Why Are Lawyers Still Putting Their TV Commercials on YouTube?

watchtvDo you think anyone voluntarily watches an attorney commercial for 30 seconds?

Why would anyone in their right mind waste 30 seconds of their life to watch an attorney commercial online?

It’s one thing if they were doing research for their competitors who aggressively use TV campaigns in their marketing messages. It’s another when a marketing company simply throws it up on their YouTube channel in the hopes that this will somehow encourage potential clients to want to call these lawyers.

What most of these marketing companies who put attorney ads on YouTube don’t understand is that a TV spot is designed for a different viewing audience. TV spots are not meant for the online viewer. There is a different mindset when creating a TV spot as part of a TV marketing campaign compared to content that a potential client is actively looking for.

In reality, I believe it is the marketing companies who are misguided rather than the attorneys.

The lawyers often have no idea that their TV spots have been put up on their YouTube channel for the world to see.

I personally believe that a potential client who is searching for useful information on how to solve their particular problem will not appreciate another lawyer TV ad. Viewers who are in search mode are looking for useful and educational information, not some lawyer screaming “Come to me because I’m great and I’ve been in practice for 25 years.”

A consumer who is searching for information about how to solve their legal problem is in search and find mode. A lawyer’s television commercial does not satisfy any of the criteria for a viewer with this mindset. Putting up TV spots in the hope that someone will find it interesting and compelling misses the whole purpose of creating great educational video.

As a better alternative, you might want to create a separate YouTube channel just for your TV commercials and separate that from any other videos you create.

By the way, in almost every instance where a TV production company has put an attorney’s commercial on YouTube, invariably they fail to optimize those videos and fail to maximize the chances that a consumer will find that content, find it interesting, find it compelling and prompt a viewer to call that lawyer for more information.

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2 Responses to Why Are Lawyers Still Putting Their TV Commercials on YouTube?

  • Rich Klein says:

    Excellent points, Gerry. What’s worse is that so many of those TV commercials are just horrible and a colossal waste of marketing/advertising/PR dollars. But your point about “Come to me because I’m great” points to a broader problem among too many law firms. That kind of egocentric sentiment instead of client-centered value language is not limited to hideous commercials. Unfortunately, thousands of attorney biographies still begin with what law school they attended, that they were editor of law review or won a moot court competition. I hope your great work helping attorneys to create videos that are client centered also inspires these attorneys to go back and revise their biographies and other marketing content.

  • Thanks Rich.
    I always encourage attorneys to take me up on my challenge to remove the following words from all of their marketing messages…
    “I, Me, My, Our firm, My firm, my law firm.”

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I found Gerry’s approach to be a common sense approach to… what people are looking for. It’s not necessarily what we think our video should be, it’s really what people are searching for. Gerry’s made a study of how people search the web and what they need from lawyers and then he’s able to communicate that on video. That’s what I really found intriguing: the methodology by which we shoot the videos and the way that he communicates that methodology.

Joe Hanyon
MHK Attorneys