Video Marketing for Lawyers: 13 Techniques for Attracting Clients

video-marketing-lawyerVideo marketing ticks all the boxes if you want to generate more traffic, develop more leads and convert more paying clients for your law firm:

  • Improves SEO and search rankings
  • Improves engagement with your target audience
  • Persuades potential clients that you’re the right law firm for the job

The problem with making videos is the perception that it’s either too difficult or too expensive.

In this article, we’ll focus on practical, real-world tips that can get you immediate results with your video marketing.

By following these 13 techniques you can get video working for your law firm:



The Top 13 Video Marketing Techniques for Lawyers


1. Perform keyword research to uncover the video content your audience is searching for

Making videos costs time, effort, and money. Before starting, it just makes good sense to understand what your audience is searching for.

You’re probably familiar with keyword research for written copy and content on your website. But did you know that a few simple keyword research techniques can also be used to design your video content around?

Simply head over to YouTube search and start typing in a search term connected to your practice area. As you type, YouTube will suggest other terms – and these are the top related video searches.

In this example, I started typing DUI cases:

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It’s that easy.

And of course you can get more ideas from standard Google search suggestions in the dropdown:

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There are also a few great tools you can use to generate video content ideas:

TubeBuddy Tags –  a free Google Chrome extension that allows you to check the tags that your competitors are using for their videos: once installed, head over to a competitor’s video and check the tags. If the video is poorly optimized, you can make a video based on a similar subject to outrank it.

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YT Cockpit – once you enter a keyword, this powerful tool will throw up many other keyword suggestions, along with key metrics (like average views on YouTube).

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Once you identify the keywords you want to target, you have two basic options with your videos:

  • Optimize an existing video around it
  • Create a new video for it

If you don’t optimize your video around the keywords you identify, they’ll just get buried. But more about that in Tip 10.


2. Invest in writing a script and high-quality video editing

85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound.

This is sometimes used as justification for focusing more on the visuals than what’s being said in a video. My advice is that you can pretty much ignore this.

Around 90 percent of videos on YouTube are watched with sound on. And that’s what you should really be basing your videos around.

Besides, what you say in your videos is critical as you are trying to connect on an emotional and intellectual level with the target audience; you’re not selling jellybeans!

Unless you’re doing an off-the-cuff vlog (see Tip 7) you need a good script, and you need to be heard as well as seen.

Invest in a good scriptwriter and make sure that whoever edits your videos pays attention to clear audio as well as the video content.

This is a good example of a well-edited video with good audio from Nathens, Siegel LLP in Toronto (about how property is divided between spouses in Ontario). I can say for certain that he uses a script but the content flows naturally as though he is.

 

A good script should, ideally:

  • Include a bullet-list of general points that you’ll cover when addressing the camera (you don’t want it to sound like you’re reading but it may take some practice).
  • Introduce the subject of the video very early for educational and how-to videos – otherwise viewers won’t hang around.
  • Be as conversational as possible – you’re trying to connect with your target audience not bamboozle them with your knowledge.
  • Keep sentences short and to the point.
  • Avoid jargon and legal-ese!

A couple more quick scriptwriting tips:

  • Keep timing in mind – 350 words usually equates to two minutes of audio (more about video length in Tip 12)
  • If you’re presenting the video, practice reading the script in front of friends or colleagues to simulate the pressure you may feel talking to a camera.

3. Develop educational content that focuses on specific questions asked by your customers

During your keyword research (see Tip 1) you will start to uncover the specific types of videos that people are searching for on YouTube and Google.

In the early stages of search, before they’re ready to hire a lawyer, they’re often looking to be informed about a particular legal matter. They’re not usually searching for corporate-style company videos in this phase.

People use video to learn. They are four times more likely to watch educational videos than they are to read the text.

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Tailor your videos for the types of informational/educational searches that people are looking for in the early stages of search; and answer the questions that your target audience is asking.

Take child custody law. If you’re facing the high emotions of a potential child custody battle, you’ll want to know what you need to consider so that you can get your thoughts (and a strong case) together.

Here’s how New Mexico Legal Group helps educate their audience on the subject:

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For a couple considering divorce, they may want to know more about collaborative divorce as the way forward.

The Colorado Legal Group answers that question (and many others along these lines) in detail on their site:

 

Note the call to action next to the video. That’s important. More about incorporating calls of action into your videos in Tip 8.

The beauty of educational videos is that you don’t have to be very creative and they don’t have to take up much time. You know your stuff and you just need to communicate it clearly on camera.

Answering people’s questions via video demonstrates authority, builds engagement and trust, and makes it more likely they’ll call you.

