Traditionally, accounting has relied on long-term client partnerships and referrals to meet its business goals. With advances in technology, this approach is no longer enough. Potential clients today tend to shop around online before they hire an accountant. They are now more likely to find your accounting firm in search engine results or on a social media platform. This is why your online presence matters.
When it comes to your clients, switching to a new accounting firm has gotten easier and less expensive, too. The proliferation of cloud accounting tools is also making it easier for people to DIY their accounting. But online marketing can help you find and build strong long-term relationships with potential clients.
When done right, online marketing can be a powerful and cost-effective way to reach new clients as well as retain old ones. Here are a five ideas to help:
1. Put your website to work for you
Your website is critical to your online presence. Your online marketing efforts should aim to drive visitors to your website from social media or search engines. When visitors land on your website, they want to quickly and easily find the information they need. To create a website that converts visitors to leads,
- Highlight important information – like your contact information and a summary of your services – clearly on your website
- Use persuasive calls to action. These should encourage visitors to learn more about your services, sign up for your newsletter or blog updates or get in touch with you
- Pay special attention to layouts and keep your design responsive (or mobile-friendly)
- Keep the language, tone, and style of your website content consistent and tailored to your target client base
- Use video or written client testimonials to warm up prospects
- Update your website regularly
Your website also plays a big role in where you show up in search results. Invest in optimising your website for search engines like Google. The standards and performance indicators for SEO change constantly, and it can be daunting to keep up with them. Consider hiring an SEO professional, preferably one familiar with tax and accounting to increase the reach of your website.
2. Create a content marketing plan
Before you begin your online marketing journey, it’s important to have a documented plan. This plan outlines your marketing goals and how to meet them. Plan thoroughly for tasks ranging from content creation to distribution, analytics, and brand monitoring across platforms. Include as many details as you can – such as topics, deadlines, responsibilities, and metrics to track, among others.
3. Know your client base
It’s important to define your target audience before you start creating content. Identify the types of clients you want to attract and the platforms they are most likely to be on. Spend time to understand their needs and the most pressing issues they face. How can you address these with your content? What formats will work best for your client base? Answering these questions will help you tailor your content to the prospects you want to reach. When narrowing down target companies and markets, start local before looking further afield.
4. Engage on social media
Several accounting firms make the mistake of sharing only promotional content on their social media accounts. This can put off prospects as well as algorithms. Alongside promotional content, share content that your client base can make use of. This includes news from the industry and topical insights from external sources. You can also answer questions from your followers and join industry discussions. Active and authentic engagement on social media platforms can go a long way in building relationships with clients and prospects.
A seemingly small mistake on social media can also quickly turn your brand into a meme. So, make sure your firm has a social media code of conduct in place to guide your employees.
5. Create high-quality content
Content is at the heart of your online marketing efforts. Create original, high-quality content that adds value to the lives of your client base. This will help you get noticed on search engines as well as social media. Explore different formats of content – like interviews, video, whitepapers and e-books – to improve your reach and engagement with clients and prospects.
You can also use content to highlight the unique strengths and accomplishments of your firm. Sharing insights on your blog regularly can help position your firm as an industry thought leader.
Your firm’s content marketing success depends on consistently creating quality content and distributing it on the right platforms. We understand that this demands a lot of time and resources. That’s why some businesses ask us to help them. If you’d like to know more about online marketing for accountants, get in touch. We’d be happy to help.
Rakhee graduated from the University of Melbourne with Honours and began her career practising taxation law. While working for blue chip companies like ANZ, Foster’s and General Motors she developed a flair for writing. She’s been featured in The Australian, Forbes and BBC publications, and enjoys creating content that leverages her knowledge of the law and business. Her expertise includes taxation, migration, financial services, corporate and employment law.
Rakhee is based in Melbourne. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on +61 409 418 297.