Video is getting to be a hot topic for law firms and other professional services firms. If the survey of publishers and media companies by Nieman Labs, a Harvard journalism institute, is a any guide, the topic of video is going to get a lot hotter in 2016.

As reported by Joseph Lichterman (@ylichterman), 79 percent of respondents said their companies plan to invest more in online video this year.

Use of online video

Facebook-dependent publishers are also turning to video as a way to combat the dramatic slide in referral traffic they’ve seen the last year.

Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton (@rbilton) reports that with Facebook’s algorithms giving great weight to video, publishers have no choice.

Elite Daily [online news platform for hot issues and trending topics] is pouring resources into video, which unlike viral text content is continuing to grow sharply on Facebook.

In the past year, the site has expanded its video team from seven to 35, producing two pieces a day on average. Elite Daily’s videos got 153 million views on Facebook last year, and 18.9 million in December alone, said TubularLabs.

Elite Daily’s video output is a grab bag of shorter viral stories and longer, more in-depth features.

Elite Daily is not alone.

BuzzFeed is also chasing the Facebook video carrot. The company is reportedly reshuffling its editorial teams, consolidating some divisions and laying off staff. The goal: to shift the focus away from text to video, where the company has put the bulk of its investment over the past few years.

Media executives, especially those running print publications, acknowledge they have challenges with video, Lichterman reports.

Video is a difficult area for former print groups,” one respondent told Newman. “None of us is doing it well, we do not have in-house expertise (generally) and it is vastly expensive. We will proceed with caution in this area.”

Executives are between a rock and hard place though when it comes to video. Second on the list as a strategic priority for 2016 is “deepening online engagement.” Better video is one way publishers are trying to get users engaged.

Sounds an awful like law firms. The law firms using online video in an engaging fashion are few and far between—heck, you could probably count them on two hands.

Furthermore the firms I have talked to have invested, or are going to invest, a lot of money in video. Money that’s generating little return in online engagement.

But with the amount of money law firms and other professional services firms are investing in media—publishing and content marketing—user engagement, not just traffic, will be key. Are you resonating with your audience as an innovative and trusted authority in the niches you are looking to grow?

For this reason, video is going to be important for firms. The key will be using video wisely.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Jeff Sharp</a

  • Advancement in technology has further paved way towards bringing happening videos to the user of social media. But a preventive & protective measure needs to be taken to stop float of illegal or unlawful videos, which can bring anarchy in the society.

  • Kevin, I agree with this. Video in all industries and the professions is growing in importance because it can be a useful way to help increase the know, like and trust factors our clients want and deserve. We also need to remember that livestreaming video is a part of this mix, and can help firms emgage in “real-time” marketing, which is a differentiator because few firms are doing it at this point. I’m enjoying it a great deal, and definitely throw it into the video conversations I have with firms, lawyers and marketers.

    • I have not used live much — if at all, but I am seeing some out there. Have a hard time imagining most lawyers being relaxed and informal enough to use. ;)

      • You’d be surprised. We had an LMA SIG webinar on Livestreaming for Lawyers today, then went over to Blab for the Q & A. Exposing attorneys to any of these digital tools takes times and patience, just as blogging did.

        • Thanks Nancy, I may have to learn and follow your lead in this. Maybe I am getting too old. ;)

          • No way, Kevin. You are definitely not too old. If you can do a webinar, or can train in-person, which I know you can, you are well-equipped to tackle livestreaming.

  • gerryoginski

    Kevin, I agree with this. I have been saying this for years that attorneys need to pay attention to video as the majority of online content has been and is shifting to video. Lawyers who take advantage of this, even today, stand a much better chance of having that user engagement and interaction compared to those who don’t and those who do it badly.

    As someone who has created over 2100 educational videos for my own practice here in NY, I can tell you that video works. As Nancy said, videos generate the know, like & trust factor.

    I have always advanced the argument that the ONLY way a viewer will take action from a video (or videos) is IF you have generated trust with your viewer. If you can’t generate trust, your viewer will leave, never to return.

    The firms who have invested in video and seen little user engagement have holes in their video marketing strategies.

    • Agree as to trust and engagement with video, Gerry, but on the majority of online content has been and is shifting to video. Majority remains text, including the type of engagement taking place here and places such as Facebook

    • Gerry, you have been teaching this discipline for many years, so perhaps we are seeing a tiny portion of the market catch up wit your wisdom!

      • gerryoginski

        Thanks Nancy. I think if more law firms adopted video as a teaching tool, their clients and consumers would benefit greatly. I believe that we, as attorneys, have an obligation to teach and educate the public about how their legal problems work.

        Doing that establishes you as a thought leader. That generates trust. All without your law firm ever talking about themselves or ‘selling themselves’.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Gerry. You’ve probably done more videos than any professional out there. Professional services firms are still struggling with video though – seems to be a combination of not willing to real and authentic and not being used to being on median, television and radio. There’s an art to it.

  • Alene Mcelroy

    Good comments . I Appreciate the insight – Does anyone know where my business would be able to get ahold of a fillable a form example to use ?