Are you having difficulty growing your law firm?
You’re not alone.
With 1,352,027 legal professionals in the US today, competition has never been fiercer.
So how can you stand out?
How can you increase your caseload, educate your prospective clients, and build your firm’s profile, all while trying the cases you already have and keeping the lights on?
The answer is video marketing, and in this guide we’ll show you how it works.
Why Law Firms Should Invest in Video
Before we go any further, we need to determine why your firm should invest in video over, say, a billboard ad.
Reason #1: You’re not trusted (yet).
A couple of years ago, a member of Crisp’s production team went out on the street to learn what people think about lawyers. The responses were exactly as you might expect.
Here are a few quotes:
- “I gotta say I’m pretty nervous about lawyers and attorneys and stuff, especially all the daytime television ambulance chasers.”
- “Horrible. Poisoning the country. Rip other people off.”
- “More focused on the money. I think they should be focused on helping the individual.”
Unfortunately, traditional marketing and advertising techniques don’t do much to convince people that these quotes don’t apply to you.
But video does.
Video enables you to differentiate yourself from the ambulance chasers by telling your story and building trust with your prospective clients.
Reason #2: All lawyers look the same.
As far as your prospective clients are concerned, there’s not much difference between one lawyer and another. You’re all wearing dark suits with polished shoes and have a couple of diplomas behind your head.
What makes you different?
Next time you’re at a legal conference, ask 10 lawyers what makes them stand out from their competitors. We bet their answers will be agonizingly similar.
For example, we quickly typed “personal injury lawyer” into Google and clicked on the top three Google Ads in our area. Then we searched on their home pages for the word “experience.”
Here’s what we found (and remember, these were all from just the top three ads on the search results page):
- “Our attorneys have years of experience defending victims who have been wronged.”
- “As a seasoned legal team with experience handling all types of legal cases, we know what tactics to use to succeed for our clients.”
- “Our attorneys are highly experienced and we use only the best investigators and professionals for your case.”
As a prospective client, how can I choose between your business and your competitor’s?
A high-quality video can be that difference.
Let’s show you how to do it.
Three Steps to Planning a Powerful Legal Video
Step 1: Invest in production value:
People expect great brand videos because they’re quickly becoming experts on what great videos look like.
Consider that more than 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube every day, and 87% of online marketers use video content.
We consumed more online video today than we did yesterday, and we’ll consume more tomorrow than today.
As a result, your prospective clients know what video looks good, and they’ll skip what doesn’t.
To stand out from the video-creating crowd, your law firm needs to invest.
Here’s an example of a great quality law firm video from the Law Offices of James J Sexton:
We’ll break down the essential elements you’re seeing in this video in the next section.
Step 2: Create a video marketing strategy
A study by Aberdeen showed that including a high-quality video on your website can increase conversion rates by nearly 300%.
Are you prepared for that?
What are you going to do when your phone starts ringing off the hook? What about your existing caseload?
Or, if you’re using your video to encourage people to book consultations, do you have a strategy in place to turn those consultations into clients without working 100 hours every week?
It’s essential you launch your law firm’s video only when you have a strategy in place to enable you to get the most out of it.
It might sound like a pipe dream now, but the last thing you want is to have to turn away clients because you’re not prepared for them.
Step 3: Plan out your story
A study from the Harvard Business Review a few years ago showed that hearing great stories releases oxytocin, a chemical which results in a “bonding” experience between the listener and the storyteller.
Most lawyers know the power of storytelling already. Every time you stand up in court to convince a jury about guilt, innocence, negligence, or the extenuating circumstances of your client’s case, you tell a story. It’s that story, as much as the facts or evidence, that convinces them.
It’s the same in your law firm’s video.
If you haven’t told your prospective clients anything about yourself, why should they trust you?
Four Steps to Creating the Video Itself
Here’s a step-step breakdown to building a powerful law firm video.
Step 1: Put your story in the context of your client’s problem.
Start with your story, then pivot to how you got into law (the “why” you practice) — identify something your target clients can relate to.
The clear option here would be to call upon the pain associated with your prospective client’s legal problem.
This could include cinematic images and epic music followed by powerful sound bites to draw the viewer in. Something like, “When charged with a crime, you’re facing the weight of the government. They have all the money, all of the resources, and these charges and convictions can have life-lasting consequences.” (source)
Step 2: Build trust and rapport through client testimonials.
Remembering what we mentioned before about the legal industry being inherently untrustworthy and lawyers interchangeable, think about how powerful these testimonials would be on your prospective clients:
- “You know in your darkest hour, every time I had a question he’d pick up the phone and call me back, and just that alone can maintain you and your family’s sanity at a time like that.”
- “Alex was able to represent me during every hearing I had. He was always prompt, called me back, let me know what was going on. If anyone asked me if I would recommend Alex, I absolutely would.”
When it comes to information about a brand, people trust people like them as much as they do a third-party academic expert:
Testimonials from your previous clients are hugely impactful on building trust.
Step 3: Put power back into your client’s hands, and communicate your expertise
Something like, “All you have is the decision-making power to find the right attorney. When you’re charged with a crime, you now have the scarlet letter.”
Reach the climax of your story by showing your characters begin to overcome the looming crisis, such as the client choosing to hire you in their time of need.
