Social Video Through the Lens of a Cult Classic Film

Video marketing through the lens of a cult classic

Legal consumers and moviegoers have something in common. They both notice quality and thoughtfulness. They’re now even responding to well-made Facebook video ads, the new medium for promoting your law firm on social media.

Attorneys can benefit from original video content for consumers who are starting to take notice. But there are ways of creating these videos that impress the viewer and ways that leave quality to be desired. The same goes for killer bird movies. (More on that later.)

Facebook is now promoting video as the new way to capture consumer attention. But the social network isn’t interested in poorly created videos. Facebook knows their users want to see quality, so they’ll deprioritize your video if it doesn’t match their standard.  On top of that, your prospects don’t want to see a bad video either. That’s why quality matters—Facebook and legal consumers understand the value of something well-made. FindLaw has preached for a while now that your social media content should be authentic and relate to the legal consumers you want knocking on your office door. Video does just that.

Since social video’s rise is relatively new, let’s go outside of the law for an example of why your firm should create quality video. We’re going to compare a made-for-TV movie to a classic Hitchcock film to see why people remember each film the way they do.

Birdemic, or how not to create law firm videos

Birdemic: Shock and Terror – is a cult classic for all the wrong reasons. Viewers at midnight showings come to laugh at how comically bad the movie is. The audio often doesn’t match the scene, the script is terrible and the acting is worse. The special effects generated attack birds were so cheaply made that you can’t help but laugh when you see them batting their wings.

While the movie is certainly popular, it’s the kind of notoriety that you don’t want from a video representing your law firm. For one, it’s a reputation issue. Your Facebook page is a public medium available to anyone interested in your help. It creates a high level of exposure that could be detrimental if you’re publishing half-baked video content.  Social media requires a certain quickness and flexibility, but it should never come at the expense of quality.

You’d be surprised at how many law firms place a lawyer in a dark leather chair, surrounded by legal books, speaking in legalese. Many of them are out of focus or lack clear sound. In other words, bad attorney videos are a dime a dozen. Unless you have the expertise to create smart video, your firm could be added to that list.

Be more like Hitchcock than Birdemic in your social videos

If you’ve seen Birdemic (something we here at FindLaw do not recommend), it’s clear the movie is a poorly-made homage to British director Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

But where they differ is in execution. Both are “killer bird” movies, but Hitchcock’s is a classic, well-constructed piece of filmmaking. His professionalism and quality put many other thrillers to shame. The writing and directing create a sense of emotional connection that bring viewers closer to the movie because they care about the characters. That’s what your social video needs

That emotional connection is the most important aspect of your videos. Consumers have short attention spans, so you have to be efficient in your video storytelling to reach them on a personal level.

Telling your story in the time consumers are willing to watch is tough, but brisk pacing will help create a compelling video that grabs a consumer’s attention. Write a script with short, powerful sentences that waste no time.

Consumers also want a quality viewing experience. Shots should be framed so that the viewer can see everything they’re interested in. A little levity on social media helps as well. Light colors and positive music could be the thing your viewers need to feel at ease.

Keep it relevant

Make your videos evergreen content that a legal consumer can use no matter when they’re viewed. In other words, don’t be topical. Current events may belong on your news feed, but not a video that takes time to produce. Tell your law firm’s story in conversational language that your viewer will understand. Let them know what makes you stand out, and why they should call you when they need an attorney.

Start with the main point of your video. What do you want the viewer to know even if they only hear the first sentence? You have roughly ten seconds to grab a legal consumer’s attention, no matter how long your video is. That’s not much time to hammer home the value of your firm.

Should you hire a marketing firm?

Creating social video takes work, but Facebook is prioritizing video ads that are balanced with a business’s written content. You can make your own social videos, but Facebook knows what is popular. And it’s hard to adhere to their standards if you’re not keeping with social media’s “inside baseball” every day. FindLaw knows how to create effective videos because of our experience with social media and the legal consumer. We team with your firm to convey your brand message on Facebook by targeting prospects through paid social media. They’ll see the human side of your firm, the part that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Interested in learning more about video? Check out our newly revised playbook: Legal Marketing 103: Beyond a Basic Website.

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