Why Online Video is the Most Effective Way to Sell Consumer Legal Services

Dave Wieneke’s mantra for consumer marketing: “Reading is for suckers”

Nowhere is this more true than when lawyers sell their own expertise.  By nature, lawyers write in legalese. It’s their training. I offer that legal writing and copy writing use opposite muscle groups.

However,  when lawyers speak, they phrase things in ways that connect with people far better. That’s also part of their training; it’s how they sell best. Jim Sokolove is legendary because he communicates to consumers on TV and on YouTube.

In an industry plagued by major trust issues, video should be the predominant marketing tool. When consumers think of lawyers, they most often think visually and in terms of TV: Perry Mason, LA Law, Boston Legal, The Practice.

And hey, those of you who are not lawyers or legal marketers are in no way off the hook. This should be a wake-up call.

The legal industry is slow to adopt new technologies, particularly in marketing. These forces are starting to change our often-staid industry. So if you’re not focused on video in your marketing mix, then get your head up; this ball’s heading your way.

Over the next week I’m going to describe several ripe opportunities to take your business marketing in new directions using video. Perhaps you’ll find yourself adopting my consumer marketing mantra (get used to it): Reading is for suckers.

And before you ask, yep, I’m very aware that this message is all copy.  No consumers here, just us online law and marketing wonks.  Tell me what you think?  Is video huge in your world, or just a bright shiny object?

6 Responses to "Why Online Video is the Most Effective Way to Sell Consumer Legal Services"

  • Pam

    September 3, 2009

    Videos are too slow!! I have about a 30 second attention span for videos (hmmm, how interesting that it happens to be about 30 seconds). If you haven’t finished by then I’m gone. Give me paragraphs to scan quickly so I can see if there’s anything I care about.

  • Dave Wieneke

    September 3, 2009

    Pam is on to something — you have to be sharp and to the point in either medium. And yes, text can be scanned more easily.

    Perhaps a better (though less dramatic) statement of “reading is for suckers” might be “reading isn’t for everyone”.

    And, the criticism that lawyers can’t write is obviously a generalization. There are excellent blogs listed on the left of this page, many written by lawyers. And though reading isn’t for everyone, I’m glad that Pam is reading and writing as well.

    Something tells me if I did this by video, you’d not be with me for long. Thanks for reading!

    Dave Wieneke

  • Kevin

    November 10, 2009

    If you break the video up into short chapters and allow viewers to search the video for keywords, they are more likely to get the information they are looking for.

  • Barbara Bix

    December 31, 2010

    Hey Pam, I’m with you. I do a lot of reading about how video is more effective, but (call me old-fashioned) I also prefer to quickly scan through an article.

    That said everyone buys differently and so I’m in the process of adding video testimonials to my B2B marketing site. As one of my clients pointed out, a testimonial is that much more credible if you can see the person who’s delivering it.

    Dave, you do a lot of testing. It would be interesting to hear more about whether there’s a difference in the receptivity to video versus text in your audiences.

    For example, does your internal legal audience respond differently than your external consumer audience? Or, does it depend on the nature of the content. Looking forward to a future post on this :-)

  • [...] to Absorb Yep, there’s a written policy everyone must know. But as I’ve said before, reading is for suckers, so its huge that they’ve broken down the policy in to a few key points illustrated with rock [...]

  • [...] in 2009 I semi-ironically wrote that ‘writing web copy is for suckers’. And while I’m still both believing and ignoring my own advice, there’s no doubt that video [...]

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