Step 4: Provide hope and inspire action
Finish strong with an inspirational message about the value you deliver.
For instance, James J Sexton’s final message is this:
“Even though you’re in the storm, I’m in the storm with you, and I’m very comfortable in the storm. You can hit me and I’m gonna keep moving forward at you. I will not lose my focus. You can count on the fact that I’m there. You’ll always know where you stand. “No one ever remembers their divorce fondly. It’s always a tough situation for someone. But you will not lose that sense of control, and you’ll not ever have the feeling you’re alone in the process.”
These four video-creation steps were adapted from Michael Mogill’s The Game Changing Attorney.
Using Video in Social Media Marketing: A Law Firm’s Case Study
Does video work on social media? Yes. There’s no other answer:
- Social media posts with video have 48% more views. (HubSpot)
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.
But the same video that works on your website doesn’t necessarily work on social media.
- Because 85% of videos are played without sound, you’ll need subtitles.
- Nobody wants to watch your 5-minute video from their phone. Create a shortened version which prompts them to learn more on your website.
- You’ll need to target your audience because the social media platform won’t do it for you.
A “Video for Law Firms” Social Media Case Study
Source: Berry Law Firm
The Berry Law Firm, a Veteran’s Disability Benefits Law Firm located in Lincoln, Nebraska, was fighting a losing battle. Their prospective clients would file their own claims, get denied, and think, “Well that’s it. I tried.”
The firm’s goal, therefore, was to educate their target clients about the law. Often the initial decision was wrong, and an attorney could help them get the benefits they had earned.
The strategy with Berry Law Firm, therefore, was about finding their target clients and educating them.
And that’s where Facebook (with its 2.41 billion users and unparalleled targeting capabilities) came into the picture.
Using surveys and research tools, Crisp Video was able to identify some defining characteristics that allowed them to target Berry’s Facebook marketing and education campaign.
Then they created a high-quality video alongside multiple educational videos that helped their prospective clients understand their rights.
You can see that powerful video below:
In founder John Berry Jr’s words…
If you’re going to put a bunch of time into making a crappy, low-quality video, fine. But your time is the value, so what is it going to cost? What is this piece worth to you?
I think you have to look at your average client value. How many clients is it going to take to make this video? What do I expect the return to be? And if you do it cheap, the problem is everybody is doing it cheap now.
This is something that sets you apart from everyone else.
In the first seven days, Berry Law Firm’s first video ad reached 50,656 people, accumulated 37,000 Views, 514 Shares, 707 Likes, and 32 Comments.
Two months later (with 119,000 Views, 1,151 Shares, 1,700 Likes, and 89 Comments) they judged the initial campaign a success.
It’s actually the shares that are most powerful here. Those 1,665 shares are people showing this video to their friends or family saying, “Do you think this guy could help?”
Many law firms rely on referrals to get cases. When was the last time your firm got 514 people recommending you to their friends in a single week?
After the success of their first Facebook marketing campaign, Berry Law Firm created two additional campaigns to expand their law firm’s reach.
Between the three ads, the campaigns reached 230,055 people and generated 171,000 views, 8,030 likes, 2,783 shares, and 229 comments.
The results for their page traffic, user engagement, and video views tell the story of the campaigns’ success:
Since the launch of Berry Law Firm’s original Facebook campaign in 2016, Berry Law Firm has continued to run Facebook video ads through Crisp’s Social Stack Program. The original brand video has since reached 251,346 people, accumulated more than 1 million views, 3,000 Shares, 4,600 Likes, and 447 Comments.
Use Video on Your Website (A Law Firm Case Study)
Does video work on your website? Yes. There’s no other answer:
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
- 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video than in another format.
- The average visitor spends 88% more time on a website with video than a website without one.
A “Video for Law Firms” Website Optimization Case Study
Source: The McCraw Law Group
The McCraw Law Group, a personal injury firm based in McKinney, Texas, was looking to break out of a plateau and increase their caseload.
In December 2018, owner Lin McCraw decided to invest in creating this high-quality video:
The video was published on McCraw’s website:
Prior to the video’s launch, the firm was bringing in around ten new cases per month.
In January of 2019, McCraw Law Group generated 24 accepted cases. In the words of Lin McCraw,
“The only change we made was the introduction of the brand video. […] While internet traffic volume has bounced around some, it has not been appreciably higher than before. We are getting more conversions with the same internet volume.”
Since the addition of the brand video, Lin and his team estimate they’ve seen an increase of at least 22 additional new case conversions compared to their previous average.
These new cases are estimated to bring in roughly $158,000 in profit:
“Stated another way, the brand video gave us more than a 100% increase in cases signed the first month it was on the website.”
Hopefully this guide has given you a better understanding of the role that video can play in growing your business. The real-world results speak for themselves:
- A 300% boost in website conversion
- A 100% increase in cases
- 514 people referring your firm in a single week
Once you have your first high-quality video, you’ll start seeing the results for yourself.
Afterward, integrating video into your future marketing campaigns will be a no-brainer.
So what are you waiting for? To learn how to effectively incorporate legal video into your marketing strategy, connect with a Crisp Legal Marketing Strategist for a one-on-one strategy session today.