Words, Images, Video, Audio. Those are your options – so what are you going to do?
Quick note – the video contains more than this article – I decided to make the second part a separate article.
So you've got your business case for content marketing, defined your audience, and you're on the right path. So what kind of media are you actually going to produce?
The decision is going to come down to one of four things:
- audio, and
So pick one.
Or all of them.
What Type of Content is Best for Lawyers?
There are three ways of looking at it.
1 – What Content Type Does your Audience Prefer?
First and foremost, what does your audience prefer?
A lot of people still prefer to read, rather than watch video.
Some people like to podcast, because they can multitask. They can podcast while they're driving or while they're on the bus.
Video requires a little bit more attention, and so, people don't always like to consume video (although they can just listen to it too).
So the question is, what does your audience actually prefer?
We've gone to the trouble of defining our audience, so let's use that information to our advantage. At the very least, your audience's preference for consuming information must participate in this process. That doesn't mean it's the only thing you're going to think about, but it must be there.
Because if you're in the media space, say, and your audience are on YouTube all day, every day, watching other people's media, and you just ignore that opportunity – that's just stupid. You're not going to deliver the information in a useful way for your desired clients.
2 – What Type of Content are you Good At Making?
After audience, we need to think about you – what are you good at, or what could you become good at?
I don't want to fill you with fear here, but producing videos is actually slightly more difficult than writing an article – there are a few more barriers, although not as many as people seem to think.
So, if you have a tendency to turn to jelly when faced with a camera or an audience or the opportunity to say more than a couple of words in a row, then you might want to stick to writing.
I want to caveat that approach with this statement though: you get better at stuff.
The first website I designed was very ordinary and didn't do the things I wanted it to very well.
The first few videos I did were terrible. I was wooden, I wasn't very natural, I didn't really plan what I was going to say in the right way.
Over time, I have become more relaxed and my video quality has improved. I still occasionally have moments where things don't come out as I expected, but by and large I am now more accustomed to speaking to a camera than I was before.
Similarly, the first few podcasts I did were incredibly awkward and strange. But I've become used to it. I've become better at it.
I am not the best at it, but I'm not the worst at it.
If you're not strong in something now, I would encourage you just to give it a go for a little while anyway – even if you record videos that no one watches. See if you can hit the level of comfort where you are prepared to start publishing things.
The absolute worst-case scenario is that you will be mildly embarrassed and produce something that's fairly boring.
Perhaps you will get a comment that says, wow, that was boring. If that's the worst thing that happens to us in our lives, then I think we're all doing pretty well.
3 – What Type of Content can you Produce Consistently?
The third piece of this puzzle is to consider what can you produce consistently. If you're trying to build your practice using web marketing, then you have to turn up regularly.
Let's say you decide to go down the video path. You need to incorporate video consistently into your message.
If you produce one video now and another in seven months, that's not really a consistent part of your content marketing strategy.
If there is one thing that every single book, video, course, comment, article, on content marketing talks about, it is consistently delivering valuable content to your audience.
So if you're going to pick a medium, you need to also come up with the strategy to do that thing consistently. Otherwise, you're going to really struggle to deliver value and engage with your audience.
Still Not Sure? Then Start with Video
If you look at your audience, do you know what kind of content they consume?
If you don't, I would encourage you to start with video.
Because from video, you can turn it into audio. From audio, you can turn it into an article. From an article, you can turn it into quotes and images.
At this point you have a nice, broad cross-section of media that will help you spread your content out across multiple platforms and interest groups.
If you're looking to build your brand or build awareness of what you do and how you do it and what you're like, then that's a good way of doing it, too.
Video Helps Build More Trust
The other reason I encourage lawyers to take a video-first approach is because on the scale of trust, video has a higher trust factor.
So you may get less views on your video than Casey Neistat (google him if you want – best video story teller I've seen in a long time) – but if you're relatively natural, if people can see you and hear you at the same time, then they get a much better sense for who you actually are and what you're actually like.
Similarly, with audio, it is a more personal experience listening to someone speak than it is reading an article written by that person.
We might find articles the most comfortable thing to produce, but that's just because we're used to it. It's not because articles are always best.
Consider This, Article Writers…
The only real way you can distinguish most lawyers' content from other lawyers' content is because it says who it was written by.
If you were to remove that, the chances that anyone could identify your written work as opposed to someone else's are extremely slim.
With video, it's authentically you – people can steal your words fairly easily, but your humanity is a much tougher thing to copy.
If you want to know how starting with video can multiply your reach then I'll show you how to produce heaps of content per video soon.
In the mean time – get cracking!