[author: Noreen Fishman]
Pretty much everyone spends at least a few minutes of their day watching video. Over 75% of Americans over 15 are on YouTube now, and the site is the most popular after Google. The potential to reach such a huge audience is just one reason to invest more in law firm video marketing this year. However, it’s important to plan a thoughtful strategy before diving in. Here are 9 steps to help you get started with effective law firm video marketing.
Law Firm Video Marketing
1. Set Up a YouTube Channel for Your Firm
YouTube is by far the most popular video platform for law firm video marketing so it makes sense to start there. It’s part of Google, so you can use your Google account to create your YouTube account. Then you can log in to YouTube and create a Brand Account and channel. It’s a best practice to manage your firm channel with a brand account. Once everything is set up, optimize your “about” information, header and profile images, and social media and website links. Hootsuite has a detailed walk-through on creating YouTube accounts here.
2. Understand Your Audience
You can’t expect your videos to be successful if they’re not what your target market really wants to see. Spend time figuring out who your audience is and where they currently spend time/watch videos. You can review basic YouTube demographics, and dig into who your audience already follows on YouTube. Begin by checking out the Analytics tab on your YouTube account to see how people are finding your videos and what their interests are. Practice social listening and continuously search social platforms for mentions of relevant topics.
3. Research Your Competition
There is tremendous value in understanding what other firms are doing when it comes to law firm video marketing – and then doing it better! Perform a competitive analysis and document the following:
- Subscriber count
- Average views per video
- Frequency of posting
- Overall video quality
- What people are saying in the comments
- The main topics they post about
Think about what their most popular videos are, how they present themselves, what their brand voice is, and how you can differentiate from them.
4. Get Insight From Your Favorite Channels
Aside from competitors, you should pay attention to what other successful channels are doing. What are the channels that you follow – even unrelated to your industry – and why? As you watch other videos, pay attention to things like video thumbnails, channel art, how other creators post or link to content, how videos are edited, and what other effects are used (such as pop ups). It’s a good idea to follow some YouTube experts to stay up to speed on best practices.
5. Optimize Content to Get More Views
So you have your channel set up – how can you ensure that people will watch the videos there? Just like a search engine, YouTube uses an algorithm to ensure that relevant content makes it past the noise. YouTube factors in not only keywords and what Google would serve, but also the personal history and behavior of the searcher. That’s why no two YouTube searches will have the same results. So how can you optimize videos to get more attention?
- Perform keyword research just like you would for search engines. Start with Google Keyword Planner, and also type your topic into YouTube and see what other suggestions come up.
- Ensure your video has keywords. For every video, have one main keyword and a few additional related phrases. Focus on the title, description, and video tags.
- Use timestamps to break up your video. This allows viewers to skip to parts they are most interested in and is very helpful for longer videos.
- Write a detailed video description. Every video should have a few sentences describing what it’s about. You should include things like a link to your website and social media and a call to action.
- Create a compelling video thumbnail. Remember that besides a title, this is the only item viewers have to decide if they want to watch your video. Customize an image as much as possible and whatever you do, don’t simply use a screen capture from the video.
- Engage with viewers. If people comment, take time to respond. More comments signals a more popular video and in turn can help you find success with law firm video marketing efforts.
6. Upload, Publish and Schedule Your Videos
Upload your videos directly to YouTube Studio, and then you can either publish them immediately or schedule them for another time. You can also use platforms like HootSuite to schedule video releases and other promotions via social. As with many content tactics, it’s more important to be consistent than to post often. Pick a schedule and stick with it. Also, make sure to take your audience’s schedule into account. What is the day they’re most likely to view new videos? By staying consistent with your uploads, you will be more likely to find success and improve metrics on your law firm video marketing.
7. Optimize Your Channel to Connect With More Followers
We’ve covered optimizing individual videos, but it’s important to invest time into your overall channel presence as well in order to find success with law firm video marketing. Make sure your channel graphics and profile photo reflect your ideal branding. You can also take a few steps to get more subscribers:
- Group your videos into playlists organized by topic.
- Create a channel trailer, which is like a commercial displaying what your channel focuses on.
- In each video, ask people to subscribe to your channel and engage by liking, sharing, or commenting.
- Make sure your CTAs are very clear.
- Create a custom end screen that encourages people to visit other videos or content.
- Include closed captioning and follow other best practices for prioritizing accessibility.
8. Experiment With YouTube Advertising
If you’ve followed this checklist so far and want to see faster growth, you can always try paid advertising on the platform. Most ads are video but you can try other formats like banner ads. All of the advertising runs through the Google advertising tools. Before investing in these paid options, make sure you have a thorough understanding of your audience and have uploaded at least 5 videos to your channel so viewers get a sense of your firm if they decide to explore.
9. Analyze and Optimize
As with any form of marketing, you need to track metrics to improve performance over time. YouTube offers built-in reporting that can help creators see where traffic is coming from, what they are viewing, and more. We suggest writing down numbers monthly, including subscribers, views, view duration, top videos, watch time, impressions, and click-through rates. Use these metrics to see the bigger picture and then make changes as you go.
There are a lot of moving pieces involved in law firm video marketing. We’ve helped many firms script, plan, produce, and promote videos that audiences respond to.