The Legal Industry Has Misused Video. Are You Guilty?

Brown and gold gavel on open book
Posted on by Jason Cook
Categories: Legal Marketing

How many lawyer jokes can an industry endure before it loses all credibility? Fortunately, the nature of our legal system (and society as a whole) does all but ensure the longevity of lawyers and legal practices throughout our world. Facilitating everything from criminal and civil proceedings to real estate transactions, there are very few major events and acquisitions in our lives that reach completion without the aid of legal representation. And yet, the general public subscribes to the mass resentment of lawyers, as a whole.

With that in mind, it becomes apparent that there is a gap which needs to be bridged. One one side, we have prospective clients that are in need of legal services. On the other side, we have legal representation in need of clients. But the gap which rests in-between them is cavernous, lined with the cumulative distrust of countless generations.

As with any other industry, legal service providers require effective and strategic marketing initiatives in order to ensure their continued success. However, the legal industry is unique in its need to cultivate a sense of trustworthiness, as well as communicate the services that they offer.

If trust is the goal, it seems ironic that that most powerful tool by 2018 standards, is one that lawyers have been using for years, until (that is) we consider just how poorly they’ve been misusing it to-date. That’s right, we’re talking about video, and it’s about time that lawyers being to use it correctly.


Escaping the Stereotype

For the better part of four decades, television commercials promoting legal representation have been a staple of both daytime and late-night viewing. These spots usually feature a senior partner or figurehead, uncomfortably speaking in stilted rhythms and conveying an empathy towards whatever plight a prospective client might face. Viewed by the layperson as little more than modern ambulance chasing, such television spots aimed to humanize the principal(s) of successful firms while branding the viewer’s mind with a phone number or website. Of course, the latter goal often proved more successfully achieved than the former.

Thus, law firms serve as a pioneer of just how effectively video content can be in terms of making an otherwise unrelatable specialist or service provider, accessible to those who require their services. However, accessibility is only the first step of a modern marketing initiative, not the final destination.

Embracing a Wider Audience

As mentioned above, television spots seem to permeate daytime and late-night television. As such, one could argue that such airing caters almost exclusively to the unemployed, the entitled and the disenfranchised. Despite the success enjoyed by exploiting such a demographic, let us never forget that legal representation is required in most areas of our adult lives. With that in mind, we turn our attention to how law offices could embrace a wider audience that is equally (yet legitimately) in need of their services.

Traversing the Generation Gap

With the eldest of Generation Z entering the consumer marketplace at age 18 and the eldest of our population consisting of members of the Traditionalist generation, there are a wide range of legal services to be offered. From first-time homeowners to facilitation of one’s personal estate post-mortem, attorneys count Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y, Millennial and Post-Millennials among the generations they can build a clientele from. But how do you most effectively reach those audiences?

Enter digital marketing initiatives.

With the aging Traditionalists employing their Baby Boomer children as both legal proxies and beneficiaries, it’s import to recognize the latter generation’s ever-increasing use of the internet. A surprising prevalence of social media use and comfort with search engines as a means of modern research marks the evolution away from increasingly ineffective print ads, yellow pages, and television spots.

And as we reach Generation X and younger adults, we find consumers who almost exclusively utilize the internet for research, as we all as a primary means of sourcing reviews and securing service providers. With this in mind, what is the best means of making an impact in the infinite sea of online solicitations?


Proper Use of Video

Towards the tail end of 2017, it was reported that approximately 90% of corporate marketers either employed video content or had existing plans to incorporate it in their marketing initiatives for 2018.

And rightfully so. YouTube alone boasts over 1 billion consumers, making up approximately 1/3 of all online activity. With over 500 million hours of video content viewed each day, YouTube has become a go-to resource for both informational and commercial content. It’s really no surprise that businesses which employ video content tend to grow revenue as much as 49% faster than those business who don’t.

For attorneys and law offices, well-produced video content represents a powerful means of crafting a trust-based relationship while petitioning clientele. How? Let’s explore a few of the key video trends being employed in 2018.


Top 3 Video Marketing Trends for 2018

Going LIVE

LIVE video is offered on most social media platforms and is widely interpreted as being less-scripted and more organic in nature. Consider the impact felt if an educated attorney were to provide an impromptu explanation of services, especially ones that were topical to a specific audience or demographic. Abandoning the stilted solicitations of late night television spots, a well-spoken and responsive attorney could host live video content where questioned could be asked, answered and relationships built.


Animated Content

When creating informational content, it becomes important to find the right means of presenting information which laypeople might find confusing, or overwhelming. Considering the complicated nature of legal proceedings and transactions, prospective clients might find animated content a welcome alternative to lengthy, recited verbiage. The production of such content also shows a strong level of commitment and a desire to create a client-centric experience.

360 Video & VR

While the creation of an immersive digital environment may not seem a natural fit for legal solicitation, innovative marketers continue to find innovative ways to exploit growing trends such as 360 Video and Virtual Reality. Perhaps a digital tour of your upscale offices, for example, might prove enticing to potential clients.

No matter how you choose to employ video content in your marketing initiatives, you are making use of the strength of visual media. But if you have yet to incorporate such content, it cannot be overstated how much you are jeopardizing the continued success of your firm or practice. After all, clientele who rely on word-of-mouth or print ads diminish with each passing day. In order for any business to thrive, an effective online presence is required (not optional), and video content is the best means of maximizing that presence.