Marketing Tips for your Accounting Firm
Contributor: Sarah Scheffer, Marketing Director
Accounting is a highly competitive industry, making it critical for firms of every size and across every specialty to develop a cohesive marketing plan. Gone are the days when local and national accounting companies could rely on networking gatherings, partner referrals, or client word of mouth alone. To consistently generate new clients, accounting teams must also leverage a broader mix of traditional and digital marketing resources to edge out the competition within their vertical. Some marketing tips that can help accounting optimize growth opportunities include:
Have a Marketing Plan
Build a promotional roadmap that helps you outline your work in progress. Some key components to consider when developing your plan:
- Know your target audience
- Designate valuable content and how it will be distributed
- Showcase your brand’s identity
- Promote your firm’s unique value proposition (the differentiators that make you, YOU) in every campaign
Start Gathering Referrals
Digital reviews and referrals can prove an invaluable marketing tool for accounting firms. Gather testimonials from satisfied customers, direct clients to online review sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook, and send electronic forms to clients for feedback.
Network, Network, Network
Yes, networking is still important when marketing your accounting firm, so get out there. Be visible in your community by supporting local events and initiatives. Attend mixers, volunteer, join online groups, and make connections with financial planners, bankers, and attorneys. Fostering professional relationships really does pay off.
Start (and Maintain) a Blog
Establishing a blog on your website builds credibility, both for your firm as well as for individuals on the team. Create content that is relevant and important to the needs of your clients while also sharing more about who you are and what you offer. Beyond differentiating your firm with clients, blogging can also help with your Google search rankings as well.
When blogging, ensure that you:
- Publish new content regularly (at least every other week); readers will notice if your last post was in 2015 and they won’t return.
- Plan out topics in advance (especially during tax season)
- Support your blog posts with images; there are plenty of free stock photo sites, like Pexels and Pixabay, that will enhance your content
Leverage Email Campaigns
Remember, it’s important to walk that fine line between nurturing and connecting with clients…and flooding their inbox with unwanted spam. Again, develop content that is important to the clients, helping them solve problems and attain their goals to build client loyalty and strengthen your brand.
Build Your Online Presence
Your social pages should drive traffic to your website. Consistently post to all of your online pages to eliminate outdated content. Your online presence should include:
- Website: Remember, this is often your firm’s first (and sometimes, only) chance to make a great impression. Make it easy to navigate and mobile-friendly. Update content regularly with blog, news, tips, and photos.
- Social Media: Your clients are online – make sure you’re spending time where they are to create brand awareness, build loyalty, and generate web traffic. Engage with followers by sharing:
- Corporate culture
- Accounting tips
- Event information
- Industry updates
- Community involvement
Find Free Opportunities
Take advantage of free opportunities to promote your accounting firm, such as business press releases, media interviews, and speaking at a workshop/conference. These free forums are especially useful resources for firms with little to no marketing dollars and they are a great way to help your team shine for the ultimate marketing win/win
Captured data helps drive business intelligence and strategy. While likes, opens, and clicks are all useful to monitor, you still need to assess whether you’re reaching the goals set for firm growth. Consistently measuring results can deliver invaluable insight on what’s working and what requires modification in the upcoming months.
Bottom line: marketing tactics and initiatives need to be feeding the pipeline 24/7 – even on holidays, weekends and (gasp!) during tax season. Gaining new clients should be a year-round event, and your firm should be ready to grow and scale right along with your expanding customer base.