For years, marketers have preached the importance of “face time” in marketing campaigns, but creating high-quality videos is easier said than done. You may have an HD camera in your phone, yet when you sit down to record or produce a video, the process may be significantly harder than you think. But rather than shouting vague platitudes about the importance of video content, our team at SLS Consulting, Inc., wants to help you brainstorm ideas for how to make videos for your law firm.
Pre-Production Matters More Than Filming
The worst advice we can give you is to just start filming. Most, if not all, the heavy lifting of video production is the planning stages. Sitting down and discussing how a video should be filmed, what topics you should cover, and what the goal of the video is can save you a lot of sweat and tears. You don’t want to start filming and then realize that the shot is crooked or the sound is out of sync or your script is too long.
To get around this, take some time to learn the different aspects of a video:
- Writing: Invest in script writing and learn how to talk on camera. It can help you figure out how long a video should be and how you want to talk to viewers.
- Visuals: When thinking visually, you will take into account how the scene or performer should be framed, what graphics you want to use, and what the pace of the video should be.
- Sound: For sound, you should consider if you want to use captions or graphics to guide the audience with royalty-free music in the background, or if you want to directly speak to the user as you would a normal client.
Start Small and to the Point
Videos from law firms can cover a lot of ground, and you do not need a full-scale production company to get started. Instead, you can create short videos on your phone or laptop that hit one specific topic in a short amount of time. For example, clients may have a regular question about your firm or services that can be answered with a quick 30-second video. This video can be filmed in your office in interview-style, with you directly answering the question, or it can be done with graphics or simple animation. Think more fast-paced slideshow, and less hour-long Netflix documentary.
Decide What You Want to Create
Short attorney videos can cover a lot of ground if you get creative with it. You may want more high-quality videos for your YouTube or Google Ad campaigns that are focused on converting viewers into new clients. Or, if you want to limit your budget, you can create animated videos and gifs for Instagram Stories that cover a quick legal topic.
Here are a few video ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Short interviews with your firm’s attorneys, paralegals, and staff that outline what makes your firm unique.
- Q&As that break down legal questions clients may have.
- Recap videos taken from charity events.
- PSAs about new laws, local ordinances, or legal concepts people often misunderstand.
- A clip explaining a practice area to feature on that PA’s webpage.
- A short slideshow that summarizes a popular infographic or blog post on your website.
As you go about brainstorming video ideas, always remember what your law firm’s brand is. Do you want to be seen as down to earth and practical? Or do you want to impress clients with your successes and professionalism? Maybe you want to show a more human side of your firm by engaging in trends or being more humorous. There are many options, but make sure any video you put out fits your brand and how you want clients to view you.
Old Interviews Are a Goldmine
Many firms have filmed long-form interviews with attorneys about specific topics or their legal careers. These videos can easily be edited down to short videos based around a single question or interesting story. Anytime you record a longer interview, consider how parts can be snipped out and used on social media. Users may not want to watch an hour-long interview, but a one-minute Q&A may see higher engagement.
Optimization and Research Are Still Important
Even with video content, there are still lessons you can learn from SEO marketing. Keyword research is a great way to see how users connect, how other law firms are using videos to engage users, and where videos are being shared. You may find that every law firm in your zip code has a professional, rather stuffy video on their YouTube, but few are actually getting engagement. To counter them, you might want to put a human face to your firm or appear more personable.
Whether you are sharing a video on YouTube or Instagram, keyword research is your best friend. All platforms have their own search algorithms that decide how much reach a video will have. Abiding by their best practices can set you up for success.
A Note About Best Practices
As you create your own videos for your law firm, it is important to pay attention to the best practices for each website you are hosting them on. YouTube users have different expectations compared to someone scrolling on Facebook, and you will want to optimize for each platform in the early production stages.
Keep Formatting in Mind
With short-form content, you have a lot of options, so long as you stick to certain format guidelines. For example, many attorneys have received widespread acclaim by creating TikToks to explain certain laws and legal doctrines, but TikToks are limited to 60 seconds, and most viewers prefer the tighter 15-second style. Instagram stories also have 15-second limits, but you can break up your video into multiple parts if it is longer.
Another factor to consider is visuals vs. sound. For example, 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off, as opposed to 96% of YouTube videos which are watched with the sound on. With Facebook, videos that use graphics, captions, and images will receive more attention, while YouTube users expect to have music or commentary over videos.
Never Forget About Aspect Ratios
We have all seen someone record a vertical video on their phone that is later compressed when played horizontally on a laptop. Whenever you record something, you need to keep in mind how it will be presented. If you are sharing a video as an Instagram post, for example, you want to keep it 864 pixels (width) by 1080 pixels (height) and an aspect ratio of 4:5. However, if you are sharing on Instagram Stories or Reels, then the aspect ratio is 9:16.
While you might be able to edit around different aspect ratios, it is smart to plan out where you want to share the video and the best formatting style for that platform.
Need Help Brainstorming? Call SLS Consulting, Inc.
Expanding into video marketing requires a lot of pre-production and research that most firms do not bother with, but there is a demand for more video content from attorneys. Each of you has years of experience under your belt and just needs to find the most effective way to share it with potential clients.
At SLS Consulting, Inc., we provide lawyers with hands-on, practical marketing campaigns. Whether it is creating short-form content for Instagram or professional-grade videos for YouTube, we can guide you through the process of making videos for your firm. To discuss video-marketing strategies with our team of legal marketing experts, call us at (323) 254-1510 or toll-free at (877) 248-3529 for a free consultation.
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