Video is one of the most popular activities for people to engage in online. We love video because its easy to digest, entertaining, educational and fun. Lawyers can market their practices using video but knowing where to start can be daunting. Gerry Oginski1 of Oginski-law.com2 (and maker of over 900 online videos) shares some of what he has learned in marketing his law practice using videos.
1. I know video is popular online but where do I start? Do I make tutorials? Do I make a commercial about my practice?
The easiest way to start is by coming up with frequently asked questions that your consumers and clients ask on a regular basis. Nobody wants to know what your name is or how many years you’ve been in practice. Instead, they only want to know how can you help solve their legal problem. That’s it.
Teach them something they don’t know. Don’t give them the law, but instead educate them.
2. Is it better to host videos myself on my website or is it ok to upload them to YouTube?
In the “old days” the answer would have been to host the videos yourself. However, since YouTube is the dominant player online today the answer is that it is perfectly acceptable to upload to YouTube and then to embed a video on your website and blog.
There are many other video sharing sites online. The problem is that they are not all connected to the largest search engine in the world. It’s important to remember that Google is the largest search engine in the world. Want to know what the second largest search engine is? It’s YouTube. In addition to YouTube I would highly recommend uploading your videos directly to Facebook.
4. How many videos should I make? Is just one or two good or should I make more?
In 2006, when YouTube was in its infancy if you put up a handful of videos and someone was searching for you, you would likely get found pretty easily. Today, if you upload one or two videos you would pretty much guarantee that your videos would never be found. That’s because hundreds of hours of video content are uploaded each minute.
YouTube and Google reward you for consistently putting up fresh new video content. That means you need to create video on an ongoing consistent basis. That will help you create a following of people who (1) look forward to getting your videos, (2) comment on them, (3) begin discussions about them, (4) like them, (5) share them and (6) embed them on their own websites.
When you create consistent new fresh educational video content, the search engines will reward you over time for doing that. You’re actually providing a great service to your clients and consumers by putting out great new video content each day, week, month; as often as you can.
The answer is as often as you possibly can. When I first started creating video back in 2006 I would upload video once a month. As I became more and more proficient that became more frequent. Now I upload video every day. I currently have over 900 videos to market my solo law firm in one of the most competitive legal markets in the country. I receive calls and emails every day from people who have watched my educational videos to ask me for more information. I’ve also had the privilege of creating over 3000 videos to help lawyers across the country market their law firms.
6. How do I get people to come to my website or contact me after watching my video?
Every video you create must have a call to action. The call to action should never be a hard sell like you see on TV commercials. Instead, it should be a soft approach telling a viewer that if they need more information they should call you.
You can always try and learn how to be a video producer, video editor and video publisher. I will tell you that it took me a very long time to learn how to do all those things and do it well. The real question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to learn a new trade and have the time, desire and energy to learn how to do it all yourself?
Just like you could learn how to fix your car when it breaks down you can also learn how to fix your sink when your plumbing leaks. At the same time you could learn how to fix your watch when you watch breaks down or even how to repair a hole in your roof during the middle of a storm. You can of course do all this on your own.
Alternatively, you can realize that you would rather do what you do best, which is practice law and represent your clients to the best of your ability. In that instance you would then look to see which video marketing company is tried and tested, has done it before and has experience understanding who your ideal clients are. That’s the key.
No matter who you are considering to create your videos you should always ask them if they are a practicing trial attorney who understands your clients problems without you having to teach them. If your video producer is not an actively practicing attorney how can they help you create content that will compel the viewer to pick up the phone and call?
As the only practicing trial lawyer in the country who helps other lawyers create video to market their law firms I’m proud to say that I have a unique perspective on what works and what does not.
It’s also important to remember that our consumers who are searching for us online correlate our legal ability with the quality of our video. It’s not a fair assumption for them to make but that’s the reality. Your goal as an attorney who is creating a video marketing message is to make the video transparent without any deficiencies or problems or distractions. You want the video to be transparent so the viewer focuses only on your educational message.
If your video fails to do that and your viewer becomes distracted, they will leave your video and never return.
