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Law firm video on websites : Immediately irrelevant

Immediate irrelevance. That’s an accurate description of 90% plus of the video’s law firms will run on their websites.

And that’s not my characterization of law firm video. This from a marketing technology person at one of the largest firms in the country commenting on the mounting evidence that blogging really does work (nice coincidence).

As pressures increase, whether from competition or clients, the need to differentiate and offer value to clients becomes important. Rather than spending $75K on a video for your Web site, try a professional blog. Not only is it substantially less expensive, with one post per week it offers continuing relevancy.

A couple months ago Martindale-Hubbell and their public relations company, Ogilvy PR, announced Martindale’s new video on law firm websites service saying in part:

Lawyers are increasingly embracing new ways to differentiate themselves and attract new business while consumers and small business professionals are eager to learn more about a lawyer or firm’s philosophy and demeanor prior to hiring the firm.

Take a look at the video on this law firm website (believe its one of the Martindale ones). Does anyone really think a video of lawyers standing around talking at each other, a framed certificate of admission to the Supreme Court, what looks to be an yellow page ad, and some newspaper headlines is going to incent clients to call them?

Martindale is not alone in selling this type of video as ‘Web 2.0’ technology that law firms are ready for. Look at the video on this law firm website. The theory is that paying a few grand for a video of lawyers talking about the things they do in front of courthouse pillars gets people to stay on the website longer than another website that does not include video.

So what? People staying to watch a TV ad on the Internet. What’s the value to prospective clients and people looking for legal information?

Video yes. But let’s offer something of value. How about lawyers answering legal questions in their niche? What about doing that on a weekly basis? That’s value. That’s a real differentiator – lawyers showing they care by taking the time to help people for free.

Those type of video’s will also have a viral marketing effect being talked about online, passed to friends, and even displayed on other websites and blogs if archived at YouTube.

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