YouTube is a search engine and when you think of it in those terms the usability for law firm marketing is thrown into sharp relief and law firm YouTube ads become a major, marketing opportunity.
YouTube is the second largest search engine, drawing two million logged-in visitors a month according to Hootesuite.
It is, unquestionably, one of the best channels any law firm can use for marketing their services. Or indeed any marketer.
In the United States, Pew Research shows that 74 per cent of adults use YouTube. That fact alone means that any law firm seeking to advertise their services needs to be on the network.
You can obviously post ads on YouTube, but there are some tricks that can help you get great traction for your law firm by using them to maximize your YouTube returns.
What Sort of YouTube Ads Are There?
There are a variety of YouTube ads that law firms can use for marketing and it pays for any law firm YouTube ads to understand what sort of ads can be run on the network.
In-Stream Law Firm Ads
These are ads that play before or during a video (otherwise called the “pre-roll” or “mid-roll”) YouTube ads. They can be skipped after the first five seconds and most people will be familiar with them.
You pay for the ad when the viewer chooses to watch beyond that five second cut-off period. The ad needs to be at least 12 seconds and will usually be considerably longer.
Sidebar YouTube Ads
These are the so-called ‘TrueView’ ads that requires payment only when you have ad impressions to pay, which is when the user actually watches the ad.
The ads will feature a call to action banner that displays on the top right and as a banner on the bottom left of the video.
In-Stream Ads That Are Not Skippable
These are the in-stream ads that cannot be skipped, which is a powerful but more expensive form of law firm advertising and should be used for major promotions or major moves to increase your law brand awareness.
The advertiser is charged on a CPM basis, being impressions per 1000 views.
These are the sort of ads that are more traditional in a search engine environment – given that Google own YouTube, this will not be a surprise. The ads show up alongside organic searches and given that YouTube is the second most-used search engine after its parent Google, the discovery ads can be a highly successful way to use law firm YouTube ads.
Discovery ads will traditionally include three lines of text together with a thumbnail image and the click-through action will take viewers to your law firm video page or your YouTube channel.
As with the sidebar YouTube ads, the discovery ads are chosen by the viewer to be watched.
Non-Video Law Firm Advertising on YouTube
This sort of YouTube law firm advertising is for law firms without budget for the video but where YouTube permits ads to appear on the sidebar with an image and text and the necessary call to action taking the viewer to your website.
These can be display or in-video ads that ‘float’ on top of a video.
How Does YouTube Work?
Google requires you to follow the rules, just as YouTube does. You need to know what is required to get your law firm video ranking properly, which means taking into account some key video marketing requirements.
YouTube takes a lot of factors into account when ranking your video, including:
- Your video titles, tags, descriptions, and keywords
- Any annotations that have been attached to your video
- How viewers have rated your video
- The number of times your video has been viewed
- The number of views and subscribers on your YouTube Channel
- How many times your video has been shared or embedded
- How long ago your video was uploaded
- The quality of your video
- If your video has been flagged for violations or review
- The comments and responses that your video receives
Don’t get too stressed out about your YouTube video rankings, though. Just like the content on your website, it’s possible to over optimize your videos. Ultimately, YouTube is one of the best platforms to get your name out, and you don’t even need to post videos on your channel. Ads are good enough to fill your schedule fast, but let’s look at some tricks to help you save money.
1. Define What You Are Seeking to Achieve
Understand what sort of strategy for your law firm YouTube ads that you want to follow. Generally this will make you decide whether you are looking for conversions, clicks or impressions from your ads.
You then need to enter your proposed budget for the campaign spend and the dates when you want your law firm ad to appear, which will depend upon factors like –
>> Discovery ads only, appearing in YouTube search results;
>> YouTube Display ads, which includes affiliate websites and others;
>> All of YouTube, including the homepage, channels, videos etc;
>> Your desired geographic spread for the ads (remembering that YouTube has a very wide global audience with around 15 per cent of the audience being in the US.
2. Start With Your Company Name
You only pay for pre-roll ads if the viewers watch for more than a few seconds. Most people will click away as soon as possible, but they’ll be able to see your company name if it’s on display when the ad comes on.
I know they won’t get to hear your sales pitch, but your company will stick in their heads. When they’re in trouble, you might be the first person that springs to mind. It’s not bad considering it won’t cost you anything.
3. Link To A More Detailed Video
Do you think you would trust someone after watching a two-minute YouTube ad? Potential clients are going to feel the same way about you. In the future, when clients click on your ads, they should land somewhere with a longer video.
It’s easy to install one on your website, or you can send them to a YouTube video. If they’ve enjoyed your ad, they’ll be more likely to watch a longer video that’s more casual. Don’t forget to give them a call to action.
4. Spend Time Testing Your Hooks
Most law firms advertising on YouTube will of course be seeking more clients and so you’ll need everyone to watch your video until the end. Getting them to watch longer than a few seconds is your first task and requires some good thinking to make the video informative, entertaining or both.
You can test out different hooks to see what catches their eye.
Make them feel like you’re talking to them through the screen. You could say, “Do you need a drug trafficking lawyer to help you stay out of prison?” If it’s good enough to catch their attention, they’ll watch your ad. It’s a technique we use successfully and is something that you need to do to create authority and the necessary trust to make the viewer feel they actually know you, as a drug trafficking lawyer, divorce lawyer, business lawyer or anyone else.
4. Professional And Entertaining
Lawyers usually create professional ads because going to court is serious. You’re not supposed to come out with jokes that make potential clients laugh, but the ads shouldn’t be so professional you send them to sleep.
You should be able to come up with ads that are professional and entertaining. The former will help people think you’re a good lawyer, whereas the latter will ensure more people get to the end of the video.
5. Hire A Professional Copywriter
Hire a professional copywriter if you have spare money to do so as a good copywriter can certainly make a so-so YouTube ad into something very much better. They’ll be able to help you write an engaging script, or to come up with the hooks and angles that you may not have thought of.
While lawyers are frequently good writers, having an experienced copywriter who is also experienced in writing for video can make a huge difference to the success of your campaign.
You might be great at trying to persuade a jury to think a certain way, but copywriters use words to make people take action online. Examine other law ads to see what kinds of scripts your competition uses to succeed.
Michael Sanson is an advertising and marketing researcher who writes frequently on law-related marketing and advertising issues, including for Vilkhov Law in Toronto, Canada.