Video — 13 January 2022
Why Your Informational Videos Should Be Brief

The way we view videos on the internet has changed in the last decade. We went from having to click directly on a “play” button to spamming website visitors with (sometimes) distracting videos that play automatically. Is one way better than the other? It depends on where you place a video on your website and what information you wish to show the client or customer. Here’s why your videos should be brief, though — no matter what.

First, videos on your homepage should display a sense of confidence and let the client know how well you practice law. These videos can autoplay. They might include a few shots of you at your desk with happy clients or a few short clips of your office. There’s no need to overburden a potential client with actual information here. The goal is to be welcoming and warm. Make them want to meet you!

Most visitors to a website will only watch a commercial-length video all the way through. Once you post a video exceeding the 30-second mark, only about two-thirds will watch to the end. The fraction plummets further if your videos are more than a minute.

When using short videos like these on the homepage, using more than one short video to showcase the different aspects of your firm or location makes more sense than using one long video. Because they autoplay, these short video collections will make the website seem more interactive and the client will assimilate a lot of visual information at once. Your phone number and email address should be easy to find on the homepage.

You should provide the customer with many opportunities to find actual information or discuss questions with you in person. Your contact information only represents one of these opportunities. You should also have an easy-to-use search function — and routinely make sure it works. Typing a subject or question into the search bar should provide the customer with easy access to additional information. Usually, the information available is inside a blog or series of webpages.

You can place additional videos in specific articles. These should still be as short as possible — but you can probably get away with making videos slightly longer than 30 seconds because most visitors to the page will be looking for that specific information. They should be willing to hear what they need to hear. Keep articles 400 to 500 words maximum (unless your website is for lawyers, and then you can provide longer, more in-depth articles).

Videos available on these pages should be scripted. Don’t think you can sit down to make a video and “teach” the same way your about-to-retire high school chemistry teacher did. Be energetic and optimistic, and edit the video to remove long pauses, awkward coughing or breathing, and grunting noises like “Uhhhh.” You would be shocked how many lawyers post long, boring videos that no one ever watches! Don’t fall into the same trap.

Videos in articles don’t need to auto-play. If your visitor wants to view the video, they will.

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Dolores Obrien

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