My Video Marketing Experiment & Results

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My experiment results…I feel like this is a science project.

I tried a video marketing experiment. The results were exactly what I thought.

Here’s what I did:

In November 2012 I gave a lecture to attorneys at the NYC Bar Association. It was about medical malpractice law for the non-medical malpractice attorney. It was part of their Bridge-the-Gap program.

I’m invited each year to lecture and for some reason the attorneys keep writing great reviews of my lecture and I keep getting invited back.

I videotaped this lecture. It was an hour and a half. The only problem was that the lighting was awful. Dreadful. Even though I was using a professional videographer, we couldn’t do anything better with the lighting. That was problem #1.

Problem #2 was the length of the video.

My theory: If I put a 90 minute CLE lecture on YouTube, nobody would watch till the end.

My assumption: I knew that people would watch part of it. I knew that viewers would stay for a little while. What I didn’t know was for how long they would stay.

My results:

As the graph above shows, the audience retention went down dramatically after the 20 minute mark. That’s actually quite remarkable when you think about it.

I wouldn’t watch an attorney CLE for 20 minutes, unless I had to for CLE credit.

YouTube analytics confirmed my thoughts that nobody would watch till the end of the 90 minutes and that’s cool.

My thoughts:

I was very uncomfortable uploading a 90 minute video. All of my videos are 2-4 minutes long. Having a 90 minute video just went against the grain of all that I do. Even with good lighting, a viewer should never be expected to sit through a video for that long.

What has this taught me?

To turn up the lighting in the room and bring my own external lights while giving next year’s CLE to the NYC Bar Association. Then post it as another experiment and see if the lighting makes a difference when viewed against viewer retention.

Remember, if you’re going to change one of the video factors, only change one thing at a time. Otherwise, you’ll never know what worked and what didn’t.


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Gerry, I've read your book and watched at least 100 of your videos, and follow your blog, so "I feel like I know you already!".

I wanted to introduce myself, I work for an attorney, David Aylor, in the Charleston, SC area. I do all his in house marketing, and most recently have focused on video marketing, using your approach.

We started exploring the strategy last July, started filming by September, and published the first video to YouTube Nov. 1. I am now publishing 2 videos per week and the response had been great.

I want to share with you how we have be utilizing the material on Facebook, to build a community of "friends" of the law firm. These are previous clients, referral sources, friends of the staff, other attorneys, new media (radio, TV, and print) as well as other prominent folks in the community.

I really was against the idea of Facebook marketing at first (because I think there's alot of hacks and snake oil salesmen in the "social media/SEO marketing" world). But I was very wrong, the content we are creating is being liked, shared, and commented on, and Facebook's strong community platform (and it's EdgeRank algorithm) is giving us a great way to keep our "inner circle" close to the office, and relevant in the minds of them and their friends.

This was the first video we posted to Facebook-
"Can My Facebook Profile Be Used As Evidence In Court?"
95 likes, 25 comments, 27 shares

The local NBC anchor actually saw it in his Facebook feed from a friend sharing it, and interviewed David Aylor for a 6 o'clock news story on Social Media and Privacy in the legal system. (you can see here if you'd like

I would love to show you more about how I'm strategizing these videos for YouTube use as well as Facebook now. I think there are definitely some areas of practice and law firms that it wouldn't work for, but I'm sure there are a bunch that would benefit from it.

Thanks for all you do, and I hope I get the pleasure of meeting you soon!

David Haskins