The most effective way for accounting firms to showcase their expertise is through their website. Most firms are missing out on major opportunities to target and attract clients using tools that are right at their fingertips.
Having a marketing plan that includes a digital strategy is a critical. Statistics show, 85% of consumers conduct online research before making any purchase, and for accounting service that number is greater than 60%. In our digital world, the first impress of a firm is their website. This means potential clients are primarily basing their decisions to work with an accounting firm or not based on its digital footprint. It’s critical for firms to utilize the right tools to project a captivating online image.
To make decisions, all of us sift through mass amounts of information quickly throughout our day, there is no exception for people seeking accounting services. For accounting firms wanting to effectively engage with clients and prospects, have the challenge of distinguishing themselves from others. In order to set themselves apart from others, firms must have digital marketing strategy. Digital Marketing can be defined as using the internet to expand outreach audience by optimizing content, communicating or interacting with the audience, and having the ability to analyze each step.
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These five tips on how to digitally market an accounting firm can help promote the firm, drive new customer acquisition, stay top of mind with current customers, expand services offered to current customers and more.
5 Tips on How to Market an Accounting Firm
1. Update your website
Take an objective look at your firm’s website to determine what updates needed. According to Adobe, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. An unattractive website can mean having too much content, not enough or having people play “Where’s Waldo?” on your site. Too much content – it is tempting to want to tell the world about everything your firm offers, you can’t or shouldn’t. Think about your top performing services and highlight those only – once you’re working with the client, you’ll have the opportunity to let them know what other services you can provide. Having to little information or not providing basic information resulting in people having to search your website therefore playing the game of “Where’s Waldo” is not fun and potential customers will become frustrated and leave your website.
TIP: Utilize a clean, crisp design that focuses on the top three items needed on any accounting firm homepage: your contact information; a simple summary of what your firm is about; and clear, engaging options that tell visitors what they can do next (e.g., browse your services, learn about your firm’s talent, read client testimonials, make an appointment, and so on). Click here for additional suggestions on how to make your website stand out.
2. Get to the top of local search results
Included in updating your accounting firm’s website is having keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. However, because it can be challenging to keep up to date with SEO standards and understand key performance indicators, some firms find it easier to hand this work off to marketing experts. If you do, make sure you hire an agency familiar with tax and accounting as they’ll bring more knowledge of keywords and trends specific to the profession. The objective is to be as high on the list as possible so a page-down is not required.
TIP: Whether you handle SEO in-house or not, local search results are highly influenced by other online references to your business. Take control of your listings in Google My Business, YP, Yelp and similar sites, and ensure your business can be found online, via Google and beyond.
3. Start (and maintain) a regular blog
A blog is an opportunity for your accounting firm to become a “thought leader” and showcase the knowledge and insight of your partners and staff. By focusing on topics relevant to clients, you’ll pull in readers and develop a reputation as a firm who’s an authority on subjects that are top of mind for today’s business owners and individuals. Even better, a blog provides regular content to support your social media and email marketing efforts and can even help improve your site’s presence in search results—if you host it on the same domain as your site.
TIP: If you decide to do a blog, understand consistency is key. Commit to a regular schedule and keep it. Successful blogs take time to develop a following; followings happen as people enjoy your content and know they can depend on you to deliver the goods on a consistent basis.
4. Use social media effectively
Social media benefits for business are huge and that is why it is one of the most powerful digital marketing methods that are used to syndicate content and increase your brand’s visibility and awareness. While many firms have social media accounts on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, they often don’t know how to effectively use them to market their firm. If you dive into the social media arena, it’s vital that you embed it into your strategy, making sure to post content frequently and interact regularly with followers. Putting your firm in an environment where people are sharing, liking and ‘talking’ improves your visibility and can increase traffic back to your website. policy.
TIP: Social media is all about dialogue, think of it as a conversation and if used well can humanize businesses.For the best results, post content your followers are likely to share or comment upon, thereby potentially extending your reach to their connections.
5. Maximize email marketing efforts
While most firms communicate with clients regularly via email, most are not fully capitalizing on this opportunity. Make the most of your email marketing efforts with regular updates and eye-catching content that focuses on business strategy and financial tips, not only accounting matters consistently.
TIP: As with your website, don’t forget to design your emails to be mobile friendly. Avoid long, drawn-out sets of content; instead, provide “teasers” of content with hyperlinks back to your website. You want your readers to be invited to come visit your website for more engaging content. Don’t try to do it all in the email; your website is where clients will engage you for services.
When we look at these tips holistically, an important common thread runs throughout — analytics. Data is boss and it is why digital marketing is so important because it allows for data be analyzed. Regularly, review the number of opened emails, how well your website and content show up in search results, whether comments are made to your social media post. Looking at this information in detail provides insight on what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be adjusted. Google Analytics is a great free tool that’s easy to add any website and will help you analyze what’s working and what isn’t.
It is important to note that embracing technology is one thing. Using it to enhance client experiences is paramount. Recent events have reminded us that how we work best is to blend our technology with our expertise to best serve our clients.
The bottom line is that remaining relevant in the accounting profession is a never-ending process. Updating online marketing strategies and building a loyal digital following is critical in reaching today’s consumer. If you are open and agile enough to make technology a priority, including having a digital marketing strategy, you will realize a true competitive advantage in a busy and crowded market.
Want to develop long-term business relationships, promote thought leadership, and maximize business opportunities? Then Checkpoint Marketing for Firms is your answer. Increase your social media presence by utilizing a variety of options to help you connect with your clients.