We’ve spoken at length in previous articles about how you can leverage social media to establish yourself as an expert and connect with existing and potential clients. When it comes to video content, longer videos were the more prevalent form of content used in online marketing and on social media. Think long informational videos, interviews and more.
Over time, however, this has changed, and today short-form video content, with its minimal time commitment and clever editing, has become an increasingly popular form of online content. This is true to such an extent that many social media platforms, even those that used to focus on other forms of online content, have added short-form video features to keep up with trends.
In this article we’re going to look at what short form video is, provide an overview of how online video changed over time, and offer some information on how to optimize your use of short-form video to grow your immigration law firm’s brand.
Typically, videos are classified as “short-form” when they are a minute long or shorter. Short-form video started to pick up popularity in the early 2000s with the once-popular but now defunct Vine, which started the short-form video trend on social media. One of the main reasons this format became so popular was because the short length required creators to push the boundaries of creativity to synthesize their messaging into a very short amount of time while still being engaging, informative, etc.
Although Vine is no longer here, short-form video has not only survived, but has also thrived. From Snapchat and TikTok, both of which started as a short-form social video apps (although the maximum time for videos on the platform has recently increased to 10 minutes), to Instagram Reels, Facebook Watch and even to YouTube Shorts, which was introduced in 2021, short form video is dominating social media today.
But just because short-form video is trending in society at large, does that mean that you as an immigration attorney should start creating TikTok videos? Well, in short, we think the answer may be yes, and here’s why.
Here are some reasons you should consider incorporating short-form video into your immigration law firm marketing strategy.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the brevity of these videos implies you have to sacrifice on quality or value. While short-form videos are meant to be straightforward, with clever editing they can still be engaging and informative. Indeed, the goal is to give your audience one piece of information or actionable advice that they can take with them and then entice them to either reach out to you or engage with other content you might have that may be longer or more detailed. Think of it as an entry point to you and your knowledge, not the whole thing.
The appeal of short-form content lies in its relatability: it should feel like you’re just sharing something interesting with a friend. A good place to start for short-form videos could be by providing concise answers to frequent questions. You can provide short answers to topics you’ve explained in longer videos, provide quick updates on immigration law or policy changes, or provide a lawyer’s perspective on current events. To increase engagement, ask your audience for their opinions in the comments and remind them to share the video with someone else who may find it helpful.
Short-form videos can also be a way to build a more relatable side to your professional social media presence, letting your audience see a bit more of your personality, maybe even some of your personal story if it’s part of your “why” when it comes to practicing immigration law.
One of the hardest parts of building an audience online is figuring out what content will connect with them. Since a short-form video can, in theory, take just minutes to create, if something doesn’t work out (e.g. doesn’t get any engagement), you can always delete it and try a new idea without much loss of time, and with a rapid feedback loop of what works and what doesn’t.
If you’re still not convinced, here is something else to consider: given the popularity of short-form video as a marketing strategy across all industries at the moment, not giving it a try is potentially a missed opportunity to grow your firm and reach a new audience. YouTube Shorts is not even the most popular of these short-form video formats present on social media, but in its first month, it reported billions of views. There’s a reason why short-form video is increasingly becoming a go-to digital marketing strategy across industries and on all the various platforms where it’s available.
Before you reject the idea of doing something “just because it’s trendy,” remember that the goal of using social media to share your knowledge about immigration law is to get yourself in front of people who may benefit from your knowledge and experience and, hopefully, convert some of them into clients. Most likely, the online platform of your choice already has a short-form video integration: Instagram has Reels, YouTube has Shorts, and TikTok and Snapchat are made for short-form videos from the start.
As more lawyers across industries catch up on social media marketing in general, keeping up with trends such as video marketing is the best way to stay ahead of the curve and keep your law firm relevant. Given the rising popularity of short-form video and the relatively low cost of getting started, it’s worth a try.
Social media marketing allows you to continue growing your immigration law firm and show your ability to connect with people as technology changes and societal trends change with it. As you grow and support more clients along their immigration journey, you’ll need a case management system equally as adaptable.
From a full library of immigration forms to client questionnaires in multiple languages to an industry-leading set of API integrations, Docketwise helps you stay up to date on all your cases, communicate easily with your clients, and otherwise build and manage your firm.