Over a quarter of the AmLaw 200 firms are on YouTube. Here’s a guide to make sure you don’t miss out on reaching potential clients.
We’ve already discussed the value of lawyers using videos to build their brand and the impact this type of media can have on engagement rates. Now, it’s important to understand how YouTube can be a key social media platform for law firms. In fact, research for the 2017 edition of our soon to be published Social Law Firm Index shows that 26% of the Am Law 200 companies are on the video hosting channel.
While YouTube usage is still far behind the three major platforms, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, in adoption, our findings prove it is a major indicator of social presence and levels of engagement for a law firm. YouTube has surpassed Google+ which only confirms that even in the legal industry, video is becoming increasingly important.
The shift to YouTube by law firms is a smart one, as the site has more than one billion users and has been growing ever since it first launched in 2005. Now it is considered one of the biggest search engines in the world. Yes, there are opportunities for paid ads, but for law firm marketers YouTube is perhaps even more valuable as a tool for hosting client centric content. In fact, the video sharing platform reaches more people in the 18 to 49 year old demographic than any traditional television network. That’s a startling statistic to consider the next time you reach into your pocket for a 60 second slot to advertise your firm on TV.
Mayer Brown has nearly 500 subscribers and over 60,000 total views which is relatively high compared to other Am Law 200 firms with YouTube accounts. The firm’s channel stands out in terms of video quality, variety, and frequency. Playlists include: Formulas for Successful US Investing, Webinars, Podcasts, Technology Transactions, and Business Media Broadcasts. Their short informational videos focus on trending topics within their practice areas, while their webinars are nearly an hour long each and feature in depth discussions and analyses of complex issues. Mayer Brown makes weekly updates and promotes their YouTube videos through their other social channels, especially twitter.
Using Mayer Brown’s YouTube presence as a guide, there are some key takeaways and tips in order to either enhance your law firm’s channel or create it.
Create a Strategy
It’s important to go into each new social platform with a new set of expectations and goals – this starts with a plan! Having an editorial calendar for YouTube is incredibly important to maintain the consistency and frequency of new videos with a diverse range of topics. What’s realistic for your firm? Posting weekly? Monthly? Aim to stick to your plan in order to gain loyal subscribers who add you to their playlists or subscribe to your channel!
In order to determine what types of videos you may post, consider your audience, trends amongst your practice areas, and what your purpose is for creating video-based content in the first place.
Provide a Call to Action
What will be the next step for a client after watching your video? You should create client centric content that is not only useful, but that you can relate to the services your firm offers. Include a screen at the end with your contact information or a short message that connects the knowledge the video offers with how you can help viewers.
Integrate Your Strategies Across Platforms
One of the ways you can use YouTube is to curate your webinars on a platform other than your website. You can also integrate your YouTube content into posts you make on other sites like Facebook and Twitter. This allows you to increase your use of original multimedia content on the platforms you’re already using while directing your existing followers to your YouTube channel.
Don’t forget SEO
As I said, YouTube is one of the largest search engines on the internet which makes it even more vital to optimize your content. Previously we discussed why YouTube is a great hosting choice if you want to improve SEO overall. However, on a deeper level, the platform has several features which can help make it easier for your videos to be found which you should review before you hit upload.
First, consider the length of your video. Similar to written blog posts, the longer the content, the more it can be optimized. It’s okay to have a combination of short and long videos, but aim for at least 5 minutes of content when you’re developing your script.
A simple tip is to include your keywords within the file name of the video that you’re uploading, this increases the chance your video will be found by those who feel it’s relevant. Your description, keywords, and tags are of utmost importance in terms of SEO. Consider what your potential clients may be searching for and use those types of keywords in each of these sections.
YouTube is no longer just an emerging platform for lawyers. Over a quarter of the Am Law 200 firms have a YouTube presence which means if your firm doesn’t, it’s missing out on reaching potential clients. Understanding your goals, audience, and SEO are important before diving into video content. While this takes time to plan and produce, the long term positive outcome for your firm is significant.