Getting Started with Video Marketing
There are many reasons law firms decide to take the leap and invest in video marketing. Videos provide prospective clients with another way to learn about services and/or products, which can build trust and help drive conversions. Also, video content is shareable on social media and provides an additional way for people to find your firm in local searches.
Great video content is the result of a lot of planning and smart decisions, from selecting a videography company and determining the narrative to figuring out the best strategy to promote and share the videos.
Before taking the plunge and spending thousands of dollars, consider the following:
Selecting the Right Videography Company
As you start contacting local videographers, you’ll find that most charge for a half-day, full-day or sometimes a two-day video shoot. If you’re new to video marketing, it may be difficult to figure out just how much time needs to be allocated for filming.
Typically, setting up equipment can take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the amount of equipment needed (e.g bringing in lighting). So if you book a half-day shoot (roughly 4 hours), you may find you’re only left with two hours for filming.
Before booking, it is important to ask how long the set up and break down will take the crew. Once you know how long the videographer will take to prepare and dismantle the set, you will be able to decide if you need a half, full, or two-day shoot and plan accordingly.
During these discovery calls, you will also want to make sure the company has insurance and owns its own equipment. If anything breaks, they should be responsible for replacing it.
As you explore different services, you’ll likely find that some video companies send a producer to oversee shoots. Depending on the number of videos being created, having a producer to keep everyone on schedule is not necessary — especially with shorter shoots, The videographer who controls the camera should be able to keep things running on time and ask any interview-style questions that your firm provides. By eliminating the producer, firms can save quite a bit of money and stay on budget.
Finally, you should consider whether or not the production company has any experience working with attorneys. It’s not mandatory, but working with a video company that is knowledgeable about attorney advertising can help ensure that the videos are in compliance with your bar association’s guidelines.
Planning Your Video Content
At the start of your project, you should determine your target audience so you can appropriately tailor the content. For example — Is the video going to be used to attract new clients searching for an attorney? Or will it be sent to clients who have already retained your firm? Once the decision has been made about the video’s intended audience, you can get to work on mapping out the story you want to tell.
An example of a video that might be good for attracting new customers is an “About the Firm” video. Typically, these videos give the viewer an insight into how the firm works and why it’s the right choice among their competitors.
An example of one that might be good for current clients is a “What To Expect” video where a member of your team provides insight into a legal process and what clients can anticipate along the way.
Another popular form of video content is providing answers to frequently asked questions. These questions can range from basic questions regarding the law to details on legal processes. In addition, you can also address questions that are typically asked during initial consultations. There are several tools that website owners can use to figure out which questions are commonly asked by Google users.
Identifying the Right Questions
One tool that is very valuable in helping to identify common search queries is Google Search Console where you can find a list of queries that are most likely to show your site. You can sort these queries alphabetically and look for questions that start with the “Big 5” — Who, What, When, Where and How. Your firm’s site may already be showing up in the search results for these queries. Nonetheless, having tailored video content that answers these specific questions can help to increase your ranking in the results pages which can result in significantly more traffic to your site.
Another way that law firms can leverage Google insights as they plan their video content is to look at Google’s related searches at the bottom of the search engine results page for common queries. These related searches are generated based on Google’s search algorithm and can give you insights into relevant questions which might be worth tackling in a video.
Beyond Team Interviews
When scheduling your video shoot, it is very important to include ample time for B-roll footage in addition to capturing footage of team members. B-roll footage is alternative footage that is used in the editing process to intercut the main content.
Common B-roll shots include:
- Outside of premises
- Company signage (outside of the building or suite)
- Reception area
- Conference room
- Individual offices
- Name plates of employees on outside doors
- Interesting décor found around the office suite
- Any other interesting branded pieces (pens, logo on reception desk, branded notepads)
- Shots of groups/individuals
- Members of the team working
- More abstract takes of fingers typing, hands picking up a phone or taking notes, staff reading files
Interspersing B-roll footage with the main footage will help to create visual intrigue and allow for cleaner editing.
Hosting and Distributing Your Videos
After selecting a videographer and creating captivating content, firms need to consider where to host and distribute their videos.
Hosting a video directly on a firm’s website is not advisable for several reasons. First, videos hosted directly can cause your website’s speed to slow down causing a bad user experience. Also, there is no single file format that works across all platforms and devices, making it difficult to allow all clients or potential clients to view the videos clearly.
Many companies choose to host their videos on YouTube or on Vimeo. Each platform has its own set of pros and cons, and the best platform for your firm will largely depend on your goal for the videos. If you intend to embed videos on your website for current clients, Vimeo is a good platform to use. If your objective is to have your videos appear in results from search engines like Google, then hosting your videos on YouTube is preferable (since Google owns YouTube).
Hosting your videos on Youtube or Vimeo, or embedding them on the website, is a good first step but it might not be enough to put you in front of your desired audience; that’s why a strategic distribution plan is necessary. To maximize reach, your plan might consist of placement on social media and community-based websites, as well as in targeted ad campaigns.
In mapping out your plan, consider the platforms where your target audience(s) is most active and what types of videos perform best on the identified platforms.
Planning Is Everything
While most business owners know that video content is important, without careful forethought and sticking to the budget, getting a return on investment can be tricky. With some careful research, creating video content that resonates with your audience and getting it on the right platform can help ensure that your video marketing is impactful and profitable.