Let me ask you a question – when an important outcome is at stake, do you send an email or meet someone face to face?

Of course, you do it face to face. And why? Because it adds a personal touch. Because you can communicate with body language. Because it builds the relationship, and much more.

Converting a prospect is undoubtedly important, yet most law firms still use words and images (their website) as a first impression.

This guide will give you an introduction to the world of online video, look at how different law firms are implementing it and how you can utilise video to stand out from the crowd.

Video is thriving online

It takes just a quick visit to YouTube’s statistics page to realise just how dominant video has become online. Not only is YouTube now the second largest search engine, but it is home to over one billion views and hundreds of millions of hours of viewing, every single day.

Australia has embraced new on-demand video services such as Netflix, iView, Stan. Leading on-demand provider, Netflix, has seen a rapid uptake of 2.5 million users since it launched in March 2015.

 

So how can you make it work for you? Video can showcase your firm, introduce key people and give your audience a unique insight into your practice, all using a format people enjoy viewing.

Most potential clients want to see the person who is going to represent them. Video gives an insight into your firm that static words and pictures can never do. It is immediate, personal and powerful.

How can I use video?

That depends. How do your competitors present themselves?

If you specialise in family law, showcasing your empathy and professionalism is a must – it’s a very personal relationship.

If you’re in corporate law, you could use video to showcase your ability to communicate and highlight key advantages. Video accelerates prospective clients through the acceptance process.

We recently produced an overview video for Harris Friedman Lawyers. See how Managing Director, Jonathan Harris, communicates his confidence and professionalism – by the end of the video you’re much more invested in the firm (and Jonathan) than you would be if you spent a few minutes reading.

What form should it take?

Obviously the video should reflect the personality of your firm – but a video can take many forms.

A tried and tested format is an introduction to the firm by the principal (who may even choose to narrate the entire piece, as shown above) intercut with comments from key team members and their areas of expertise.

Another common option is to use testimonials. You would be amazed at what clients will say about you and your firm. Allowing a subject to open up and speak in their own words can elicit wonderful and genuine praise that will deeply resonate with prospects. We shoot testimonials unscripted, using a professional interviewer – your existing clients are your greatest hidden asset.

Across the industry video has gotten shorter. A ten minute video is now five. A five minute video is now under two. We find that a two to three minute ‘introduction’ video hits the sweet spot.

The work we did for FilePro is a great example of how video can really bring testimonials to life. By using the client’s own words, we managed to capture an authenticity and believability that wouldn’t come across in a written testimonial – whether genuine or not.

Choosing a production company

When shooting videos like the two examples above, choosing the right production company is incredibly important.

Many lawyers have the gift of the gab in the courtroom and at parties, but then tighten up in front of the camera. Make sure your choose a production company that will help you every step of the way – allowing you to relax and ad-lib naturally.

It’s important to appear comfortable, warm, approachable, and authoritative (a big ask I know), as this will be a first impression for many people.

If you’re not so comfortable speaking, you’ll want to look for a company that is competent with animation. We’ve found quirky, sketch animation can be a very engaging tool in the battle to win minds. It’s friendly, fresh and powerful – allowing you to use anything an imagination can conjure up.

This video for Gowland Lawyers combines sketch and live-action video to inject some personality into the firm, while demonstrating their key selling points.

Using video efficiently

While the costs of high-quality video have decreased significantly due to digital production, you still want to get the most out of your investment. There are a number of different ways to make the most of video.

Video is a great way to add personality to regularly dry email inquiries. Simply embed your video with something along the lines of ‘Thanks for your enquiry – here’s a bit more about us.’ In 2015, a GetResponse study of one billion emails found video email had a 96% higher click-through rate.

And like any digital media, video is easily measurable. Make sure you test your website and email before and after your use of video – that way you’ll know where to invest money in the future.

Finally, video helps improve your website’s SEO – while Google hasn’t confirmed this explicitly, studies have found websites with video received a significant boost in a recent update to Google’s search algorithm.

Tristan Parry is a Creative Director and animator/videographer at Media One, Sydney.