It also increases the time that visitors spend on your website, potentially generating more organic traffic through higher search rankings.


4. Create a high-quality branded video for your homepage

 

Most of the best law firm websites now include high-quality branded videos.

Why?

Because video can spearhead your branding and showcase your firm to people considering hiring a lawyer and generate leads.

This type of video is intended for your target audience in the second stage of search: they already have awareness of the legal issue facing them and are looking for the best possible solution.

They are looking to hire. That means they want different questions answered.

What makes you different? Why do you practice law in this field? Why should anyone considering hiring a lawyer in your practice area choose you?

Typically, a law firm branding video will include:

  • Your key value proposition – what sets you apart and why should they call you?
  • Markers that demonstrate credibility and authority.
  • Behind-the-scenes shots of life at your law firm to build trust and engagement.
  • A little of the story of who you are and how you came about – if interesting and relevant to your audience.
  • Shots of your offices and surrounding location – if relevant.
  • Key personnel – with a few words from each, if possible.

Best practice is to place your video above the fold on your homepage. If it’s going to spearhead your branding, you want it front and centre for maximum impact.

See where New Mexico Legal Group places their video on the homepage, for instance:

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As well as the homepage, you can upload your video to multiple other places on the web and achieve maximum reach and ROI.

5. Develop customer testimonial/case study videos to build social proof and trust

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Another type of video that potential customers want to view is testimonials and case studies.

They search for these videos when they’re at the decision stage and actually looking to hire a law firm.

Prospective customers want to know that the claims made on your website are supported by real client experiences that mirror their own situation.

The social proof derived from others talking positively (and even emotionally) about the results you achieved may be the “clincher”: between choosing your firm and opting for one of your competitors.

Looking to hire a personal injury lawyer in Toronto? This testimonial video could provide a compelling reason to choose Thomson Rogers…

 

Video testimonials are much harder to fake then text. They are trusted more and are far more compelling.

Video stories have the ability to make emotional connections between people who don’t know each other.  Text struggles to do that.

And, as you can see from the example above, they work best when it’s real customers sharing real experiences of working with your firm.


6. Conduct video interviews with lawyers

 

Another useful type of video to include on your website or YouTube channel is interview videos.

A potential customer looking to hire a lawyer to fight a criminal case will usually want to know a bit about that person before they pick up the phone.

They want to hear them talk about their practice area, the cases they’ve won, the types of people they’ve worked with, and how they approach cases.

They want to know that they’re experienced in criminal law.

You can demonstrate experience in your practice area through video interviews with key lawyers in your firm. Personally address common customer concerns, strategies for handling cases, actual case studies, and so on.

This helps to build trust with your audience as they approach the decision stage of their search for a law firm.

Take the example of Colorado Legal Group. You have the option to “Get to Know” each of their lawyers from their Meet the Team page.

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Click through and you can watch a video with each of the lawyers being interviewed:

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The effect of this?

Anyone looking for a divorce lawyer feels like they already know (and trust) David and his firm. They’re more likely to pick up the phone and call.


7. Create vlogs

 

Vlogs is simply a portmanteau for video blogs.

The great thing about them is that these videos don’t need to be highly polished. You can shoot them from your iPhone and it’s OK if they’re a little rough around the edges.

You can keep them quite raw and real. They’re designed for sharing thoughts and insight; to show the vlogger in action or in a quieter period of reflection; and to be highly focused on a particular topic.

For instance, you can highlight:

  • Recent courtroom experiences
  • Particular cases
  • Interesting client experiences (while retaining client confidentiality, of course)
  • Thoughts on legislative changes
  • Opinions on your practice area
  • Tips for your target audience
  • A tour of your office

Vlogs won’t be for everyone but they are a “thing”. Clawbies (The Canadian Law Blog Awards) includes a “Best Podcast or Vlog award”.

This was one of the 2018 winners, Kyla Lee from Acumen Law Corporation:

 

For the most adventurous lawyers out there, vlogs can help set you apart from the competition with an “inside look” at how you can help.

They can help break down those perceived barriers that legal firms often face from new clients.

And, if you’re really good at delivering them, they can build you a strong and loyal following.


8. Use a call to action in your videos

 

This deserves a point of its own, even though it’s been mentioned already.

Why? Because so few law firms include a call to action at the end of their videos!

Get into the habit of doing that every time – for FAQ videos, testimonials, corporate-style branding videos, vlogs, etc. Just like with law firm landing pages, they always need a call to action.

Some lawyers cringe at this aspect of video marketing but your call to action doesn’t need to be “salesy” at all.

