Whether you like it or not, the digital world is redefining how we do almost everything—from looking up a phone number to researching a product to communicating with others—it all looks pretty different from how things were run even just a few years ago. This is especially true when it comes to how businesses approach and execute their marketing efforts.
When was the last time you saw a billboard and called a phone number or looked up a website because of it? It probably was a long time ago, and if it wasn’t, the follow-through was probably a very rare occurrence. This is not to say that all traditional forms of marketing and advertising are dead…Only that they are waning in the shadow of digital marketing.
Digital marketing essentially uses online based technologies such as the Internet, computers, phones, tablets, and others to promote products and services. It has become table stakes for businesses across all industries—meaning they would not be able to survive and thrive without it. However, each business must tailor their digital marketing efforts according to the purposes they serve. For example, a law firm will likely not market their services in the same way a fashion brand would.
Similarly, accounting firms will need to execute specific marketing strategies in order to reach their target audiences and serve them well. Before we dive into specific marketing ideas that accounting firms can implement, let’s first talk about a few digital marketing mistakes to avoid:
- Failing to define a target audience: Without properly defining who your target audience is, what their needs are, and how you can specifically grab their attention, your marketing efforts will fall flat. The last thing you want to do is pay to get your marketing content in front of people who don’t need accounting services and/or are uninterested in learning more about accounting. By identifying several user personas, you can make sure your marketing content is going to all the right people for the best results.
- Not having clear ways to measure goals: One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to have a system in place to measure your goals and results. No matter how many goals you set, it may be in vain if you’re not able to track how well they’re stacking up based on your results. To set yourself up for success, establish a unified standard of value metrics that will help your entire organization evaluate how well you’re doing with your goals.
- Putting all your eggs in one basket: Don’t depend on one sole channel for all your marketing efforts. One of the best things about digital marketing is that so many different channels are available: social media, email marketing, website content, blogs and more. If you’re only using one channel, you could be missing out on reaching entire audience groups and end up witnessing slow growth.
- Turning a blind eye to what your competitors are doing: As an accounting firm, it may be tempting to simply ignore the competition you have in the market. However, this is not a harmless deed. Ignoring your competition closes your firm off from getting a good look into other strategies that you could be using and are working for your competition. If you see your competitor run a successful campaign, you should be wondering what about it you can emulate, what audience groups overlap between their and your firm, and how they stack up to you (in terms of their website traffic and rank, social media followings, etc.).
Now that we’ve covered a few basic mistakes, let’s talk more about what you can do right. Here are 20 marketing ideas you can implement to gear your accounting firm towards growth and success.
1. Identify your target audience. Like we said before, failing to do this is one of the biggest mistakes any business can make when it comes to marketing for their company. For accountants especially, it’s crucial to target the right people with just the right content, given the specificity of the services offered. This is true of any industry-specific business. Identifying your target audience will then determine how you shape your marketing efforts, what kind of campaigns you put together, the language and messaging you use, and more.
2. Set KPIs and track them regularly. Without a way to measure your goals, you won’t know how to course correct to guide your company in the right direction. For example, if you’re way off the mark in certain months but closer to your goals in others, it’s important to keep track of this on a regular basis. Doing so can allow you to look back and assess any trends that may be happening and reevaluate whether your marketing is successful among your audience. If not, you can use these results as proof to drive your efforts in another direction.
3. Make sure your website is designed efficiently. The benefits of having good website design are irrefutable. Not only does it affect the amount of time people spend on your website learning more about your company, but it also has an impact on bounce rates as well. There’s nothing more frustrating than landing on a web page that is difficult to navigate.
When building your website, you should ensure that you have:
- Messaging that is engaging and not too crowded—make sure to have plenty of white space to separate your key copy sections
- Colors that are relevant to your brand
- Easy-to-use user interface and mobile access capabilities
4. Optimize your SEO strategy. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving web traffic in effort to direct leads to your website. SEO is set apart because it targets unpaid traffic rather than paid traffic, meaning you have the chance to get in front of your audience without having to spend money on ads. You can improve your SEO in a number of ways, many of which have to do with content creation. This can take the form of landing pages, blog posts, having a link-worthy site, and more. The better you do, the further up your web page will appear in a Google search.
5. Create a blog and schedule posts regularly. Starting a blog is one of the most efficient ways to slowly improve your SEO strategy. Whether it’s a 5 step article guide to maximizing your tax benefits or highlighting key accounting technologies of 2022, there is so much helpful content you can create and produce through a blog. As an accounting firm, you can offer your expertise, perspective, and tips and tricks to help your audience. This also ensures that you’re not only marketing your product or services but making sure you’re offering valuable resources to the people you’re targeting as well.
6. Send out email newsletters. One way to consistently engage your subscribers with valuable information without thoroughly annoying them is through regularly cadenced newsletters—this could be either twice a month, once a week, or however else you see fit. Your newsletters will want to follow a theme while staying simple so that your readers don’t lose interest too quickly. You’ll want to create your newsletters to be easily digestible and able to nurture your sales prospects further down the marketing funnel.
