YouTube is a video sharing site that started out with humble beginnings, but it has recently reached 1 billion views per month. With such a large traffic volume, YouTube is the perfect resource for reaching your firm’s audience and generating new leads. Here are some tips for increasing the number of views that your videos receive.
One of the easiest ways is to include tags with each video that you create. Use relevant keywords that people would naturally search for to find your content. Add enough tags to cover all the bases, but don’t use keyword stuffing because this can have a negative effect.
If your law firm uses other social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, place links in your YouTube profile from there. Likewise, place links to your YouTube channel on those sites to encourage traffic between your different online profiles. Not only should this increase your views, but it should help your branding efforts as well.
In most cases, the YouTube channels that succeed are the ones that interact with and engage their audiences. For example, the Law Office of Caleb A. Kershner might be able to spark a discussion by asking a question at the end of each video they post. A representative would then respond to comments and strive to establish relationships with viewers. Over time, this can create a dedicated community of brand ambassadors for a firm.
Another integral part of success involves reaching out to others. That’s why subscribing to other legal channels can be so beneficial. Many people will return the favor by subscribing to your channel. You should also leave thoughtful comments that add value to a discussion on relevant videos. This can grab the attention of viewers, and who will hopefully visit your channel to find out more information about your firm.
Whether you want your firm to make money directly or simply as a means of promotion, YouTube is an excellent platform. In fact, YouTube users view a staggering 4 billion hours worth of video each month, which makes it perfect for connecting with potential clients. In order to make money off YouTube and maximize your influence, it’s important to follow a few guidelines.
Perhaps the most important part of being successful on YouTube is being unique and original. While it’s not always necessary to reinvent the wheel, you should have some sort of fresh angle that will peak the attention of users. Your content should also provide users with value that will enhance their lives or solve a problem. A lawyer who specializes in citizenship and immigration in North Carolina might create a channel that offers advice on laws surrounding these topics.
Another critical key to success is sticking with a routine posting schedule. If you really want to gain a sizable list of subscribers, you should create new content on a regular basis. Typically, this means at least one new video a week, but more is better. Doing so should help you gain traction and will make your subscribers want to come back for more. Even if you don’t see massive results right away, your firm’s subscriber base should grow over time.
In addition, effectively promoting your channel and interacting with your audience can streamline the growth process. One of the best ways to promote is by placing links to your videos on social media sites. If your law firm has a blog, you should also place each video on there as well. In terms of interaction, you should always respond to comments and ask questions that spark discussions. This way, you will come across as being personable and your subscribers should grow.
State bar associations have very particular rules on what is permissible in law firm advertisements. Before you put ads on your YouTube channel, check with any relevant organizations to make sure you are not breaking any state bar policies that could get you into trouble.
Loading and Optimizing YouTube Videos
The importance of using video as part of your online marketing plan is covered in Day 27. Now we’ll take you step by step through the process of optimizing a video specifically on YouTube.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Wondering if your firm should be a part of it? The answer is yes. Videos can result in traffic and search engine exposure for your firm, so start uploading!
Adding a video to YouTube is a straight-forward process, and starts with the creation of a YouTube account. Watch this quick YouTube tutorial for more tips.
Once you add a video to YouTube, try some of the following tips to optimize your content:
1. Do Keyword Research. YouTube is similar to Google in terms of competitiveness. By doing some keyword research, you may find areas you want to target. Focus on highly relevant, less competitive terms to properly tag your videos.
2. Strategize Titles & Descriptions. After you upload your YouTube videos and research keywords, it’s time to take it to the next level. For the title, try starting and ending with the keyword you are targeting. For the description, follow best practices for SEO copywriting. Use highly relevant terms, but be careful not to “keyword stuff”. Write clear & compelling copy with strong calls to action. Finally, try to use 5-10 tags per video.
3. Find Link Partners. Your video needs strong links to boost your SEO strength. This can be done very simply. First, try creating your own blog, and then link to the YouTube videos you upload. Next, do your research – again. Determine which videos are ranking the best on YouTube. Find out their URLs, and pinpoint who is linking to your competitors’ videos. Break down their sites and figure out how to get your content promoted using the same channels they used.
4. Keep It Relevant. Give Google and YouTube even more relevant content. Try using the Video Reply option in YouTube to link your video with other related videos. Do this sparingly, however, as it is not the cleanest technique.
When working on a law firm SEO campaign, one of the trouble spots can sometimes be finding content. A lawyer’s time is valuable and, as a service provider, my team can’t spend all day with an attorney asking him/her for details of the practice. So the challenge becomes creating quality, easy content about a law firm without disturbing the firm more than necessary and without having to cite case law itself.
There are a number of content creation methods but let’s look at one example of low-hanging fruit: video. Yes, yes – everyone knows that online video is great and YouTube results get good rankings in Google. But what I’m talking about is using a lawyer video as the source of text content for the firm’s website. A prime example of easy content can be found on the website from Phoenix criminal lawyers Billar & Donald. The firm presents good information within the video… let’s use that on the website too! Take the time to transcribe the audio to text and include a few links in the text when doing so. Hey, maybe even experiment with publishing it as a PDF transcription. What’s great is that all of this can be done without having to produce new copy or pass the content in front of the powers that be for pre-publish approval.
In all, “easy content” can be produced as fast as you can listen and type if you use a video as the source. Sure, the search engines will eventually get good enough at understanding video to make this practice unnecessary, but as a content development technique – let’s say for accessibility – it’s a nice one to keep in your back pocket.
A quick search turns up a few service providers, for those not interested in doing the transcription themselves:
P.S. It looks like Google has issued a standard for video transcripts.
I haven’t seen it on TV yet, but the SearchEngineWatch Blog has put up notice that there’s a new Yahoo! television ad spot that’s supposed to start running soon. Here’s the video:
Did it excite you? *Yawn* was my reaction. Will this move the needle for Yahoo! search like Bing’s recent ad campaign?
It’s no secret that, during the day, I work for LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell as the Director of Web Services. That means that I have the daily opportunity to meet and speak with lawyers about their Internet marketing goals. As much as I learn about the business of law from the firms themselves, I like to give back and offer free online SEM/SEO advice to law firms. That’s where webinars and online video excel – easy delivery of information to a wide audience. So what online SEM advice have I made available to lawyers?
Now I’m the last person to want to be an Internet star and, yes, shooting a video can be a difficult process but the folks at LexNex were excited to give the “new” mediums of online video and self-guided webinars a try. These productions are very basic – so if you’re an SEO wizard already, these probably won’t benefit you very much. But, for the typical lawyer, these provide an easy to understand entry into the world of SEM.
Google will freely give you (almost) all the information you need to build websites that rank well and/or return investment on PPC campaigns. Often, I will try to use information they give about their AdWords paid advertising system to shed light on the natural SEO world. A recent review of the Google Advertising Professional (“GAP”) literature revealed a few new nuggets about video optimization that I think are useful to keep in mind. Since many lawyers are exploring law firm videos, I thought I’d present those ideas here.
From the Google AdWords Learning Center:
- Create a descriptive and eye-catching opening image (the image which users see before playing the video).
- Entice users to click ‘play’ by using rich, sharp colors.
- Include a few words to describe the product, service, and/or company.
- Boost play rate with a call to action that tells users they can play the video to learn more.
- Create multiple video ads with different opening image sizes to increase the number of placements where your ad is eligible to appear.
- Keep the video engaging and no longer than necessary (play rates drop off significantly after 45 seconds).
- Be clear about business offers.
- Deliver key messages early in the video, because users may not watch the whole thing.
- Provide clear next steps for users to take after finishing the video, such as making a purchase or visiting the website or store.
This is definitely great advice for all who are interested in online video optimization. Thanks Google!
In an interesting twist, the article also addresses law firms in this way: lawyers sometimes are too interested in telling you about every minute detail of their expertise rather than provide an easy to understand intro to orient clients. For law firms interested in video marketing, Google’s advice not only provides technical tips, but it reminds us that a solid lead-in is very important to engage and communicate your message to the viewer.
The idea that the video should provide an avenue for action is a good, but problematic one. Of course they mean the video should include a telephone number and/or URL, but how well are you tracking that to video as the conversion mechanism? Meaning, your video will be distributed on YouTube.com, Yahoo Video and the like. Clients who come from your video will not be easily tracked with that as the client acquisition device. Consider using a unique, tracked telephone number in your video projects. Additionally, direct viewers to a URL that is unique to your video’s message. Clients calling that number or visiting that web page can be tracked as a return on your law firm video optimization investment.
In all, lawyers interested in video optimization should remember: i) keep it short; ii) provide a solid intro; and iii) use unique URL and telephone info in the video intro and conclusion for the sake of ROI calculation.