I was told that videos work very well for getting new leads, should I dedicate my time and resources to create these?
My short answer is “Yes, videos work well for helping to get new leads”
BUT depending on where you are in the maturity of your online presence and the budget you have for marketing, investing in video may not be the best use of your next marketing dollars.
When I am giving presentations on marketing strategies for lawyers, or when providing a CLE on the ethics of online marketing, I touch on video very briefly. I typically mention video up to three times in a presentation but don’t go into it in a lot of detail. The three areas where I mention video are:
- Conversion Focused Website Design – Our data shows that home pages with video of lawyers from the law firm increase conversions by almost 20%.
- Content – Video is a type of content that I often talk about. Using video of the lawyers at the firm to answer different questions people typically ask can be a useful type of content to add to the website
- Social Media – I bring up YouTube when talking about social media because it can be thought about as a place to engage in conversation with people online. Furthermore, when talking about Facebook I like to discuss the growth of video on the Facebook platform and Facebooks focus around more interactive content than just text and images.
Unless I am doing a 3-hour CLE presentation, I typically don’t have much time to go into more detail around video than those three points. However, there are thousands of articles that have been written and shared about the need and importance of video for law firms.
Add to that the number of companies who get a majority of their revenue by helping law firms create videos for their websites, and it is understandable that I get this question a lot.
So yes, videos work well for helping to get new leads. But they may not be the next best step for your firm.
There are many forms of video available to you right now.
To name a few types:
- You can invest a decent chunk of your budget into a high production and polished firm overview video like something you can get from Crisp Video Group
- You could work with an agency to produce a large volume of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) videos. Not quite as polished as the firm overview video, but it does have great value. These videos can live on your website, on YouTube, and on Facebook for greater reach.
- You can also create social media focused videos for Instagram or Facebook where you can quickly and in real time provide tips or comment on topics in the news related to your practice areas
- It is now easier than ever to live stream interviews with experts or have an “ask me anything” interactive conversation with prospective clients using tools like Facebook Live
- You can create video ads to run in front of videos on sites like YouTube. Similar to a commercial you would create for TV but produced to take advantages of the differences and the hyper-targeting ability of online ads
As you can see, it is not just deciding whether to put your budget into video or not into video. It is then deciding which type of video tactic (or tactics) you should be using.
First of all, there are a lot of foundational elements you need in place with your web presence before you would think about video.
I often give the analogy of your house. You wanted a strong foundation poured, solid framing, insulated walls, solid flooring, and other structural items completed with focus and attention before someone starts painting the walls, installing the tile, and placing all the nice and comfortable furniture.
Then, you paint the walls, install the tile, and place the basic furniture in the house.
If someone came into your house, they would see a furnished place that provides good utility, but maybe no personality.
Personality takes some paintings and pictures on the walls, visual accessories, and knick-knacks on the shelves, etc. While the last piece adds all the final character, the largest investment was the foundation and structure that needed to be created to ensure that the house will be stable and working for a long time into the future.
When comparing this to your web presence, videos would be the equivalent of the final paintings and pictures on the wall. If you don’t have the other things done first, you are investing time and money into the wrong area.
Creating a solid foundation
Steps we considered the core foundation, framing, and walls are:
- Having a formal business and marketing strategy for your firm with long-term goals
- Building a brand platform that defines your target market and key differentiators to your competition, the ‘why should I choose you’ questions.
- Making sure your brand is consistently portrayed online so you can protect your referral business. That means you need to make sure that the law firm and every key attorney in the firm are represented well and match your brand strategy when someone searches for them online.
- A website that acts as the central hub of your web presence that conveys your brand appropriately while making it easy and enticing for people to connect with your firm via phone, email, online form, or live-chat.
- Setup and monitor key metrics and tracking data for all areas of your web presence, such as Google Analytics with custom goals and phone tracking numbers. You want to have a baseline of your analytics information before implementing ‘grow your leads’ strategies and tactics to help judge the success (or failure) of different tactics.
If these steps haven’t been completed, it’s not the right time to invest in video.
Next up, Day-to-day tactics
Next up is the paint, tile, furniture, TV, etc. These are the items you need on a day-to-day basis to have a standard life at home. The marketing tactics in this area would be:
- Expanding the core content on your website to include more pages that drill down into detail about the sub-topics and nuanced issues under the general practice areas you provide.
- Beginning to create some frequently asked question and other reference type content that will help prospective clients that are visiting your website.
- Starting outreach and other targeted efforts to increase the links back to your website to help grow your website’s authority in the search engines algorithms. Tactics like using a scholarship campaign or submitting responses to requests on HARO – Help a Reporter Out.
- If looking to get leads faster as part of the day-to-day strategy then maybe implementing some paid search advertising using tactics like Google AdWords, remarketing ads, geo-fenced mobile advertising, and even paid Facebook marketing.
Those are the day-to-day tactics you should be implementing on top of your now strong web-presence foundation. Because you put the analytics in place when building your foundation, over time you will start to see what tactics are providing the most benefit and what is not returning as much value and adjust accordingly.
The Finishing Touches
Now that your home is providing good utility (a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, something to cook on, etc.) it’s time to give it some character. You really want to make sure your personality is coming through. When people come over your house, they may not notice, but will certainly feel more welcoming with the extra touches you add. This can be hanging pictures, adding some shelves, adding home decoration accessories, maybe some plants, you get the idea.
The equivalent steps when it comes to your web presence would be strategies and tactics like:
- Upgrading your website look and feel to enhance the brand you are communicating online (which should match what someone gets when they visit your office)
- Adding a high-quality firm overview video and other video content to the website. For example, attorney Profile videos or frequently asked question videos. At this point, video is now a great way to enhance your firm’s personality online and help you attract the right type of clients.
- Social media – you can also begin to engage on social media platforms. This doesn’t mean having some freelancer or agency putting up boring posts about your success with your latest case or trying to tie your practice areas to the latest national hot dog day, but instead truly getting into the conversation happening in your region.
- Hosting meetups, seminars, and webinars – passionate about a topic or hobby that others may share? Sponsor a meetup that someone is already hosting on that topic or start your own. A very important point, it doesn’t have to be legal-related, and likely shouldn’t for the best results. Maybe you love the local farm-to-table restaurants in your area, host a meetup where like-minded people visit a new restaurant each month. People in the community will know you as a person and that will carry into your brand as a lawyer at your law firm. Eat great food, meet some interesting new people, and increase the awareness of you as a lawyer in your community – that is a win-win-win!
As you can see, other than the frequently asked question videos, in my experience, you should save your time and money investment into video production and apply that investment elsewhere if you have not done the basics first.
For those of you that have the first two foundations set up and running smoothly, then by all means definitely look to add video to your web presence tactics, it will help enhance your brand, increase awareness of your firm, and ultimately grow your leads.
If you have any questions about where you are at and want an experienced-based opinion we are here to help. We can tell you what foundation elements you may have missed and recommend the next few tactics that are the next best investment for your marketing dollar.