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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To retain clients and attract new ones, accounting firms must occasionally add new services or improve existing ones just like any other business. However, it isn’t always easy to see opportunities to expand your accounting firm by adding client services. If you feel ready to expand but stuck on what to offer, we hope the tips below will be helpful to you.
You can’t expand client services or improve your firm’s offerings when you don’t really know where it stands with clients. This requires you to get into a growth mindset rather than becoming complacent with the stability of the accounting industry. Start by looking at your current offerings to determine what your company does especially well and what brings in the most revenue. You will obviously want to keep these client services and try to make them even better than they are right now.
Although it might initially feel painful, don’t overlook the importance of sizing up problems that could be preventing your accounting firm from reaching its own financial goals. For example, perhaps you can’t find the most well-qualified staff or your employees must work with outdated equipment. When you resolve to tackle these issues, the satisfaction level of both clients and employees improve.
You and your staff are excellent at preparing tax returns, helping small business owners create budgets and related tasks in the financial services industry. Since not everyone can excel in every area, you may not focus as much on marketing as you should to grow your business.
Capital Business Strategies can provide you with additional marketing tips, or you may want to consider hiring a marketing professional who has plenty of experience working with clients in the accounting field.
Most accountants understand that managing cash flow well is a leading concern among small business owners. Unfortunately, they may not have a good understanding of other major reasons why business clients seek accounting help in the first place. According to a 2019 research study conducted by Accounting Today, other top concerns include profitability not where it should be, losing a big client, need for more capital, and a large debt load. Don’t hesitate to ask your clients their main concerns and then develop services to resolve them.
The following are two client services that can help you win more business. If you already offer these services, find out how you could do better.
Why do some accounting firms grow faster and make fatter margins than others? Do they know something that the rest of us don’t?
Every year, my firm studies more than a thousand professional services firms to identify emerging marketing trends and to understand what drives the growth of the fastest-growing cohort. And now, we’ve broken out accounting firm performance for special study (about 30% of this year’s participants were accounting firms).
In this post, I’d like to share some of our data and insights into the fastest-growing accounting firms—and turn them into a few lessons you can apply to your firm.
When it comes to investing in marketing, the accounting industry is pretty conservative. In fact, of the five major segments we studied, Accounting & Finance came in fourth, just above the even less adventurous legal industry.
The high-growth firms in our study achieved a 20% or greater compound annual revenue growth rate over a period of at least 3 years. In our sample, 29.7% of firms met this standard. The rest experienced average or no growth.
This elite group of high-growth firms grew nearly five times faster than their average growth peers.
How Are High-Growth Firms Different?
One of the best ways to understand high-growth firms and uncover their secrets is to compare them to their no-growth peers. Which is exactly what we did. Let’s take a look at five major findings from our research.
On average, high-growth firms budget more for marketing than no-growth firms. In fact, they are seven times more likely to be in the cohort that spends the most on marketing activities. In recent years, we have noticed an increasing correlation between marketing spend and high performance.
We asked firms about their most important marketing priorities, and the high-growth group identified differentiating their firm as their top concern. Given the industry’s increasing competition and drift toward commoditization, this priority makes a lot of sense. A successful firm is one that finds a way to distance itself from the crowd by doing something (or several things) differently.
Probably the most common way firms do this is by specializing in a target industry or, less commonly, a service offering. But there are many other ways firms can differentiate themselves, too, from focusing on a geographic area to deploying a novel business model.
Our study showed that the best performing firms were far more likely to invest in modernizing their website and search engine optimization. These upgrades can generate more high-quality online leads—the kind that come in 24 hours a day from a wide range of locales and require no active outreach.
While the differences below may not look dramatic, in all but two of this chart’s categories, subject matter experts at high-growth firms outscore those at no-growth firms. And in the two exceptions (putting together slide presentations and outreach to organizations and media), the differences are relatively small.
So what does this really mean? It means that experts at high-growth firms are better equipped to share their knowledge with others. And when you share your knowledge widely, you can more easily build a following who trust your firm’s expertise.
How do high-growth firms share their knowledge? By creating valuable content. And high-growth firms are just plain better at it.
The best performing firms invest more time and money in webinars, original research, blogging and developing gated content (content behind a form that’s used to capture leads). Where are you investing your marketing capital?
Research studies can be long on minutia and short on practical application. To buck that tradition, I’d like to offer a few practical takeaways from our research—ideas you can bring back to your team and start acting upon today.
There is a clear correlation between marketing spend and performance. If your firm usually invests very little in marketing, consider budgeting a bit more in the future. And don’t spend it all on traditional marketing activities like sponsorships or print advertising. Digital is where the present and future lie. Put at least some of your marketing dollars toward promoting your expertise.
If your firm is one of the thousands that look and behave a little different from your competitors, consider working on this weakness. Differentiation is a critical key to breaking out of the crowd and building a more reputable, visible brand.
How do you turn your firm from an average or below-average performer into a high-growth standout? It’s not as difficult as it might seem.
You need just two things:
1) the will to succeed,
2) the knowledge to make it happen. I’ve given you the secrets to number 2. Number 1 is up to you.
Guest post by : team Form -
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