Many lawyers use the “hope method” of marketing. They’ll find some local kid down the street or a high school student or a relative who knows how to use a video camera to shoot some videos and throw it up online. Then they hope that someone will find the videos, find it compelling enough and want to pick up the phone and call them.
I will tell you that the hope method of marketing simply does not work.
The reality is that there are many people today who can operate a video camera. It’s not hard. Take any video camera, put it on a tripod and press the record button. That simple. What’s not so simple is making sure that the video quality is excellent, that the audio is crystal clear, and that your lighting is good. Then you’ve got to create a compelling message. You have to be interesting.
Then you have to optimize your videos3 so that the search engines recognize you have relevant content by creating a compelling headline, an interesting description, relevant keywords and an interesting thumbnail.
Then you have to create a word for word transcript to help the search engines understand exactly what it is that you are talking about in your videos. You cannot rely on the voice recognition technology by YouTube thinking that it will give you a 100% accurate transcript. It won’t.
You then need to take advantage of spotlight annotations to maximize the chances that a viewer will want to watch more of your content. If your relative can do all this, then that’s wonderful.
However, are they also going to create a frequently asked question for you? Are they also going to create a separate blog post for each video you create? Are they also going to tell you you need to create an in-depth article in order to help the search engines recognize that you have more great content on this topic?
Are they going to show you how to use social media in order to promote your videos? If they encourage you to write “Check out my new video!” I suggest running as fast as you can away from that advice.
The kid down the street or the high school student or your relative can do all of this. Will they know how? No.
If they only know bits and pieces then you are leaving incredible opportunities on the table when creating your video marketing messages.
9. Can I do SEO for my video?
Of course you can. Can you do surgery on yourself? Of course you can. If you learn how and you realize that there are risks and benefits to doing it yourself, the answer is of course you can. Should you do it on your own?
When a new client comes into your office and asks you whether they should try their case on their own, do you turn around and say “Of course you can. I think it’s a great idea.”
The reality is unless you are an expert and know exactly how to do search engine optimization4 for your video content, I highly recommend letting someone who does this for a living do it for you.
10. Are there any other ways to actively advertise my video online?
Yes, there are. You can use paid methods to promote your video including pay per click5 and other promotions through social media as well as YouTube and Google. Should you do it?
My answer is no. I always recommend creating great educational video organically on a consistent fresh new basis. Why would you want to pay Google and YouTube when you can create great content consistently and dominate your online video space without having to pay to do that.
Keep in mind that there are instances where you will want to promote your video through paid search to get greater visibility and more traffic to your website. But also remember that paid search is just like paying rent. The moment you turn the spigot off your leads will dry up. That’s not a great long-term strategy.
The better practice is to create great educational content on a consistent basis that, over time, will help you dramatically in the search engines.
Gerry is a practicing NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Attorney practicing in one of the most competitive markets in the Country.
He is the author of “Secrets of Lawyer Video Marketing in the Age of YouTube6,” has lectured to thousands of lawyers across the country, has written hundreds of articles on video marketing for attorneys and is considered the leading authority on video marketing for lawyers.
He has created over 900 educational videos7 to teach his potential clients how cases involving medical malpractice & accidents work and is the Founder of the Lawyers Video Studio, where he has helped lawyers across the country create over 3000 videos to market their law firms.
Gerry has used video marketing to generate settlements of over $7 million dollars for his own solo practice.
HERE’S GERRY’S OFFER FOR YOU…
If you need help creating your video marketing plans to achieve your video marketing goals, then I encourage you to reach out to him at 516-487-8207. He will help you create a video marketing plan that will allow you to achieve your video marketing goals. For free. On the phone. $2500 value.
This offer is only available for the next four days after this article goes live. He has only six slots available. Give him a call. I know he’ll be happy to help you. 516-487-8207.
Also, if you’d like a copy of his book, you can always go on to Amazon.com and buy it for $16.95. Alternatively, if you would like a free copy simply send an e-mail to Frances@LawyersVideoStudio.com with the words ‘video marketing book’ in the title and he’ll be glad to e-mail you a PDF copy of the book for free.