How Lawyers Get Video Marketing All Wrong

By Law Firm Suites - March 28, 2016
How Lawyers Get Video Marketing All Wrong

Many lawyers aren’t seeing the results they want from lawyer video marketing. Find out the most common mistakes they’re making.

According to Nielsen, 64% of marketers say video will dominate their strategies in the future. This is due to the fact that most people would rather watch a video about a product or service than read about it. Many law firms are just starting to realize that they must take advantage of this trend.

But most lawyers are making deadly mistakes when it comes to creating videos for their law firm. There is no doubt that a good video can improve your marketing, but posting a bad one can seriously damage your brand and reputation. It’s even worse for the lawyers who are paying professionals to produce videos for them and who are not seeing any return on their investment.

So where are law firms going wrong with their videos? The reasons are more simple than you might think.

Here is what is really wrong with lawyer video marketing today:

The content is all wrong

Unfortunately, too many lawyers are focused on using video to spread a marketing message instead of providing educational or personalized content. Law firms don’t seem to understand that they have a huge opportunity to use video to showcase their expertise, add authenticity to their brand and continue to share knowledge.

In all honesty, many potential clients won’t care about a promotional video for your firm. Most people are looking for information and want to know how to solve their legal problems.

Creating videos that answer basic legal questions and provide other educational content might feel like giving away free legal advice, but you must think about what you’re gaining from doing so. Potential clients already have endless access to legal information on the Internet and it’s likely they’ll find the answers they’re looking for anyways. Wouldn’t it be better if they got that information from you instead of one of your competitors?

Try to look at giving away legal knowledge as an investment you’re making in your reputation and personal brand. In the end, you’ll gain much more than you lose when it gets you noticed by potential clients and referral sources.

The content and message you use in your video marketing will determine its success. Your goal with your video should be to present yourself as a valuable resource. That is how you will get viewers to pick up the phone and call you.

Terrible production quality

The second major issue with lawyers’ video marketing is low quality production. Even if the content is valuable, a poorly made video will be distracting to viewers. Many attorneys will simply throw anything up on YouTube that they filmed in their living room using the front-facing camera on their iPhone.

Here are some examples of poor production qualities:

  • Lighting: glare, surroundings that are too bright or too dark
  • Sound: muffled audio or background noise
  • Setting: cheesy backdrops, disruptive public areas
  • Attorney behavior: lack of eye contact, stiffness, not speaking clearly, talking too fast or too slow, using unnecessary words like “um,” long pauses, rambling

Worst mistakes in attorney videos:

There seems to be a lack of balance among lawyers when it comes to using marketing to put themselves “out there.” On the one hand, many lawyers manage their reputation so carefully that they fail to produce enough visibility for themselves; therefore, they miss a lot of opportunities. On the other hand, there are lawyers who don’t think critically enough about how their marketing materials reflect on them, which often results in some of the worst marketing videos out there. Here are a few examples:

Being offensive.

Aside from the fact that this video is downright silly and filmed in front of an unrealistic background, it’s mostly just really racist. Do not assume that your potential clients and referral sources will share your sense of humor, especially if it’s crass.

Being unprofessional.

Using phrases like “hell hole” and “screwing around” in a marketing video isn’t the classiest move. It sounds really aggressive. Pay attention to the type of language you’re using in your videos and think about whether you’re making a positive impression.

Not editing properly.

This video looks like it was filmed on someone’s iPhone. The camera is a bit shaky and the sound is muffled. It also seems like the attorney had more to say, but the video cuts off after 14 seconds. If you’re going to create a video, then take the time to do it right.

Lawyers who are doing video right:

Pozo Goldstein, LLP

These immigration attorneys have created an entire video center on their website. They use video to introduce the attorneys at their firm and describe their experience. While most of these videos aren’t necessarily offering advice, they are still adding value because they’re personalized.

These videos are not your typical promotional marketing messages. Instead, they’re excellent branding tools these attorneys are using to explain who they are and what makes them qualified to represent a client in an immigration case. They’re using high-quality videos to demonstrate their commitment and passion for their work.

Some videos in their center do provide useful information, such as their “Immigration Court” video that explains how immigration court works. It informs the viewer that it is important to seek the right attorney because “there is no automatic right to counsel in immigration court.” Since the average person is unlikely to be familiar with how immigration court works, this video is providing helpful information.

Key takeaways:

  • Length. Each video is between one and two minutes long. You don’t want to film something too long or your viewers will lose interest. Whether you’re sharing a story, providing advice or talking about your qualifications,  remember to keep your message brief in your lawyer video marketing.
  • Storytelling. The attorneys in these videos share their personal connection to the field of immigration. Stories are essential to good videos because they’re interesting and memorable.
  • Authenticity. One of these attorneys explains that she is a wife, a mother and a daughter, which makes her feel compassion for her clients. She explains that when a client is crying in her office because their son is detained she “can put herself in their shoes.” This feels genuine and creates a strong emotional appeal.
  • High quality production and editing. All of the attorneys in these videos look put-together and professional. The videos are edited properly with a variety of shots, including the attorneys speaking in front of the camera and performing legal work.

AndersonDodson, P.C.

This law firm created FAQ videos featuring one of their attorneys answering common questions related to employment law. These videos are very simple, but they provide the viewer with valuable information and demonstrate how knowledgeable the attorney is.

Key takeaways:

  • Consistency. These attorneys have posted one FAQ video per month for almost two years. The key to great marketing isn’t quantity, it’s quality and consistency.
  • Simplicity. The attorneys in these videos sound competent and use language that is easy for the average person to understand. They don’t confuse the viewer with any complicated legal jargon. They also phrased each question as if a real client were asking it so it makes sense to viewers with the same problem.
  • Professionalism. The attorney in these videos is well-dressed with neat hair. She speaks clearly, naturally and with confidence. There is no reason a viewer would be turned off by her presentation.
  • Quality production. These videos are simply one person speaking in front of a camera; however, there are no issues with the sound or lighting and it’s obvious professional equipment was used for filming.

The great thing about FAQ videos for lawyer video marketing is that they don’t require complicated production and editing compared to practice overview or storytelling videos. If you’re planning on posting one or more FAQ videos per month, then you might want to consider renting or purchasing some basic sound, lighting and film equipment you can set up on your own.

However, it’s recommended that you seek out experts to help you produce a quality video if you want to include more than just answering a question. Use your best judgement to decide which videos should be left up to the experts.

Video is great tool to connect with prospective clients because it’s easily digested and it gives clients a sense of who you are before they have to pick up the phone. A video doesn’t have to be a complicated production, but don’t take up lawyer video marketing unless you’re willing to invest time, thought and a little bit of money.
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