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Don't Ignore YouTube When Marketing Your Law Firm Online

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on July 27, 2015 3:45 PM

If you're looking to stand out when marketing your firm online, consider video. More and more potential clients are turning to online video, particularly to YouTube, to learn about legal issues. The market for legal videos is huge: 20 percent of people research legal topics on YouTube.

While the bad lawyer commercial is a longstanding legal tradition, the bad lawyer online video shouldn't be. Here are some tips to help you bring your marketing into the video age like a pro.

1. Decide: Advertise or Inform?

When choosing what sort of online video to create, think about whether you would like to make a traditional advertisement or more information-heavy content. There are advantages to traditional advertising. For one, the form is familiar and well-established. Online video ads are also easily shareable. You can embed your ads easily on your website, send them in emails, or tweet them out to the Twittersphere.

On the other hand, more informative content can also get you results. Consider putting together a video on "top estate planning strategies for new parents" or "five things to know about traffic stops in Michigan."

Informational video content, especially "how to" videos, has exploded in recent years. In 2015 alone, more than 100 million hours of how-to videos have been watched, with many of those viewers going on to buy a related product or service.

2. Get a Professional or Be a Professional

Ten years ago, when YouTube was founded, most users could get away with an amateur look. Not anymore. Today, online video has production standards akin to studio T.V. -- or at least really fancy public access. Many successful YouTube users invest thousands of dollars in equipment and production.

If you're going to make a video, your standards should be high. You'll either need professional-grade video equipment, lighting, and editing, or you'll need to hire a professional. We recommend the later, which allows you to spend your time doing what you do best -- practicing law, not video production.

3. Remember, Everything Can Go Viral

Before you put anything on the Internet, you should keep in mind that all videos, blogs, or websites are just a few clicks away from going viral. Think you can slap together a video in five minutes? Prepare to be laughed at. Put together a "humorous" video in eminently bad taste? Expect to be scorned. Give bad advice and plan on being held accountable.

That said, don't let video intimidate you. As more and more Internet content switches to streaming video, getting out in front of online trends can help you develop authority and a strong following in what could soon be a valuable source of new clients.

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