- Brand Research + Strategy
- Brand Design
- Brand Technology
- Brand Awareness
We needed a website that incorporated fresh technology with superlative design. More importantly, we needed an agency that understood professional service firms, and Greenfield/Belser delivered on every front.
Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
video is changing the landscape of information design
If video killed the radio star, online video will eventually beat down the slumbering mix of text and photos on most modern professional services web sites. Thank goodness. Video holds so much promise for the delivery of bios, practice pages, industry pages, firm overviews and thought leadership. However, there's a catch. The wide majority of professional service firm videos we’ve seen are uncannily similar. They are long video narratives with low production value, almost always featuring firm talking heads on collaborative environments, challenging work and “people making the difference.” Yawn.
In other words, most professional services videos look and sound oddly similar, like the interchangeable firm brochures of yore. So beyond simply adopting the new media on our sites, how can we use it to make our firms unique and memorable?
Some fundamentals (and examples) of breakthrough video:
1. Unearth a driving concept and a unique creative idea. The best definition of a brand is “a unique identity based on a promise of value different from others.” To be engaging and memorable, you need to dig deep to articulate that difference in value—especially when it may be only a few degrees different from the next firm. Boston-based Choate Hall & Stewart’s YouTube inspired site, choate.com/careers, is a clever, interactive joust that positions Choate as a smart alternative to its larger competitors, by any measure.
2. Be authentic, but in a very practiced way. Cheesy hucksterism will be sniffed out and even derided on the Web, so using your own people can be a plus. However, authenticity is tough to capture, especially when your people are not comfortable in front of a camera. Even some of the best trial lawyers we’ve shot—all very comfortable storytellers—can freeze up when the light turns green. Yes, you want to be authentic, but that doesn’t mean you can wing it. Practice, along with multiple takes, does make perfect—ask any professional actor.
3. Connect right brain to left. Substance is rewarded as much as form on the Web. And so it goes for Web video offerings. Clifford Chance's US recruiting site does a very professional job of previewing what it's like to work at the global firm with a style of their own, featured in a new recruiting microsite.
4. Seek talented professionals who know video, people and good creative. While your brother-in-law may be an excellent wedding videographer, that does not mean he’s a big idea person. If he’s on your short list of providers, make sure he also has a keen creative point of view and an ability to drive it from thought to finish (see item 1 above). Also be sure he can coax a performance out of your people. Capturing the open-bar-fueled personality of your uncle at the reception is different than putting your managing partner at ease under the bright lights in your reception area.
5. Brevity is a common courtesy. Many online videos play like feature-length documentaries, minus Ken Burns' gift for the craft. Our rough rule—five minutes of online video is probably four minutes too long. Sadly, many of the professional service videos we see run to up to ten minutes. Houston’s Andrew Kurth LLP does a nice job of cutting the sentiments and straight talk of its people into bite-size chunks with a sharp concept and good editing. See for yourself at andrewskurth.com/recruiting/.
It’s a versatile medium
There are so many ways to make use of your video. Internally and externally, a good video can be used for years to come.
On your website
In your trade show booth
In Powerpoint presentations
During client calls
In email marketing
On online advertisements
In social media venues
Hosting your video
On Your Own Website
If you want your video to be exclusive to your own site and do not want it to be accessed through video sharing sites such as Youtube or Vimeo, that is easily accomplished. We deliver finished videos in multiple formats to ensure that the transition of video to your site is easy and uncomplicated. We only warn that hosting a video exclusively on your site can bring unanticipated traffic and of course, extra bandwidth.
On Video Sharing Sites
Embedding your video on sites such as Youtube, Vimeo and Viddler make it that much simpler to include on social media. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ make it easy to include a link to your video in everyday posts that can go on to be shared with anyone on the internet. Publishing video to video sharing sites make them easily viewable and searchable by everyone from friends to strangers to prospective clients.
In this hosting option, Video SEO starts to come into play as well. Search Engine Optimization has become increasing vital to a company’s success in today’s digital landscape. Adding video to your site can be a huge asset to your SEO and not only increase site traffic, but also help your company climb the search rankings. Google's “Related Video” feature is a great tool that can drastically increase your organic search.
Add video to your site today, and see the positive impact on your brand, marketing and clients immediately. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.775.0333 for a free consultation.