Your calls to action should be based upon the stage your viewers are at on this journey, and they should help them take the next logical step.

Don’t assume that the viewer knows what to do next.

Simply inserting a slide that says “The Law Offices of ABC Law Firm” at the end of your video (like the majority of law firms do) does not cut it.

Look at this excellent video, that just misses the mark on its Call to Action.

 

Compare the above example with this:

 

Examples of calls to action you can use for the first stage (awareness):

  • Click the link below for more info
  • Visit our website to find out more about (insert topic): URL

Examples you can use for the decision stage (hiring):

  • Need help right now? Give us a call on XXXXXXXX
  • Book a free consultation: call XXXXXXXX

9. Publish your videos to multiple platforms

OK – you’ve researched and made your videos. They’re looking great. What next?

You need to get your videos out there working for you. That means publishing them to all the places on the web where you can reach your target audience.

Here are the key places:

On your website (homepage, review pages, FAQs)

Educate your audience by answering their questions and increase conversions with social proof:

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On Landing Pages

Increase conversions by up to 80 percent by including video on your law firm landing pages:

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On YouTube

Drive traffic to your law firm website from the world’s largest video platform:

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On Facebook

Use video in Facebook ads (more about that in Tip 11) and on your feed:

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Avvo

Add a link to your video on your Avvo profile:

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10. Ensure YouTube videos are optimized

YouTube is where you can really start building a following for your videos.

It really is huge:

  • 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day.
  • 1 billion people are YouTube users.
  • It’s the second largest search engine on the planet – after Google!

However, most lawyers upload their content and it gets buried beneath a pile of other videos on the same subject.

To stand out, you need to optimize your YouTube videos. Just like with web pages but with a few differences.

If you’ve made a high-quality video on “New York child custody law” and someone searches for that term, your video needs to appear high on the first results page – like with Google.

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If your video doesn’t appear in the first few listings, it will probably get few views, no matter its quality. Work on optimizing it to get it ranking.

The main YouTube ranking factors are:

  • Session time – how long users spend on the YouTube platform after watching your video.
  • Watch time – how long are people watching your video for?
  • Audience retention – the percentage of your video that people watch.
  • Engagement – how do people interact with your video (likes, comments, shares, etc.?)
  • Click Through Rate (CTR) – do viewers click the links you include?

It’s useful to keep these in mind when you create your videos. One or two of them are dealt with in more depth in Tip 12.

Also, keep in mind the suggested videos by YouTube. These show up in the right-hand panel when you watch a video:

The better you optimize your videos, the more likely they are to be included as suggested videos. And that will increase views.

Here are the main areas to focus on when it comes to optimizing your YouTube videos:

  • Video title: Your title should include your main target keyword once. It also needs to be compelling enough to encourage users to click through to watch the video.
    • Example: Child Custody factors in New York State
  • Video description: Your video description should ideally be 200 words or more. Include your main keyword and make it long enough to provide YouTube with a solid understanding of what the video covers; and to inform potential viewers why they should watch it (to boost CTR).
  • Video Tags: YouTube recommends that you tag your videos – so this is another optimization step you should go through. You don’t have to over-think what to tag your videos with. Just settle on 5-10 tags, include your keyword in at least one of the tags, and make sure the tags do reflect the content of your video.
  • Mention your keyword in each video: YouTube is smart. It knows what you’re saying in your video and will judge its relevance to the title, description, and tags. If you title a video “Child Support in New York”, write a description relating to this and tag it accordingly – but start talking about car accidents – the video will be penalized in rankings.

There’s a little more to it. But just by mastering these four areas of YouTube video optimization you should see a ranking boost for your videos.

Most law firms are simply not doing these things. You have an opportunity to outrank them on the largest video platform on the planet!


11. Use videos in Facebook display campaigns

YouTube isn’t the only mega-platform where video dominates.

Over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day, and video posts are shared 12 times more than text and image posts combined.

You don’t really need to be bombarded with stats to understand that:

  • Engagement is far higher on Facebook posts that include videos
  • Facebook’s algorithm is geared towards video
  • Ads are also more effective with video included

Law firms using digital ads face the problem of audience saturation: how do you get people to actually view your ad when there are so many out there?

facebook-video-ad

The answer is probably video.

If you upload your videos to Facebook (rather than simply linking to your YouTube videos) they will auto-play in the news feeds of your target audience. This can breathe life into ad campaigns, increasing views and audience engagement.

According to MediaMind, people are over 27 times more likely to click-through from online video ads than standard, static banner ads.

Whether you decide to use Facebook ads will depend largely on your practice area and your overall marketing and branding strategy.

