I am on a national law marketing list server that recently tackled the question about the proliferation of videos on firm websites. Needless to say the discussion struck a nerve. Suddenly my Inbox was flooded with differing opinions about the videos from disgust at the "ego-driven" exercise to infatuation with the technology. I thought I would share some highlights from the conversation with you and the general consensus we all reached after we got sick of writing about the topic.
Why do we need these?Is it worth the cost?How do we know it's worth the cost - how can we measure ROI to this added investment. Just because technology is the "cool" thing, why will prospects and clients find video-bios an advantage to THEM?Why bother with it? Written bios on the web are good enough.Further, some professionals will relate well to the camera, others will not. How will we as marketers be able to assist those less camera-friendly in communicating a powerful message? What will it take, and how much will that kind of coaching cost?Sometimes a photo, and audio, and a mini-movie of this person gives me a feeling about him or her. It's an opportunity to have potential clients "connect" with the professional early on- if these videos are produced properly.
Consensus: These videos must be less like video-brochures and invite the viewer into a "dialogue" about the issues that are most important to them. The starting question should always be, "What are my goals? What do I want to accomplish in a video, website, blog, etc.?" Then, weigh your answer against the following litmus test: "If I could care less about the lawyers or law firm involved, why would I surf/read/watch???" If you can't give a strong answer to that question, don't bother.
If you do have a ready answer to that question, then focus on the medium and the best way to produce. In most cases, what you would produce would not be a firm profile, but, instead, a set of videos that provide helpful information and leave the viewer firmly convinced that ABC Law Firm is the best shop to solve my problem. Additional comments: As much as I am awed and amazed by technology, and relish working with it myself, it is so important for us to remember how suspicious and uncomfortable many people still remain with technology.
It's our opportunity to help those we serve leverage it successfully. And this technology is only desirable if it brings our professional clients greater relatedness and success with their clients. If video allows us to "experience" the lawyers, a bland video allows us to experience bland lawyers ... and an unimaginative drone who stands in front of law books or in a conference room pontificating is what most "experiments" have produced thus far.
Here are some good examples of law firm videos done well: