Could vlogging enable law firms to raise their employer brand and better appeal to clients?
When legal marketing was first permitted by the Law Society of England and Wales in 1986, no one could have foreseen that only a mere 20 years later, judges would be producing and sharing candid videos of their daily routines. But, in the digital age of today, it’s not at all hard to believe: from 2012 to 2016, worldwide digital video viewers have risen from 372 million to almost 700, an increase of 87%. Over this period, the average time spent consuming digital video content has grown by 120% from 26 minutes per day to nearly an hour. While the content consumed ranges from passive-aggressive cats pushing objects from surfaces to compilations of newsreader mishaps, one format has continually reigned supreme as the most popular types of video: the vlog.
A vlog – short for video blog – typically follows the life a ‘vlogger’ through their daily activities as they share thoughts, tips and experiences. With the launch of YouTube in 2005, this trend saw a huge surge in popularity, but vlogs of the time tended to be rough in quality with little-to-no edits. The practice of vlogging has since vastly improved, transforming the trend into a competitive arena for those looking to turn a hobby into a career. Today, a moderately successful YouTuber takes home an average income of $57,000 in ad revenue, while their globally-renowned counterpart enjoys a cool six-figure salary.
In the marketing sphere, video content has proved itself to be highly effective in communicating a message clearly and directly, with many companies using this medium to educate consumers on the benefits of their product or service. However, despite this sharp rise in popularity, it’s true that law vlogs (referred to as ‘vLawgs, by some) are still a rare breed. Considering the time-consuming nature of a career in the law, it’s no surprise that lawyers have no spare hours to commit to video blogging.
There are, however, a few pioneers in the industry: take the vlogging judges, for example. Nine circuit judges defied the tech-phobic stereotype of the legal profession by creating a series of iPhone-shot videos covering the challenges and rewards of the career and how judges work together. These day-in-the-life vlogs were uploaded a number of days before the recruitment process for new circuit judges began, providing prospective candidates with an insight into the profession. If law firms are to increase their employer brand to attract top talent from graduate pools, taking inspiration from this technique could serve to promote a positive corporate culture by putting faces to the firm name and familiarising future staff with how you work.
However, the benefits of keeping a ‘vLawg’ extend beyond recruitment. Given the complexities involved with certain legal practice areas, this approach provides an opportunity for legal professionals to showcase their expertise to their client-base by simplifying matters in a medium that consumers engage with. By demystifying legal services on a face-to-screen basis, the lawyer automatically builds trust with the viewer and demonstrates their knowledge in a particular area.
As with any form of marketing, there will always be some clear do’s and don’ts’. First-time legal vloggers should be mindful not to ramble on for ten+ minutes or bombard the viewer with jargon, as this will have the opposite effect and generally confuse or bore your clients. However, a well-produced, to-the-point video blog that tells your story and introduces prospective clients to your team can make a marked difference on the homepage of a law firm’s website.