As the internet has taken keep up and more lawyers have recognized the benefits of marketing online, one marketing tool is defining the standard of advertising on the web. Online videos. It is the newest, hottest tool obtainable for lawyers to communicate their message on the web. Admittedly, attorney videos are one-way communication, but they offer meaningful advantages over every other advertising medium.
Most attorneys have failed to understand the true value of video and how it can enhance their chances of a possible client calling them over their competitor. Legal marketing experts agree that the sooner you start to see the value of video marketing, the sooner you’ll see the results. Legal marketing expert Larry Bodine (lawmarketing.com) recently commented that putting video on your website is “…a great opportunity to present how you look, how you talk, what you’re like, and make yourself more attractive to clients. It’s a great business-getting technique.” The meaningful to encouraging a website visitor to call you, is with video. Static websites and fancy graphics just do not cut it any more, and fail to discriminate yourself from your competitor. Tom Foster, CEO of Foster Web Marketing (fosterwebmarketing.com) says “If you get in early by putting video on your website, you can take advantage of good search placement on the video search engines.”
If you thought that internet video was for the MTV crowd, you’d be wrong. If you thought that video for your website was only for geeky techno-lawyers, you’d be wrong too. If you thought that putting a video of yourself online was useless, you’d definitely be wrong. In fact, Google thinks you’re so wrong that they recently paid one billion dollars to buy a video sharing site called YouTube. To give you an idea about the reach that internet video has, consider a ten minute video clip by comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham; his video has been viewed over 60 million times. Most attorney videos are viewed in the hundreds of times, but it shows the possible that video has. Plus, if done correctly, does not cost you anything more if it is watched 100 times or 100,000 times.
In the pre-internet age, lawyer advertising was limited to television, radio, yellow pages, billboards, newspapers and magazines. Since the 1970’s when the Supreme Court of the United States decided that lawyers could advertise (Bates v. State Bar of Arizona), the general public has been bombarded with lawyer ads. Every jurisdiction in every state has their own disinctive set of ethical rules regarding what lawyers can and cannot say in their advertisements. Cheesy lawyer advertisements have been the bane of late-night talk shows and comedy shows for decades.
Lawyers trying to get a foothold into their particular market often looked upon lawyer advertising as a necessary evil. Many felt it was beneath them to advertise. Not many lawyers wanted to be in the same category as a salesman looking to pitch his latest slicer and dicer. Traditional advertising is costly. Lawyers often complained that the cost to advertise in each medium were prohibitive. The ads themselves were not able to be viewed repeatedly for the same cost, and unless a possible client was looking for an attorney at that moment, they would likely ignore the daily messages they were overwhelmed with.
Part 2 of this series will discuss video search engines and how you can assistance from them.