7. Start a podcast. It seems everybody is a podcaster these days, and perhaps that’s for a reason. Podcasts have become all the rage in the past few years, because they are a great way to gain new prospects and direct them to your website. Accounting firms specifically have a great window of opportunity here, as the accounting podcast space is less crowded than, say, the podcast space for true crime. If you have something unique to deliver to your target audience through this medium, it’s worth looking into. Setting up a successful podcast can also show your prospects that you’re a credible and trustworthy source to be getting their accounting advice from.
8. Offer free resources. Speaking of offering valuable resources, I think we can all agree that getting free stuff is pretty cool—especially when it’s helpful free stuff. Accounting firms can leverage their marketing materials by offering them as free resources in the form of e-books, whitepapers, case studies, etc. in exchange for lead information. Not only will a potential customer gain access to information that you’ve created, but you get their information in exchange for other marketing efforts later down the line.
9. Host a webinar. In a recovering post-pandemic world, we’ve all become accustomed to watching and joining events online. Webinars are a great way for accounting firms to speak on and provide specific information to a group of interested viewers, at virtually no cost. They are also another great way to get information from potential leads.
10. Get involved with live events. Whether it be trade exhibitions, conferences, or networking events, it’s always helpful to show up and get connected with more people. The more connections you make, the more people you’re able to showcase your firm (and effectively market) to. Not only that, but the people you meet may be able to refer people they know to your business. Take advantage of events like these, especially when they’re local to where your firm is based.
11. Create a resources page. A lot of the time when people visit your website, they are looking to find out more about the ins and outs of your business and what you offer. Therefore, you should make it easy for potential clients to find the resources they need by providing downloadable informational documents, videos, links to relevant articles, blog posts or governmental resources, and more. You can stack this under an “FAQ” tab so that all of your resources are in one place.
12. Live stream Q&A. In addition to a resources page, you can also host a live stream Q&A. This is a great way to connect directly with your potential clients and put a face behind your firm. Why is that important? People like to engage with people more than they like to engage with businesses. Answering questions in a live setting can also help your brand values and personality stand out.
13. Collaborate with other businesses. Not every business is a competitor. Sometimes there’s a great marketing opportunity in partnering or co-marketing with another business. To be successful in this partnership, you should team up with a company that shares a target audience with you so that you can both generate new leads. From there, it will be up to each of the businesses involved to turn those leads into sales.
14. Speak at events. Scoring a speaking slot at accounting events or even conferences can help position your business as a subject matter expert. Speaking at different events can also help you get in front of audience groups you may not have had access to before.
15. Sponsor events. Similarly, sponsoring events can also help you bring in new clients—the in-person nature of events like these are a great breeding ground for making connections and networking. However, it’s important to be selective about the type of events you sponsor so that they are in line with your goals. A huge benefit of this is that all attendees will see and hopefully become familiar with your firm’s name.
16. Ask for referrals. Referrals are an extremely impactful way for businesses to gain new customers—84% of consumers say that they trust a referral from someone they know versus another form of marketing. Because of this, it’s worth creating a referral program that incentivizes your existing customers to refer their friends and family to use your services. It’s also worth asking your network to refer their audiences and customers as well.
17. Utilize video marketing. Video marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing that exist for all kinds of businesses. Video marketing can specifically be beneficial for accounting firms in creating informational or educational videos that provide value to potential leads and/or existing customers. You can also create videos about relevant topics for things you think your audience may be searching for. Look into what your customers have been inquiring about most, and tailor your content according to that.
18. Get your social media on. It’s the age of social media and many businesses cannot thrive without taking part in the world of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. Each social media channel is different in its uses, audiences, language, and tone. Be sure to build a strong online presence by staying consistent across various social media channels while also making them unique to each respective medium.
19. Follow up with lost deals. Losing a deal is hard, but it doesn’t mean it’s a no forever. Circumstances are constantly evolving, and sometimes a no can turn into a yes later down the line. A good way to keep in touch with previous leads is to gently check in with them every quarter or so and see how things are going. This does not always have to be a sales pitch, but more of a gentle touchpoint.
20. Upsell existing clients. While generating and converting new leads is exciting, it’s also a whole process that can take a lot of time and effort. In fact, it’s easier and more cost effective for businesses to nurture and upsell their existing customers than it is to convert new ones. This also ensures that you have repeating buyers who will use your services and products for a long time.
While you don’t want to stretch yourself thin by trying ALL of these marketing ideas at once, there are many we listed here that will prove beneficial for your business. There are also other marketing methods not listed that can supplement your current efforts. As an accounting firm, it’s up to you to set a budget and be realistic about what methods will be helpful for you, and which are not worth your time. However, it’s important to try and implement new marketing methods you may not have tried before.
At Lift Digital, we want to see your business thrive, not just survive. We believe accounting firms can unlock their fullest potential when they focus their marketing efforts with a bigger picture in mind. If you’re ready to step into maximizing more with less, we’re here to help! Contact us today to get started on your new marketing journey.