Content marketing – using relevant, valuable articles, white papers, and other information to generate interest and sales – has been a hot topic in the marketing community in recent years. That’s because it’s very effective, and because the web has made it much easier and less expensive to publish in-depth content.
I think content marketing works particularly well in complex fields like tax and accounting. It’s a great way to increase the visibility of your firm and use your expertise as a brand-building tool. You’ll be more visible to prospects, and it will reinforce your position as a trusted advisor with current clients.
One of the best ways to get your content marketing effort off the ground is to publish a white paper. A well-written white paper on a valuable topic can dramatically increase response rates for your email or direct mail campaigns. And once you’ve written one, you can be repurpose it in countless ways – as a handout at presentations, as a giveaway in email promotions, and much more.
Of course, a whole library of white papers is even better. It adds value and builds traffic to your website, turning it from a sales tool into a library of information where current and potential clients can turn for guidance and expertise.
The secret to an effective white paper is to find a topic that clients and prospects want to learn more about. Then provide some basic, but helpful information on that topic. There are a huge number of possible topics in the tax and accounting profession: tax law strategies, different entity formations, and elder care issues are just a few of the possibilities.
I’ve talked to a few accountants who worry about “giving away the store,” or losing money by giving out information that they would normally charge for. I’ve found that this isn’t a concern. White papers and other content marketing pieces are a little like an appetizer – once they get a hint of what you have to offer, they’ll almost always come back for more. So, while you’ll want to be careful not to do any active selling in your white paper, be sure to include your contact information so clients and prospects can seek you out.
Of course, there’s one problem with white papers and other content marketing: somebody has to write the content. Writing can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. There are plenty of relatively painless ways to get it done, and we’ll discuss some of them in next week’s article. In the meantime, making a list of potential white paper topics is a great way to get started.
How do you use content marketing at your firm? Feel free to share below.