Online Video as an Advertising Tool for Lawyers
Show, donít tell. Itís a classic rule of thumb for advertising. In the digital age, applying this old adage is easier than ever, thanks to the advent of Internet video. Video is eye-catching, dynamic, and hugely popular. It gives your clients a personal connection to you and your firm. It bolsters your businessí legitimacy, and it sets your website apart from other sites that are based solely in text.
Internet video has the potential to improve your presence on the Internet, as well as bring in new customers. Itís easy to produce, and cost-effective. Whatever you want to communicate to your potential clients, video offers you an eye-catching way to get your point across.
Why Use Video to Market Your Firm
Internet video has swiftly become an integral part of our digital culture. To the average Internet user, videos are just as much a means of communication as they are an advertising tool. Most laptops nowadays have a built-in webcam, and video chat is quickly becoming commonplace. People no longer are satisfied with just finding information quickly. They want to connect with the people who created it. Many people now watch television programs and streaming videos online, rather than over cable or network TV. Studies show that video advertising is twice as likely to get clicked as those with still images. Additionally, many search engines now index videos as part of their search results, meaning the potential for an increase in traffic to your website.
There are many different styles of video content that you can produce. It can be something as simple as an introductory welcome to your website. If you want to be in front of the camera yourself, you can talk to the viewer about your expertise. A satisfied client could describe their experience with your firm, and why they are happy with your services.
Creating Your Video
If youíve decided that Internet video is the right choice for you, then there are many options open to you as far as production is concerned. If youíre looking to get the video made professionally, there are several companies that specialize in creating Internet video for marketing purposes. These companies will have all the equipment necessary to make your video look and sound professional. Many of these companies can also help you to write the script. A video made by a third-party will give your business that extra boost of credibility that is sure to impress your clientele.
On the other hand, if youíre on a budget, or would rather be your own production team, making videos on your own can be relatively simple. You will need:
- A computer compatible video camera (such as one with a USB cord or removable memory card), or a very good quality webcam
- A quiet, well-lit place to film
- A script
- Video editing software; and
- External microphone (recommended)
Though the mention of editing software may seem intimidating, itís actually the easiest part of the whole process. Most computers these days come with built-in video editing software, such as Windows Live Movie Maker, or iMovie. These programs are very easy to pick up, and make editing as easy as click-and-drag. They also allow you to add text, subtitles, and overlays to your video.
The filming itself can be the more challenging aspect. You want to make sure that your camera is steady and captures the subject matter at a flattering angle. You will need to be free of distractions and interruptions. You also donít want to be picking up any background noise, such as co-workers or traffic.
While the Internet community is quite receptive when it comes to home-made video, it is important to remember that a poorly shot or edited video is much worse than having no video at all. If you are not comfortable with making your own videos, it is not recommended that you represent your business in this manner. It is also not a good idea to use a low-quality webcam, especially if it has an internal microphone. These kinds of videos are acceptable when it comes to sharing something with your friends, but itís definitely not the image you want to present to your clients. The last thing you want is a video about your business becoming the next viral joke on YouTube
Preparing for Your VideoBy Greg Wildman - Online Video Concepts
Wardrobe: The most frequently asked question is ďWhat to WearĒ? Dress as you would when meeting with a client because the more relaxed and natural you are, the better you will appear on camera and people viewing your video will know what to expect at their first meeting. We recommend solid colors such as blue, as they look best on video. It is also recommended you bring a change of clothes to appear more casual in some of the shots.
What Not to Wear: Experience has taught us that it is not a good idea to wear narrow stripes, busy patterns or layer the same color because the camera does not pick them up well. We encourage you to dress in a manner that allows the viewers to focus on what you are saying, not what you are wearing.
Some typical distractions to avoid: Bold jewelry, wild animal prints. Glasses can shimmer and give off light kicks, which make it difficult to light around. However, if you don't have contacts and prefer to wear your glasses then go ahead and wear them, we'll work around it.
Makeup: Remember, the lights are hot and will make you perspire - men just need a little powder. Women should wear their normal amount of makeup and not over do it.
Tip: Keep a handkerchief close by for any quick dabs that are needed during the video shoot.
During the Shooting of Your VideoBy Greg Wildman - Online Video Concepts
Relax: Speak and move naturally. Being too formal may put too much emotional distance between you and the audience. So - just be yourself and don't rush through your shoot. The best videoís generally use more than one take.
Hands: People like to see hands, but not when they are overly animated. Keep them visibly in front of you to help you express your thoughts as you make your points. Posture: Try to sit up straight and lean forward a bit toward the Interviewer. This gives you the appearance of being engaged in the conversation. Try to avoid reclining deeply in your seat. If possible, cross your feet at the ankles or plant your feet squarely on the ground.
- Tip: Try to avoid sitting in a swivel chair as you may "exercise the swivel", which shows poorly on camera. When wearing a suit jacket; sit on the "tail" of your coat. This will pull the jacket flat on your shoulders and avoid any collar rolls.
Don't Over-Prep: We do not recommend memorizing a unless you are a vigorous and frequent speech giver. Do memorize your key messages and let us help you get the information across during the interview process. We are more than willing to work with you to get the quotes we need to make a great video.
Keep it Short: Short answers are optimal - no more than a few sentences long. Stick to your key messages and talking points - we'll help you get them across in your video.
Drink Lots of Water: Make sure you stay hydrated and have bottled water available during your video shoot - the lights are hot and you may not have a chance to get up in between takes.Look at the Interviewer:
Don't look directly at the camera lens. You will be answering questions asked to you by an interviewer seated next to the camera. Interact and converse with the interviewer as if there isn't a camera in the room. Don't look down or away from the interviewer, always look them directly in the eye and give your response with confidence and feeling.
Have Fun: Try to relax & enjoy the process. We are here to help make this a productive and positive experience for you. Your preparation and willingness to listen to our advice is key to your video success!
Posting Your Video
This last point brings us to, arguably, the most part about producing a video: distribution. In order to maximize your audience, it is best to host it as many places as possible. Hosting it on your website is a good start, particularly if it is on the main page where it will be the first thing that new clients see. But if your goal is to market your business, then you want to make sure it has more visibility than just that.
Video sharing services such as YouTube and Google Video are great tools for getting your video out to as many people as possible. They allow for wider visibility, and the capacity to share your video easily. If you use social networking, linking to your video on Twitter or uploading it to your Facebook page are also great ways to increase visibility.