This is the article I contributed to the Louisville Bar Association’s May 2015 edition of Bar Briefs. It provides insights into a counter-intuitive approach to law firm marketing, especially for rural areas.
Sometimes, it’s not what you say, but rather how you say it that’s important. If you’re marketing to a rural area, you should take that a step further. Based on your target audience, you may want to consider how that message is delivered, literally.
Many Louisville-area law firms engage in efforts to market to the surrounding counties. Some are cultivating a statewide approach to generating incremental business. There’s enough data to prove that it’s time some of these firms begin taking a counter-intuitive approach to marketing.
If you do any level of Internet marketing (e.g. website, blog, etc.) it’s time to think about how you provide content, especially if your intent is to reach a broader audience. It’s time to reconsider online video. It’s no longer an expensive attribute or upgrade to your website. Based on the statistics, it may be your best medium.
Broadband availability continues to grow, but it’s not as pervasive as we might hope. Slow Internet connectivity means the Internet user experience is substantially different for rural market consumers. The answer has been for these consumers to move toward a mobile platform as their preferred device. This opens up an interesting option for law firms.
According to 2014 data provided by the Pew Research Center, 83% of rural adults are considered Internet users (1). Eighty-eight percent of rural adults use cell phones and 43% have smart phones (2). You may already be familiar with the importance of having a mobile component to your marketing campaign. Well, it’s even more important in rural environments.
Consuming text-heavy content via a mobile device still presents a less than favorable user experience. Unfortunately, that’s how many law firms have been trying to do it. Your current website pages may be mobile-friendly, but does anyone really want to scroll through those tiny paragraphs on a phone?
Implementing online videos provides a solid strategy to take advantage of mobile Internet audiences. Consider these facts:
- Videos will soon be 90% of all Internet traffic (Robert Kyncl, YouTube VP)
- Videos show up in 65% of the Google search results (Search Metrics)
- Videos have a 41% higher click-through rate vs. plain text (Econsultancy)
- 60% of visitors will watch a video before reading site text (Diode Digital)
- Cisco predicts online video to become 75% of all mobile data traffic by 2019
- The retention rate for video can reach 65% vs. 10% for text-based information (Social Media Today)
Videos render extremely well on smaller devices. Considering the above data, implementing a video strategy may be a better option. More importantly, given video’s improved retention rate, your information would be much easier to understand.
It’s not a big leap to assume the more easily understood your information is, the higher the probability that your firm will get the call.
Firms have dabbled with online video for years. Some of the reasons for it’s limited adoption have been the perceived high-cost and the time involved to complete a professional shoot. Luckily, that’s changed. Most firms can produce effective online video content in-house. Technology continues to make this easier and easier to accomplish.
Now is the time to begin thinking about your firm’s online video strategy. If implemented properly, you’ll broaden your exposure in the search engines, convey a compelling brand image, and increase your contact rate. That latter point is the crux of your efforts. You want to “convert” more viewers into engaged, prospective clients. Online video gives you a distinct advantage over your competition.
Based on infrastructure, social trends and other key data, video-based content is how the Internet is evolving. From a consumer standpoint, visual content is strongly preferred over text on a page. Let your competitors continue to assume that video-based content is just a fancy upgrade.
Video-based content is the future of effective legal marketing.
I’ve helped attorneys to develop and implement online video content for years. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact me at (502) 208-9639. I’ll be happy to schedule a discussion with you and your firm.