Video use is one of the most powerful ‘drivers’ for law firm marketing, yet many attorneys remain unsure about how to use the medium. Perkins Coie content manager Matteo Bava* is a highly experienced video producer who provides some key tips on making most of your law firm video.
Online video is the preferred medium to reach markets and leverage services in an authentic way. And year after year we see it continue to grow across the internet. Although legal marketing teams are starting to leverage videos more frequently, they often run into road blocks since video is neither cheap nor fast to create. In videos, more often than not, we see attorneys talking about how good and successful they are, rather trying to connect with their intended audiences.
Videos are a great way to intrigue, inform, and connect – and we can do more to maximize their potential. Here are five key elements that will make your videos stand out in the market and create an authentic experience for your audience:
1) The story is king.
Make sure you have a story to tell and an interesting subject.
Don’t be too obscure or too niche in your style. People will be more engaged if they feel that they can easily grasp the content of the video, even if they aren’t experts on the subject. However, it’s also important not to water down your content. You’ll need to strike a balance.
Facts and data are more memorable if they’re part of the narrative and not presented on their own. These kinds of elements are usually better suited in a written form, rather than video, as readers can move along at their own pace throughout the paragraphs and reread if needed.
2) Ensure good aesthetics and audio.
Make sure the video is filmed with the best means you can afford. There’s nothing more annoying for a viewer than trying to watch something that can be barely seen or heard. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a Hollywood production for every video you make; just define and deploy the appropriate production value for the video you have in mind.
Make the video more engaging by adding a soundtrack that matches the mood of the video and enhances its emotional factor.
Use graphics and video cutaways (a.k.a. B roll) to better explain and illustrate your concepts. This makes the video a more dynamic and engaging viewing experience for your audience.
3) Enrich your viewers.
Create content that leaves the audience feeling as if they’ve gained something. Follow the “freemium” model that a lot of apps, games, and services right now deploy. Give some free advice to your audience; if it pertains to them they will want to come back for more. This will establish the firm and lawyers as thought leaders on a subject or area of practice. This will also increase the chances of lead generation from your effort.
4) Keep it short and sweet.
Viewer retention drops substantially at the three-minute mark.
On average, it will take someone around 10 seconds to decide if the video they just started pertains to their consumption need. State the key elements of your thesis in the first 20 to 30 seconds in order to captivate viewers. Use the rest of the video to provide in-depth details and further develop the story.
Drop the legalese. Video is a “spoken” communication form. Conversations don’t sound like contracts, agreements, or term sheets. Keep it friendly, approachable, and easy to listen to.
5) Map out a distribution plan.
Have the plan prepared before the video is complete. It’s not enough to just post it online. The video has to be part of a larger marketing effort, such as a campaign, a series, a microsite, or a social media plan.
Leverage attorneys who already have an online following or who are considered thought leaders in their practice area. Either have them be part of the video or let them help you distribute it online.
Be timely with your content. A video about a newsworthy subject (at the time of publishing) is much more likely to be successful and be shared on social media, legal websites, and among industry professionals.
Matteo Bava has worked on the creation of content for companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, REI, Nordstrom, and Conde-Nast. He has been at Perkins Coie since 2013 producing several hundred videos for the firm.