Recently, I took on a huge law firm video project for a client. The project consisted of seven videos, which showcased client and attorney successes while integrating the story of the law firm’s positioning strategy and its brand core values.
The process we used to create the videos worked beautifully, so much so that we realized the only way other law firms will find success with the use of videos as a storytelling tool is to follow these steps.
Determine the goal
It is important to understand what your law firm or attorneys are looking to achieve when it comes to using video.
Are the videos for recruiting, to be used as a case study, to showcase an attorney for media purposes, or as a means to introduce the firm or attorney to new clients and new audiences?
Determining the goal will help in defining the creative direction and the type of content/stories the videos will communicate.
Apply a strategy
The strategy will guide the creation of the videos, and it will define the message, the creative direction and how the videos will be shared. When developing the strategy, determine not only what the messages are but also how they will be filmed and presented.
Considerations to take when creating your law firm video strategy include:
- Is the firm’s strategy to showcase a client or attorneys, or both?
- Are we shooting on location or at the firm?
- What is the expectation regarding the filming process, e.g., use of a studio, a professional video team or “man on the street” style created with a hand-held digital camera?
There is no right or wrong answer. The important part is to know all the options and weigh them against the goal so you can move forward with the best practices in mind.
Scripting the story
Always, always, always have an outline regarding the messaging. Scripting the video involves more than writing the content and putting it up for the attorney to read on a teleprompter. Scripting the story outlines the message and how it will best be articulated for it to resonate with the viewer. In some cases, it gives the attorney or talking head specific information, and in others, it sets up the progression of the story but allows the attorney to tell the story from his or her own perspective.
Use title cards in addition to the video footage. Scripting will allow you to pull out statistics and other supportive information, and show them in a graphic or written format throughout the video, adding credibility and additional supporting content outside of what the attorney is saying.
A video of your attorney sitting at his or her desk isn’t going to cut through the clutter and hold the attention of the viewer. Use a talented video editor to add animation to your firm’s brand identity; set up a style guide for fonts, colors and title cards; and add supporting graphics, photos and video b-roll.
Also, get out of the office and film on location if possible.
Finally, create branded transitions, and add music to fill the silence, eliminate dead air and keep the pace.
Keep the end-use top of mind
Be sure to discuss how the videos will be shared and housed. Saving the videos for different uses will affect the quality of the finished piece. If you want to share them on social media, you can either save the files for mobile use, which will reduce the quality but make them easy to share, or save your video at the highest resolution possible and upload it to a cloud site – or, better yet, the firm’s YouTube channel – and just share the link.
We applied all of these strategies to our process, and the end result met the goals and produced seven terrific stories about our client.
For more information about how to use video in your law firm marketing initiatives, please contact Terry M. Isner at email@example.com or follow me on twitter @sharingtmi.