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Are Law firms underutilizing YouTube?

YouTube for Lawyers Law Firms Janko Roettgers, Co-Editor at at GigaOM, shares this morning that close to a quarter of all global mobile bandwidth is consumed by people watching YouTube videos. Add to this that mobile is the fasting growing segment of the Internet, and you have to wonder if law firms are missing a golden opportunity in not leveraging the power of YouTube. Look at the findings of an Allot Communications study cited by Roettgers.

  • Almost 25% of all global mobile bandwidth is consumed by people watching YouTube videos.
  • YouTube accounts for 52 percent of all global mobile video streaming.
  • Video streaming accounts for 39 percent of all mobile traffic. Compare this to web browsing, which accounts for only 25 percent of all mobile traffic.
  • Video streaming grew 93 percent in the first six months of 2011.

Lawyers and law firms have a history of using Internet video in all advised fashion. A large part of the reason is legal web development companies looking to make money by selling law firms on the concept of placing video on their websites. Most often that video is information about the firm, its lawyers, and the firm’s capabilities. Such video serves as little more than an advertisement, which advertisements are only trusted by 14% of people. If video is being used to get people to stay on your website, I question the value as well. Websites, certainly needed by most law firms, serve as an advertisement of the law firm and its lawyers. Advertisements do not build relationships, enhance your word of mouth reputation, nor establish trust. It’s these three things that generate work for good lawyers. YouTube video could be better used by law firms in the same vein as blogs are used. To build relationships. To enhance your reputation. To build trust. How do you do that?

  • Respond to common questions you receive from clients and prospective clients. For every one question you get, there are a hundred other folks with the same question. Keep your answers brief (2 to 3 minutes) and of course keep them general so as not to breach confidence nor give specific legal advice.
  • Report on what you are reading and seeing in your RSS feeds in your Google Reader providing your quick insight and commentary. It’ll demonstrate you stay up to speed, you’ll establish yourself as an intelligence agent on a niche, and you’ll be engaging the influencers and amplifiers.
  • Always focus on value to your audience, not on information about yourself or your firm. People can figure out who is doing the video with some simple branding without a 20 second blurb about what you do. Once you talk about yourself, you’re dead. People will not cite nor share such material. Not on the Internet via social media nor in emails being sent around a business. An excellent 3 minute informational video by lawyer is the type of thing that would be played in business meetings in prospective client’s offices — unless there’s an ad about you at the end.
  • Build a nice YouTube Channel focused on your niche area of the law or locale, not one focused on you or your law firm. Some simple branding explaining who is presenting the YouTube page is enough.
  • Strategically leverage the video in social media. Think your own blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Don’t spam these places by always putting the same video everywhere. You’ll get known for that. Be smart and use a little net etiquette. By building social media equity, you’ll get others to share your video for you via social media. It’s this social media which is driving YouTube on mobile.

I am sure that there are 8 other ways to leverage YouTube video that I missed. I’d be interested in hearing your ideas. Bottom line, we’re all sitting on a golden opportunity with YouTube at our easy disposal.