photo-1459184070881-58235578f004These days, everyone is talking about video – whether you’re livestreaming or pre-recording, it’s something the legal industry can no longer ignore. And those law firms doing it well are ahead of the curve, and getting attention! So I didn’t want to miss the LMA’s session on “Video Isn’t Just for Hollywood,” with Lane Powell’s Jennifer Castleberry, ReelLawyers’ Bill White, and Sutherland’s Stephen DiGennaro.

The session description said:

Video isn’t just for Hollywood anymore. Let’s take a look at innovative and successful ways to incorporate video into law firm websites. Serving up what your user wants — and not what you want — is critical. Our panelists will talk strategy including what has worked and what hasn’t. You will walk away wanting to incorporate video into your website or wanting to change how you’re approaching this content medium which will become main stream for law firms in the next three years.”

For this content-loving legal marketer, that description focuses on the same theme that we’re always talking about here at Zen: the audience. So whether your content is the written word or the spoken one, you’ve still got to know who your audience is, and what they want. 

The panelists had some excellent takeaways for the audience:

  • When jumping into video marketing, take a flip camera to your attorney retreat and record your attorneys – that will help you quickly figure out who’s good on camera.
  • Not all videos have to be client-facing; consider video for internal firm-wide announcements as well.
  • “Videos are the ultimate sticky content for a website.” Assuming that they’re interesting, they attract visitors and keep them. They also humanize attorneys.
  • Instead of staring at 20 hours of video footage, get a transcript, read it, and find great quotes/statements that you’d like to highlight.
  • Plan, plan, plan – research the most-watched videos on YouTube (besides cute cat videos) and see what you can learn from them.
  • Before venturing into video, make sure you have a mobile website and a robust set of analytics.
  • Have good lighting – Sutherland uses a six-point lighting system.
  • Don’t send links to your firm’s videos on your YouTube channel. Send safe links by embedding videos into their own pages on your website, where there’s no competition, no unrelated videos, etc.
  • Consider bringing attorney bio pages to life with video.

Along with these takeaways, the panelists had some best practices for us.

  • Style of Video:

The style of video can have a drastic impact on the content. Sutherland has had success creating what they call “videocasts.” These are streaming videos that are no longer than 5 minutes, on a legal hot topic. They have two style options – an interview, or a more standard option. The videocasts are accessible on a wide range of platforms (this is key), including desktops, iPads and other tablets, and smartphones.

Wonder if this worked? With video use, Sutherland’s web visitors were digesting FOUR times more content than before, and spending 3.5 times as much time on the website. It also differentiated them from other firms in clients/potential clients email inboxes.

  • Don’t be Boring: 

This, perhaps, seems like an obvious one, but it’s still happening enough that the panelists deemed it important enough to mention. America’s attention span is SO short, that you should really be keeping your videos to 60-seconds or less (True story). Why? After 10 seconds, 20% of your audience disappears. After 30 seconds 30% is gone. So brevity (and entertainment!) is key.

How to avoid being boring?

  • Clients don’t want to hear you talking about yourself. They want to hear about a problem that you’re solving (there’s that pesky “audience” thing again).
  • Equally bad is talking about how much you love your clients – and I quote “There’s nothing more boring than a lawyer droning on about how much they know and how much they love their clients.”
  • Ask and answer the right questions.
  • Don’t be afraid to be entertaining.

Not sure the law can be fun? The panelists showed us this video from patent lawyers Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner that proved it’s possible. (See, even patent law is funny!)

Great lessons from this panel on what we can be doing to get started (or improve) with video. What tips would you add to this list?

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.