Video has long been touted as the Next Big Thing (which arrived some years ago, actually), but is it really that vital for lawyers?
Forbes’ carried a piece from law marketer Jason Bland who undertook a look at the issue, requesting law firm marketers to take a step back for “a little perspective”.
Bland’s analysis looked at click through rates (called play rates), breaking them down into categories –
Commercial/Intro: These are videos that are introducing the visitor to the firm and look like a television commercial.
Testimonial: This is a real client giving a video testimonial.
Explanation: This is a video where an attorney is explaining a topic like what should be included in a will or what happens if my case goes to trial.
Unsurprisingly, personal injury law is the most competitive area for marketing online and attracts the highest keyword costs. The survey looked at that area, as well as the others: estate planning and family law (which have similar audiences), commercial law and criminal law.
The Results Are In
And the results of the survey in terms of play rates?
1. Nobody is watching your videos on their phone. The play rate for cell phone traffic was a microscopic fraction of the desktop or tablet rate on most sites. In some instances, the same video that got a 5% play rate out of 1,000 desktop visitors would have zero plays from the same number of phone visitors.
2. Tablets dominate video consumption. Around 75% of the websites reviewed had higher play rates from tablet visitors than desktop. Some websites had a tablet play rate as high as 9%.
3. Over 50% of watchers watch less than 50% of the video.Many viewers skip through the video rather than watching it from start to finish. If user controls are removed, the visitor is likely to scroll or click away.
While the survey results show less than impressive video usage and uptake from prospective clients, however it shows what sort of video that people are using or wanting to use.
Should Lawyers Use Video?
Short answer: Yes
The results of the survey indicate that the high end, commercial videos are less value than explanatory videos that actually answer a question that a prospective client is wanting answered.
Explanation videos receive more watchers than the commercial videos. Rather than producing a high-end commercial, focus on creating short one- to two-minute clips that answer your prospective clients’ questions.
Video placement is also key. Instead of placing the video on the home page, look at placing it instead on the practice area of the website where the client or prospective client is actually searching for information. The play rate will be much higher.
Don’t ignore Facebook, either.
There are 100 million hours each day of people watching videos on Facebook. Digiday observed that over 85% of those videos are watched without sound and you therefore need to make a version with large text that outlines your key points.
And testimonials are always good.
Client testimonial videos can reinforce your claim that your clients love you, but at the end of the day, prospects are looking at your ratings on Google, Yelp, Avvo and Facebook. If you have a happy client on screen and a two-star rating on review sites, your video testimonial will not help you out.
The key should be to provide value to the client and remember to keep them in mind when making the videos. That way, the law firm video content will be well produced, targeted, well placed – and played.
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