By Peter Boyd, a Florida attorney who founded PaperStreet. He has helped over 1,500 law firms with their websites, content and marketing.
Law firms have been slow to take advantage of the opportunities available through video. While a detest for specific platforms such as TikTok is understandable, law firms are remiss to ignore the advantage of this type of medium. If TikTok is too modern or not your style (and it won’t be for many law firms), there is another way to tap into the potential and opportunity that good video creates: explainer videos.
Law firms and legal marketers investigating the process of developing and using explainer videos will find it easier to succeed if they have some idea of what to expect.
Understanding What An Explainer Video Is — And What It Is Not
Many of the law firms my team and I work with have started to incorporate videos in their websites in which one of their chief attorneys explains the answer to a legal question. This is not an explainer video.
Explainer videos describe the firm’s practice area and the unique benefits they can offer potential clients. Sometimes they answer a question directly or explain a process. They are done via animation and don’t show any actual human faces, just graphics and cartoons.
A good explainer video is attractive and engrossing, capturing the viewer’s attention immediately so they are drawn in to learn how the problems can be solved. Because viewers are often impatient and pressed for time, a successful explainer video should be short. While they can be as long as three minutes, the most effective explainer videos often last little more than a minute.
Why Animation Is Often The Best Choice For An Explainer Video
Research has shown that, in certain instances, viewers respond positively to human faces in advertising. However, for many reasons, the best explainer videos for law firms rely primarily or entirely on animation to get the point across. Why?
Animation differentiates a good explainer video from traditional legal advertising on TV, where attorneys hawk their wares like carnival barkers on a crowded midway or zombie-like clients paste on fake smiles to profess their gratitude.
Additionally, it can be much easier to convey a complex concept using animation. The combination of imagery and words often makes a message more memorable. Rather than telling potential clients about the benefits a firm can provide, a video with animated graphics can show them the possibilities.
Finally, animated videos can be created without many of the expenses associated with traditional video production. An experienced producer could prepare a custom video for a law firm for a fraction of the cost of other types of videos.
What To Expect From The Creation Process
Marketing firms often create the art, storyboard, audio and script for a law firm explainer video. They record the video, edit everything so that the sight and sound accomplish their purpose and polish the final product to professional standards. A marketing firm can even create the concept for a law firm’s explainer video. However, someone who understands the law firm well should be prepared to collaborate in some key aspects of video creation.
Effective marketing messages present a problem and the means to solve that problem. A law firm understands its clients’ problems better than anyone, so someone from the firm should be prepared to provide input that can be used to ascertain the core problems to be addressed in the video. Lawyers or client assistants from the firm know what clients fear and what confuses them. These specters should be raised and then vanquished in the video.
Why It Is Worth The Effort To Create An Explainer Video For A Law Firm
Many lawyers do not see the need to create an explainer video because they assume everyone knows what an attorney does. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While potential clients may have a vague idea that they should “have a lawyer,” most do not understand the specific benefits an attorney could provide and why legal services are a good investment. They also often do not understand how to choose the right attorney for their situation.
An explainer video can demonstrate how legal representation could solve their problems and why a particular firm is ideal to meet their needs, and it does it in a medium they already use, via a method that won’t automatically trigger them into thinking “advertisement.” With the right preparation, an explainer video can impart this message quickly and memorably — and that’s the best type of marketing.
All Law Firms Should Consider Developing An Explainer Video
Is a picture worth a thousand words? Not always, but often enough. If a law firm creates an explainer video using vivid and memorable graphics, that footage could be more effective in sharing its message to potential clients than everything else on its website.
At a bare minimum, the presence of the video on the firm’s homepage can increase site traffic tremendously. Some statistics indicate that a firm is more than 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of a Google search if there’s a video on the landing page. That means it is worthwhile for any firm seeking potential clients to at least consider creating an explainer video.