Video marketing for lawyers is an area that many firms know they need to explore, but aren't quite clear on how to start. Any law firm's marketing strategy needs to consider video as an important component of the overall picture.
But although most have considered it, the number of law firms who have a video marketing strategy is pretty small. Just take a quick look on YouTube and you'll see what I mean.
In this guide I'm going to take you through the fundamentals of video marketing for lawyers. We'll look at why you should do it, how to get started, and address a few tech concerns that often arise.
I completely understand that you aren't a professional film maker: you're a lawyer.
But especially if you're a sole practitioner or a small law firm, then you don't necessarily have a big budget and a marketing team to do all the work for you.
That means you need a system for your video marketing that that:
- isn't overly complex on the tech side;
- respects your time; and
- gives you the most bang for your investment (time and money).
Luckily, once you have a basic knowledge of how things work and a simple workflow to get it done, video marketing is a very powerful tool to achieve those things.
Video Marketing for Lawyers is Becoming Essential
I'm sure you can think of plenty of
excuses reasons you can give me why you shouldn't make videos, but let's look at the potential benefits. Here are my top reasons that video marketing for lawyers should be a critical part of your overall approach to content marketing:
- Because video involves both words, sound and visuals, it can be more effective at building trust with your audience. It's as close to a face to face meeting as you'll get without actually having one.
- Once you're comfortable with the process, video can actually be a lot faster to produce than articles.
- Video can be repurposed into many different formats, allowing you to get your message onto multiple platforms in different ways. This allows you to both expand your reach and put your content into formats that different people can enjoy. It also helps you get more leverage for your time and effort.
- Finally – video is “where it's at” – most social platforms have, or are introducing, video as a core part of their user experience. If you wait until every single other lawyer is producing daily videos before you decide you “have to” then you'll get lost in the noise. Any serious web marketing strategy needs to include video as a component these days.
The Absolute Basics of Video Marketing for Lawyers
Pick up your phone.
Log in to Facebook.
Follow the simple instructions Facebook gives you.
Share a live video talking about something that matters to you.
The point is not for you to be making movie length epics – the point is to start getting your comfortable with the medium.
Plus live video is good fun.
If you want to approach it more strategically, then read on.
What Should your Videos Be About?
This is where a sharp definition of your target audience is important. If you don't know who you're making videos for, then they're going to be all over the shop.
First and foremost – the majority of lawyers shouldn't be making videos that appeal only to other lawyers. There are exceptions, of course, but it's a good rule of thumb.
My best advice for starting out is this: ask yourself what the 20 most common questions you get asked are in relation to area X. Write down those questions.
You now have 20 topics for your videos. If you're on a fortnightly publishing schedule for videos, then excluding Christmas you have nearly a year's worth of content ready to create.
Another option is this: take a look at your analytics and find your most popular blog posts over the last year. Can you make a video on those topics (assuming they are still relevant)? Great! Make the video and add it on the already popular page. You know the topic is well received, and you've just added another format people can learn about it.
Don't get too concerned that your videos will be “boring” – at the end of the day if you're offering good answers to common questions, the right people will find your videos useful and relevant.
Should Only Professional Filmmakers Do Video Marketing for Lawyers?
This is where I butt heads with some lawyers.
We all have a concern about looking “professional”. As a result, we feel like video marketing for lawyers needs to involve a massive production, hired videographers, fancy lights and all sorts of bells and whistles. We then hire people at significant expense to make a single video, it takes a long time, and we feel really uncomfortable the whole time because it's so outside our comfort zone.
There are certainly occasions where you might hire professionals to do your recording, editing and production – but those are the exception rather than the rule. The higher production quality can have good results, but often it backfires and you end up with awkward, wooden and poorly received videos.
If you're wanting to actually have a video marketing strategy in your law firm, then it needs to be a consistent part of your content marketing strategy – not something you do once every 9 months when the stars align and you've saved up enough budget.
My vote: do it yourself most of the time, and save your money for special occasions.
What Gear Do Lawyers Need for Video Marketing?
Of course the only gear you actually need is probably in your pocket. Or you're reading it now. Or it's on the desk in front of you. It's your phone.
But I accept that, while not going completely bonkers with a Universal Studies style recording platform you probably want something a little more polished than a shakey hand held experience which looks like it was taken by a 2 year old.
All you really need to get started is your phone and access to the internet.
But assuming you want to do something “more”, then to get reasonable video I'd suggest you should get:
- a video camera. Your phone is actually quite a good camera and will serve you well if you're getting started. It's also easy to use and doesn't have much of a learning curve.
- good audio. This is possibly even more important than good video quality. If the audio is bad, then people click off (I'll bet that's what you do, right?)
- a tripod to hold your camera steady.
- some editing and production software.
A good setup could be:
- iPhone 6+
- Joby GorillaPod with an iPhone attachment;
- Rode “VideoMic Me” or a Rode SmartLav+ to connect to your phone;
- Camtasia for video editing.
Here's a (totally made up) video made using the setup above, except that instead of the Lav mic I'm using the iPhone internal mic – so with some minor editing, this is basically straight off a phone:
If you want to bump things up a bit and don't mind learning how to use new things (or just like buying stuff) then I'd suggest getting:
- Canon 70d or Canon 80d;
- Inca Tripod (Manfrotto are better, but don't look at the price – just hand over your credit card and stab in the PIN)
- Rode VideoMic Pro if you have a large room, or Rode Film-maker Kit if you're concerned about echo (hot tip – the closer a microphone is to your mouth, the less echo you'll get in your recording)
- Adobe Premiere Pro for editing and production.
Here's an example video recorded on the 70d, a better tripod, the Rode Film-Maker Kit and edited with Adobe Premiere Pro
Where Should you Put your Firm's Videos Once You've Made Them?
Once you have a video, you need to upload it somewhere so that people can find it, and watch it.
Do not, under any circumstances, upload your video directly to your website unless it is specifically designed to host videos.
The most likely candidate is YouTube. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, and is the natural place to put videos you want people to find. Of course you'll need to have a YouTube channel, but that's not too hard to set up.
You can then embed your video on your website or share it on social media. Of course if you have set up your law firm's email marketing then you can also email your list with your latest videos as they come out.
Generally speaking I'd consider:
- uploading to YouTube;
- uploading natively to Facebook;
- putting into a blog post on your site;
- sharing the YouTube link on LinkedIn and Twitter; and
- If it's less than 59 seconds, sharing on Instagram.
If you want more control and privacy options for your video, then check out Vimeo or Wistia. Both are professional grade video hosts and offer a lot of power if you want to develop videos that are protected from public view.
But other than that: just stick with YouTube.
Video Marketing for Lawyers – Getting Started
Try this one for size if you're getting in to video marketing and just want a quick “what should I do”:
- Get the gear you need – play around with it for a couple of days until you're comfortable with the basics involved;
- Generate 10 topics using the methods I've described above;
- Sit down for 2 hours and record all 10 videos in one sitting – just do it;
- Look at your first video or two and then delete them (they'll be bad – trust me);
- Edit the remaining 8 or 9 and export them using the appropriate settings in your software;
- Pick a day of the week – upload one video to YouTube on that day each week for the next couple of months, and share away;
- Monitor feedback, engage with comments, and take suggestions on board.
The biggest thing? Stop freaking out and just do it. You'll get better, I promise. Video marketing for lawyers is a powerful content marketing strategy, and if you apply yourself to learning the ropes can give you a lot of high quality content very quickly.
Does your law firm do video marketing or are you about to start after reading this? Share your links below and we can take a look!
Good luck – I look forward to hearing your success.