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Five ideas for creating compelling video content

Five ideas for creating compelling video content

Digital video production and consumption has been rising steadily for years. YouTube sees one billion unique users per month, and according to a forecast by Cisco, video traffic will constitute 55 percent of all Internet traffic by 2016. Everyone is talking about video for good reason.

A 2012 report by e-commerce provider Ivodo found that 52 percent of consumers claimed to have more confidence in a product after watching a video. Your firm can capitalize on the trust-building aspect of videos by showcasing them on your website and posting them to your blog and social media profiles.

Lawyers are no strangers to video. Many attorneys embrace television advertising; making the jump to digital video - which is considerably less expensive - is logical. Not all videos, however, will produce results. Too often, a firm will produce a video that consists of a single attorney standing stiffly in front of a blank wall repeating information the visitor could just read on the page. No personality shows through, and it is difficult for prospects to connect with the presenter.

An effective video must be more than just an online TV ad. People tune out obvious sales pitches, which do nothing to educate or help them. Do not use video to rehash stale marketing language. Try using one or more of the following formats to produce useful content for your prospects and better results for your firm.

1. How-to videos. How-to videos provide your firm with the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge about certain subjects while offering information prospective clients can use. When you provide insight into the legal process, those in need of help are more likely to trust you for more complicated matters. Try starting with preparatory subjects, like How to Prepare for Your Divorce or How to Choose the Right Business Entity, which give prospects concrete actions they can take before contacting you.

2. Testimonials. People are much more likely to do things they know others are doing, and testimonials tap into this behavior. Testimonials are also easy to record and produce, making them a high-impact option with minimal expense.

3. Seminars. If you give free seminars, publish them online. You have already created the content, so leveraging it to generate brand awareness requires little additional effort. If you are hesitant to give away a seminar, which explores a topic in-depth and can be lengthy, you may wish to require a visitor to enter an email address before viewing or downloading.

4. Process. Your prospective clients probably have a lot of questions. Most people do not require legal help regularly, so they are concerned about what to expect when hiring an attorney. Compile a list of common questions about the legal process and answer them in a series of videos. This will help calm people's fears about what to expect and trust you to guide them.

5. Culture/values. Culture videos (when done correctly) can help create an emotional connection with prospects. In culture videos, you can tell the story of your firm, provide personal stories about why you practice as you do or offer insight into what it is like to work with you. This video by The Hale Law Firm is an excellent example of a well-done culture video. (Scroll to view.)

Video is ascendant, and your firm should take advantage. Do so by producing videos that focus on the client and provide valuable (sharable) content.