience to take some action. This can be as simple as a contact number or directing your audience to your website but don’t miss an opportunity to make your video count.
Don’t forget to tell people
Remarkably, some firms think that producing a video is the end of the story. Posting the video on the firm’s website shouldn’t be the only outlet. Don’t forget the power of social media. Once your video is on your website make sure that you share it across your social media networks. Use video advertising on Linkedin, tweet it regularly, direct message it to clients, showcase it in your monthly newsletters and share it across YouTube. That way you will encourage it to go viral. Keep repeating this pattern, and share it with other businesses that will tweet it for you. Offer to do the same for them.Next time I will look at the challenges faced by law firms in creating websites with a global appeal.