Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek 2013-04-26 09:04:17
Why Videos Should Be an Integral Part of Your Business We Have Become Videophiles We are a video-addicted society. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, two-thirds of us would rather receive information via a video than the written word. YouTube averages a jaw-dropping four billion views per day. It amassed one trillion views in 2011. A comScore study released in February 2012 showed that 100 million Americans (roughly one-third of the population) watch online videos each day. The study also showed that viewers watch an average of 239 videos per month. How many lawyer videos are there? We couldn’t find any reliable statistics. However, a quick scan of the landscape indicates that there are thousands of lawyer videos—a marked change from several years ago when only a few pioneers were charting a path on YouTube. You Want Proof That Videos Work? Remember the old saying of fishing boat captains, “You have to fish where the fish are”? If you are not using videos to market your practice, you are not fishing where the fish are! We can speak with more than a little authority here. We have dozens of videos on Sensei Enterprises’ YouTube channel. One of our videos is titled, “Can you recover deleted text messages from a cell phone?” If you Google the title, you’ll find the latest version of the video, which has been updated since it was originally released in 2010. Some notes regarding this video: • The video (as of press date) has had more than 180,000 views. • A search using the words in the title will always bring the video up on the first page of results. • The video generates an average of three emails and three phone calls per day. • We asked the right question and applied words that users employ to search for this information. • This video has made us an impressive pile of money. Take a look at our other multimedia offerings. You will see that no other video is viewed as much as the one described above, but there are respectable numbers for many of the others. By the time this article goes to print, there will be another 14 or so videos posted to our YouTube page. Bear in mind that a video has to work just once to land a good-size case. And if it works to land case after case, you have a runaway profit train. Why and How Do Videos Work? You will hear this question debated endlessly, but between our own experiences and those shared by others, it is clear that these are some of the reasons videos work: • Videos put a human face on your business, someone who users can like and trust. Even if you have “a face for radio,” videos can work for you. • They allow you to showcase your expertise. • Videos provide information that people are searching for—and users like you for that. • Google, which owns YouTube, loves videos and ranks them highly. • YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google. • Videos will, if they are good, contain some sort of call to action at the end, with a phone number, website, and email address. • If you keep videos short (two to three minutes), most viewers will stay through the end to see and hear that call to action. • If you link to your YouTube videos from your website (let YouTube provide the bandwidth to stream), your site appears more interactive plus your video titles will help with search engine optimization. • You can use social media, including blogs, to publicize your videos. The key to making a video work for you is to find out (through Google—which we use—or elsewhere) how people are searching for the services you offer. Or, better yet, something related to your services. What are the 10 questions prospective clients most frequently ask you? You must always give away useful information. But if you provide material about a specific kind of injury or illness to someone searching for that data, you have helped him. Often those folks need a lawyer. Remember: do not give legal advice in your videos and find yourself falling afoul of lawyer disciplinary rules. Can you DIY? Not a chance, unless you’re willing to make a sizable money investment in technology (high-end camera, tripod, lights, microphone, green screen, teleprompter, software) and a generous time investment in learning how to use it. Even if you put that home video camera on a tripod, you won’t have the lighting or sound equipment to make the finished product look like something more than an amateur smartphone capture with grainy images and cave-like sound quality. There are many homemade lawyer videos that turn potential clients away because the quality is unprofessional. Do not use friends, relatives, or students. Find someone you trust as your videographer. If you are hesitant to make videos, you should remember that paper ads line birdcages and train puppies after they are read. Print is a dying marketing medium. Videos, unless they become obsolete, are ongoing marketing for you—with no ongoing expense. We have never seen such a high return on investment in any of our own marketing efforts. This is a train that has left the station, but if you run a bit, you may still be able to hop aboard. The authors are the president and vice president of Sensei Enterprises Inc., a legal technology, information security, and digital forensics firm based in Fairfax, Va. Go to senseient.com for more information. TECHGEAR Lenovo’s ThinkPad T431 (starting at $949) is a business-focused ultrabook with a magnesium and carbon fiber chassis for durability. The laptop weighs only 3.62 pounds and is available with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. WEBLINKS SAM MERRILL is an associate in Thompson & Knight’s Tax Practice Group in Dallas, where he represents clients in domestic and international tax matters, oil and gas financing and joint venture transactions, and private equity fund formation and operations. He contributes to the T&K Tax Knowledge Blog at taxlawyer.typepad.com. calculatedriskblog.com This website had the best coverage of the blowing and popping of the housing bubble. The blog is a useful resource for following month-to-month economic data. 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