But, if you do decide to use Facebook ads, you can incorporate video for all stages of the sales funnel:

  • Building awareness of your law firm driving traffic to your home page, etc.
  • Consideration phase – which law firm to hire? Driving traffic to the information pages of your website.
  • Conversion – ready to make a decision to hire? Driving traffic to a landing page designed to convert visitors.

Video is the way forward if you are serious about Facebook ads.


12. Go long on videos wherever it makes sense

 

Don’t be fooled if you read this in other video marketing articles:

60 percent of people stop watching videos after two minutes

That doesn’t mean that your videos need to be under two minutes. You’re trying to appeal to a different target audience.

People won’t generally watch your videos for quick fixes. They’re not looking to quickly check out the main features of a product. The decision of which lawyer to hire might be one of the most important decisions they make in their life.

As a law firm, you’re looking to connect with prospects to help them make this decision; and to educate and inform them.

It may not be possible to explain the ins and outs of child custody law in Vancouver or what you need to do after a car accident in LA within two minutes. So my advice is not to try to do so.

Go long wherever possible with your videos, just like with the articles, blog posts, and other content you produce.

This has several key benefits:

  • You can provide a more in-depth understanding of the topic.
  • They can help you improve the total watch time of your videos – one of the most important YouTube ranking factors (see Tip 10).
  • Informative video keeps people on your website longer – a confirmed Google ranking factor.

All other things being equal, longer videos tend to rank better on YouTube. Check out the length of the top-ranking video for marijuana possession law in California…

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And they rank better on Google:

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Example

Say you create two videos on marijuana possession law in California:

  • The first is a 6-minute video
  • The second is a 90-second video

And say people watch 50 percent of your videos.

That means the first video will have four times the watch time of the second – and YouTube/Google will generally rank it higher in search results, all else being equal.


13. Use animation as an alternative way to engage your audience

 

Not comfortable in front of a camera?

A common challenge that law firms face is actually getting their lawyers primed for being on-camera.

The “load” can be lessened somewhat by using animation in certain types of videos. In how-to videos for instance, animation with a voiceover can be an engaging and alternative way to explain how something works in plain English.

Legal processes can be complex. Animation can help a viewer visualize how a legal case, court processes or other series of events work, without a lawyer having to stand in front of a camera to explain.

Animated videos also often include text reminders and music: very effective ways to make your video more memorable (and more likely to convert) with your audience.

Two primary types of animated videos to consider are:

Whiteboard video – like this one from Buckfire & Buckfire, a personal injury law firm in Michigan:

 

With this video, which has had over 12,000 views on YouTube, also note the length (almost five minutes – not the standard two minutes: see previous tip)

Standard animation – like this one from The Collier Firm, a personal injury law firm in Mississippi:

 

As you can see, animation videos can bring a lighter tone to what can be a “heavy” topic. This is not appropriate in all cases but, when people are stressed and looking for answers to problems, it can help set your videos apart.

Animation won’t cover all your video needs but it can help.


Bonus Tip: Include transcripts of educational video content

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Video transcripts are complete text versions of the spoken content in a video.

Why are they important?

A few reasons:

  • Search engines crawl website text to index sites: a transcript helps them understand the content of your video very clearly and on a deeper level.
  • They enable you to use your keywords again (main keywords and secondary ones) in a natural way – to supplement video titles, descriptions, and tags: better for SEO and rankings.
  • Some visitors may prefer reading to watching – they can view the text rather than (or as well as) the video.
  • Transcriptions help to lower bounce rate by confirming the contents of the video are what you describe in the title/description/tags.
  • They may keep visitors on your website for longer – again better for rankings.
  • If you make long videos, the transcripts are like long-form content and this can also aid SEO: pages over 2000 words often rank highly.

Make sure your transcripts are accurate. If that sounds like hard work and time you don’t have, hire a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr to transcribe your video.

It’s a relatively simple and quick job for someone with the necessary language skills.


Get started with video marketing…

Over 70 percent of potential clients are watching more video online this year than they were a year ago. The same percentage of people would rather watch video than read text, given the choice.

As this graphic from a 2017 Hubspot survey shows, video content is increasingly the preferred option.

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So, if they’re not watching your video, they’ll be watching a competing law firm’s video.

You probably don’t have an in-house team to produce your video and you’re probably not the next Spielberg, Scorcese or Tarantino.

So you have two main options:

  1. Use online video maker platforms to make videos for you
  2. Hire a digital marketing agency to consult with you and produce your video

Getting high-quality video made has become far more affordable than it used to be. This has lowered the barriers to getting started.

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