Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past two weeks, you probably saw an email forward, tweet, or Facebook update referring to Kony 2012, a video that documents Invisible Children, Inc.’s efforts to make indicted Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony internationally known in order to encourage his arrest in 2012. In just 3 days, the video received almost 40 million views on YouTube, and the numbers continue to climb.

Now, many people are criticizing both Invisible Children and the campaign, but one thing is for certain: Kony 2012 is a brilliant marketing campaign, and any business that wants to build its reputation should start taking notes. Here are a few lessons we can learn from the Kony 2012 video campaign:

  1. Tell a story. In Kony 2012, the director told a heart wrenching story that tied in with the life of his own son. Not only did we learn what Jason Russell was marketing, we also learned why this project was important to him and we felt a personal connection to the director as his told his story. When you market your law firm, do you just list your practice areas and expect customers to line up at your door? Instead, you should tell potential clients why you practice law and why you feel so strongly about the cases you take.
  2. Relate to your audience. In Kony 2012, the director pieces together common images and stories that relate to a wide audience. From stories about how humans connect to cute YouTube clips all the way to the birth of his son, Russell gives viewers something to which they can relate. What about your law firm marketing can do that? Do you sponsor a soccer team, volunteer on weekends, or even watch film awards on Sundays? When you market your firm, you should include news items like these on your blog, in your newsletter, and in your press releases. These images tell your clients that you are on their level and that you have similar interests and goals.
  3. Give consumers a way to share your message. By creating an engaging video and giving viewers a wide range of outlets to share that message, Invisible Children was able to turn Kony 2012 into an overnight sensation. If you put the effort into creating a powerful message, it is important for you to give consumers a simple way to share that message via email and social networks.
  4. Call people to act. Okay, so it might be just a little easier to convince people to take action against an international war criminal, but your law firm should be able to tell potential clients why they need to hire an attorney now. Do this by asking questions to find out what motivates clients and using action words.
  5. Educate consumers. The Kony 2012 has educated millions of people about a particular problem and then gives viewers the tools to solve that problem. Your law firm marketing materials should educate consumers about their legal needs, and then you should provide them with a simple way to meet those needs (by calling your firm).
  6. Make your message simple enough that even a child can understand. As an attorney, it is your job to understand and sift through all of the legal jargon to help your client, but it is not your job to show off to clients or confuse them. Instead, explain what your firm can do for its clients in a way that is easy to understand so that they will be more likely to agree with your message.

What other lessons can we learn from marketing campaigns like this one? What other marketing efforts have inspired the way your market your law firm? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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