Whether you are one of the leading accounting firms having offices worldwide or a startup, you can not survive in the market without a bulletproof marketing strategy. And, when it’s about marketing strategy, the digital marketing strategy in the present era of internet and E-commerce assumes utmost significance.
Now, as a Certified Internal Accountant or Certified Public Accountant, there’s never a dearth of clients but it’s the intense level of competition existing between different firms and the inability of one firm to differentiate itself from the other is what makes it hard for you to thrive and often also survive.
Therefore, the question then arises is — what are you doing to counter the market competition and stand out from the others? Also, are you exploiting the digital marketing trends to your full advantage?
In this blog, I take to answering the most crucial question — Can digital marketing pave the way to success for accounting firms?
By discussing the benefits of different digital marketing strategies, we will see how the different types of digital marketing tactics can be the ‘guerilla tactics’ for establishing a successful accounting firm.
But, before discussing the benefits, let us understand what digital marketing means, for all purposes.
Digital Marketing Explained
In simple terms, digital marketing unlike traditional marketing where you’d to make use of print, radio, or television advertising for letting people know you are there in the market, can be conducted by sitting in one place through the internet.
The search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SMM), content marketing, data-driven marketing, e-commerce marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and also non-internet marketing (SMS and MMS) are all examples of digital marketing.
Through the use of digital marketing tools, you can collect analytical data of users and use that to your growth and promotion.
The best part is if you hire a digital marketing agency for your accounting firm, you spend comparatively lesser what you would spend on any traditional marketing method.
Now, let’s see how some of the digital marketing methods as discussed in the above section can be utilized to your advantage.
Digital Marketing Methods and Their Effectiveness
Social Media Marketing
Barring LinkedIn, all the social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube were mainly recognized for making friends and socializing earlier. But, marketers did take social media seriously by creating a business profile to generate prospects and benefited immensely from it.
Today, you can find numerous accounting firms utilizing social media in many different ways. You can create content that takes about accounting services and post it on different social media platforms. But, make sure you create content with a catchy headline and the content is not complex for people to understand.
But, before you post any content, you should do enough research on what your competitors are doing on such platforms. You can build connections with people who show interest in your competitors’ business pages.
There are several examples of firms and individual accountants who have benefited from social media connections, through a productive sharing and engagement with the leads, if not the direct conversion of leads and which could, in the long run, be guided to their websites for the closing of a deal/contract.
One of the very good examples is the Servello CPA firm who through Pinterest connections could build a vibrant and profitable community.
For accountants, this is considered as one of the best forms of digital marketing as you have a chance to establish direct, personal communication with the prospects. You first create an email list by reaching out to your prospects in different ways.
Once you have the list ready, you can send a well-designed email asking them to hire your services. Of course, you also need to provide an option to your prospects for unsubscribing in order to abide by the privacy and protection laws.
The email list building strategies that have earlier been used by accounting firms are contact forms on your website, subscription newsletters, social media, etc.
In order to make your email sound real and genuine and not just a promotional gimmick, you should make an effort to inform and educate them than to directly ask for the hiring of your services.
You have the option of sending automated emails but you must use this strategy for reminding your old clients about using your services or sending a thank you email else there are chances that your prospects will even stop opening the email once they know it’s only for promotion.
Other examples can be sending automated emails for welcoming a new client or a friendly reminder to review your accounting firm’s services.
Davidson & Company, LLC is an example of a financial planner who benefited from email marketing.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Marketing can be done in two ways — through paid advertising (e.g. Google PPC, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.) and through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for boosting your website’s rank in a purely organic way.
SEO is done by researching keywords related to accounting and then using these in your blogs to achieve top ranks in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Another method is the use of hashtags in social media sites to be easily identified by the search engine crawlers.
Though there are 3 main methods of SEO, but two are the most popular and commonly used — On-page SEO and Off-page SEO. If On-page SEO refers to optimizing your website through several methods, Off-page SEO means optimizing content through other sources such as backlinks, external links, guest blogging, etc.
KTS Owens Thomas is one example of an accounting firm who carried out extensive keyword research and analysis, on-and off-page SEO for reaching out to prospects.
This method involves the promotion of your accounting firm in an implicit manner. Through well-written blogs, white papers, infographics, newsletters, Online Microsoft Presentations, video scripts, website content, etc. you have a good chance to be noticed by the prospects.
The main aim here is to inform, educate, and engage your customers in different ways. Building trust in the audience isn’t that easy and you might have to hire a professional writer to write content that can arouse the interests of clients.
Consistency is at the core of writing great content and then also publishing it. As out of sight is out of mind, you should try to not lose the attention of customers that you might be gaining slowly but steadily.
The Final Word
The above mentioned digital marketing strategies are the main methods commonly used by accounting firms all over the world and the examples mentioned must be enough for you to sit up and take notice of the latest digital marketing trends utilized to its maximum advantage.
So, will you still ask if digital marketing can pave the way to success for accounting firms?