Leaving marketing up solely to agencies isn’t always the best way for accountants. Here are just some of the ways you can make sure your marketing is at its most effective.
Marketing is forever a changing game.
New apps, features and crazes mean there will always be something new to try out, which could make your marketing strategy old news overnight.
Accountants need to keep up to speed and deliver results in today’s evolving market of online customers.
Agencies can help you out in the areas you aren’t practiced in, such as with social media, SEO and content writing, but they don’t have the accounting expertise that you do.
Because of this, it’s worth working with an agency to ensure your firm is being portrayed effectively online and delivering the right information through content. If it’s not, it’s your firm’s name that will suffer in terms of accounting authority, not theirs.
With that in mind, here are seven essential lessons on effective marketing that will help you grow your accounting authority and market to the right audience.
1. Plan, plan and plan
The first step of any marketing strategy is to map it out in periods of time.
This means thinking in perhaps three month time frames and figuring out what areas you need to address urgently in that time, what areas you want to improve gradually and what areas are performing well.
From this you can then decide how you want to proceed with your marketing strategy. Do you need to pay attention to your social media channels? Or do you need to get the face of the company to network more effectively? Work on specific goals each month to ensure these goals are manageable.
2. Learn your network
Suggesting to a company that they should network is an almost redundant task.
Everyone knows the power of networking and while most will head along to a networking event of their own accord rather than needing to have the importance of this explained. However, few will actually continue to keep the networking up and use it to its full potential.
The way to make use of your network is to learn about it and use this knowledge to your advantage. This means not only showing your face but adding genuine value to these people, engaging with them and following up on their wellbeing. This will keep you in close contact with them and in their good books, which can only be a good thing for the future.
3. Get listed on directories
Some directories can seem like dead ends, and that’s because they are.
Getting listed on directories can go one of two ways, by reaching your desired audience and profiting from being listed or by never hearing anything and getting pestering emails each month.
The best way to make sure you’re listed on the right directories is to focus on the ones that are in your field of expertise. For accountants, this might be directories by cloud accounting software firms, where people are looking for accountants specifically. Local directories are also worth signing up to for local accountants.
4. Become a resource for clients
Marketing has many strings to its bow, and one of the strongest ones is your content.
The copy on your website, the blogs you produce and the guides you create all factor in to your authority as a resource for your clients – and potential clients.
The more valuable advice you provide, the more likely it is that you will become a respected authority with your readership. By becoming a resource for your clients you will drive traffic to your website and improve your authority with search engines, which is a win-win.
Language you use when communicating to customers will also be an important factor. Your brand voice should be accessible to the people you’re targeting and should reflect their own language to an extent (provided it doesn’t impair your own brand tone).
5. Repurpose content
Once you have begun to create content, it’s worth noting that this can easily be repurposed to make the most out of it.
This means reusing content so that you’re able to offer it to a wider audience. One example of this might be taking a past webinar you’ve done and uploading it to YouTube, embedding it into a blog post and transcribing its contents.
You can then push this again on your social channels, making it visible to a wider readership.
When creating content, it’s worth keeping this potential in mind. By diving into an intensive topic head first and tackling the nitty gritty, you’re creating a more valuable resource than one which simply skims over the general idea. This type of content goes down with audiences and can be easily repurposed.
If you want to up the ante and increase your brand awareness, PR is one of the best ways to do so. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive.
PR companies help get your business seen in the press and media, pushing your brand and helping you gain more momentum as a company.
If you have some budget stashed away for PR services, it’s worth giving a go – even just for one or two months to see how it works out.
Along the same lines as PR, but something you can usually organise yourself, is content outreach.
This consists of contacting blogs and websites and asking them to place a link to your own site. These backlinks will help boost the authority of your site, but they must be sought with caution.
Having a link on any old site won’t do you any favours and it’s worth offering something of value to the site you want to have a link with in order to show search engines that your website is a respected source of information.
Look at some of the websites that are highly thought of in your field and consider reaching out with some content ideas.
How does marketing work for your accounting firm? Do you have a tried and tested plan in place or do you manage it as and when? Share your experiences below.