What’s up with all these branding videos?
Have you noticed the sleek, impressive branding videos many lawyers are running these days? You might see them as a TV advertisement, but more likely via social media or on a law firm website.
Typically, these videos are well-crafted and designed to show the lawyer as a “real” person; they may include interview clips from the lawyer talking about his or her background, or philosophy about practicing law, why they became an attorney in the first place, etc., interspersed with mood music, and pans of the courthouse steps, a swinging briefcase, etc. For social proof, they include snippets of interviews with clients whose lives the attorney has helped to change through their representation.
The idea, of course, is to put some high-quality video together that presents the lawyer as someone you like, get to know and trust through the telling of his or her story in the video. These videos have become more and more popular in recent years; they are fast becoming the lawyer’s version of “Glamor Shots,” designed to make us all look and sound like a million bucks.
Of course, as more and more lawyers jump on the branding video bandwagon the big questions are “Do they work?” and “Do I need one?”
In the short, the answer is “It’s worth a try!” Keep in mind that what you are trying to achieve is that personal emotional “touch” with your ideal client. You want them to watch your video and think “Man, I really like that lawyer. They seem different. They seem like someone I could trust, who is a real person—and not some slimy ambulance chaser.”
Can you quantify a branding video’s potential worth? No doubt vendors may assure you that they double, triple or quadruple sign-up numbers or case value. But, with much of social media, there isn’t one single magic bullet. Instead, it’s a series of multiple touches that result in a client signing on the dotted line.
Recent studies have indicated that the typical consumer needs about five touches with a new company, product or service before signing on. If that is the case, then having a great branding video can be a good way for you to “touch” or reach your prospective client with your brand or message.
If you decide to take the branding video plunge, what should you be looking for in terms of vendors and content? One of the biggest goals with any marketing, of course, is to set yourself apart from your competition. Thus, with branding videos, as with any other form of advertising, you want to make sure that your video doesn’t’ look like all the other branding videos in your area or market.
Make sure that when you hire a videographer or video company, that they understand the vision YOU have for your video, and that they aren’t just fitting you and your brand into a standard “law firm” template. For example, if every branding video you see has a swinging briefcase, you might want to go for different kinds of shots. If they use the same or similar music, make sure yours has a different sound. If they use the same style of camera shots, make sure you go for some different angles. Make sure your content is unique. Also, keep in mind that what was cutting-edge and unique two years ago may no longer be cutting edge today.
There is power in video — in fresh, authentic and organic content. Whether it’s via YouTube, FB, Instagram, Google… People like videos; people watch videos; people respond to videos. In fact, Videos are fastly becoming the leading way in which information is being conveyed on the Internet. It makes sense to have a branding video you can disseminate on a variety of social media modalities to get your image and your message in front of as many people as possible. Bear in mind that if your message looks the same as all the other branding videos out there, it’s less likely to help you differentiate yourself from your competitors!
There are lots of options out there today in terms of getting your branding video created and then pushed out in Digital /Social Media Marketing. You can opt for expensive video companies or use a small start-up or anything in between. You can outsource your video or hire film students from your local college… or anything in between. You can have a branding video that looks like a major motion picture or create something fresher with an edgier vibe, or anything in between.
Most importantly, remember that you want to reach your ideal clients, present yourself as someone they can “know, like and trust”, while also differentiating yourself from all the other branding videos out there.
Because the finished product will be a direct reflection of you and your law firm, take the time to meet with your video vendor and make sure they understand the message you want to send, and the kinds of images you want to promote. Don’t settle for a scripted prefab model. Make it YOUR OWN!
Once you have a branding video, don’t just run it in one long play format in your marketing campaigns. You can easily and cheaply have your 2-3-minute video edited and spliced into multiple smaller videos to maximize your opportunity for visibility in a variety of venues across social media. Chances are you are already trying your hand at FB Live (which is really gaining in popularity and resonating with Millennials, who see that live unedited look as authentic.) Don’t be afraid to take chances or even to make mistakes. Feel free to experiment!
You can have the edits of your branding video done professionally by the original video vendor, hire a local company to edit it, or even do the edits in house. These shorter edits may end up allowing you to make even better use of your branding video given the short time in which the average viewer rests on any given landing page….( and also give you the opportunity for the multiple “touches” mentioned earlier.)
So, begin by asking yourself what kind of message you want to convey to your ideal client. Then, start looking at the branding videos of other attorneys — notice what you like and what you don’t. Notice what’s the same and what’s different in these videos. In order to stand out and differentiate yourself from the competition, aim for how you and your story can differ from all the other stories being told by other lawyers. Talk to several vendors to see what your options are in style and in price range.
Video marketing for lawyers: final words
Branding videos are like any other social media product; the landscape is always changing. What was unique two years ago may not be as unique today. Different companies will produce different styles of videos. Take time to determine not only which style speaks to you, (And the price range that speaks to your budget) but also and more importantly, which style you think will speak the loudest to your targeted ideal clients.
Once you select a vendor, make sure you keep the communication lines flowing to ensure that you don’t receive a cookie cutter or “glamour shot” video. Make sure they understand what you are looking for and that the finished product reflects YOUR vision.
Once you have your finished product, then set about disseminating it across a variety of social media outlets, from Youtube, FB, Twitter, to your website, (including the mobile device format, since most users will find you on their phone and NOT their laptops….) Don’t forget that email is also a great means of contact for all your former and current clients and a great avenue for sharing your new branding video.
Assuming you are rocking your client service, your prior and existing clients are your fans and may well be happy to share your new video with their own friends and family.
In terms of disseminating your video, make sure you don’t just focus on your long play video. Take the time to slice and dice it up into shorter segments so that you can get more bang for your buck and increase exposure and touches with your prospective ideal clients.
Videos are ever increasing in their importance as a vital part of legal marketing. Take advantage of branding videos to share your message with your ideal clients.
***BTW: If all this talk of branding videos and social media has you wondering how to maximize your firm’s presence and stay on top of social media marketing, then check out PILMMA’s two upcoming LIVE programs:
PILMMA 2019 SUPER SUMMIT at the Ritz Carleton in New Orleans, June 25-28, 2019. Visit the 2019 Super Summit (3½ days of nothing but spot on legal marketing and managing including multiple presentations from lawyers and tech leaders, as well as the latest in social media marketing and tons of vendors gathered in one place for you to talk with one-on-one in between presentations.)
PILMMA INTERNET DOMINATION BOOTCAMP, September 12-13, 2019 at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. Visit the Internet Domination web page. It’s NOTHING BUT the LATEST in INTERNET MARKETING SPECIFICALLY FOR LAWYERS
About the author
Tiana Hinnant Hardison practiced law for over 27 years, with an emphasis on personal injury and disability law and now focuses her time and energies with PILMMA. You may contact Tiana at firstname.lastname@example.org.