Video has never been more important and thought leadership is essential for law firms. Combining the two into a video blog (vlog) is an ideal way to generate new content while sharing subject matter expertise. That sounds like a no-brainer, right? Many attorneys understand the importance of video blogs but aren’t sure where to get started.
Seven Steps For Effective Video Blogs
1. Do Your Research and Determine Your Niche
Developing your strategy begins with finding your sweet spot. In order to do that, you need to understand what your competitors are doing. You’ll want to give a lot of thought to what your vlog will cover based on your brand, audience, demand, and specialties. It’s also key to confirm that there’s demand for your content. Use tools like Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner to see how much interest you can expect. Once you’ve done your research, you can determine the niche you’ll operate in.
2. Create a Content Strategy
Content planning is one of the more exciting aspects of a vlog. Just like you would for a written blog, you want to begin organizing your thoughts around content. Start with broad topic ideas and then think of more specific subjects. If you want to, you can group ideas into a series, and then treat each segment like an episode of a tv show. Social listening can be a valuable tool in this practice. You can get a feel for what would be most interesting and helpful for viewers. Furthermore, vlogs require a bit of additional planning – consider props you might need, any special locations, etc.
3. Obtain the Right Equipment
Even the best content won’t come across well if you don’t have the right equipment. To produce high-quality video blogs, you need to ensure you have the following elements. It’s worth noting that you don’t need to break the bank on the very best equipment at the beginning. Even a cell phone can capture what you need if you are thoughtful and intentional in your approach. Look for:
- A camera that can capture subjects (in focus)
- Clear audio
- Lighting that matches the aesthetic you’ve chosen
- A non-busy background that also aligns with the aesthetic
- A ring light or softbox for lighting
- A lav microphone for audio
- A phone with a camera (if you can’t invest in a standalone camera)
- A phone stand or tripod
- A plain backdrop
- Quality software for editing
4. Film and Produce Videos in Groups
If you plan your content well, you can film multiple video blogs at once. Batch filming will save you tons of time and make scheduling a lot easier. Think about what you want to film for the first few weeks, and see what can be grouped together. Of course, not all topics will allow for batch filming. For example, a behind-the-scenes video is probably going to be timely and not able to be lumped into other episodes. Batch filming works best for videos on the same topic using the same background or location. Document all of your filming schedules and make sure the appropriate people are aware of them.
5. Learn How to Optimize Your Vlog Content
At this point, you might feel ready to publish – but hold on! There’s another important step to complete. First, you need to create a thumbnail. The image is one-way viewers will decide if they want to watch your vlog. YouTube recommends 1280 X 720 pixels with a resolution of up to 2MB. The title is also key. It’s important for generating interest as well as SEO. Make sure your researched keywords are in the title and that it’s under 70 characters. Also, be sure to spend some time on your video tags and descriptions as well. And just as you would with other online assets, consider SEO when you choose your copy.
6. Publish Consistently
Vlogging – like blogging – is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires steady work at a regular pace. Even if you have terrific content, if you don’t publish on a consistent schedule you can lose your audience. In today’s vlog landscape, people expect consistency and you should aim to publish on a schedule. That doesn’t have to be multiple times per week. Just figure out what you can manage and commit to that amount of content.
7. Monitor Your Metrics and Use Them to Optimize
If you commit to vlogging, you’ll eventually begin to get views and then subscribers. Make sure to analyze your metrics in order to understand overall and individual performance. KPIs like average watch time and audience retention is helpful in understanding how your content resonates with your audience. Look for re-watches to learn about areas of interest and get new content ideas. Other metrics to look at include impressions and click-through rate (CTR). These can show you whether or not people find your thumbnail, title, or description attractive. If those rates are low, you may need to test a few things. There will always be trial and error involved, but the important thing is to make a proactive effort to see how you can improve.
According to a report from CNET, 70% of the videos users watch are recommended by an algorithm. That means it’s essential to align your video content with viewers’ interests and to follow SEO best practices. Viewers tend to care a lot more about interest than production value, so don’t worry about sophisticated production when you’re starting out. Follow these steps and establish a vlog presence, then improve from there.
If you are interested in creating more professional video content, talk to our video production experts. Whether you need a fully produced video from start to finish, or if you just want help editing the video you took on your phone – we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.